The Addisons Residence, staged to look like a mid-century Malibu beach house, gives guests the sense that they are crashing a house party rather than entering a stuffy bar. The space is staged as an actual home, divided into different rooms, tastefully designed by Lisa Ho. Head to the rec room, filled with board games, foosball, bubble hockey, a shuffleboard table, and a fully-stocked bar (just as a parent’s bar should be). Guests can order snacks in the kitchen, all catered by The Food Dudes, and take a seat at the large communal dining table. The living room, fashioned with comfortable armchairs, couches, and TVs, is perfect for those looking to chill and keep it low-key. Photographs of this ‘mysterious’ Addison family line the walls, making the home feel just as real as ever. Good music, great cocktails, tasty snacks, and endless entertainment (live bands play several nights of the week), leaves little room for doubt: the Addisons throw the best party in town.
The Addisons Residence, 456 Wellington St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 260 9393
The Lockhart, Toronto’s much buzzed about Harry Potter inspired bar, has hit Dundas West, paying subtle homage to the wizarding world of J.K. Rowling’s series, which debuted back in the late 90s. While die-hard fans will be quick to identify the nods to Harry Potter, others will simply find these features to be welcome additions to this charming space. The menu features ‘Potions and Elixirs’ as well as a short selection of bar snacks, but if you plan on stopping by, be sure to bundle up, line ups have been out the door since the place opened! It’s worth the wait, even for the most unacquainted ‘Potter’ fans.
The Lockhart, 1479 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 647 748 4434
Track & Field Bar is quite the hidden gem, this renovated basement bar boasts a cozy atmosphere, awesome tunes and bar snacks, craft beer, a long list of craft cocktails and is fashioned with several bocce ball and shuffleboard lanes, free from midnight to 2 am. Change it up and mix your cocktails with some friendly competition; what more could one want!
Want a taste of that country livin’? Head to Rock N Horse Saloon, an old Western saloon with barstools fashioned from leather saddles, walls covered in rodeo memorabilia, and swinging doors on the bathroom stalls. Country music favorites blare from speakers, or check out one of the live bands which play on most nights. With a menu that boasts Southern-inspired dishes and country-style cocktails, Rock N Horse Saloon possesses all the features of a Texas roadhouse. This spot is always packed, so get there early, test your rodeo skills on the mechanical bull, and don’t forget your plaid. Forgot your rodeo-wear? No stress: check the general store inside, which sells cowboy hats and paraphernalia.
Rock N Horse Saloon, 250 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 647 344 1234
A trend that has its roots in New York City has made its way to Toronto in the way of SPiN: a 12,000 square foot warehouse converted into a glorified table tennis club. The franchise’s creators (hey, Susan Sarandon) have taken the game from mama’s basement and brought to your weekend nightlife except as a trendy social club. Complete with 12 ping pong tables, two full bars, bar snacks, and a list of signature cocktails, this neon-lit space is always packed. Reserve a table ahead of time, or pop in, but expect a queue. Consider yourself a pro? Go for the annual membership. Not a pro, but tired of the same weekend routine? Make SPiN your next night out and don’t forget: student nights are on Wednesdays (half-priced games and drink specials) and for those of you in the industry (whether you’re a bartender, dishwasher, or line cook), head here on Sunday where you can play for free from 10 pm-close.
SPiN Toronto, 461 King St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 599 7746
CHILL Ice House, a permanent fixture to King and Bathurst’s already booming bar scene, provides guests with the winter wonderland experience year round as the largest ice lounge in the world. Rather than check your coat, be prepared to receive a CHILL Ice House parka, mittens and a toque. This space remains true to its name with everything being made from ice; tables and chairs, a DJ booth, lifelike ice sculptures, even the cocktails and shots are served in glassware carved from ice. Afraid of the cold? Make your way to the speakeasy-inspired lounge at the back, serving hot apple cider.
CHILL Ice House, 82 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 901 3330
Nostrovia! Pravda, an upscale lounge that pays tribute to Russia’s drink of choice, offers over 70 of the most highly-rated vodkas from around the world, you can even taste before you buy to help narrow down the selection. The martini list is extensive, featuring cocktails like the Marxist Espresso Martini and the Kremlin Lemon Breeze, and the dishes from the menu offer a number of Eastern European favorites, all which can be paired with a particular vodka. Patrons will take note of the Communist era propaganda and vintage posters adorning the walls along with photos of infamous Russian leaders. Head to Pravda for happy hour, offered during the week from 4-7 pm, check out one of the live bands, or even see an aerialist perform on Saturday nights.
Pravda Vodka Bar, 44 Wellington St E, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 366 0303
Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre is a one-of-a-kind interactive dining experience, drawing on crowd participation, comedy and mystery to entertain. Cast members interact with guests but try not to get too attached to these characters: before the first course is over, one will be dead! For the rest of the evening, diners act as the detectives and help the surviving characters catch the murderer. Prizes are awarded to guests who successfully solve elements of the mystery (likely those CSI lovers out there). This theatre is also available for private events, and can even come to a location of your choice. Keep an eye out for matinees and mystery-writing workshops.
O.Noir gives guests the opportunity to enjoy a three course meal, in complete darkness. Say what? That’s right, this blind-eating experience allows diners to home in on their other four senses while providing a brief glimpse into the daily lives of those without the ability to see. The wait staff is comprised of blind servers who gracefully guide their guests, making this unusual experience quite comfortable. O.Noir’s initiative is one of great importance, to teach compassion for those with disabilities and develop a sense of understanding while also providing a job opportunity in an otherwise challenging area of employment.
O.Noir, 620 Church St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 922 6647
The Ballroom Bowl has got it all: an outdoor patio, live bands on the weekend, a packed dance floor, and quite the selection of games, Xbox, ping pong, foosball, and the fan-favorite, bowling, on the ground floor. The entertainment-while-drinking theme is bound to satisfy any taste. Be sure to reserve a lane ahead of time, this spot fills up quick, and with that throwback 90s playlist, you’re bound to stay for an extra game or two.
The Ballroom Bowl, 145 John St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 597 2695