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Best of Toronto

The Best Places to Drink a Pitcher of Beer in Toronto

Posted by Alexandra Grigorescu / July 9, 2012

pitcher torontoThe best places to drink a pitcher of beer in Toronto can best be described as a perfect convergence of ambiance, location, food, beer selection, and of course, cost. The places below run the gamut from certified, but beloved, dive bars, to haunts for craft beer aficionados, to classic pubs. One thing many of them have in common is the presence of a much-coveted patio, because the appeal of a sun-drenched summer afternoon lost over a pitcher can't be overlooked, and fairly reasonable prices (because neither can the draw of a brew that doesn't break the bank).

Here a list of the best places to drink a pitcher of beer in Toronto.

See also:

The best beer selection in Toronto
The best sangria in Toronto
The best cocktails in Toronto
The best cheap drinks in Toronto
The best martinis in Toronto
The best hotel bars in Toronto
The best new bars in Toronto, 2011
The best pubs in Toronto

Victory Cafe

Victory Cafe

The Victory Cafe is an Annex stand-by for university students (I’ve whiled away many a summer afternoon on its somewhat-shaded front patio) and the general beer-loving public. Aside from its varied pitchers around $15 to $22 for brews from Spearhead, Muskoka and Flying Monkeys, occasionally unexpected bottle stock, and decent and affordable bar grub, it’s one of the area’s best arenas for stumbling into philosophical debates. More »

Sneaky Dee's

Sneaky Dee's

Sneaky Dee’s is the place to go if you’re hankering for some passable, but accordingly priced, Mexican-inspired food and snippets of overheard music from the upstairs’ live music space. Their pitchers are reasonably priced between $12.50 for the eminently drinkable Cool Lager or Buzz Amber to $17 for Keith’s IPA. More »

The Only Cafe

The Only Cafe

The Only Cafe is just brilliant. Reigning over a stretch of the Danforth otherwise devoid of watering holes with an artistic bent, you’ll find moderately priced pitchers (between $17-$20), and (though it might be sacrilegious to mention in this post) some of the weirdest beer bottles in that neck of the woods. If you enjoy a touch of caffeine with your brews, head over to the cafe side for snacks, coffee, and occasional live entertainment. More »

The Rhino

The Rhino

The Rhino is perplexingly frowned upon by some Parkdale residents I know, but that’s mainly for its sports-bar-esque interior. The large ground-floor patio is a perfect place to while away the day’s last rays, and their $14-$20 pitchers serve wallets both large and small. They always have an extensive list of international and craft breweries represented on tap and in bottles. Like Red Room or Nirvana, their menu might lure you with tempting and innovative dishes, but always consider the too-reasonable price. You get what you pay for. More »

Java House

Java House

Java House does one thing really well, and that’s dirt-cheap pitchers at $13 for beers such as Mill St. Organic, Creemore, or Steamwhistle. Their interior is dingy without being dirty, their food does the trick (barely), but their patio offers an ideal people-watching spot off Queen West. More »

Betty's

Betty's

A solid, no-frills pub in the east-end, Betty’s satisfies the thirst of George Brown students and financial district workers alike for a decent $15 per pitcher. Their enclosed back patio features picnic tables, a bit of shade, and (I’ve seen it with my own eyes), a glimpse through large condo windows at sometimes debaucherus goings-on. More »

O'Grady's

O'Grady's

O’Grady's is a classic, feel-good Irish pub in the simplest sense of the word. The menu features by-the-book pub grub, but their patio is a truly prime piece of outdoor real estate in the Village. Even their pitchers are reasonable, with 16oz pitchers of domestic beers for $15, and imported beers for $20. More »

Disgraceland

Disgraceland

Disgraceland is a versatile bar that’s been known to accommodate families for brunch as readily as the rowdy twenty-something spill-off from the Annex. If you fit in with the latter, you’ll find pitchers around $16, pool tables, an eclectic mix of tunes, and even board games. More »

Mugshot Tavern

Mugshot Tavern

The Mugshot Tavern is a newer pub that’s garnered quite a following for its commitment to local and craft brews, a quality Southern-inspired menu of comfort foods, and a small, intimate patio. Their pitchers range from $18 for domestic beers, including a selection of craft brews such as King’s Pilsner, or around $21 for imports. More »

The Wheat Sheaf

The Wheat Sheaf

The Wheat Sheaf is sometimes under-appreciated in discussions of good places to grab a beer, perhaps for its auspicious Bathurst and King location. Nevertheless, it has solid pub food, a side patio that affords glimpses of the evening club parade, and pitchers between $16-$22. More »

Pour Boy

Pour Boy

Pour Boy is instantly recognizable for the painted facade that overlooks its modest patio, but venture inside and you’ll find a comfortable mix of wood and brick, retro accents, and pitchers that tend to ring in around $15. The food is an unfocused mix of international flavors that might not be haute cuisine, but might help you pass into the morning with a minimal hangover. More »

House on Parliament

House on Parliament

House on Parliament is technically a pub, with pitchers hovering around the $20 mark for a wide variety of brews, but their food and general atmosphere are also deserving of a mention. From their better-than-you’d-expect sandwiches, to the quaint patio, it’s a great place to bunker down with friends and not have to shout to be heard. More »

Rebel House

Rebel House

The Rebel House is the only entry in the Rosedale area, but it’s a well-deserved victory. Aside from its large patio, above-average pub food (including reasonably priced wings), they offer pitchers of a wide variety of Canadian brews for an even $20. More »

Duffy’s Tavern

Duffy’s Tavern

Squirreled away in Bloordale Village, Duffy’s Tavern has been a mainstay of the area since 1949, and frequently sees a mix of weary regulars and curious neighbours. But don’t let the nearby strip club and unassuming facade fool you; although they tend not to offer imported beers in pitchers, their domestics range between $14-$16.50 and you can always try your luck at the pool tables. More »

The Hideout

The Hideout

The Hideout is a strange mix of goth and club kids, and regular joes at night, but during the early evening its patio is an under-appreciated gem for enjoying pitchers of Coors or Rickards. It's a surprisingly good spot to bunker down for a lunch or dinner of pub staples catered by Lou Dawg's, and stay for the live acts, including acoustic lunches. More »

Discussion

30 Comments

Mama / July 9, 2012 at 10:03 am
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No mention of Bistro 422?! Blasphemy!
joe photo / July 9, 2012 at 10:09 am
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Where is that lead photo taken? There isnt even a photo cred!
Mark A. / July 9, 2012 at 10:09 am
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Not a bad list by any means.

I personally avoid the Rhino though after atrocious service too many times. (It's not always bad, but it's been way more miss than hit for me.)
BeerGal / July 9, 2012 at 10:32 am
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These are all great spots- and if you are looking to try craft beer, a friend of mine is hosting a tasting on Thursday night:
https://www.uniiverse.com/listings/4fd673f7f5b91f206a04cbbd/1342134000
MB / July 9, 2012 at 10:35 am
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A 16 oz.(?!!) pitcher for $15 at O'Grady's. Ouch! I'll be staying away.
Danielle replying to a comment from joe photo / July 9, 2012 at 10:45 am
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@joe photo: The lead pic is O'Grady's patio...
Emkay / July 9, 2012 at 10:47 am
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Bryden's on Bloor West should be part of an extended list. Great selection of local and craft brews.
Michelle / July 9, 2012 at 10:50 am
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KOS in Kensington Market has a lovely new patio, $10 pitchers and food specials every day. http://kosrestaurant.com/
Rebecca / July 9, 2012 at 11:10 am
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How sad, only one place listed is in the East End, surely there must be more places with great patios on the other side of the DVP.
Pk replying to a comment from Rebecca / July 9, 2012 at 11:14 am
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I think a baby falling out of a window is 'sad'. This is just an omission on the writer's part.
JB / July 9, 2012 at 11:31 am
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Surprised no Dogs Bollocks, $10-12 jugs, and surprisingly good food. Great place to catch a game too.
mike in parkdale / July 9, 2012 at 11:47 am
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"The Rhino is perplexingly frowned upon by some Parkdale residents I know, but that’s mainly for its sports-bar-esque interior."

really? anyone who thinks the Rhino is a sports bar needs to get out more often. Sure there are a couple TVs, but no more than you'd find at any bar in the city. Anyone who 'frowns' at the Rhino over that needs to be less of a douche.
grontie / July 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm
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The Patio at the Rhino is great, but the service, particularly from the morons who always seem to man the bar, is atrocious!
grontie replying to a comment from JB / July 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm
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If teh dogs bollocks had a patio I'd probably be there all summer. But then a bar with a patio in that neighbourhood wouldn't serve up $10 pitchers!
AC / July 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm
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I second the Dog's Bullocks vote. Where else does one find a $10 pitcher on the Queen stretch, or anywhere in the vicinity?
V / July 9, 2012 at 02:29 pm
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This list is terrible, which I'm okay with. I like always having a table and great service.

Things that make somewhere the "best" place to drink beer (in my opinion:
Selection, location, patio, price, environment, locals, ease to people watch.
V replying to a comment from Mama / July 9, 2012 at 02:30 pm
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You don't want everyone knowing about it. It's a small back patio to begin with.
seanm replying to a comment from mike in parkdale / July 9, 2012 at 05:43 pm
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Let them think that. Sports keep the hipsters away, which is fine by me (it's like a natural repellent of sorts).
Avery replying to a comment from joe photo / July 9, 2012 at 06:05 pm
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The lead photo is Ogrady's patio in the village.
sct / July 9, 2012 at 08:10 pm
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Betty's is great I have always enjoyed the place! Great food and beer! They use to have the best chicken wings in Toronto but now not the greatest since they made them smaller like all the other restaurants! So, now go for the Deep Six only!
Gabe / July 9, 2012 at 11:51 pm
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Great List!!! I'd also add Future Bakery The Annex!! Great stop spot when your in the area. Great Patio Great FOod!
GABE / July 9, 2012 at 11:52 pm
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GREAT BEERS!!!! ANOTHER PITCHER OF MOOSE!!
Dennis / July 23, 2012 at 08:19 am
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Mickey Finns on Carlton across from old MLG has a great patio.
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 11:35 pm
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You don't want everyone knowing about it. It's a small back patio to begin with.
Pat / December 2, 2012 at 01:24 pm
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The Wheat Sheaf does not belong on this list. Noisy, dusty patio & crap service.
Local Lush / January 13, 2014 at 10:06 pm
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I personally like the pitchers of "Amber" at Tommy's at Greenwood and Danforth. Cheap. Great staff and patrons and none of that snooty bull that goes on over at the Only.
hillary / January 13, 2014 at 10:11 pm
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pretty sure the firkin on the danforth charges like $16 for a pitcher. but i havane't been there in a couple years so maybe the price went up.
Bob But Not Doug / March 17, 2014 at 04:32 pm
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The Only FTW!
Ryan / March 17, 2014 at 04:33 pm
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I DISAGREE DUE TO THE FACT THAT YOU OMITTED CERTAIN BARS I LIKE FROM YOUR LIST.
Sportks / March 17, 2014 at 04:41 pm
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" it’s one of the area’s best arenas for stumbling into philosophical debates."

I do love hearing undergrad philo kids talking about Nietzsche.

*barfs*

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