Toronto Patio Guide: Church Street
Patios on Church Street are where things get sloppy in a hurry. With large pitchers of beer, meal-deals and plenty of people watching, the fun starts at the corner of Church and Maitland where all but one corner boasts a patio that swells to capacity in the summer heat. From there, a multitude of options present themselves both north and south, from relatively tranquil backyard patios to prime seats fronting Church Street.
Here's a rundown of 11 of the best patio options on Church Street between Carlton and Bloor.
Right in the heart of the Village, O'Grady's might have the largest patio in the neighbourhood. It snakes along the north side of the building before revealing an expanded area in the back. There's a full bar with the likes of Rickards, Creemore and Heineken on tap and good sangria for those looking for something sweeter. Coming here for food? Good news! The kitchen serves a full menu until 2am.
The Churchmouse and Firkin
Two to three dozen tables and chairs litter the north-facing patio at this pub directly across Church St. from O'Grady's. The beer selection also features various Molson products as well as some import Irish labels. Sweet potato fries, calamari and Irish nachos are all highly snackable items here.
The Village Rainbow Cafe
This south-facing patio has plenty of burgundy plastic seats, many of which look a little past their expiration date. Wednesdays means $20 for a pound of wings plus a pitcher of Blue or Blue Light.
Crews and Tangos
Recently re-opened, Crews and Tangos has a self proclaimed sunny back patio facing westward meaning it's a good spot for catching the afternoon sun. Unfortunately, hours are limited in order to not wake the neighbours. It currently opens at 2pm and closes at 10:30pm. And, yes, they do serve Bud Light Lime.
Hair of the Dog
One of the Village's best patios can be found at its southern tip where Hair of the Dog serves up better than average pub fare. There's plenty of seating, half of which provides ample protection from the sun and the other half outfitted with Sleeman branded umbrellas.
At the northwest corner of Church and Dundonald, Fuzion wins the prize for the swankiest patio in the area. Leave your wife beaters at home and head here for after work cocktails or a stylish dinner with oyster shooters al fresco.
Directly below Steamworks, Cafe California may not remind everyone of San Francisco, but their capable-enough patio does have a few tables facing Church while the rest look north at the still-for-lease building formerly home to Zelda's.
Adam and Eve Chocolatier
To get a way from the crowds and the booze, Adam and Eve comes with a tiny, intimate back, south-facing patio with only a couple of tables. But since nobody really goes for rounds of gelato and chocolate turnover tends to be somewhat brisk.
This just might be the best option if brunch is on the agenda. The patio is small but east-facing which means it gets plenty of morning sun. Order some of their popular cheesecake French toast and wash it back with a glass of fresh grapefruit juice.
Just up the street from Lola's, Asahi serves up reasonably priced fresh fish and Korean eats on both a front and back patio. For chirashi under the stars this is where to go in the 'hood.
Spirits Bar & Grill
A block south of Bloor, Spirits sports a large back yard patio with green plastic chairs, green tables and matching green Moosehead umbrellas. On tap is an inspired selection of microbrews like Cracked Canoe, Barking Squirrel and Flying Monkey. Brunch is served weekends but generally this place is more of a late afternoon and evening hangout.
A special thanks to Bud Light Lime for sponsoring this section. Watch for 15 more neighbourhood patio profiles in the weeks to come.
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