The top 10 romantic patios in Toronto
Romantic patios are a thing that exists in Toronto. I promise. It may not seem like it, and don't be deluded that you'll have the whole thing to yourself. But with a little candlelight, Toronto's teeny back patios can make for lovely date spots. And if you're an exhibitionist, by chance, they'll be even better. Just exactly what's constitutes "romantic" is rather subjective, but the general criteria at work here is that these patios satisfy two or more of the following: they're 1) secluded, 2) picturesque, 3) dark, 4) quiet.
Here are my picks for the most romantic patios in Toronto.
Dundas West's Press Club has a surprisingly large back patio with dark hidden corners to snuggle up to the one you're trying to romance. A quiet backyard, you won't have to compete with a lot noise when whispering sweet nothings in your partner's ear. There's a good beer selection, and don't worry, it's not (usually) dominated by the press.
Le Neuf Cafe
Le Neuf Cafe boasts an intimate sidewalk patio directly across from Clarence Park. While the rush of traffic on Spadina is less than a 100 metres away, here on the patio overlooking the park, it's possible to imagine that you've escape from it all for a quick dinner in Paris. Ok, not quite. But the French fare and park setting will get you pretty close. This is also a good spot for cautious, early evening first dates (order coffee if you think you might bail).
Wallflower's back patio might be quiet on a weekday, and would make an ideal date spot with its candlelight and the fact that it's fully enclosed. The Dundas West bar serves up strong and reasonably well-priced cocktails, and the laid back atmosphere makes it a good spot to chill for hours on end. And they have snacks, too.
Patria's patio is a cozy spot on King West, ideal if you want to go out clubbing afterward. They've got perfect mood lighting, a fabulous cheese list, tapas, and cocktails to go with it. While it isn't Spain, it's tucked enough away that'll it'll feel like an escape from humdrum Toronto.
Dining on the patio at Harvest Kitchen feels a bit like being transported to some magical treehouse. The rooftop patio is nestled quite literally among the trees, and thus feels all the more enclosed and intimate. Indulge in the wine on tap to dial up your sweet talk game.
Auberge du Pommier
The cottage-like Auberge du Pommier might have one of the most romantic patios in the city, complete with a fountain at which more than a few couple have been married. The patio is large patio but enclosed with trellis and foliage, and the cosy corner seats allow for lots of privacy. The staff know when not to interrupt, and you'll never have to shout over the music. As for the food, it's drool-worthy if you're into fancy French cuisine.
Le Papillon on the Park
Between Leslieville and the Beaches, the patio at Le Papillon on the Park is shady, and surrounded by lush greenery. An ideal spot for a romantic lunch, the patio can feel like a private getaway. Feed your date escargots or small bites of crepes, or any of the treats on their menu, and I defy you to not have an at least somewhat sexy time.
The Harbord Room has a large back patio with benches perfect for snuggling. Dimly lit with pretty lanterns and foliage overhead, there's a bit of a secret garden thing going on here. The cocktail list is also worthy of note, as Dave Mitton has put together one of the best lists in the city.
Union's back patio has dim lighting, poetry written on the walls, and long benches for seating so you can snuggle up to your intended (don't worry, there are also some single seats if you're not into the benches). Combine that with the local food, seasonable produce and an ever-evolving wine list, this is an ideal spot for hot summer nights.
The Czehoski patio is nestled in the eves of a classic Victorian home on Queen. It's protected from street view, and the candle-adorned tables are spaced just enough so that you don't feel like your neighbours are on top of you. On the menu you'll find a decent beer list and an admittedly slightly less decent wine list, alongside pretty typical, though artful, pub-esque restaurant food.
Bloordale's 3 Speed might seem like an odd place to romance someone, but if the object of your affection is a grungy, shall we say casual sort, the back patio complete with fireplace and fairy lights can make a beautiful place to make out. You can get relatively cheap beers and snacks and sharing boards, too.
What did I miss? Add your favourite romantic patios to the comments below.