The top 10 patios to watch World Cup 2014 in Toronto
World Cup soccer and Toronto patios are the perfect combination. Short of being at the tournament in Brazil, taking in the action with other fans under the sun is your best bet. Naturally, Toronto is teeming with options. We've already rounded up our top 60 places to watch the World Cup, but here's a more tightly focused list of patios at which you can watch the games. Not all of these spots are traditional soccer-watching destinations, but it's the World Cup, and that means some places are pulling out all the stops for this special occasion.
Sometimes the most obvious choice is still the best choice. Such is the case with Cafe Diplomatico's patio for World Cup watching. Good luck getting a seat when Italy's on the pitch (you could always just arrive early and stay all day), but almost all the other games will be aired here as well, most of which will be in lower demand. This is World Cup headquarters in Toronto.
This well-treed back patio is one of Toronto nicest for kicking back with some barbecue chicken and a few bottles of Sagres. Come World Cup and Euro time, however, it becomes the best spot to watch Portugal in action. The street side patio on Dundas is also nice, but the College St. location takes the cake for atmosphere.
Cabana Pool Bar
I wouldn't normally think of Cabana Pool Bar as a place to watch soccer, but they've pulled out all the stops for this World Cup, bringing in a 21ft LED screen to screen games. The South Beach-style venue will be showing games Tuesday through Sunday, with no cover charge on weekdays. While there isn't really a major country affiliation, the venue also plans to host a Brazilian beach party on June 21.
Scallywags is a soccer-hungry type of place pretty much all the time, so it's not much of a surprise to see the place filled to the brim with football fans of all types during the World Cup. The overall allegiance might be to England, but the fan base is diverse enough here to make most games an event. Bonus points for the multiple patio options, including a covered area in case it rains.
The Football Factory is up there with Diplomatico for the title of establishment that's most excited the World Cup is on. Less driven by allegiance to any one country than by the spectacle of the event in general, patio-goers here are typically knowledgeable soccer fans out to watch the game with like-minded folk.
Valdez isn't typically much of a soccer viewing destination, but why not marry its focus on Latin street eats with World Cup games. The rooftop patio will play host to games throughout the tournament, with a particular focus on Latin American teams.
Hemingway's touts itself as a little bit New Zealand in Toronto, but for the World Cup it's pretty much neutral territory. Its multi-level patio is well-shaded a good spot to take in games during the day, when you'll want to hide from the sun at least a little. The bar will broadcast games daily throughout the tournament.
Against the Grain (Leaside)
The Leaside outpost of Against the Grain features two massive patios, though the rooftop offering is arguably the nicer of the two. World Cup games will be broadcast here throughout the fest, and while not a soccer destination per se, the ample space and and large screen TVs make this one of the best bets in the area.
Duke of York
This quiet backyard patio in the Annex is set to get animated for England matches. With a semi-secluded location (at least it feels that way) and decent pub grub, this is a pretty good bet even if you're not an English fan. The pub will be hosting a number of World Cup viewing parties, which you'll need to reserve a spot for in advance.
This is your best patio option if you're a German fan. The side patio overflows when Die Mannschaft hit the field. Towering steins of Bavarian beer will be spilled as the crowd cheers on the team while feasting on schnitzel and pork hox. Better wear your fat pants for a game here.
This east side pub will be screening games daily from its back patio near Gerrard and Jones. A laid back place, you're unlikely to find the absolutely rabid English fans you might at a place like the Duke of Gloucester. I say that's a good thing if you're just interested in grabbing a quiet pint and taking in some world class soccer.
What did we miss? What's your go-to patio for World Cup watching?
Photo by Shreyans Bhansali