Krysta’s Picks – Cocktail Bars

Speaking of picks (or pickets), it’s strike time! That means you have time to catch up on assignments during the day and time to have fun at night! If you’re like me, you like a solid venue for unwinding with friends, enjoying some tunes and testing out several of Toronto’s wide range of yummy drink creations. I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite spots for doing just that. So why not grab a TTC day pass and do a little bar hopping for a fun (strike) evening!

 cr. Krysta

cr. Krysta

Pacific Junction Hotel

234 King St. E.

This little dive bar is the absolute cutest. Every time I walk in here, my mind is filled with colourful Californian vibes, making for an all-around relaxing night! Menus are served on a little record spinner, which actually helped my indecisive self choose my drink relatively quickly. They often have a DJ here on weekends, so be ready to jam your night away with on-the-spot mixes. For additional entertainment, Pacific Junction also has ping pong and billiards tables, which makes it the perfect spot to bring the whole crew. If you’re still not convinced, this place has an adorable patio in the summer months, so be sure to add it to your list come patio season!

My Recommendation: Poutine spring rolls (the best kind of Canadian fusion), and to drink, try their No Scrubs tequila cocktail!

Civil Liberties

878 Bloor St. W.

Postering themselves as a prohibition-era bar with speakeasy vibes, these Bloor & Ossington bartenders are ready to craft the perfect drink for you. Tell them what you’re feeling, rum or citrus vibes and they’ll get craft you a personalized cocktail! The rustic wood and brick setting definitely makes the drinks stand out here. The environment guides your attention towards the magician bartenders making your drink, with some fancy pouring action for show, of course. All in all, this spot is perfect for a date or a relaxing night with your crew, and it’s not far from a lot of other Toronto hotspots for night life, if you’re looking to continue your night down Ossington!

My Recommendation: I don’t have one because my drink was made specially for ME, so let them get their artisan on to match YOUR personal taste.

The Lockhart

1479 Dundas St. W.

This nook in the heart of Little Portugal is where all the Hufflepuffs like to spend their Saturdays. With 100% Harry Potter décor, it’s no wonder that the Lockhart often has a line-up full of nostalgic 20-somethings. That said, the line-up is always worth it here, because your insta game will be on point after seeing the interior of this place. The bar staff is amazingly friendly, and some of their drinks are brought out literally on fire and, honestly, nothing can top that! The Lockhart has a small tapas menu, but I would suggest either doing drinks or brunch here to get the full Wizarding experience.

My Recommendation: A pitcher of butter beer — yes, the whole pitcher, because it is both delicious and super cool!

70 Ossington Ave.

As if its prime location at Queen & Ossington isn’t a good enough reason to be sold on coming here, this cocktail bar is absolutely one-of-a-kind. Inspired by Asian-Spanish fusion, any of the featured “té” cocktails are infused with tea, whether using a tea base or infusing your favourite alcohol with tea: perfect for avoiding any sense of guilt about drinking because if there’s tea in your drink, it’s obviously healthy! The food here is served as Spanish-style tapas, fused with Asian-inspired cuisine.

My Recommendation: Jasmine gin and tonic.