The Best Karaoke Bars in Toronto
The best karaoke bars in Toronto offer a little bit less pressure than public, open mic karaoke nights. Love to belt out a tune or two with friends, but too shy to do it in front of an entire bar? Private karaoke rooms can be found all over the GTA and are ready to serve you drinks, offer songs in an array of languages (in English, Korean, etc.) and range from current popular jams to nostalgic oldies - all without the daunting possibility of public humiliation.
Here are the best karaoke bars in Toronto.
In the heart of Koreatown, XO sits above Clinton's in the stretch of Bloor between Bathurst and Christie stations, aka Koreatown. XO boasts a catalogue of over 500,000 songs in English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Tagalog, ranging from oldies to childhood/teen faves (New Kids on the Block, anyone?) to current, contemporary stuff (like that Drake guy) and updated often. They have three different room sizes and full bar service.
Located in North York (near Finch Station), Twister Karaoke's catalogue is available in nine languages - English, Chinese (Cantonese/Mandarin), Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Russian, Indonesian, Spanish and Tagalog. Twister's boasts of themselves "Canada's Greatest Karaoke Box" - a "karaoke box" being what they call private karaoke rooms in Asia. Beer and wine are available.
In the Yonge and Gerrard (basically Ryerson) area, Bar + Karaoke's rooms can accommodate groups up to 25. Like most other karaoke bars, they offer songs in English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Thai, and the catalogue is fairly extensive. Want to check if they have your jam? Their website (http://bar-plus.com/) allows you to search their song list. I've looked long and hard for a bar in Toronto that has Rilo Kiley songs, and Bar+ actually has one. If you're feeling puckish, they serve packaged Korean snacks and also basic bar food (fries, chicken nuggets, wings).
Koreatown is definitely a hotbed for karaoke bars downtown Toronto and JaYu GonGan Karaoke ("Freezone" in English) describes themselves as the "oldest but cleanest" karaoke bar in Toronto, which could be true - they've been around since 1994. They offer oft-updated songs in English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and an older selection of songs in Indonesian, Vietnamese, Russian, Thai and others. Also located near Christie and Bloor, Freezone's rooms have some pretty funky décor and eight available private rooms that will fit up to 15 people.
BMB has been noted as the best place to exercise foreign-language prowess, as their catalogue is extensively and largely Korean. They do have English songs, though, as well as Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian. Surprise - it's located in Koreatown - they're the ones who've had the "Grand Opening" sign in their window for years. Their private rooms are best for small groups and are decorated with hanging lights, lasers and disco balls. They offer packaged Korean snacks and some bar food (fries, etc.).
One of the lesser-known, easier-to-miss karaoke bars in Koreatown is Gorhe Gorhe. Their sign is pretty small - and mostly in Korean. The catalogue contains mostly Korean, Chinese and Japanese songs, with a small selection of English tracks. Most rooms include two microphones and some, if you're lucky, have a tambourine! In addition to beer, Gorhe Gorhe also offers various Korean snacks and some bar food to get you going in between songs.
Venturing outside of downtown, Ndolphin Karaoke is located in North York, near Yonge and Finch (they were previously known as Star Karaoke). Their catalogue offers a fairly updated selection of Korean, Chinese and English songs, with older tunes in Japanese, Portugese, Russian and other languages. Hungry? They have packaged snacks for munching upon.
If you find yourself in Chinatown, at Dundas and Spadina with a hankering for karaoke, 8090 KTV might be your spot. Their glowing sign above the bank on the southeast corner is hard to miss at night. Careful venturing up the steep and narrow stairs (especially if you've done any pre-drinking that prompted you to arrive at karaoke as your evening activity of choice!). Their catalogue is predominantly Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), with some English, Japanese and Korean songs. Like many other karaoke bars, they have packaged snacks on hand if you need food to stay on key.
Ten23 is a swanky-looking lounge that serves Asian fusion cuisine located in Markham (Steeles and Woodbine), which also happens to be a karaoke bar. Rooms are rented by the evening and not by the hour, so gather up all your friends and plan for a full night of singing. Their song catalogue contains mostly Cantonese and Mandarin selections, as well as English.
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