The Top 10 Bars To Visit In Little Italy, Toronto

Photo of Ady Floyd
9 February 2017

While the Toronto neighborhood of Little Italy is traditionally known for its mouth-watering pizza and pasta restaurants, the College Street strip of downtown Toronto is also home to a diverse collection of must-try bars and clubs. With everything from cozy pubs to upbeat nightclubs, the authentic yet modernized hub of Little Italy is the perfect Toronto neighborhood to head to for a fun night on the town. Here are 10 of the best bars in the area.

Classic Martinis | Courtesy of Ady Floyd

Eat My Martini

Bar, Canadian, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, $$$
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This quaint bar resides among the street’s shops, spas and bakeries, but don’t be fooled by Eat My Martini’s location. This ominous cocktail lounge pumps upbeat music and offers a stunning selection of over 130 martinis. It’s the perfect place to go for a girls’ night out or to simply test out some exciting new cocktails that can’t be found anywhere else. Even if the menu seems daunting, and a chocolate or Blue Curacao martini is a bit too much, a classic dirty martini is always a satisfying fallback.


Bar, Restaurant, Canadian, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, Vegan, Vegetarian, Fast Food, Street Food
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For an all-season option, Nirvana is the place to hit up. It’s perfect for when the cold Canadian winter is just too much to handle, while their sidewalk patio is the ideal retreat to grab a pitcher of refreshing Watermelon Wheat Beer on a warm summer night — you just can’t go wrong here. The cozy bar located at the intersection of College and Bathurst is a welcoming environment with dim lighting spouting from gorgeous, over-sized chandeliers. The tables, chairs and window curtains solidify the rustic vibes within this relaxed lounge, making it the perfect place for a casual date or just hanging out and chatting with friends.

Sneaky Dee's

Bar, Restaurant, Mexican, Canadian, Gluten-free, Beer, Wine
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Sneaky Dee’s, an iconic gem that opened in 1987, truly has it all; it’s a restaurant, bar, and concert venue. The lower level features tables, booths and a bar for diners to sip their drinks while trying to decide between one of the menu’s eight delicious nacho dishes. The upper level hosts live music, and every Wednesday ‘Another Round Trivia’ challenges guests’ knowledge about sports, music, history and pop culture. Great music, great comfort food and the decor showcase a funky offbeat style that is cohesive from the bright blue sign out front, all the way to the (intentionally) graffiti-covered bathroom walls.

Hapa Izakaya

Restaurant, Japanese, Sushi, Asian, Vegetarian, $$$
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Sakè Bomb
Sakè Bomb | Courtesy of Ady Floyd
Hapa Izakaya is an authentic Japanese bar with a modern twist that is highly appealing to Toronto’s Millennial crowd. The restaurant offers classic cocktails, beers and a divine assortment of traditional Japanese small dishes, such as hot and cold tapas along with pressed sushi. The drink specials differ from day to day, but one thing that is always on the menu is the iconic ‘Sakè Bomb.’ The drink begins with a pint glass, which is one quarter filled with beer. Then using chopsticks, the bartender rests a one-ounce shot glass filled with sakè on top, which will eventually fall into the beer and be hastily gulped down. With a live DJ spinning hip hop and R&B tracks Thursday through Saturday, this is definitely a hot spot to be in Little Italy.

Bar Radio

Bar, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, Canadian, $$$
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With a classic dive bar vibe, Bar Radio will appeal to those looking for a low-key night out listening to great music, sipping affordable beers and cocktails and chatting with some of the friendliest bar staff in the city. In addition to the casual, laid-back atmosphere, Bar Radio hosts live music performances on Wednesdays and Thursdays, while Tuesdays are reserved for those looking to embrace their nostalgic side with a classic board game night.


Although award winning in its flair for romantic vibes, Kalendar is an ideal spot for a drink. The rustic interior is lit with low lights and mood-enhancing candles. The romantic atmosphere extends to the menu, which offers a collection of Italian, French and Mediterranean options. The handcrafted selection of cocktails and drinks spans across ten pages and is known for swapping out drink specials that best reflect the weather. During the warm summer months, Kalendar offers divine sangrias and classic mojitos, while the winter menu hosts mulled wine, ciders and classic Hot Toddies.

Kalendar, 546 College St. Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 923 4138


Nightclub, Canadian, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, $$$
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College Street’s basement bar just happens to be the best place to go clubbing in Little Italy. With loud music, laser lights and a fully stocked bar – including bottle service – this is definitely the dance floor to hit on College Street. In true club style, BLND TGER is only open Wednesday to Saturday from 10pm until 3am. The decor features exposed brick and leather furniture, which seemingly complements the DJ music that blasts only the most upbeat tracks.

Snakes & Lattes

Restaurant, Bar, Canadian, Fast Food, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Beer, Wine, Street Food, $$$
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Certainly not a traditional pub, this large board game cafe-bar is a popular hangout for groups of friends who just want to relax and maybe get a little competitive. With a library stocked with hundreds of handpicked board games, there is something there to suit everyone’s gaming style. Additionally, the menu offers a unique collection of caffeinated drinks like lattes, or patrons can dive into the vast listing of various craft beers. Stop by on a Wednesday for a pint of Muskoka Detour, Amsterdam Boneshaker or St Ambroise Oatmeal Stout. Open seven days a week, Snakes & Lattes is perfect for a Wednesday night or a simple Sunday afternoon.

The Midtown

Bar, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, Canadian, $$$
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The F-Holes perform live at The Monarch Tavern
The F-Holes perform live at The Monarch Tavern | Courtesy of The Monarch Tavern
The Midtown is one of Little Italy’s music-pumping bars, which has been dutifully ‘partying since 1992.’ This upbeat venue plays anything from 80s music to today’s top hits depending on the night’s event. Regardless of the music’s decade, this bar has a certain knack for making people want to get up and dance. Whether it’s Halloween, New Year’s Eve, or someone is hosting a birthday, this bar knows how to have a good time and dismisses the idea of cover charge or raised drink prices. While the dance floor is moderately sized, there is always room to sit at the bar or at the front tables, which provides a panoramic view directly onto College Street.

The Monarch Tavern

Bar, Canadian
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Karaoke Night | Courtesy of The Monarch Tavern
Karaoke Night | Courtesy of The Monarch Tavern
The Monarch Tavern is nestled among a few residential houses just a few steps south of College Street, on Clinton Street. This two-story bar is recognized for its amazing live music that can be heard on any given day of the week in the lower level. The upper floor boasts DJ-styled music and today’s popular tracks. The top floor also has a pool table, which is a rare amenity that isn’t typically available at many College St. bars. Another great aspect of The Monarch is their crowd-pleasing karaoke night that takes place every Thursday at 10 pm. Come for the drinks, and stay for the entertainment.