The Best Wine Bars in Toronto

Sample a local wine on your trip to Toronto
Sample a local wine on your trip to Toronto | © Lucky-photographer / Alamy Stock Photo
Megan Honan

Whether you’re a fan of full-bodied pinot or prefer a light and bubbly rosé, you’re sure to find the vino for you at one of Toronto’s top wine bars.

Torontonians are spoiled with not one but two wine counties located within driving distance. With a unique climate perfect for growing grapes, Ontario winemakers are leading the cool-climate craze. Also, local farmers continue to churn out excellent high-acid fruit, leading to some of the finest bubbly available in North America. So, pull up a chair and pour yourself a glass.

1. Cozy up with artisanal wine at Brothers Food and Wine

Wine Bar, Canadian

This small restaurant tucked above the Bay subway station is quite something. Shielded from the outside world by a heavy curtain, guests are greeted by a pale pink interior, from the banquettes to the tabletop coffee grinder. Brothers Food and Wine serves espresso by day and wine by night, with its in-house sommelier on hand to answer any questions you may have. Patrons have a choice of over 30 artisanal wines, including lesser-known grapes.

2. Cibo Wine Bar Yorkville for an all-Italian food and wine list

Wine Bar, Restaurant, Italian

Cibo Wine Bar in Yorkville is a feast for the eyes. The three levels of designer confection feature worn butcher-block tables, sleek leather chairs and funky murals. Its multi-page wine list has varietals from around the world, including a mid-range Italian selection and a more expensive section for those looking to celebrate. The food menu complements the wine, with Italian classics such as cannelloni and inventive dishes like the trota alla griglia (grilled trout, lemon caper sauce, baby squash and fava bean ragu) particular highlights.

3. Chez Nous Wine Bar for local labels from Ontario’s backyard

Wine Bar, Canadian

Those looking to sample the best wines from Ontario’s backyard should look no further than Chez Nous Wine Bar. It’s no surprise that this bar only stocks local labels, with Niagara wine county to the west and Prince Edward wine county to the east. Owner Laura Carr has hand-picked each bottle and can offer suggestions to suit your particular palate. The snacks – cheese plates, olives and meats – are simple but highlight quality ingredients.

4. Côte de Bœuf for a lazy afternoon in a Parisian bistro

Restaurant, Butcher, French

This Ossington hotspot was erected as a nod to the famous French bars à vins, taking guests back in time to turn-of-the-century Paris. It features rustic touches such as barrels brimming with plump fruit and a floor with an inlaid tile cow – perfect for floor #shoefies. The bar doubles as a butcher shop during the day and provides a bolstering French wine list. Here, visitors can pair a côtes du rhône with a steak or a Provençal rosé with oysters, for example.

5. Grey Gardens for a Kensington Market hang-out

Wine Bar, Canadian

If you’re visiting Kensington Market, make sure to check out Grey Gardens. It’s an excellent spot for a date night or birthday celebrations. With a heavy focus on private-order labels, the wine list is extensive. It offers white, red, rosé and orange wines by the bottle and some by the glass. The menu has a selection of snacks plus small and medium plates, including oysters and mackerel with salsa verde and daikon.

6. Corks Beer and Wine Bar for sports and boutique varietals

Wine Bar, Canadian

Corks Beer and Wine Bar is a low-key spot that has something for everyone. With a casual setting serving up wines, brews and sports, it’s a perfect weekend hang-out to catch up with old friends. It showcases Canadian wines and sources all of its produce from nearby farms. Also, this Leaside Village bar is knowledgeable in the best boutique wines available, including those by Peller Estates, Trius and Southbrook. Plus, it has a cheeseboard curated by local dairy farmers.

7. Après Wine Bar for experimental, all-organic wines

Wine Bar, Canadian

All Torontonians will tell you that if you want to visit a hip, modern wine bar, there is only one area to check out – Queen Street West. The strip is constantly changing, with new restaurants, boutiques and coffee shops opening on a regular basis. The area’s latest addition is Après Wine Bar, the sister restaurant of Canis. It focuses on natural, organic and low-intervention wines. While wine is the main event at Après, small plates such as beef tartare, fried smelts and mushroom pappardelle are also available.

8. Archive for minimalist decor and up-and-coming labels

Wine Bar, European

Snuggled away in the West End, this minimalist wine bar offers a relaxed atmosphere and locally sourced labels. Accompanied by European-influenced plates, such as spinach croquettes and wild mushroom conserva, the highly curated wine list makes it easy for guests to find something special. Wine is available by the glass (three- or five-ounce pours to allow guests to sample more). For those who crave variety and like to explore up-and-coming labels, flights of wine are also an option.

9. REDS Wine Tavern for work drinks or working while drinking

Wine Bar, Canadian

Many of Toronto’s high-powered young professionals gather at one spot for after-work refreshments – REDS Wine Tavern. Located in the Financial District, this expansive and industrial-style dining room expertly mixes work and play. Its offers six- and nine-ounce glasses of red and white wines and half-priced bottles during happy hour on Tuesdays beginning at 4pm and Saturdays at 5pm. For eats, indulge in dishes such as Mediterranean lamb salad.

10. Paris Paris for a lunchtime glass paired with charcuterie

Wine Bar, Canadian

Located just steps from the famed Trinity Bellwoods Park lies Paris Paris. Revered as the best spot for lunch meetings, this all-day wine bar pairs elevated late-night fare with natural wines for a match made in heaven. The interior has a bohemian vibe – there are plants dotted throughout and a sweeping wooden bar created by local woodworker Graham Waliczek. The aforementioned late-night fare is anything but basic, with dishes including crispy soft-shell crab and tuna crudo.

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