Toronto Patio Guide: King East
King East and the area that surrounds it is a neighbourhood with many faces. St. James Cathedral, the St. Lawrence Market, high end furniture stores, George Brown College and an abundance of loft-style condo buildings are counted among its residents. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that this combination of touristy landmarks and stylist enclaves result in a patio mix that caters to almost everyone.
Here's a list of seven of the best patios in the King East area.
Betty's has become the go-to bar for local condo dwellers in and around King & Sherbourne, and a favourite option for George Brown students who know better than to go to Gabbys. The large back patio is full almost any night of the week. The food might be standard but they have a good selection of local and imported beer served by super friendly staff.
Hailed as stocking one of the best selections of beer in the country, Beer Bistro also wins points for its west-facing patio that hugs the side of the skyscraper it calls home. The bistro-inspired menu features beer infused dishes and the kitchen makes what just might be the best french fries in Toronto. While it's most fun to join the after work crowd here for some drinks and a meal, since the bar is a perennial favourite fighting off some suits for a seat on the patio will likely be a requirement.
This soul food restaurant has a small patio tucked between two buildings on Richmond East. It's nice and secluded from the hustle and bustle further south and the graffiti covered walls make it feel like another city. There are no beers on tap but there are plenty of good eats including big portions of blackened catfish and jambalaya.
The Bier Markt
Found on the Esplanade just west of St. Lawrence Market, the Bier Markt probably has the most publicized patio in the area. Go here for mainstream music, themed menus and an impressive selection of imported beer.
No seats at the Bier Markt? Just walk a few steps west to this Esplanade patio alternative where a huge tree provided plenty of shade under which to down some draft beer with a Guinness stew. On Wednesdays and Sundays pints are $5.
This swanky back patio offers a more secluded and upscale dining experience than alternatives in this 'hood. Go here to nosh on Chef Brad Long's organic and locally inspired menu.
SKAL Rock Bar
Formerly Prince Of Ales, SKAL is essentially the same bar with a bit of bad-ass attitude. Their mission is to "play rock and roll loudly" which might be why its often empty. Nevertheless, their west-facing patio is a relatively quiet place to enjoy a drink and standard pub fare.
A special thanks to Bud Light Lime for sponsoring this section. Watch for 11 more neighbourhood patio profiles in the weeks to come.
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