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Best of Toronto

The Best Gastropubs in Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / October 12, 2012

Gastropubs TorontoThe best gastropubs in Toronto may share an annoying designation — Gastro? Yuck. — but are worth highlighting for the elevated fare they offer in relation to the standard issue pub (or as I like to call them, non-gastro pubs). Forgetting the problematic nominology, this city is blessed with a strong collection of establishments that think beyond chicken wings and nachos without feeling the need to lay down a white tablecloth.

These are places to find pub classics like the Scotch egg, mushrooms on toast, and typically superb fish and chips. And let's not forget the beer. Toronto's beer scene has come a long way in the last five years or so, and a number of the places on this list can be thanked for playing a role in the rise of serious beer culture in the city. Whether it be locally oriented lists like you'll find at the Rebel House or the massive selection on offer at the Beerbistro, the gastropub is about more than the food.

Here are the best gastropubs (don't call them that!) in Toronto.

See also:

The Best Pubs in Toronto
The Best Irish Pubs in Toronto
The Best Beer Selection in Toronto

Queen and Beaver

Queen and Beaver

Few would argue against its spot at the top of this list, the Queen and Beaver has the best pub food in the city - if it's even fair to call it that. If you want some fantastic beef, bring your friends and order the roast rump, which is $140 but feeds five! An excellent drinks list is highlighted by Ontario craft beer, excellent (and reasonably priced) cocktails and wine list that puts most Toronto restaurants to shame. More »

Beerbistro

Beerbistro

The Belgian-inspired fare incorporates beer at every turn, which, for the most part, escapes the trappings of gimmickry. After all, this is something of a mecca for Toronto beer drinkers, with over 120 by-the-bottle offerings and draught list that spans the globe. The room gets boisterous with an after-work crowd and typically stays busy most nights. Knowledgeable staff are happy to help you wade through what can be a intimidating menu. More »

House on Parliament

House on Parliament

A Cabbagetown favourite, House on Parliament is one of those pubs that just feels like home. Part of this, no doubt, can be attributed to the food, which is all about comfort. Personal favourites include the pulled pork and steak sandwiches, and the exquisite steak and mushroom pie. The beer list isn't long, but there's plenty of interesting stuff to keep the snobs happy. More »

Monk's Table

Monk's Table

Originally opened as the Abbott on the Hill, an ownership change brought us the Monk's Table, which still turns out top notch fare but with a far more interesting beer list. Menu standouts include the Shepherd's pie, schnitzel and the beer battered fish and chips. The upstairs dining area is good for an intimate dinner, but the bar area is where the action's at. More »

Celi Cottage

Celi Cottage

Leslieville's tribute to the Old Country, the Ceili Cottage is about as Irish as Toronto pubs get. Bangers and mash, daily roast specials, and one of the city's better traditional Irish breakfasts highlight the food options, while you're sure to get a well-poured pint of Guinness on the drink end. They might not be altogether that Irish, but the Oysters aren't too bad either. More »

The Caledonian

The Caledonian

Toronto's traditional Scottish pub takes its Haggis seriously, and so should you. I must admit I like the fritters the best, but the whole menu is solid here. The Haddock fish and chips are a crispy delight and the mac and cheese is a caloric free for all that's worth every penny. A competent beer list is outdone by the fabulous selection of Scotch. More »

The Rebel House

The Rebel House

Rosedale's original gastropub, and one of the first Toronto establishments worthy of the name, the Rebel House is much-loved amongst area locals looking for a decent meal and some craft beer. For my money, the meatloaf is the star, but other favourites include the Buffalo burger, pork loin and, yes, the spinach and apple salad. An all-Canadian beer list features a hefty dose of local offerings to go along with VQA wines. More »

Prohibition

Prohibition

It now faces some competition from the recently opened Riverside Public House (which probably would have made this list had it not been so new), but Prohibition has already established itself as a Riverside favourite on account of its upscale pub fare and extensive beer menu. Excellent mac and cheese, duck fat French fries, and a superb bison burger highlight an all-around decadent menu. More »

The Dizzy

The Dizzy

Located in the heart of Roncesvalles, The Dizzy is a neighbourhood favourite for sports fans and those looking for a quality bite to eat. The menu reflects sports bar prices while the product provided goes above and beyond. Visit in the warmer months and snag a seat along the outdoor bar facing the street for great people (and dog) watching. More »

Discussion

33 Comments

Hillary / October 12, 2012 at 04:48 pm
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if it was a top 10 list i'd fight for the abbot pub at yonge and lawrence
Keith / October 12, 2012 at 05:01 pm
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While I really like the Ceili Cottage - I'm not really sure the menu there would put it on my list of "Gastropubs"
Shelby / October 12, 2012 at 05:53 pm
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No love for the Auld Spot pub?
Aussie / October 12, 2012 at 07:06 pm
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Been here for 2 years and have been to most of these places. I'm not sure this is correct, "this city is blessed with a strong collection of establishments that think beyond chicken wings and nachos without feeling the need to lay down a white tablecloth" ...c'mon let's raise the standards here and compare TO to a world city - there's A LOT of catching up to do!

Prohibition is beyond downhill, their food is disgustingly poor quality. Bar Volo should be on here. The list is ok, but no surprises. C'mon Toronto we need surprises!
Jane replying to a comment from Hillary / October 12, 2012 at 08:34 pm
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@Hillary

Didn't you know? Toronto ends at St. Claire...
Simon / October 12, 2012 at 09:52 pm
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I'm a big fan of the food at C'est What. Just putting that out there although I'm aware that the list was determined by voting by BlogTO readers blah blah blah....

Also I like that this list is well spread out although I'm sure there are many a fine pub north of St. Claire in Forest Hill...eff that.
Andrew / October 12, 2012 at 09:58 pm
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Queen and Beaver has one of the best burgers in TO and the best fish and chips oh and some great sticky toffee pudding!
zkpxo / October 13, 2012 at 12:06 am
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there's no burger at the menu at queen and beaver? how come people from yelp have posted pics of the burger they ate from that place?!?! hmmm...
Dynamo / October 13, 2012 at 09:55 am
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I'm pretty sure that was a hamburger that I ate @ QB? Beef patty between 2 buns, side of fries...it was ok.

Prohibition? With the shitey service and the sub-par food not sure what would bring this joint to the list other than it being LVille's first "cool" place to go..the sheen has well and worn off.

If Riverside PH steps up it's portions from its current dainty lady sizes they should bounce Prohib off this list...(for the leslieville area)..

Allen's not on here? Again, some of the crappiest service in the city but they can make some tasty food.

House on Parliament & Rebel House for sure!!
Brent replying to a comment from Aussie / October 14, 2012 at 10:58 pm
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Agree with Aussie - Toronto is severely lacking in bars that take both beer and food seriously. After beerbistro, this list goes downhill pretty quick.
justhypatia / October 14, 2012 at 11:01 pm
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For all those complaining that BlogTO doesn't list anything above St. Clair, I could take you a lot more seriously if you could spell it right.

No "e" people, no "e.";
Derek / October 15, 2012 at 08:53 am
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The reference to there not being a burger at Queen & Beaver has been removed. Must have had too much wine that night...
Kevin / October 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm
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Gastropub as is in the French 'gastronomique' - surely you can't write a food column without knowing that? Do better blogTO witer!
Sarah / October 30, 2012 at 09:59 am
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Riverside Public House should work its way onto this list in no time. Their new change in menu is phenomenal, the Butter Chicken Pot Pie is to die for.
Freddy / November 19, 2012 at 11:19 am
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Factory Girl beats em all.
miss.Michael / March 14, 2013 at 04:11 pm
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yummmy mouth watering...!

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norm / September 23, 2013 at 06:21 pm
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Why is Ceili Cottage number five in gastro pubs when the reviewer hated everything he ate there?
telecharger video youtube / December 23, 2013 at 05:03 am
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What's up, just wanted to mention, I loved this article. It
was inspiring. Keep on posting!
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laura pausini news / December 28, 2013 at 02:10 am
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When I originally commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with the same comment.
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amusement account it. Lookk avanced too farr asded agreeable frlm
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Jug City / February 23, 2014 at 08:08 pm
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Habits on College @ Dovercourt. Go there and not to these if you like eating food.
Ry Bee / February 23, 2014 at 08:20 pm
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The House On Parliament lost much of its charm to me when it moved to its newer location. The coziness is gone. I really do enjoy the LOCAL GEST, which is just a few doors down (the old BEN WICKS). Ate there twice and was very impressed so far.
nick / February 23, 2014 at 08:25 pm
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The Oxley should be on this list.
Sochi Wolf / February 23, 2014 at 09:02 pm
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Barhop @ King & Spadina definitely deserves to be on this list.
Stella / February 23, 2014 at 09:23 pm
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no love for Habits Gastropub? Probably the only place in town that actually uses the word "gastropub" in its name? For shame...even Google could have helped you with that one.
www.yelp.com / March 5, 2014 at 08:28 pm
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I don't even know how I ended up here, but I thought this
post was good. I don't know who you are but certainly you are going to a
famous blogger if youu are not already ;) Cheers!
Brad / March 15, 2014 at 05:37 pm
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Not sure how the Auld Spot got left off this list. It's on Danforth, EAST of Broadview.
Tee / March 15, 2014 at 06:38 pm
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The Oxley fulfills all criteria of this category. And the food is great.

Yes - it's user voted - but I'm sure BlogTO didn't put it on its short list.
Melanie Claudine / March 15, 2014 at 09:36 pm
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The dizzy makes my stomach dizzy. That's not a gastro?
Nick / June 14, 2014 at 09:31 pm
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If your going to have the Queen and Beaver then you should also have its sister pub, The Oxley!
bobo replying to a comment from Keith / June 15, 2014 at 02:07 am
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Agree. Really love Ceili Cottage and the atmosphere there but the menu seems more traditional Irish - wish it was more gastropubbish - would be back even sooner!

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