handlebar toronto


Handlebar has a motif that's obvious. In a city where the bi-wheeled are often maligned and fodder for near civil warfare, this Kensington Market bar is a haven.

There are bronzed bikes anchored on the wall, and for those who wear their cyclists' hearts on their sleeves, this place is almost cartoonishly perfect.

handlebar torontoThe space is long and narrow. In a room at the back, you'll find a stage that's small enough to be more appropriate for comedic stand-up than music. The seating area is split into small tables, and there's a roomy patio littered with season-appropriate poolside chairs.

Handlebar is not a space for those with fancy tastes. Beers ($6.25) and whiskies ($6.50 for a Maker's) are the focus here, which is not necessarily bad for the weary palate.

Their bar menu is similarly unpretentious, serving homey favourites such as spaghetti and meatballs or tacos. The dishes vary daily, but hover around $6.

handlebar torontoThere are places that go out of their way to push you out of your comfort zone, but that's not the case here. At Handlebar intimacy is not only possible, but seems to be encouraged.

Its Kensington location also proves to be an advantage; it not only works with all the other bars in the area, but answers to what they're missing.

In short, if the Embassy was larger, Cold Tea lower-key, and Ronnie's more put-together, you'd have Handlebar.

handlebar toronto

Photos by

Jesse Milns


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8 Upcoming Events
About the Event
  • January 30

    Live disco/goth rock/post-punk band from Atlanta.

    DIG & Transmit Presents ☾

    Material Girls (Atlanta, GA)

    at Handlebar

    $12 / $15

    Tickets: https://www.showclix.com/event/material-girls


  • January 31

    No cover! This month with back to back with our friends from With It! Come make a weekend of it with the best Rare Soul, Vintage Reggae, and R&B only on original 45!

  • February 1

    The first Tapette of 2020 heads back to one of our favourite bars in Toronto!

    Phillippe spins French classics, quintessential Quebec, disco and house.

    There will be go-go garçons, cheap drinks and a dark and Smokey dancefloor.

    French kissing encouraged.

    Scott sur la porte!

    $5 before 12

    $10 après

    This month's poster femme is Quebec’s Marie Davidson! Merci to John Thai for le...

  • February 2

    Two fantastic adepts not just making, but building. PWYC show!

    Annacetaminophen 10pm

    Existence is exhausting. Annacetaminophen survives by building generative patches to dance and cry on her behalf.


    New Tendencies 9pm

    New Tendencies is the ongoing solo project of interdisciplinary artist and researcher, Matt Nish-Lapidus (Toronto, Canada). T...

  • February 3

    No cover, $6 pints! Brigadier ShazBad (IG: @brigadiershazbad) and Divine Smoke (IG: @divinesmokepro) spin rare and mystical sounds (all-vinyl) from the ancestors across cultures and continents, with transnational visuals from Kinoclimateco. 8 pm. No cover.

  • February 4-26

    No cover!

    Toronto has no shortage of karaoke nights, but Hot Breath Karaoke is truly a standout. This cult transplant from London, England and has become one of the city's funnest Tuesday night parties and it's probably the only place you might find yourself singing karaoke on an exercise bike, spinning a wheel of fortune for free booze and prizes, or being blasted by a leaf blower that shoo...

  • February 9

    Poor Lacey Chabert. Her father invented toaster strudel that one time, and now somehow she's "everyone's favourite Hallmark star" and stuck in movies like this.

    We always bring you the worst rom coms for Valentine's Day, and this year is no exception! Christian Mingle is exactly what it says on the tin; it's basically a feature length infomercial for the dating site Christian Mingle, and it ...

  • February 14

    All new selectress run and spun vintage vinyl dance party SLOW FIZZ hits town on VALENTINES DAY at Handlebar!

    Hostess DJ Cher welcomes gal pals & special guest DJs SAY YES from Houston TX, CARA from Detroit MI, and hometown girl Selectress Sunshine for a night of bangin’ tunes - from Northern Soul, disco, boogie, Latin Soul, reggae, rocksteady and more!

    HOT stax of wax guaranteed to have ...

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