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Best of Toronto

The Best Patios in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / August 10, 2012

toronto patiosThe best patios in Toronto (the ones on this list, at least) excel in their own unique, lovely, sun-soaked ways. This is not a list of the best patios in Toronto overall, but rather, a list of patios that top the lot in one way or another; be it for brunch, for burgers, or for an awesome view of the lake. This list is intended to complement (not duplicate) our previously published lists for best restaurant patios, best backyard patios and best rooftop patios. It's our own curated list meant to offer additional ideas of where to go in Toronto when only a patio will do.

For even more patio ideas, check out our Toronto Patio Guide section or download our Patio Guide iPhone or Android app.

Here are 20 patios (in no particular order) that we think are among the best in Toronto, for one reason or another.

Against the GrainThe Best Patio for a View of the Lake: Against the Grain
A stone's throw from Sugar Beach with a fantastic view of the water. Against the Grain's lake-facing patio practically begs you to toss off those those flip flops and prop your feet up (though you probably shouldn't, lest you risk glares from fellow patio patrons), offering the ideal ambiance for kicking back with a beer or a cheap Caesar. Just try to leave the cottage humour at home.

Rosedale DinerThe Best Diner Patio: Rosedale Diner
The back patio at Rosedale Diner has found a nice middle ground between the uber-posh Rosedale patios and the typical diner's "ew, what's that stain?" vibe. Plenty of sun and green give this spot a charming backyard feel, while the menu's duck confit and vegan tajine evaluate the atmosphere beyond that of the run-of-the-mill diner. Great mojitos as well.

Ceili CottageThe Best Irish Pub Patio: Ceili Cottage
This is not your overly beer-branded, plastic-saturated patio. Ceili Cottage diverges from the common Irish pub patio with a nostalgic white picket fence and country mailbox out by its front entrance. And naturally, it just gets better by the tables. Count on plates of oysters and full Irish breakfasts on weekends, and a skating rink conversion for the space come wintertime.

One RestaurantThe Best Patio to Run with the High-Rollers: One Restaurant
Some might say you can't put a price to dining alongside Toronto's social and financial elites. I'd say that price is actually around $50 per plate, but nevermind. This patio is another one of Mark McEwan's babies, spawned from the side of the Hazelton Hotel and regularly playing host to Toronto's bigwigs. You might be able to get away with a pint and app, while still leaving with your pocketbook intact.

ScallywagsThe Best Patio to Catch the Game: Scallywags
No flowers, no frills, and thus, little risk of damaging decor when thrashing out in displeasure after the Leafs lose the puck again. And yes, you will be able to watch the Leafs on this patio since a portion of the space is open all-year-round (because we all know the team won't last long enough in the season for warm weather to come about). For now, though, a great place to watch the Olympics, a UFC fight, or a soccer game.

DEQThe Best Patio to Play Tourist: DEQ at the Ritz Carlton
Ah, that view. Perfect for scanning the skyline and creating an elaborate story about fleeing to Toronto after a family dispute back in Raleigh, North Carolina. Or something. This patio has an elegant and supremely sophisticated vibe with an outdoor fireplace and seasonal cocktails. This is a patio for creating your own muddled drink and your own detail-laden backstory.

La SocieteThe Best Patio for People-Watching: La Société
There's no better a scene to observe and take in than that unfolding right on Bloor. And La Société offers two levels of seats! Watch the drama streetside with cocktails and snacks on the French bistro's sidewalk patio, or head up to the second floor to look down (no pun intended) on the action while enjoying a full meal. Because conversation, clearly, has become passé.

Java HouseThe Best Patio for Cheap Drinks: Java House
Can't do much better than $4.00 pints. Well, maybe you can (though your own basement doesn't count), but few patios offer Java House's winning combination of cheap drinks and a great atmosphere. It's Queen West without the try-hard hipster "nonchalance," offering a solid list of beers on tap and an equally cheap menu of eclectic eats.

Midfield Wine BarThe Best Patio for a Glass of Wine: Midfield Wine Bar
The best patio for a pretension-free glass of wine, that is. Here you can sip your glass of Schioppettino care-free, with plastic chairs and folding tables bringing down the stuffiness a notch. Not that you'll find much of that at the corner of Dundas and Gladstone, mind you. Most glasses will run you around $12, with charcuterie and oysters acting as perfect wine patio compliments.

Cocktail BarThe Best Patio for a Stiff Drink: Cocktail Bar
Aptly named, of course, and living up to the lore. Cocktail Bar's patio is known for its finely crafted concoctions; a selection that only the true Vieux Carré-lovers can appreciate. Classics are textbook with the manhattan and negroni a step above, and the care that goes into each cocktail more than readily apparent. That said, this patio also serves beer.

FameliaThe Best Patio for a (Pizza) Pie: F'Amelia
While we've already extolled the virtues of a few other pizza-proud patios (Terroni, Lil Baci, Pizzeria Libretto Danforth, to name names), F'Amelia's patio, too, offers a choice spot to dissect a pie. The vibe on the patio is just as an authentic pizza place should be; that is — loud — with strung lights flickering in the evenings and red wine on free-flow.

Smith TorontoThe Best Patio for Brunch: Smith
Cloistered and cosy, Smith's side patio is a bona fide hidden gem. This is the ideal morning-after patio, partially because there are virtually no passersby to gawk at your unruly (unintentional) bed head. The Smith waffles aren't too shabby, either, especially when paired with a Caesar to help cure last night's woes.

Hrvati BarThe Best Patio for a Burger & Beer: Hrvati Bar
Allen's already got its shout-out; now it's Hrvati's time to shine. With stuffed burgers and Ožujsko galore, this patio offers a Croatian twist on a favourite summertime pairing. The scene is "beer hall" all the way with long communal tables and bench seating; an unassuming spot to kick back with a beer and indulge in a mouth-watering pljeskavica.

Cube NightclubThe Best Patio for Bottle Service: Cube Nightclub
Yes, you can get bottle service on it's patio, and yes, it is important to look "ballin" (did I say that right?) even if you're outside. If bottle service is your thing (can you tell it's not mine?) you can enjoy the experience atop Cube's rooftop patio, all while basking in a superb skyline view. The crowd is a little older than the barely-legals on Richmond, and (coincidentally?) a little more refined.

The Black BullThe Best Patio to Bring your Bike: The Black Bull
Escape to the restroom in peace! Or else, with a least a little more peace of mind. The Black Bull's patio comes complete with a gated bike storage area, deterring would-be thieves from the snatch-and-ride while you remain blissfully preoccupied with your pint. As long as you don't mind sharing your Queen West spot with 100 fellow patio patrons, cycle on over.

Live Raw Food BarThe Best Patio for Vegetarians: Live Raw Food Bar
Nevermind choosing between a salad and the one lone veggie option on the menu; Live's patio is plush with cooked and uncooked vegetarians and vegan options. This patio, appropriately, has a decent amount of green, nestled right behind the Annex dining room and peppered with glasses of organic wine. And yes, there are raw, vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free deserts! (I know; what's left?)

Stout Irish PubThe Best Patio in Lieu of the Green: Stout Irish Pub
If you can't actually manage to take a day off and head out to practice your putts, Stout Irish Pub's back patio offers the next best thing (or else, a painful reminder of what you could be doing). Yes, this patio sits on a ground of bright green AstroTurf, sandwiched between two buildings and decked out with classic wooden picnic tables. And don't feel bad; it's impossible to juggle a pitcher of Beau's on the ninth hole anyway.

Cafe DiplomaticoThe Best Patio for a Pitcher of Sangria: Cafe Diplomatico
This patio is a gathering spot for friends and Little Italy locals, so don't be surprised if you find a pitcher on nearly every table. The sangria here is killer and known to pack a lot of punch (and fruit), helping to raise the evening time volume on this already boisterous patio. Classic Italian comfort foods for when drink just isn't enough.

The Only CafeThe Best Patio for Beer-Lovers: Only Cafe
Disastrous for those who are perpetually indecisive (guilty), but one of the top patios in Toronto if you know you love your beer. The back patio feels just like your neighbour's backyard, with the exception of a couple dozen beers on tap and nearly five times that in bottled varieties. It might be a bit of a sausage-fest back here — but hey, it's worth it for good beer.

The Best Patio for Take-Out: Ronnie's Local (top photo)
It sounds oxymoronic, but the sit-down patio at Ronnie's Local in Kensington Market is the ideal spot for take-out. Bike messengers and their Kensington compadres can sit here and sip back their tea ales and pales, while The Grilled Cheese across the street prepares and delivers sandwiches right to their patio table. I can't decide if this is an epic win for progress or a sorrow sign of our collective demise.

Get patios on the go. Download our Patio Guide app for Android and iPhone.

Photos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

29 Comments

Jenny / August 10, 2012 at 02:27 pm
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You forgot the backyard patio at Factory Girl on the Danforth! Best bruchetta pizza in town and I recommend the Rigatoni a la Vodka...to die for!! Staff are nice, service is great and they've got lots of good beers on tap!!
John / August 10, 2012 at 03:26 pm
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Backyard patio at Fuel House is a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of College Street! Great Jalapeno Margarita and delicious sandwiches and small snacks!
April / August 10, 2012 at 04:22 pm
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Epicure on Queen West near Bathurst has an amazing patio which is so well hidden that nobody thinks to go up! The view of the CN tower is beautiful and the drinks/eats are really well priced!
Gordie / August 10, 2012 at 04:30 pm
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Keating Channel Pub near Cherry Beach is a hidden gem, I've been a regular there for years. Great, reasonably priced food, about 18 beers on tap and a selection of bottles as well. The patio seats close to 300 people and there is a great view of the skyline! I recommend it to anyone looking to get a little bit away from the downtown core!
LoLo / August 10, 2012 at 09:08 pm
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Guys you forgot one of the best hidden gems with actual trees and canopies in the back patio. The Caledonian on Queen East.
Gabe / August 11, 2012 at 12:12 am
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Best Patio for wings - The Wheat Sheaf - Sun, Mon, Tues Wing nights half price!!!
Katie / August 16, 2012 at 02:14 pm
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Whistler's Grille in East York has got a beautiful wrap-around patio!! Definitely a favourite since I moved right in across the street last year.. Ice cold beer on draft and live music a few nights a week. Can't be beat in my books. Facing west also so it's best to go at sunset.
christine / August 18, 2012 at 11:24 am
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How can you not mention The Coffee Mill in Yorkville? Its only been around forever!
lp / August 18, 2012 at 02:33 pm
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ALLEN'S on the Danforth. It is the best patio. Period.
Nabila / August 20, 2012 at 01:04 pm
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Love the patio at Earls on King Street West
Freddy / August 25, 2012 at 09:45 am
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I agree with Jenny. The food and service at Factory Girl is always great. I love sitting on their back patio and listening to the great music they play.
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 11:31 pm
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You forgot the backyard patio at Factory Girl on the Danforth! Best bruchetta pizza in town and I recommend the Rigatoni a la Vodka...to die for!! Staff are nice, service is great and they've got lots of good beers on tap!!
sarah spark / November 26, 2012 at 05:12 am
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These are great patio ideas for restaurants.. Looks a nice chilling place from the busy streets.
She-La / March 11, 2013 at 10:21 pm
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New Bovine rooftop patio is going to take the cake!!!
Duke Pryce / March 28, 2013 at 06:18 am
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Must say, some of the best places. Best Patio to Run with the High-Rollers is the one i like, simple & attractive.
raczyk / March 29, 2013 at 08:57 pm
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Are any of these patios open yet? Hoping some will be open tomorrow, it will be 11 Celsius.
Patio Umbrella Store / April 15, 2013 at 07:43 am
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Patio umbrellas are a perfect way to keep the sun away when experiencing the outdoors.Thanks for sharing.Was a great read.
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Diana P / May 5, 2013 at 11:44 pm
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Cadillac Lounge in Parkdale has an awesome, large, laid-back patio...feels like someone's backyard! Unpretentious, casual and comfortable!
Jon Doh / June 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm
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Ceili Cottage make the best patio list? It has to be the worst patio in the city. You guys need to widen search a bit...
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Fresita / July 17, 2013 at 03:13 pm
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Patios + Toronto = LOVE

@FresitaCanada
Christian / August 12, 2013 at 02:28 pm
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Another top patio for Lake and Beach is the Sunnyside Pavilion Cafe on the Western Beaches!! I really like that place!
Queen / September 18, 2013 at 08:27 am
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wow! really nice patio ideas for dining. Thanks for sharing this informative read.
Mike Gillati / April 9, 2014 at 01:16 am
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Just got our patio furniture set in Toronto on special. http://www.wickerpark.ca has a sale on click on their 'specials' tab.

Now hopefully we get some good weather to enjoy the remaining summer.
Cindy replying to a comment from John / April 22, 2014 at 02:26 pm
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Fuel House has been closed for awhile!
Tara replying to a comment from John / April 22, 2014 at 02:30 pm
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Cafe Dip is disgusting! Go there if you want bad service and a good chance of food poisoning. I prefer Red Sauce across the street with negronis on draught.
Jesse / May 1, 2014 at 06:11 pm
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Carens Wine and Cheese Bar is the hidden gem of Yorkville. Check it out! http://www.carenswineandcheese.com/

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