Tuesday, September 16, 2014Mostly Cloudy 18°C
Best of Toronto

The Best Irish Pubs in Toronto

Posted by Ben Johnson / June 3, 2013

Irish Pubs TorontoThe best Irish pubs in Toronto offer more than a pint of a Guinness and a handful of vaguely traditional menu options. Sure, some of them are about as Oirish as Tom Cruise's accent in the movie Far and Away and have as much to do with a traditional Emerald Isle experience as the Lucky Charms Leprechaun, but what they do all have going for them is a healthy does of that famous Irish hospitality.

They're places with a neighbourly vibe and welcoming atmosphere where you might feel just as at home drowning your sorrows as you would kicking up a jig; and, of course, fresh kegs of the black stuff don't hurt either.

See also:

The Best Pubs in Toronto
The Best Gastropubs in Toronto

Want more pubs? Download out Bars, Pubs & Late Night Eats iPhone app.

Ben Johnson also writes about beer over on Ben's Beer Blog. Photo by Lyndsay Jobe in the blogTO Flickr pool.

Ceili Cottage

Ceili Cottage

A quaint spot in Leslieville, Ceili Cottage stands out among the city's other mostly paint-by-numbers Irish pubs. It's cozy, to say the least, but an excellent patio in the summer which converts into a yert in the winter boosts capacity and a large selection of whisky and draught options paired with a decent menu and plenty of oysters make this Leslieville spot a prime spot for a wee pint or a tidy dram. More »

Dora Keogh

Dora Keogh

Big on cozy celtic charm, Dora Keogh on the Danforth has an excellent list of imported beer and live music a few times a week. The venue has a decidedly laid back and a vaguely worn-in vibe, however, whereas some bars wear their age poorly (like a moth-eaten suit) Dora Keogh just seems to get better and more comfortable with age. More »

Whelan's Gate

Whelan's Gate

This High Park pub is usually quite busy and that's actually a large part of its charm. With a menu that is more proper pub fare suited to soaking up booze than fine dining, Whelan's Gate gets by on its character. It only has two tiny bars and two patios but what else do you need for a little Irish vacation in the city? More »

Stout Irish Pub

Stout Irish Pub

Cabbagetown's Irish Pub feels like it's been around for years. The staff are welcoming and friendly and the place has the exact right vibe you'd want from your local. There are 20 beers on tap and most of them are local and the food is classic rib-sticking pub grub. There's even a quirky and cozy faux-grass patio at the back on which to enjoy it all. More »

The Galway Arms

The Galway Arms

Certainly the best Irish pub in the area, Etobicoke's Galway Arms has great food, one of the best pints of Guinness you'll find in the GTA, and a menu comprising roast beef, ham and cabbage, Irish stew, steak and mushroom pie, and the sort of comfort food that, paired with a well-worn corner booth, might just make you forget you're at a bar (until there's a football game on). More »

An Sibin Pub

An Sibin Pub

The pub that replaced the Real Jerk brings better than average grub to the corner of Queen and Broadview. With extensive soccer match showings, live music, weekly darts, Celtic pub fare, and a fairly impressive draught list, they've certainly combined all the right elements. More »

PJ O'Brien

PJ O'Brien

One of the city's more authentic-feeling Irish bars, PJ's has classic copper-topped bars, a decent draught list of the usual suspects, and a downright respectable selection of Irish whiskies. Those who frequent the place know it as a vaguely-out-of-the way refuge in St. Lawrence with a vastly underrated menu. More »

McVeigh's

McVeigh's

Having recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, McVeigh's is a real-deal, no frills, family-owned Irish Pub. I can't pass it without recalling the time it stood in for a grubby Irish bar in Boston in the movie Boondock Saints, and the actual bar, often tended by Jimmy Sr, Jimmy Jr or Paul McVeigh, doesn't seem too far off from that gritty fiction (gun touting religious nuts aside). Cheap pints, decent food, and Irish tunes on the weekend. More »

The Roy

The Roy

An intimate and cozy Irish pub in Leslieville, The Roy's clientele is typically a bit older and you won't find any of the goofy club-pub shenanigans here. It's as much a spot for deep conversation as it is for quiet contemplation. And if you're craving a home-cooked meal but can't make it home, there's prime rib dinner on Sundays. More »

Discussion

31 Comments

Bob / June 3, 2013 at 01:16 pm
user-pic
This list is nullified due to Brazen Head being included.
Bob / June 3, 2013 at 01:19 pm
user-pic
That was fast, Brazen is now gone
Neil / June 3, 2013 at 01:20 pm
user-pic
Glad to see that Dora Keoghs is high on the list, I'm frequently there and love it. Mcveigh's is a great spot as well, should be higher on the list after their recent renovation.
Sara / June 3, 2013 at 01:23 pm
user-pic
Whoa - what about The Old Sod????
Chris Sear / June 3, 2013 at 01:53 pm
user-pic
The Roy is the best put on this list by far. An 'Irish' pub but not one that makes a fuss about it's Irishness. It's owned by second generation Irish folk and inspired by warm, welcoming pubs in Ireland.
Jenn / June 3, 2013 at 02:13 pm
user-pic
The Ceili Cottage at Number 1? You MUST be kidding! I live just minutes away from there and bypass it on a regular basis rather than frequent it! The only thing that place has going for it IS it's patio! Crappy menu, snooty staff AND locals! Not #1 material in my book, any of the other pubs are far superior
jon replying to a comment from Jenn / June 3, 2013 at 03:19 pm
user-pic
Thanks Jenn!! I couldn't agree more. I don't know why anyone would go there. The staff is brutal... Snooty is putting it mildly.
Rick replying to a comment from Jenn / June 3, 2013 at 03:24 pm
user-pic
I'm pretty sure these lists are compiled by reader votes so clearly your opinion isn't the same as popular sentiment. Maybe you could write "Jenn and Jon's favourite Irish Pubs."
Tessa / June 3, 2013 at 03:40 pm
user-pic
I am hoping that the number of the pubs on this list does not indicate the scale of "wonderfulness". The Ceili is certainly not #1 on any list, unless it is for bad service and mediocre food. Surely The Roy should hold the #1 position for food, friendliness and all around great neighborhood pub.
Jenn replying to a comment from Rick / June 3, 2013 at 04:03 pm
user-pic
You may be right about the lists being compiled by readers, Rick, but these readers that have bothered to respond here obviously agree with me, not the 'popular semtiment'whatever that is!
jon replying to a comment from Rick / June 3, 2013 at 04:28 pm
user-pic
Well done Rick. I guess you haven't bothered reading ANY of the other comment sections in BlogTo. I believe that this is the part of the site where people post their opinions and well...COMMENTS!

Better Than Crack / June 3, 2013 at 05:47 pm
user-pic
Rabble Rabble Rabble.

The most consistently great pint of Guinness in the city is at Irish Embassy, shockingly the second best is at Dr. Generosity in Bloor West Village.
John / June 3, 2013 at 05:52 pm
user-pic
Stop the excessive bitching and whining.. Geez ill give you the bus fare to go back to brantford.
Jeremy / June 3, 2013 at 07:13 pm
user-pic
Have had only great times at Ceili Cottage and find their staff, at least the ones I've been served by (most), to be awesome. I, for one, as well as the fact that the place is full every hour the place is open would suggest at least some people enjoy it just fine. Ceili Cottage is worthy of it's number 1 spot in my humble opinion.

Love comments that rag on a place without a suggestion for a better place. Come on guys! You can comment better than that!
Jeremy / June 3, 2013 at 07:17 pm
user-pic
...and some comments on the others - I like the Roy, but it's not the place I'd go for just a few beers. To eat, absolutely - excellent food.

I like An Sibin and it was a lot of fun on St. Patrick's Day. The space makes it good for larger groups.

McVeigh's and PJ's are both nice spots too, but PJ's especially can get packed with Bay St. folk after work, which is fine, but it gets really busy.

Stanley / June 3, 2013 at 07:25 pm
user-pic
Can we please have some more Irish Pubs in Leslieville? We haven't quite hit critical mass yet.
George / June 3, 2013 at 07:29 pm
user-pic
List is ok I guess. But McCarthys is the most authentic by far (Gerrard east). Couple of duds on the list like Roy a, An Sibin. Thumbs up for Ceili.
Johnny Tronno / June 3, 2013 at 10:31 pm
user-pic
Irish pubs are in Ireland. These are all wannabe knock offs.

Serving GuinNess doesn't make them Irish.
lowrez replying to a comment from Johnny Tronno / June 3, 2013 at 11:54 pm
user-pic
I can count three on this list that don't even serve Guinness, smartass.
Johnny Tronno replying to a comment from lowrez / June 4, 2013 at 09:56 am
user-pic
So they're Toronto pubs that don't serve Guinness. Same as the others....but no Guinness. Why even bother?
andrew replying to a comment from George / June 4, 2013 at 02:58 pm
user-pic
@George Sadly, McCarthys is no more.
jon replying to a comment from Jeremy / June 4, 2013 at 03:48 pm
user-pic
I get it. I know people like it there. However, I know all kinds of people from all walks of life who have had many bad experiences there. I had several and have not been back. If you look at other reviews on other sites there is definitely a trend that can't be ignored. Just my 2 cents.

As for the others. The people are great at the Roy and the food is good. Love Whelan's Gate and McVeigh's is a great spot for a pint. McCarthy's is gone and that was likely one of my favourites - a little sad!
O'Banion / June 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm
user-pic
Oy! Pint-a-Guiness
Dan / June 6, 2013 at 05:19 pm
user-pic
Honourable mention to the old stone cottage in Scarborough , great food, excellent patio, and cute lassies!!
Brian / June 12, 2013 at 08:40 am
user-pic
I was more than a little surprised to click over to your full review of your #1—Ceili Cottage—to find a pretty much scathing review both from the reviewer and from the commenters. Everyone seems to be saying the food and service are at an angry-making low standard. The only thing people seem to like about it is the decor, and yet it gets a #1. What's up with that?
Rob / February 17, 2014 at 08:06 am
user-pic
Mcarthys was great. I've never had a bad experience at the Ceili Cottage. Staff and food have been above average. Great decor as well.
Hyacinth / March 15, 2014 at 05:56 pm
user-pic
We had a good breakfast a couple of weeks ago at Muckish pub, Warden south of Eglinton in Scarborough. We went to watch Olympic hockey - some poor guy was trying to concentrate on his Arsenal game in the other part of the room. They show GAA games on the weekend as well.

Judy / March 17, 2014 at 12:49 pm
user-pic
You forgot Fionn MCCools on Esplanade. Authentic Irish cuisine!! And great taps too.
jgp replying to a comment from Johnny Tronno / April 23, 2014 at 11:24 pm
user-pic
.

clearly you have not been to the Ceili..

it is nice out.. try it.


Evangeline / June 13, 2014 at 01:16 pm
user-pic
The more real looking the photo looks, better certain you can be that that's
the precise individual. Lesbian on the web relationship services have helped many lesbian singles meet up with and also have fantastic associations.

The rest of the girls entered and continued to bash on Milf who wanted either leave or talk along with Real.
Joel / September 8, 2014 at 04:25 am
user-pic
Effectivelt it is owned by second generation of open minded Irish folk and inspired creative ads in Ireland.

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal