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Best of Toronto

The Best Backyard Patios in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / August 3, 2012

Cadillac LoungeThe best backyard patios in Toronto make you feel as though you've stumbled upon a hidden gem. But as most people who try to snag a Saturday night or Sunday brunch spot know, the patios on this list are anything but undiscovered spots. These backyard patios offer all the boons of general sun-soaked patio goodness, with the extra bonus of relative privacy and little by way of pedestrian distraction. It's all of the pleasure of a patio with none of the pressure from would-be patrons waiting in line.

For more backyard (and other) patio ideas, check out our Toronto Patio Guide section or download our Patio Guide iPhone or Android app.

Here is the list of the best backyard patios in Toronto.

See also:

The best rooftop patios in Toronto
The best cafe patios in Toronto

The Cadillac Lounge
Hurray for outdoor (ish) billiards and a surprising amount of room. Despite Cadillac's somewhat humble front Queen St. visage, its back patio has room for literally hundreds of Parkdale locals and their cheap-pint-seeking friends. Covered and uncovered sections accommodate sun-seekers and dodgers alike, with an oh-so-subtle west end hipster vibe.

Bairrada ChurasqueiraBairrada Churrasqueira
For even cheaper pints (and even more room), it's up to College to Bairrada Churrasqueira's backyard space. This patio feels like a bona fide "backyard," offering a sea of picnic tables below a leafy canopy of mature trees. The main difference; your backyard typically doesn't come with flat screen TVs as to not miss a moment of the game.

Allen's loyalists would say that few worldly things can rival its homemade burger out on its back patio. This space is all about the vibe (and yes, the aforementioned burger), usually hosting a mix of area locals along with Broadview and Danforth imports. For an unassuming, laid-back spot, this is your patio.

A place for tequila-lovers, live music-enthusiasts, and all of those who can tolerate chairs with a slight recline. Reposado's back patio oozes "relaxation" with dark stained wood abound and creeping vines to offer a little green. Ideal for an early afternoon (tequila-laced) indulgence.

Union's back patio has the whole charm thing down pat. Strung hanging lamps, chic communal seating, and poetry on painted concrete are just a few of Union's effortless "Ossington" elements, with a crowd heavily leaning towards the sophisticated and food-focused. Wine trumps beer six times out of ten.

Grand ElectricGrand Electric
Grand Electric's patio is a newbie on the backyard scene but is quickly gaining traction due, in large part, to its pork belly tacos. The scene is unapologetically basic with picnic tables and wooden fences, and the menu is boasted proudly above the seating area for all to see. No surprise here that it's bourbon cocktails and margaritas all around.

Bar NeonBar Neon
Oyster shucking and bourbon negronis; this is a "hey, where did those last five hours just go?" type patio. Bar Neon's back patio has turned a shipping crate into an oyster shack and picnic tables into something chic, offering a quaint little reclusive spot to escape the bustle over on Bloor.

Terroni QueenTerroni (West Queen West)
For ambiance and al dente and a spot to impress your date, head to Terroni Queen West's back patio. With a fence adorned with Italian and a carafe on nearly every table, Terroni's patio is one for leisurely dining (despite the lineup) and intimate conversation. And for all of those reasons, expect a wait on a Saturday night.

Black HoofBlack Hoof
This fully-enclosed wooden space feels almost like backyard tree house, minus the modern black and white chairs and plates of premium charcuterie. But the mason jar candles certainly tow that rustic line.

Cold teaCold Tea
Cold Tea's backyard patio is open and airy with a healthy dose of kitsch. The seating is communal (an introvert's nightmare), meaning you're more than likely to strike up conversation with a stranger over dim sum and a cocktail. Checkered white and red tablecloths work together with industrial blue stools to tout that artsy Kensington Market feel.

3 Speed3 Speed
Who would've thought you could find such charm so close to Dufferin and Bloor? 3 Speed touts a bit of fairytale vibe with eclectic mismatched chairs, strung Christmas lights, crawling vines, and a wooden canopy. The wood-burning oven, of course, is the pièce de résistance. It's almost enough to drown out the roar from the Walmart Supercentre down the road.

Shanghai CowgirlShanghai Cowgirl
All-day breakfast and a high-fence enclosure. Shanghai Cowgirl is perfect for those mornings after wherein huge sunglasses and relative privacy are near requirements. This back patio is all wood and umbrella, meaning you probably won't be judged if you arrive in last night's clothes. An area favourite for a casual pint.



Dale D. Dale / August 3, 2012 at 11:49 am
Where is Bistro 422????

A Gentle Slope / August 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm
Oh come now, Cold Tea? Yes, it's fun and it's a great place to see and be seen but that back patio is nothing but cold concrete, uncomfortable metal stools, and surrounded by neighbouring buildings (allowing people on their balconies to chuckle at the crowd packed into the patio).
Andrew / August 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm
Love Allens.

Another favourite of mine is the Queen Mother Cafe.
JP / August 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm
'see and be seen' at Cold Tea, by who, hipsters?

BlogTO, you forgot Factory Girl on the Danforth.
mike in parkdale / August 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm
Not sure why Grand Electric is on the list. It's bare concrete, no shade, no plants, no umbrellas.... none of the things that make a patio comfortable. It's a cold utility space with none of the warmth or charm that the other patios on the list have.

Now the Caddy, that's a comfortable looking spot.
Dan / August 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm
Chester Pape / August 3, 2012 at 12:26 pm
Allen's can be great but there are times that the patio seems to bring out the worst in the staff there, especially at peak times when they limit access to only those willing to buy a full meal or push patrons to turn the tables.
Sheila / August 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm
The Caledonian on College at Dovercourt - fabulous backyard patio and fabulous Scottish food!
Rachel / August 3, 2012 at 12:39 pm
Hmmm, there couldn't possibly be an amazing backyard patio east of Yonge...
So sick of the west end.
backyard / August 3, 2012 at 12:43 pm
Welshgrrl / August 3, 2012 at 12:52 pm
The back patio at the Press Club on Dundas should be included as well
shhhh... replying to a comment from Welshgrrl / August 3, 2012 at 01:00 pm
Don't give away this best kept secret! :)
Boo / August 3, 2012 at 01:03 pm
Caren's in Yorkville has a wonderful backyard patio.
tru replying to a comment from Rachel / August 3, 2012 at 01:20 pm

But thats ok. We dont want them out in the east anyways.
Ronnie / August 3, 2012 at 01:30 pm
Not only is Bairrada's back yard patio cozy, it comes with great food!! Love the Portuguese bbq chicken! Yummm!
Chris / August 3, 2012 at 01:39 pm
Way to ignore the east end, yet again.

Cold Tea definitely should not be here. Betty's on King St E definitely should be.
Terry / August 3, 2012 at 03:02 pm
Poetry (Kensington)....
Jay / August 3, 2012 at 03:19 pm
My backyard patio is best. Beer is always ice cold & cheap, no riff-raff, lots of comfy seating, big trees for shade, and food off the grill is excellent if I do say so myself. :-)
me replying to a comment from Jay / August 3, 2012 at 03:29 pm
Was that a thinly veiled invitation?

I accept.
Cory replying to a comment from Dan / August 3, 2012 at 07:06 pm

Also, I second Chris' comment about the east end. BlogTO seriously needs to take a trip through the east end. The 'best' anything doesn't always require it be the 'most popular'.
Peter Paul / August 3, 2012 at 07:33 pm
You can go almost anywhere and drink outside but what a great patio needs[and Cold Tea has] is the right mix of people ,vibe ,cocktails and just enough mostly fresh air .If its nature you want try Puck's farm .
Jeff / August 3, 2012 at 09:20 pm
Honestly, Grand Electric??? Sick...that patio is like the desert of patios, theres nothing on it its uncomfortable and it just plain sucks!! Its like they just threw tables on the sidewalk cause they ran out of room inside..Hey Robyn Urback maybe you should venture out of your little crappy hipsterville area and experience the city!! Seriously there are tonnes of better places than what is mentioned here, I agree with a few, but, I think BlogTO needs to be less Queen West visioned...LAME!!
Jeff / August 3, 2012 at 09:22 pm
P.S. Grand electric has pork belly? So does every other restaurant...even Subway!!
Paige / August 4, 2012 at 10:22 am
You totally missed Rebel House at Summerhill.
evan / August 4, 2012 at 03:28 pm
looove betty's and the harbord room despite being a little small
Gabe / August 5, 2012 at 01:07 am
Grand Electrics Patio!???!?!?!?! Grand Electrics Ptio is about as good as the one at Licks Burgers in the beches Picnic tables and all!!!!!!
J*town / August 5, 2012 at 10:24 am
I don't recall this and other "bests of" being on the reader's poll. Is that true?

How about Ciros? Or even the Only Cafe?
Kat / August 6, 2012 at 07:46 pm
Whelan's Gate at Keele and Bloor. Tiny but so good. Feels like your friend's tiny backyard.
Aaron / August 7, 2012 at 11:33 am
Does NOBODY know of The Rosedale Diner's patio? It's almost like The Secret Garden, with it's roof of lattice and ivy
Rmund / August 9, 2012 at 10:41 am
Cloak & Dagger ain't too shabby.
coronah / August 10, 2012 at 11:22 am
oh good my favourite place didnt get a mention - i cant keep it allll to myself! *evil laugh*
Rose / August 23, 2012 at 12:06 am
The Office Pub has a great back patio. I believe it should be listed here.
Glenn / August 26, 2012 at 12:07 am
+1 for Betty's
jatin / September 7, 2012 at 06:02 am
nice one
Cosplay / September 26, 2012 at 05:46 am
looove betty's and the harbord room despite being a little small
Freddy / November 27, 2012 at 10:51 pm
In the east end I find The Only to be kinda dirty, Stout is nothing worth going out of your way for. Allens is really nice and my favourite is Factory Girl. I haven't been to Betty's , but I hear good things and will get there when the weather is back.
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greg / May 3, 2013 at 01:35 pm
NOt My Dog and Whelan's Gate should receive honorary mentions.
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Toronto hedge trimmer / November 5, 2013 at 08:35 am
Some great places here but the Cold Tea joint looks like the most uncomfortable and awkward joint in the list. Metal stools with no backs, no thanks.

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