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Bar Hop

Posted by Angelina Purpura / Reviewed on September 2, 2012 / review policy

Bar HopBar Hop is an ambitious venture on King West, brought to the street by Rob Pingitore in the space that was once Libra Lounge. His mission, amongst other things, is to shine a spotlight on craft beer by pairing it with upscale pub food. In an area already rife with watering-holes, It'll be a challenge to make a name for this new venture.

The ample drink offerings cover the walls, and the beer menu is a dazzling seven pages, broken down by origin, alcohol percentage, and flavour profile. There are 25 craft brews on tap and Bar Hop announces when they tap a new keg on Twitter. The long list of options is almost intimidating, but the staff are happy to help narrow down your choices.

Bar HopSix different mussel preparations are on the menu, of which I chose the Lager & Jerk and Chipotle ($14.95). These were two lbs of the fattest mussels I've ever had. The rich and savoury broth was almost as thick as gravy, and two huge slices of bread weren't enough to sop all of it up.

Bar HopDinner took a weird and terrible turn with the Jalapeno Chicken And White Bean Chili ($16.95). We expected a steamy bowl of, well, chili. Instead we got a plate of beans rehydrated with lime juice hiding the piece of shoe leather masquerading as a chicken breast. The dish was irredeemably foul and promptly sent back.

Bar HopThankfully it was comped, and we got the Turkey Burger with fries ($13.95) instead. Served on a multi grain flat bun, it was unexpectedly juicy and well seasoned, with crispy prosciutto making it better than a BLT. A good save.

Bar HopThere are only two desserts on the menu, but on the first visit the Beeramisu ($9) had run out. I got to try it on the second go and it is exactly what I expected: tiramisu with lager flavoured syrup — in other words, worth the wait.

As a drinks destination Bar Hop has completely won me over. I want to go back and hit up the bar menu Pokemon-style. As a dining venue, it has some more work to do, but I see a lot of promise mixed in with the errors. I hope it sticks around long enough for me to get through the beer menu.

Bar Hop



j / September 2, 2012 at 09:58 am
Do you guys not edit articles before you publish them? Holy shit there's typos everywhere.
moron / September 2, 2012 at 03:00 pm
Stop trolling. Get a life. It's blogTO, not the NY Times.
Scully / September 2, 2012 at 06:59 pm
I just realized i made that beeramisu!
I am also not a fan of the Jalapeno chicken.

I also agree with "moron"s(?) comment, get a life J!
enough of your first world problems!
Foodie / September 3, 2012 at 11:16 am
I wanna know how the food is please! Someone who's tried it, can you do a review of what you ate!

Lubin replying to a comment from Foodie / September 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I actually checked this place out after it had just opened 4 weeks prior. The service was perfect. Barely any waiting, our beers and food were brought almost immediately (and the place was quite packed), but those fresh oysters took the million dollars. My friends and I visited Bar Hop on a Tuesday, which is when they have their Buck-A-Shuck deal. Let's just say we shut down the oyster bar that night, easily having about 30 oysters between 3 of us. We also ordered a plate of mussels. I had the Chipotle Mussels in Coconut broth and they were superb. Super fresh and tender, cooked just right. I could have used a little more coconut flavour in the broth but that's just a personal preference. My friend ordered the Mussels a la Vodka and they were very tasty. Again, the cook nailed it. Lastly, my other friend ordered their version of Mac and Cheese with Kielbasa in a Dijon Cream Sauce. It was amazing.

While the food alone was great. The beer selection is incredible.
The fact that they have Unibroue Ephemere Pomme which I have only found in Quebec speaks for itself.

I wish I could go back there more often and become a regular, it's that good!
Levi / September 4, 2012 at 03:41 pm
I've been to Bar Hop a half-dozen times since it opened. Love this place because they actually care about beer. You can't order a Stella here and that's a good thing. Matt, behind the bar, can give you the rundown of all the beers right down to what kind of hops were used and at what point in the brewing process. They also have a rotating cask which was amazing last time I was there; Augusta Ale I believe.

From the article: "In an area already rife with watering-holes, It'll be a challenge to make a name for this new venture." ...This bit is really misleading. Sure, there are a bunch of other bars in this area but really none that cater to the craft-beer enthusiast. Bar Hop is quickly becoming my favorite beer bar in the city.
Evan / September 4, 2012 at 09:45 pm
Definitely doing it right down there. Probably in the top 5 beer destinations in Toronto which is saying an awful lot with such stiff competition. I've found the food to be great, especially their basket of fries which I was almost licking the bottom of. That and an awesome pint is one my new favourite snacks that can be had in the city.

There is one issue, and that is the location. Sitting on that patio, you are privy to some pretty douchey street traffic, but it's definitely worth it for the convenience. I can't always make it to the depths of some far off awesome neighbourhood so this is a compromise well worth making. As well it really contrasts the vibe of Wvrst down the street which I also love for their beer, but isn't so great for having a sit down with some friends over a few pints/hours.

The beer banter to be had with the staff is on the level of Volo, and it's those conversations that really set the best places apart for me. I'll be back many many times.
Frank / September 11, 2012 at 09:53 pm
Just checked it out for the first time. Kind of like Bar Volo with better food and nicer bathrooms. The service was stiff but competent and our server's description of the cask was spot on. Beeramisu was great. $1 oyster Tuesdays was a great bargain. I'll definitely be back.
Tyler / September 12, 2012 at 11:06 am
Is this writer an intern? If so, you should leave this article out of your portfolio. Please learn to not use the word Pokemon when writing.
Try reading reviews made by established critics to help guide you next time.
Best of luck !
Court replying to a comment from j / November 13, 2012 at 04:12 pm
J: for someone commenting on typos, check your grammar "there's typos everywhere'.there ARE typos everywhere. Plural.
lauren / January 14, 2013 at 11:24 am
can not say enough good things about this place! amazing beer selection, the food is great, service is spot on, music is always good, just such a welcome addition to the neighbourhood!
Jestine Katzman / January 31, 2013 at 12:39 am
Wow, that's what I was seeking for, what a data! present here at this website, thanks admin of this web site.
Sadok / February 27, 2013 at 10:59 am
Great article and recommendation. I went here last week and had a really good time. Great atmosphere, good food and good drinks.

Very good starting place for the night. Highly recommended.

P.S. To those who comment on spelling and grammar mistakes, make sure to use proper spelling and grammar before you bust other peoples' chops.
An / March 9, 2014 at 11:12 pm
Me and a couple buds went here for New Year's Eve and there was a waitlist for a table (10-20 mins). Not a surprise since it was New Year's Eve. We decided to wait anyway since I read good things about it on here and I really wanted to try their beeramisu. It's a good thing we did wait, because we all had a blast.

They didn't have any beeramisu, but the food was goood. I had the burger and it was comparable to the Green Plant's burger. Their other food look pretty amazing as well, I kept staring at the group's food who were sitting next to us. They may have had creme brulee, which I love, but don't really remember ;)

My favourite part of the night was the beer. The menu was FILLED with many different craft/gourmet beer. I don't recall any of the big name beers being on the menu. I liked how they have sample sizes in addition to regular sizes so I can try all the different ones without paying for the full size incase I didn't like it. I ended up trying maybe 4-5 different brews that night, which include regular sizes too.

The atmosphere and environment was really fast-paced and packed yet had some level of intimacy due to the tables, low light, and candles. The music being played were pretty much all 80s which I like (probably because of New Year's). The staff were SUPER busy, but still maintained a friendly & positive attitude. The crowd there seem to be more mature (mid 20s-mid 30s, fancy clothing, etc).

Bottom line is that it's a good place to go if you want good food AND beer. My birthday is coming up so I might be going there for a second time and see if I get the same experience.
JonaX / March 22, 2014 at 06:19 am
I really like the presentation here better than beerbistro - wider selection of more interesting brews, and a menu without pomp and ceremony trying way too hard to oversell 'Crisp and Satisfying' lagers - at Bar Hop you are given the vital stats to easily make an informed decision from a vast list.

Also like the vibe very much, warm cozy and bar-like, yet it seems clean and high-class. Still like bistro too, of course and the food at Hop better be as good! Also check out Indie AleHouse for a brew pub in this league.
Regular Hopper / July 23, 2014 at 05:56 pm
This place is daaaaa bomb. All real Torontonians should hang out here as one of those reliable bars you can go to when you don't want to try anything new but still want something awesome.
imjohnh / August 5, 2014 at 10:27 pm
For my money, you can't beat Cole's OR Blue Monk, both on Elmwood.
R.Star / August 12, 2014 at 06:58 pm
For your money?? Of $100 of gas? Coles & Blue Monk are in a different City & Country all together.
Jason / May 22, 2015 at 11:09 pm
This place is great. Love it.
bs / August 12, 2015 at 12:15 pm
how are their cocktails?

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