Toronto Patio Guide: The Danforth
The Danforth seems to have won the lottery when it comes to patios. In certain parts of town, trying to get a patio license from the City is like churning eggs into milk. But in the Danforth - especially in the heart of Greektown from Broadview to Pape - there are more patios than I care to count. At almost every Greek restaurant there's a patio. Trapezzi, Pan, Omonia, Ouzeri, Kokkino, Christina's on the Danforth....the list could go on.
But what's the point of a patio guide if there's no curation? Yes, there are big and small patios to be found all along the Danforth - from 7 Numbers to Fox and the Fiddle - but here's a roundup of 8 of the best.
The Only Cafe
This popular pub east of Pape has not one but two patio options. Unless shade is preferred, head directly to the back, north-facing patio which gets the afternoon sun and indulge in one (or a few) of The Only Cafe's 16 beers on tap - 15 of which are local craft brews. Huevos rancheros, french toast and other brunch options are available on weekends.
Sarah's Cafe and Bar
At the corner of Danforth and Monarch, Sarah's packs in a steady stream of locals on its front patio (about 10 seats) and covered west-facing patio (about 2-3 times as many seats). Everyone is coming for the 13 beers on tap, extensive wine list and snacks and meals like calamari, mussels a dozen different ways or fish and chips. There's also live music Sunday afternoons from 3-6pm.
This Greek cafe is where to go on the Danforth for iced coffees, mochaccinos and frappuccinos as well as alcoholic options including daiquiris, martinis and Greek beer. There's plenty of food and desserts including crepes, Belgian waffles and ice cream sundaes, all of which go down pretty well on the large east-facing patio or tiny street-side patio.
At the west end of the Danforth near Broadview, Globe Bistro has the best rooftop patio in the area. I'm not convinced its the sexiest patio in the city (their words) but it's a nice place to chow down on some locally sourced beef, venison and Cornish hen.
This Greek restaurant has a tiny front patio but it's still a popular option on the Danforth to dine outdoors on what just might be the best souvlaki in the city, topped here with onions, tomatoes, tzatziki and french fries.
For souvlaki eating option number 2, head to the old-school Square Boys where the north-facing patio wedged beside a strip mall parking lot has five tables, no umbrellas and a look like it hasn't been updated since the 80s. But no matter, when the sun gets too strong, just head inside for a Molson Golden and some vintage Ms. Pac Man.
This always packed brunch spot brings locals back later in the day for its buckets of beer and good food on its secluded back patio just east of Pape.
Last but not least, I can't forget Allen's, the upscale Irish pub where a burger and a beer might set you back more than $20. There's no debating that they have one heck of a back patio and the food here - although pricier than most pubs - tastes pretty great.
A special thanks to Bud Light Lime for sponsoring this section. Watch for 13 more neighbourhood patio profiles in the weeks to come.
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