Green Room has long been an institution in Toronto for cheap drinks and bar food, a good atmosphere for big groups and parties.
It’s a vast improvement: though the pub that used to be here was also a go-to for College Street bar crawlers in search of discount beer, it felt cramped and ill-maintained. The space now boasts high ceilings, an open feel, funky hanging lights and tons of artwork all over the walls.
Chicken wings ($6.25) here are served deep-fried with sauces on the side.
There’s a thick BBQ and honey garlic, but the best might be the spicy Thai sauce that also comes with spring rolls, which is a little thinner and a little less sweet.
The shrimp spring rolls are $4.50 and very basic but almost embarrassingly delicious. Deep-fried but crispy and only lightly greasy on the outside, they’re well packed with juicy shrimp that I can’t stop addictively dipping into that spicy sauce.
Shrimp tempura ($5.25) are up a similar alley, battered in a thick crunchy panko coating. They come with a mayo for dipping but these also go well with the Thai sauce.
Nachos ($7.99) are pretty solid thanks to house-made tortilla chips, and there’s a good even layering of shredded, melted cheese with a nice amount of stretch. Most chips seem evenly coated, and the order comes with a decent amount of sour cream and salsa. Guac is an extra $1.50 but it’s creamy and also a satisfactory portion.
Curry pad thai ($7.50) is just one of a good-sized menu of entrees that tops out at eight bucks.
Your choice of chicken, shrimp or tofu with a warmly spiced yellow curry sauce, the noodles could be a little more slippery and the addition of chunky slices of red and green pepper doesn’t really seem necessary, but the classic pan fry with egg, onion and bean sprout hits all comfort food notes.
Cocktails ($6.95) so classic they’re basically retro include hyper-sweet, fruity, neon Blue Hawaiians and Sex on the Beach.
The drinks here aren’t so much known for their mixology as their low prices, with regular specials and bar rail under five bucks.
They also do pitchers of sangria and beer and litres of wine that top out under twenty bucks.
This haven for students and Little Italy cheapskates is also a reliable option for those out on the town with friends enjoying shows at nearby venues or events in Kensington Market.
A downstairs space adds additional square footage, with a similar eclectic sense of decor.