The 10 Best Cocktail Bars in Toronto [2022]

Best Cocktail Bars in Toronto

The best cocktail bars is where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and relax with a good drink in hand.

If you’re craving a stiff drink, Toronto is home to some of the best cocktail bars in the country. Here we compiled a list of our favourites based on their inventive menus, cozy vibes and killer drinks.

Whether you’re looking for a place to have a romantic night out or just want to find a new spot to get your drink on, these bars won’t disappoint.

For other fun things to do in the city, check out our round-up of the best live-music bars or what to do after dark in Toronto.

Summary

What are the Most Popular Cocktails to Order?

If this is your first time venturing into the world of cocktails, you might be wondering what to order. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. These are some of the most popular cocktails that are ordered at bars:
  • Old Fashioned: This classic cocktail is made with whiskey, bitters and sugar. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a strong drink that is still smooth and easy to drink.
  • Margarita: A tequila-based cocktail that is perfect for those who enjoy a little sweetness in their drinks. It’s typically made with lime juice, triple sec and agave syrup.
  • Moscow Mule: This refreshing cocktail is made with vodka, lime juice and ginger beer. It’s perfect for sipping on a hot day or if you’re looking for something light and refreshing.
  • Negroni: A classic Italian cocktail that is made with gin, vermouth and Campari. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a bitter drink that is still smooth and easy to drink.
  • Manhattan: A timeless classic that is made with whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters. It’s perfect for those who enjoy a strong, smooth drink.
These are just some of the most popular cocktails that are ordered at bars. If you’re not sure what to order, just ask the bartender for their recommendation.

The Best Cocktail Bars in Toronto

Now that you know what to order, it’s time to find a great cocktail bar to enjoy it in. Toronto is home to some of the best bars in the country, so you’re sure to find one that suits your taste. Here are some of our favourites:

1. CLOCKWORK Lobby Bar & Terrace

Clockwork Lounge is a sophisticated and modern venue that serves up delicious cocktails in a stunning setting. The décor inside is inspired by luxury Pullman carriages, with sleek designs, warm lighting, and a relaxed ambiance.

Their spacious floral outdoor patio is also a perfect spot to enjoy their famous cocktails alongside their tasty meals. It is a great place to visit this summer and a perfect spot for taking photos in front of their flowery backdrop.

Don’t forget to try their “Watermelon Sugar” cocktail, which has the ideal balance of sweetness and alcohol, and don’t forget to make a reservation ahead of time. You won’t be disappointed!

Business Information:

100 Front St W, Toronto, ON M5J 1E3
+14163682511
clockworktoronto.com

Customer Review Highlights:

“We had afternoon tea here. I loved the atmosphere and the hosts were very friendly. We had larger group and they made sure to seat us close together. The food was amazing and we enjoyed the afternoon tea as well!!! Hope to go there again and try out their bar menu”

Pros

Cons

2. Northwood

Credit: @northwoodto

Northwood may not be the biggest or fanciest cocktail bar in town, but it has its own special charm. The spacious, shaded patio is perfect for enjoying a refreshing drink on a hot summer day, and the selection of cocktails is impressive.

The “Blood and Sand” is a particular favourite, made with cutty sark scotch, cheerful Heering, and Dolin’s red and orange. Prices are reasonable, too, ranging from $12 to $14. Northwood also provides a decent selection of snacks, coffee, and other beverages.

So if you’re looking for a relaxed place to enjoy a good drink and some good company, Northwood is definitely worth checking out.

Business Information:

815 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G 1M1
northwoodto.ca

Customer Review Highlights:

“Friendly and knowledgeable staff. Phenomenal cocktails. Didn't try the beer or wine, but I imagine that they are also above average. Lovely atmosphere at night as well; made for the perfect spot for some after dinner beverages. 10/10, will return!”

Pros

Cons

3. Gift Shop

Credit: @giftshopyyz

Looking for a unique speakeasy experience? Look no further than Gift Shop, a hidden gem located behind a barbershop. This intimate setting is perfect for enjoying handcrafted cocktails, and the proprietor is known for his inventive creations.

For $15, you can try their “Truman Capote” cocktail, which includes Havana rum, Martini Bianco, dry vermouth, absinthe, Peychaud’s bitters, and creme de Peche. So if you’re looking for something different than your typical night out, be sure to check out Gift Shop. 

You won’t be disappointed!

Business Information:

89-B Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 2Z2
+14165465432
donnellygroup.ca

Customer Review Highlights:

“I love this place! The owner really cares to make sure everyone has a good experience. Some party of 5 people came to the door rude and belligerent, and he turned them away. The drinks are always original, phenomenal, and made with the utmost craftsmanship. A true experience for those who care about the art of bartending, and enjoy a cute and lovingly decorated space.”

Pros

Cons

4. Mahjong Bar

Credit: @mahjongbar

If you’re looking for a hidden gem in Little Portugal, look no further than the back of a convenience store. That’s where you’ll find this fantastic bar that serves up Chinese-inspired drinks and delectable meals.

They feature a decent range of cocktails, such as the $12 “Japanese Highball,” prepared with Suntory Toki whisky and Topo Chico soda, or the $14 “Havana Banana,” which is created with their house banana rum, sherry, lime, banana, and Peychaud’s.

They also have a nice and comfortable sitting area that gets busy, especially after 9:30 p.m., and a pleasant staff that can give you fantastic recommendations. Remember to take a photo in front of the iconic neon keyhole.

Business Information:

1276 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1X7
mahjongbar.com
+16479805664

Customer Review Highlights:

“Great vibes for drinks and lounging. We got lucky and were seated at the area right by the entrance with the fancy chairs. The dark ambiance with the red lights inside really makes this place unique. Drinks were good, especially the espresso martini. Overall, fun spot!”

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Cons

5. The Cloak Bar

Credit: @thecloakbar

Located in the heart of downtown, The Cloak Bar is a popular speakeasy that is known for its delicious cocktails and great customer service. The bar is dimly lit and has a candlelit area that makes it feel cozy and inviting.

The bartenders are very knowledgeable and can make any drink to order. They have a wide selection of cocktails, including both classic and contemporary drinks.

The Kapu Kulu, prepared with Hendrick’s gin, rose liqueur, pistachio, lime, and rosewater, is a refreshing and light cocktail. The Island of The Cross, made with Novo Fogo silver cachaca, Smith and Cross rum, Strega, orange, rosemary, spice, lemon, egg white, and pimento, is a heavier drink that is perfect for sipping on a cold night.

Both cocktails are priced at $15. Due to the limited space at The Cloak Bar, we recommend that you make reservations before you arrive.

Business Information:

488 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1E9
+14167107697
thecloakbar.com

Customer Review Highlights:

“I loved this place! You definitely need to make a reservation but it's worth it. Get the "Hidden in Plain Sight"!! It was incredible!! The service was great, the drinks were flavourful and delicious and well presented. And the overall vibe of the place being a hidden bar in the basement was great.”

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6. Cocktail Bar

Credit: @vinchauhan

Cocktail Bar is a great place to enjoy a delicious drink and an inventive dish. The staff are excellent and always on hand to help you choose the perfect drink. The “Hoof Manhattan” is a 10-year rye, Antica, and hoof bitters. It’s served in a glass with a fresh grapefruit twist.

The “Lavender Hound” is made with lavender gin, grapefruit, lemon, and salt. It’s served in a glass with a fresh lavender sprig. If you’re looking for something truly unique, try the “Smoked Grapefruit Old Fashioned.” It’s made with smoked grapefruit, bourbon, bitters, and sugar.

This tantalizing drink is sure to please even the most discerning palate.

Whether you’re looking for a cozy environment to relax in or an inventive dish to enjoy, Cocktail Bar is the perfect spot for you.

Business Information:

923 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1W3
416 792 7511
hoofcocktailbar.com

Customer Review Highlights:

“Cocktail bar has an extensive menu ranging from classics to wild combos. The bartenders are incredibly knowledgeable and fun! I went with my partner for pre dinner drinks. We were hoping they would have better options for snacks but they had chips and dip and olives as their only food options. They still did the trick but if they had oysters or charcuterie I think it would be a next level place. I ordered the black magic woman and the absinth whip. My partner ordered a Manhattan and another drink that was awesome (sweet, spicy, party in your mouth) we don’t remember the name but have a picture of!”

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7.Grey Tiger

Credit: @greytigerto

If you’re looking for a spellbinding experience, look no further than this wizardry-themed cocktail bar. They boast one of the most creative and delicious drink menus around, with something to suit every taste. The atmosphere is charming and cozy, and the employees are always on hand to help you choose the perfect drink for your mood.

The “Holy Wolf” is a must-try for first-timers – it’s a tantalizing mix of Cachaca, Calvados, Pineapple Falernum, PX sherry, Lime, Pink Grapefruit, Salted Coconut, and Mole Bitters. Whatever you order, you’re guaranteed to enjoy a magical experience at this one-of-a-kind bar.

Business Information:

1190 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H 1N2
+16479253310
shop.greytiger.ca

Customer Review Highlights:

“Fantastic spot. Intimate, minimalistic and cozy. The drinks' names are fun. The sort of place where you can pick a drink purely by its name instead of its ingredients. Also, special shoutout to the staff who were more than kind and welcoming to our group. A strong recommend for anyone in the area!”

Pros

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8. BarChef

Credit: @barchef

If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience and some Instagram-worthy cocktails, then Barchef is the place to be. They provide outstanding customer service and make recommendations for ideal beverages from their menu.

Here you’ll find a variety of creative cocktails, including smoking cocktails, “Sesame Samurai” made with spruce tip-infused gin, Mezcal, fresh cucumber, sesame, pineapple, dill bitter, elderflower, thyme syrup, fresh lemon, basil, “Four Seven Two” made with bourbon, cola bitter, fresh lime, muddled mint and mint syrup.

They hope to open their doors in mid-July this summer, so don’t forget to stop by.

Business Information:

472 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2B2
+14168684800
barchef.com

Customer Review Highlights:

“definitely a full sensory experience. for the modernist cocktails they have the actual drink and an edible portion. the drinks were super balanced. the strawberry basil spritz was my favourite of the evening. they also make such amazing negronis! the hosts were really welcoming and our server was really sweet (can’t remember her name off the top of my head but it started with a B). will definitely be back.”

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9. Lobby Lounge

Credit: @anjaggi

The Lobby Lounge in downtown Toronto is the perfect restaurant for a romantic night or a casual night out with friends. The beautiful furnishings and elegant atmosphere are perfect for a special occasion, while the friendly customer service and wonderful patio make it a great place to relax with friends.

The restaurant serves delicious Latin American food, and their wonderful cocktails are sure to please any palate. Their “OH, DOCTOR!” cocktail is made with sweet potato Beatties, Affino Aperitivo, carrot juice, lemon, and ginger syrup, and their “COPACABANA SUNRISE” is made with Cachaca, yellow chartreuse, kiwi-basil syrup, and lime.

So whether you’re looking for a romantic night out or a casual evening with friends, the Lobby Lounge is the perfect spot.

Business Information:

188 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5H 0A3
+16477888281
shangri-la.com

Customer Review Highlights:

“Serene setting with relaxing live music. Fantastic afternoon tea with decadent and beautiful sweets prepared to perfection, and an attractive tea list. Leisurely, discreet and effective service. Ask for the cocktail from a few years ago with the grapes. They’ll know.”

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10. La Cevicheria Bar and Grill

Credit: @t.foodie_blog

Margaritaville is a local seafood restaurant that knows how to make a mean fish taco. emphasizing on their use of fresh, local ingredients. The restaurant has an extensive drink menu, with plenty of inventive cocktails to choose from.

The staff is extremely knowledgeable and always happy to make recommendations. The Margarita Classic is a must-try, and the Pina Colada is the perfect way to cool down on a hot day. The patio is the perfect spot to enjoy a meal or drink, with good music and a relaxed vibe.

Whether you’re looking for a casual lunch spot or a fun place to drink with friends, Margaritaville is the place for you.

Business Information:

285 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2M1
+14165519020
lacevicheria.ca

Customer Review Highlights:

“I loveee this place! The vibe is amazing always so much fun and the food is delicious. Amazing cocktails and most importantly, the service is great fast and so friendly. My spot everytime I come to kesignton market.”

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FAQs About Cocktail Bars

A cocktail bar is a bar that specializes in making cocktails. They often have a more extensive menu than a regular bar, with a variety of creative and delicious drinks to choose from. Cocktail bars are usually more upscale than regular bars, and they often have a more sophisticated atmosphere.
No, not all cocktail bars have happy hour. However, many bars do offer specials or discounts on certain days or times. It’s always worth asking the bartender if there are any deals happening when you’re at the bar.
The best way to order a cocktail is to tell the bartender what flavors you like and don’t like, and they will make a recommendation based on your preferences. You can also ask for a specific drink you’ve seen on the menu or heard of.
There are a variety of common ingredients in cocktails, including gin, vodka, whiskey, rum, tequila, liqueur, and bitters. The most important thing is to find a drink that you enjoy and that fits your taste.

Final Thoughts

Cocktail bars are a great place to relax and enjoy a delicious drink. They offer a wide variety of drinks, so you’re sure to find something that you’ll love. Cocktail bars are perfect for a special occasion or a night out with friends. If you’re looking for a fun place to drink, a cocktail bar is a perfect spot.

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