Summers are short in Toronto, so locals know how to take advantage of the warm weather while they have it. Whether you’re looking for a patio for a sunset-tinted cocktail or dinner under the stars, here’s a definitive list of the best patios in Toronto with a vibe to suit everyone.
Head to Chef Mark McEwan’s One Restaurant in Yorkville, where you can sip on a smoky single-malt, slurp up some oysters, and enjoy one of the best patios for people-watching. You’ll want to shake out that “special occasion” outfit that’s been gathering dust in your closet, because this patio is the place to see and be seen—spring through fall, morning ’til night. And if you think the fancy folks walking by are pretty, wait ’til you see the food. The lobster spoons are cute enough to wear, but they’ll disappear quick.
For a more laid-back scene, head west to the Ossington strip where Bellwoods Brewery offers local craft brews made and bottled on-site. On a late-summer’s evening, the patio at Bellwoods, with its communal picnic benches and open garage door, makes for a charming, low-key go-to with your friends. Relax by the white picket fence and reminisce about summers past while you enjoy a fruity, fluffy Phantom Limb, or a delightfully tart Donkey Venom—or ask about the reserve bottles list. If you plan on staying awhile, share some local cheeses and salumi.
Gusto 101 in Toronto’s King West district boasts a second-floor patio that’s open year-round, thanks to its greenhouse-style, glass retractable roof. Their house wine is on tap for $1 an ounce, so you can order a little red, a little white, and a full pour of whichever you like better. Between the exuberant chatter, the fresh air, and the elegantly decadent madalde ai funghi pasta dish, you’d swear you were dining al fresco in Florence.
When the temperature dips, and a warm day becomes a cool night, one of the best patios in Toronto is at El Catrin. The massive patio opens out onto the cobblestone pedestrian space of the Distillery District, where you can view visitors and locals alike. Out on the patio of this authentic Mexican spot, the vibrant yellow tables and chairs seem to reflect the warmth radiating from the fire pit. To cool off, grab your table a pitcher of your fave margarita or mojito. Order a grande guacamole en la mesa, and if you want to get a conversation going, order it with crickets.
For one of the few lakeside patios in the city (not to mention a killer view), head to Amsterdam Brewhouse at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre for a taste of one of the city’s most popular craft breweries. Stop in for a quick bite or a flight of Amsterdam’s seasonal and popular beers, like the Stenhouse Porter or the refreshing Sweetwater Squeeze Radler, in the lofty, converted brewhouse restaurant—or on the gorgeous patio. The brew-inspired menu features mussels steamed in pale ale and beer-battered fish & chips. Bonus: As a Mastercard cardholder, you can enjoy a complimentary baked pretzel appetizer during your visit. View this offer.