No one can deny that when it comes to the Toronto bar scene, this city knows what it’s doing. But what about the more underground places? If you’re looking for a hideaway from the mainstream crowd, check out some of the city’s best-kept secrets. Oh yeah baby, we’re talking the hidden bars and speakeasies of Toronto. Just be sure to keep it hush-hush.

Here are 9 of the best-hidden bars and speakeasies in Toronto.

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after seven

Located behind a yogurt shop, AfterSeven is a Japanese cocktail experience where the only way you can enter is by asking the barista for a special order. That’s where they will guide you to an inconspicuous entrance. They have a list of classic cocktails including modern favourites to more experimental choices with a hint of Japanese flavours.

When: Behind Kome, 50 McCaul St

THE JEAN DARLENE PIANO ROOM

Sophisticated, chill, and inviting. The Jean Darlene Piano Room is accessible through a hidden door in a laneway. Though it may be hard to miss, you definitely want to check this spot out as it offers live performances and a “Piano Karaoke Weekly” event for you yo enjoy while you sip on crafty cocktails.

When: 1203 Dundas St W

MAHJONG BAR

 

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Disguised behind a storefront, this hidden spot is one you won’t want to miss. It has a laid-back vibe and all the Asian-style tapas you could dream of. We also want that palm tree wallpaper for our own home, but that’s another topic.

Where: 1276 Dundas St W

XXX

Located under Toronto’s beloved Little Sister Food Bar on Portland Street, XXX is among the newest speakeasies to open in the city and has already been recognized as one of “Canada’s Best Bars.”

The intimate spot is inspired by the old bars of Amsterdam, “where you can either sit back in the corner and watch the bartender from a distance or get up close and personal,” according to the description.

Where: 102 Portland Street

THE GIFT SHOP

 

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This next pick is a cocktail den and lounge hidden behind a barbershop. It’s the perfect place try out some of their wild cocktails! And hey, maybe after a few you’ll have the liquid courage to make the big hair change you’ve been daydreaming about.

Where: 88 Ossington Ave

à toi

 

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Can you keep a secret? This spot is concealed inside Coffee Oysters Champagne on King St West. The vibe is roaring twenties meets modern age, with an extensive cocktail list and an atmosphere to make you feel like you’re somewhere in Paris. Be sure to ask about the chilling and romantic true story behind the bar’s name. And you’ll want to wear your best outfit for the photo ops.

Where: 214 King St W

THE VATICAN GIFT SHOP

We know you spend most of your of Saturday nights shopping for religious goods, so this place isn’t too far of a stretch. Hidden behind a religious merch store, this speakeasy has that dimly-lit vibe you’ve been looking for. Also, they have live music and DJ nights. Weird mix of vibes, but we dig it!

Where: 1047 Gerrard St E

CRY BABY GALLERY

 

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This secret New York-style cocktail bar is hidden behind an art gallery, easily making it one of the coolest hidden bars in the city. The bar serves up unique drinks like kombucha-infused cocktails, paired with simple but delicious bites like olives and oysters.

Once you’ve treated yourself to a drink (or several) from the bar, you can peruse through the art exhibit like the classy person you are.

Where: 1468 Dundas St W

LOPAN BAR

 

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Located above DaiLo in Little Italy is the vibey neon-lit LoPan Bar, serving up snacks, cocktails, and live DJ tunes late into the night. This spot is locally famous for its Big Mac Bao, and honestly, need we say more?

If the red lights are on in the stairwell, that means the party’s still going, so head on up and get ready to have a good time!

Where: 503 College St, Upper Floor