The Best Sports Bars in Toronto
The best sports bars in Toronto are, quite honestly, a mixed lot because, for the most part, they're not actually sports bars - they're pubs that have a lot of TVs. Until relatively recently in North America, a bar specifically dedicated to gorging at the buffet of athletic competition was an anomaly. If we wanted to watch our sports, we did exactly what everyone else in the world did (and seemingly what most of us still do) - we headed down to our local and hoped they had it on the boob tube.
However, with the explosion of the multi-channel universe bringing us 24 hour beer fueled access to everything from jai alai to golf to cricket to plastic-cup-stacking events, the idea of being surrounded by all that the world of sport encompasses has become a reality. Now we can watch soccer at 9am, cricket at 2, baseball at 4 and hockey and basketball at 8 - all without leaving the same space.
The following bars all have this one basic connection. Oh yeah, they serve food and drink too. Here are the 11 best sports bars in Toronto as voted by readers of this site.
An ESPN Zone +++, RSB is a gargantuan, overwrought, stunning, soulless, and amazingly impressive place to watch sports and drink beer (over 100 on tap). Its balcony is full of recliners and has a golf simulator to play a couple holes on should your eyes become tired watching the two story HD screen or 199 other ones scattered around. You won’t get great sports conversation here, but to watch a game and zone out, it’d be hard to find better. More »
You know this place is serious about sports because it has an “International Sports Broadcast Schedule” posted bi-weekly outside the front door. Once inside, there’s not a bad seat in the house with 10 26” TV’s, a 40 incher, and a 65” projection hard at work. The food is mediocre pub quality and the decor is beyond boring, but with 17 beers on tap I’m sure it helps the patrons not notice. More »
This is what the RSB was when it was still a little child and it hadn’t got all hopped up on steroids yet. Comfortable leather booths, well placed TVs and a much higher quality of food and wine than your typical sports bar, Gretzky’s is upscale but still intimate and at times rowdy enough to have a great time. More »
Obviously, this is a place that’s serious about soccer with 10 matches on tap the day I most recently visited - the first one starting before 8am! A new evening menu is full of surprises and a welcome departure from pubgrub norm. TVs at every table and above the bar ensure that not a second of the action is missed. For a small intimate sports outing, this would be my pick. More »
Sporting a huge menu heavy on Tex-Mex and pub standards, this really is a “roadhouse” and I mean that in the best sense. It has no booths, all tables, 7or 8 beers on tap, a few TV’s scattered around and has that “this would be a really really great place to get hammered and watch the Superbowl” kind of feel. Almost theme-like, it’s easy to imagine you’re on the side of the Louisiana turnpike. More »
Easily winning the most TVs per cubic foot of space competition, Hoops simply doesn’t have a bad place to view the action from – hell, it even has TVs in the floor to make sure you don’t miss a shot while walking to the bathroom or cleaning the puke off your shoe. Unfortunately, that’s about all it has going for it as its food is beyond atrocious and its beer overpriced. More »
Around since 1990 and winner of a ton of Toronto Sun Reader’s Choice Awards, the Danforth outlet of this chain has specials 5 nights a week, a lovely long bar, 3 pool tables in the back and 11 26” TV’s scattered about. Pub food – all around $9 – is in plentiful supply, but it’s the pizza that you should eat here and it’s excellent! More »
Flags from all over the world welcome you to this neighbourhood local that calls itself a Gastro Sports Pub. I find its menu to be just standard pub fare a little gussied up but it seems to work as the regulars rave about the place. With 10 TVs and a decent enough draught selection - if you’re in the area, it could be your go to place. More »
With 17 TVs, 3 pool tables, 15 beers on tap, NFL and NHL pools and drafts, a nice long bar and tons of booths, I immediately liked this place the first time I set foot inside. It clearly states that no baggy attire is allowed, so you’ll have to check your hoodies at the door. “Saloon Attire” is welcome though, so grab your ten gallon hat, slip on some spurs and watch Barclays Premiere League! More »
An institution and possibly the oldest pub in Toronto, there’s not a lot that hasn’t already been said about this place, but as a sports bar, it’s lacking - and that might be by choice. There are only 7 TV’s in poorly chosen locations so most of the seats have a bad view and besides a UFC poster there’s no mention of sports anywhere. I like it as a pub, but as a sports bar, I’d pass. More »
This is old school - and it’s awesome! A newly opened kitchen with incredible smoked meat sandwiches, the Monarch is the local everyone wishes they had. The walls are festooned with sports paraphernalia going back into the early 20th century and it’s a Leafs haven. While its TVs are tiny compared to today's flat screens, they add to the atmosphere. Besides – what other pub do you know of where you can bring your own food! (Seriously – you can.) More »