cocktail bar toronto

The top 10 new cocktail bars in Toronto

The top new cocktail bars in Toronto offer an escape from the everyday, whether in the form of exotic concoctions with rare ingredients or eye-popping garnishes like flowers and dehydrated citrus fruit. Whether you prefer your drinks with a stiff layer of foam on top or piled high with ice, these bars are here to slake your thirst.

Here are my picks for the top new cocktail bars in Toronto.

Pretty Ugly

This mezcaleria shrouds its establishment in darkness and carpets that cover the windows and door, but it’s worth poking your nose in for the delightful little mezcaleria at the front and the bold cocktails at the back. The Crystal Lake is garnished with dried dame’s rocket and features foraged ingredients.

Famous Last Words

It’s revenge of the nerds at this book-themed bar where all the cocktails are named after literary titles and the menu has a table of contents. Snuggle up to the fireplace in a cozy chair and grab a book and sip on a Tourist Season or a Famous Last Words, a riff on The Last Word cocktail.

Pray Tell

Near College and Dovercourt, this friendly and hip snack bar with Asian influences is also serving up a menu of cocktails designed by the same bartender behind Track & Field. It’s a balanced list of drinks with names like Make Nice and B-Side Track.

Farside

This artsy bar is paying tribute to local Toronto creative legends with cocktails like the Chili Gonzalez, a delightfully spicy drink with a chili garnish. They’re also serving punches out of a giant pineapple behind the bar, and the Forever 41 is a play on a white wine spritzer garnished with a long leaf.

Shamone

Aside from their epic free snack nights which feature mini sandwiches and meat, cheese and fruit platters, this quirky Junction bar does fun boilermakers like a Stiegl Radler and El Jimador combo as well as refreshing Fruli mojitos.

Baro

This reinvention of Valdez on Baro has opened its whopping four-floor King West location with a bang and a wild cocktail list. The Iron Tyrant has an infused ice cube that ages the drink as it melts, and the Five Flower is topped with radiant edible flower petals.

Dolly’s

This new addition to Bloordale has a tasty menu of Filipino dishes like kare kare, lechon and house made noodles, but they also do epic mojito pitchers in four different styles. You can also order the typically rum-based drinks garnished with a beefy sugar cane stick.

Good Fortune

This bar below La Carnita and Sweet Jesus on Eglinton is loud, dark, and boozy. If you're looking for crazy spiked slushies, milkshakes, Jell-O, and punch bowls, this is the uptown watering hole for you.

Clocktower Bar

Clocktower Bar is the opposite of Good Fortune and many of the cocktail spots above, opting for a bright, light, minimal design over a cluttered, dim vibe. This sister space to Boxcar Social makes cocktails like a jalapeno mint margarita using house bitters and infusions.

Maple Leaf Tavern

If that jalapeno mint margarita piqued your interest, the "stealth" margarita at Maple Leaf Tavern should have you salivating, also incorporating jalapeno along with a fat slice of cucumber.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez at Pretty Ugly


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Eat & Drink

Metro getting rid of 24 hour grocery stores after minimum wage hike

The top 5 bars in Toronto for non-drinkers

Spirits on Church closes after 30 years in business

Popular Chinese chain Green Tea Restaurant opening first Toronto location

Popular Toronto lunch spot accused of unpaid wages

Massive crowds show up for Cheesecake Factory in Toronto

Toronto just got a milk and cookies food truck

Frans Restaurant closed after fire