The Best Places to Play Billiards in Toronto
The best places to play billiards in Toronto holds up as one of the longest-standing debates amongst amateur and professional players alike, typically boiling down to what constitutes the perfect pool-playing environment. While some might agree that the ideal spot to rack up should be free of any and all glitz and glamour, other avid pool aficionados swear by the full package experience - loud music, cold beer and a perhaps a little room to show off a dance move or two.
Here are the best places to play billiards in Toronto.
Writing by Tori Piccin. Photo by Daifuku Sensei in the blogTO Flickr pool.
Did you know that the Rivoli had a second floor? Better yet, did you know that said second floor is packed with 11 billiard tables just begging for your attention? With a front patio, main floor bar and pool party up top (get it?), the Rivoli might just be the spot of the summer. Tables start at $10/hour.
With a decor mix of old English country home and classic pool hall vibes, The Crooked Cue is an understated gem of the West end. Although tables start from about $15/hour, this spot screams 'boys night out', with 20 top-notch tables and enough space to stumble while waiting for your next turn.
An icon of the Annex and one of the original pool halls of Toronto, this no-BS billiards club draws in a pretty seriously dedicated crowd - so don't hang around too long if it's just for the cheap beer. All 8 billiard and 10 snooker tables come with a piece of history, plus the $8/hour fee and organic pool hall vibe will keep devoted players occupied until the last ball is sunk.
Smack-dab on Church St. in the heart of the Village, Pegasus draws in an eclectic crowd of people with its inviting ambiance and Cheers-like atmosphere. If you don't get a chance to play a game at one of the four tables, immerse yourself in ping pong, trivia, music videos and/or thrilling conversation with friendly staff to help you get loose for the big night ahead. Tables range from $6-$9/hour.
Delicious food, proper decor, live music and - you guessed it - a handful of pool and snooker tables to keep you occupied all night makes On Cue a go-to spot for pool players of any ability. Although leaning a tad towards the seedy side, this Junction classic offers a great selection of micro-brews paired with $10/hour tables and some of the friendliest service you'll find in the city.
Probably the most notable billiards pub north of the downtown core, with a second-floor wrap around patio screaming for you to soak up the sun all day long, Chalkers is the kind of spot you'll spend hours at without even noticing. There is almost always a live band casting the musical mood for the evening and with 12 billiard tables to choose from you're guaranteed a spot all night. Tables start at $14/hour.
For its Junction neighbours, this place is the go-to watering hole for cheap drinks, greasy food and hours of recreational pool playing starting at $12/hour. The flashy front facade will catch any pedestrians attention, and the 17 televisions inside is a great excuse to watch the game, any night of the week.
An updated version of the smoky pool hall, Spacco is dark, mysterious and blanketed in deep chestnut leather. If you want to keep it classy while not trekking too far from your uptown abode, Spacco is an upscale spot to play pool while enjoying a delicious meal off of their newly revamped menu. Tables start at $18/hour.
Safari is still alive and well, serving cheap drinks and even cheaper shots to the freshly legal uptown crew. You know those tables you've been dancing on this whole time? Well, they're actually for playing pool, and at $10 an hour you might as well put them to good use. Tasty food, summer patio and ample pool tables makes Safari an interesting little spot north of the city, though it's definitely geared toward a younger crowd.
A fun hybrid of "whoa, what happened last night?" and "I think I played 30 games straight", The RAQ serves it's purpose as an old-school billiards joint right in the heart of Queen West. Whether you're getting a table for pool, or a table for bottles (yeah, they have that), the RAQ has an interesting mix of dance club meets pool hall meets "I don't remember what happened last night at all".
Unassuming from the outside and welcoming on the inside, this brand new east end joint fills its massive space with rows of fresh new pool tables ready to be worn out. Complete with a full dinner menu, unexpectedly great sound system and $12/hour tables, the Corner Bank holds huge promise for the Scarborough area. Play for fun, or test your skills by entering into one of their amateur pool tournaments taking place on Tuesday nights.
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