Tennessee Tavern Toronto

Tennessee Tavern

Tennessee Tavern is a kitschy bar with an Eastern European menu, heavyweight drink list, and a long and storied history. It’s now owned by Grant van Gameren, Alec Colyer, and Max Rimaldi.

A menu that reads “Tennessee Open Grill” featuring two-dollar steaks hangs in the front entrance as a reminder that this place first opened in the 1950s. It was Mitzi’s Sister for a long time before being converted to The Sister, then a different, shadier version of the Tennessee for a while.

Tennessee Tavern Toronto

There’s always been a stage that could host live music, and the new Tennessee Tavern is upping its game by having DJ acts and the like in.

Tennessee Tavern Toronto

Hundred-year-old bar tables dot the spacious room. The back bar is from a Polish steelworkers bar, and the middle bar is from The Roxton, both originally from 1800s Buffalo.

Tennessee Tavern Toronto

The action of a back patio revolves around a giant birdcage from Smash.

Tennessee Tavern Toronto

Cucumber salad with Bulgarian feta cream ($7.95) is dressed with bitter caraway and dill. The cool bitterness helps balance out other heavy, fatty parts of the menu.

Tennessee Tavern Toronto

A big pretzel with yellow mustard ($7.95) and pickles is perfect for sharing, soft with a crackly lacquered crust and hunks of salt.

Tennessee Tavern Toronto

A mixed pepperette cup ($9) also embraces the small plate/sharing/bar snack attitude, with mild and quite spicy pork as well as beef dry whips.

Tennessee Tavern Toronto

The smoked fish plate ($27.95) is a platter of smoky and juicy salmon, trout, mackerel, and slightly lighter-tasting eel (head included) served with pita, pickled onion, sour cream and caper berries.

Tennessee Tavern Toronto

Cevapi ($12.95) are a traditional zesty Balkan sausage, served in typical fashion with pita, a roasted red pepper ajvar spread, cheesy kajmak and raw onion.

Tennessee Tavern Toronto

Pierogis ($6.95 for six, $11.95 for 12, $22.25 for 24) are an amazingly comforting meal for one or snack to share, stuffed with cheese and potato and topped with crunchy bacon and fried onions.

Tennessee Tavern Toronto

Cabbage rolls ($12.95) are a comfort classic too, pork, beef, bacon and rice wrapped in slightly bitter cabbage leaves, soaked in a sweeter tomato sauce and liberally topped with sour cream.

The massive Tennessee Platter ($39.95) comes with cevapi, perfect veal schnitzel, Debracyna sausage, sweet wood smoked pork, a spicy carrot salad and horseradish cream eggs.

Tennessee Tavern Toronto

An extensive bar list features nitro draft, amaro, rakija, absinthe and whiskey. There's also a wine list replete with hard-to-find options from Eastern Europe.

Tennessee Tavern Toronto

A “Smoked Fish Appetizers” neon sign is from the movie Hairspray.

Tennessee Tavern TorontoThe space drips with crosses, mini liquor bottles, and chandeliers, and the music is a mix of blues, rock n’ roll, and horn bands. The bathroom is Instagrammably custom graffiti’d with a Czech whiskey drinking song. All these elements combine to make this a truly Canadian tavern.Tennessee Tavern Toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez


Tennessee Tavern

Leaflet | © Mapbox © OpenStreetMap Improve this map

Join the conversation Load comments

Tennessee Tavern

Tennessee Tavern

1 Upcoming Event
Date
About the Event
Location

Latest Reviews

The Cheesecake Factory Toronto

Hogtown Vegan (College)

Annabelle

Sukhothai (Canary District)

Gyubee (Bloor)

Roywoods (Ossington)