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? After all, we are trying to find our #NeverHaveIEverTO moments. So in honour of venturing beyond our go-to watering holes, we’ve teamed up with Destination Toronto to put together a list of some of the city’s best-kept secret bars and speakeasies.
If you haven’t been keeping up with our #NeverHaveIEverTO series… you’re going to wanna check ‘em all out! For those who have, here’s a quick recap. Never Have I Ever, TO is a citywide game initiated by Destination Toronto in collaboration with the City of Toronto. The two together are making backyard travel fun by urging Torontonians to explore new experiences within (and on the outskirts of) the city in order to support local tourism and small businesses, and then share their NHIETO moments on social media with #NeverHaveIEverTO. In support of the campaign, we’ve been finding our own NHIETO moments and sharing with you in hopes that you’ll discover yours somewhere here too.
So let’s get to it! Here are 6 of the best-hidden bars and speakeasies in Toronto.
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. Who knows, their unreal palm tree wallpaper might just inspire your next DIY home reno project.
Where: 1276 Dundas St W
When we’re talking about hidden bars in Toronto, it’s impossible not to think of Cold Tea. While they sadly had to close their doors last year, they’re back as ‘Labora @ Cold Tea’ and operating as a pop-up at Labora restaurant. This place has amazing cocktails and Spanish-inspired dishes.
Where: 1186 Queen St. West
The Gift Shop
This local gem is hidden behind a barber’s shop. It’s the perfect place to try out some of their crazy 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
This place is called The Standard, and we promise you, that’s just what it sets. Follow the flamingo through a pizza place and a graffiti tunnel to find this hidden gem. The speakeasy has a real 1920s prohibition throwback feel- classic and timeless. While this place is currently closed due to covid, It’s the ideal choice for your Saturday night and definitely worth keeping an eye out for!
Where: 1316 Queen St W
Hush Hush Bar
This recently reopened bar is such a secret, it’s right there in the name! Hush Hush Bar, which was once a small speakeasy, has grown in size and taken up it’s new home under Nest Nightclub in Little Italy. The bar is a nod to historic prohibition with vintage decor and old-school classics on the menu.
Where: 423 College St.
This secret spot has all the mystery and allure the name suggests. What’s hiding behind the cloak? A speakeasy cocktail bar of course! This place has a cool and classy feel you won’t want to miss. The interior is truly jaw-dropping. There are tons of small plate bar tapas available, but if you get a little hungrier just go upstairs to the restaurant it’s located under and grab some dinner!
Where: 488 Wellington St
Well, this brings us to the end of our thrilling-meets-relaxing Never Have I Ever, TO moments. Ready to find your own #NeverHaveIEverTO experience and hit up some of these incredible spots? Let us know which of these speakeasies in Toronto will you be checking out first.
Happy exploring, TO!
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