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Best of Toronto

The Best Martinis in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / August 9, 2011

Martinis TorontoThe best martinis in Toronto must be enjoyed in the right atmosphere. I have no doubt that 'Carl' at the local watering hole knows how to shake one up extra dry, but there's something to be said for enjoying a classic drink amid sophisticated surroundings. Speaking as someone who has been on both sides of the bar, I believe there's certainly still a place for the traditional gin martini even alongside the cran-appletinis du jour, and it takes a fine hand (one more skilled than my own, admittedly) to prepare it just right.

Here is the list of the best martinis in Toronto.

See also:

The great Toronto cocktail challenge
The great Toronto Caesar challenge
The best new bars in Toronto, 2010
The best hotel bars in Toronto

Top photos by Jesse Milns

Consort Bar

Consort Bar

On the topic of skilled hands, bartender Stefano Sabbatini is said to have some of the finest in the city. He holds post at the Consort Bar at the King Edward Hotel, where you can get a classic, 2oz martini for about $17. More »

The Comrade

The Comrade

The Comrade has that perfect old-world vibe that makes sloshing around a dirty martini actually seem a little less pretentious. But its martini list isn't limited just to the classics, of course, and also includes custom favourites such as its 2oz Cafe Comrade Martini, made with espresso, creme de cacao, vodka, and Galliano. More »

The Avenue

The Avenue

The Avenue at the Four Seasons has got sophistication down pat, so no surprise its martinis convey just that. The list is extensive, with everything from French Martinis (for the tourists?), a Lemon Drop Martini, a Lychee Martini, as well as its signature Sapphire Breeze. Martinis are 3oz and range from $14 to $18. More »

TOCA

TOCA

Is it the raw bar that makes TOCA at the Ritz-Carlton seem ultra-chic? Or just the knowledge that it's Tom Brodi's baby? In any case, the martinis here are immaculately prepared (often with dry ice for an extra chill), both classic and contemporary for about $16. More »

Harbour Sixty

Harbour Sixty

Harbour Sixty is known to be pricey, and its martinis are no exception. At about $21 for a 3oz cocktail, they certainly don't come cheap, but they do, however, come in a variety of forms. Besides the classic gin and vodka martinis, patrons are offered a list that includes Cotton Candy Martini, Strawberry Caviar, and Rhubarb Black Pearl martinis. More »

Library Bar

Library Bar

Bird bath martinis are signature at the Library Bar at the Fairmont Royal York, and the bartender tells me they're always stirred--never shaken. It's mostly about the classics here (gin and vodka, of course) with the Sidecar a loyal favourite as well as the French Martini. 3oz Cocktails start at $14. More »

Byzantium

Byzantium

Byzantium is the only martini bar (by name, that is) to make it on this list. Long and lean in the heart of the Village, Byzantium has a zillion martini options on its menu, broken down by creamy martinis (such as the Pearl Necklace), fun and fruity (Red Devil), martinis with bite (After Eight), tart, unique, and classics. More »

Roof Lounge

Roof Lounge

For a martini with a view, the Roof Lounge at the Park Hyatt is a safe bet with its 18th floor panoramic and timeless dark decor. Its famous martinis give merit to the saying of "If it ain't broke.." and are offered with any variety of its premium spirits and liqueurs. 3oz Martinis start at $14. More »

Discussion

12 Comments

Mahefa R / August 9, 2011 at 12:53 pm
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Definitely The roof Lounge.
and Joe is just the best bartender you'll ever met.
The Real Johnson / August 9, 2011 at 03:28 pm
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The only acceptable prefix for "tini" is "mar."

I'm sure these are great bars, but I stopped reading at "made with espresso."

Sure, there's something to be said for the skill of a great bartender being able to make a plethora of drinks, but a martini glass does not a martini make.

A martini is gin and vermouth with a twist or an olive. That's it. You could conceivably use vodka, instead (and I do), but even that's not a traditional martini.
lister / August 9, 2011 at 05:45 pm
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Hey come the traditional people!
missTdot / August 9, 2011 at 06:52 pm
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THANKS !! What a great inspirational summer project presented here, forget picnicing. One hidden jewel is the Lemongrass martini @ Matahari's on Baldwin. I was surprised that On The Rocks @ Royal York & Bloor did't make your list.
Glenn / August 10, 2011 at 01:20 pm
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Martini's are made with Gin!
And Vermouth and maybe an olive or an onion.

The inherent coolness of these Gin Martini's have made any drink that should only be called a cocktail sound cooler, hipper, better than the sugared up drinks they are.

Glenn / August 10, 2011 at 01:20 pm
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so I am agreeing with Real J.
Japhet / August 12, 2011 at 02:02 pm
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What Real J and Glenn said. A martini is made with gin and dry vermouth. You can garnish it with a lemon twist or olive. Simple. Making some overly-sweet cocktail and putting it in a martini glass does not make it so.

Let's leave Appletinis back where they belong, in the dark ages.
Jimmy Choo / August 14, 2011 at 11:11 pm
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I'm sure these are great bars, but I stopped reading at "made with espresso."
SNEAKERS SHOP / August 16, 2011 at 10:37 am
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The only acceptable prefix for "tini" is "mar."
SNEAKERS SHOP / August 16, 2011 at 10:38 am
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Definitely The roof Lounge.....
Fiona / December 20, 2011 at 12:15 pm
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EAT MY MARTINI is amazing! only $5 each and they have 130 different kinds!
louis vuitton monogram canvas / April 25, 2013 at 10:52 am
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