Daily drink specials in Toronto
Finding daily drink specials in Toronto has gotten easier over the last few years. Like many things that used to be word of mouth or serendipitously discovered, the almighty Internet has slowly but surely taken to the task of distributing this highly valuable information to the masses. You'll get no complaints on that here, though. In fact, it's surprising that in 2011 there aren't more sites that do this sort of thing. So let's take a look at some of the options out there.
Founded two years ago, this is the go-to guide for daily specials on drinks around the city. And if you favour beer and mixed drinks, it should have you pretty well covered (the wine deals are lacking). The site navigation is pretty basic (which it should be), and allows users to filter results for type of drink, day of the week and neighbourhood (though the list curiously lacks an entry for Dundas West). First time visitors will notice the preponderance of corporate bars and restaurants, but there are certainly independent places as well. Despite listing some questionable "deals," the best part of the website is that it's interactive. Readers can submit drink specials they've discovered in order to build up the database. In other words, the site's not perfect, but as more people participate, it should get better and better.
DrinkOwl (website and app)
We've already reviewed the DrinkOwl iPhone app, so to summarize those sentiments: despite some so-so "deals," the app is an excellent resource to have when making an impromptu stop for drinks, the map function works well, and you can also use it as a mobile Beer Hunter to locate retail locations (where booze can be had at its cheapest, remember). If you don't have an iPhone, all the info can be found on the website as well, though it would appear that the deals don't really differ from those listed on Toronto Drinks Weekly. You may, however, like the site layout better.
Finding deals on corkage fees (or even what the standard rate is) at Toronto restaurants hasn't been that easy since the demise of bringmywine.ca (which, truth be told, wasn't even that good before it stopped being updated). We put together a good list in 2009, but deals like this tend to change on a fairly regular basis (as forum members on Chowhound have often bemoaned). So it's exciting that a brand new site has been created to fill this gap. Currently, Corkage Toronto lists 131 restaurants, many of which offer specials on certain days of the week. While much of the information requires verification, the site has just got up and running. User submissions (including corrections to erroneous information) will go a long way toward determining its long term viability.
Originally a Stillepost thread, this list survives in a few different places (including Facebook as Cheap Alcohol in Toronto). Insofar as it dates back a few years, I'd be wary of putting a whole lot of stock into the info. I include it here less as recommendation and more as a call to revive it, even if just as updates to the Facebook wall. The group still has over 2000 members, so a little flurry of activity might be enough to garner some renewed interest. If not, it is proves an interesting little historical document.
Although not exclusive to daily specials, our reader-voted list of places to get cheap drinks does take these into account (and mentions them where applicable). It's also worth a look if you're not into the whole daily tracking thing.
Know of a resource for drink deals in Toronto or of a deal itself? Let us know in the comments.
Lead photo by Jason Tavares