Toronto Patio Guide: King West
King West might have more patios packed into a few square blocks than anywhere in the city. Between Bathurst and Spadina there are small street side patios, club patios, a patio at a hostel, a patio at a private club and cozy courtyard patios to throw back some food, beer or cocktails anytime the mood strikes. Layer on some prime patios near King and Niagara and a few on Wellington and King West becomes a legitimate contender for the best patio neighbourhood in Toronto.
Here's a roundup of 25 of the best patios on King West.
The original King West courtyard patio, Brassaii feels a bit encroached on these days by neighbouring Crush and the just opened Firkin on King. But with a heritage feel and plenty of communal seating it's still a good date option for cocktails and nibbles off the late night menu.
Crush Wine Bar
The burgundy table cloths give this patio a more formal feel than most on this list. But since good food and fine wines is really the whole point of the experience nobody's likely going here to get drunk on pints of Rickard's Red.
Firkin on King
The newest King West patio looks almost puny compared to the expansive pub interior but for a Firkin pub it's still one of the best I've seen. Like the rest of the Firkin chain there's solid but uninspiring pub grub (nachos, poutine, shepherd's pie) on the menu and an assortment of the usual imported and national brand beer.
The Bier Markt
This west facing patio on Portland seats 130 and serves the largest selection of beers on the block (over 100 bears from 24 countries) making it a viable option for World Cup beer roulette. Sadly, there's no Ghanian beer on tap but the Germans and Dutch make a predictable appearance.
This isn't the place to soak in the sun's rays, but the patio at Buca wins points for being hard to find (well, it's not visible from the street). Bonus that the food here is some of the best Italian around. Stay tuned to their Twitter for updates on mouth watering specials like hand cranked duck egg pasta with duck ragu, mascarpone and basil.
The massive patio at Spice Route makes up for the uneven stuff coming out of the kitchen. Not a place to grab a casual pint but instead for those a bit more dressed up and interested in lounging in style while sucking back a lychee martini and Thai style crab cakes.
Fynn's of Temple
Serving the best caesars on King West, Fynn's isn't your typical Irish Pub as it tries to draw some of the crowd that frequents the lounges and clubs in the area. Their small side patio doesn't offer much of a view but on Sunday nights (after 5pm) they do offer pints of Steam Whistle for 4 bucks.
Rodney's Oyster House
This small side patio pieces together tables out of barrels which seems like a fitting backdrop to freshly shucked oysters (9-26 varieties daily), clams and smoked trout. The beer and wine selection rotates semi-annually.
At the south-west corner of King and Portland, KiWe has a narrow, refined side patio on which to indulge in a glass of wine (starting at $10), a platter of artisanal cheese or their namesake KiWe burger with Cambozola and BBQ onions.
Zoe's Bakery Cafe
On the north side of King, the recently liquor-licensed Zoe's isn't open late but for lunch or a mid-afternoon drink they make for a relaxing spot to grab a gourmet salad or sandwich. Their patio has a high fence shielding views from the parking lot next door.
Cheval isn't for everyone, but for club-goers looking for a rooftop space to perch and drink vodka tonics it's one of the better options in the area. Open weekend evenings only (and year round) it comes complete with outdoor heaters, lots of seating and great views of the action down below on King West.
Global Village Backpackers
One of Toronto's best hostels has a reputation for drawing crowds beyond the backpackers spending the night there. Aptly named The Village Pub and the Departure Lounge, it has picnic tables painted with flags of the world and often features live music or DJs. Open to the public.
Le Select Bistro
A block south of King on Wellington, this French Bistro boasts a ridiculous number of beers you've probably never heard of like Jenlain Ambree from France. They also have Quebec favourites Blanche de Chambly and Maudite on tap. While the front patio is nice and sunny, don't let it be a distraction from the back garden.
Featuring lounge chairs, an outdoor pool and plenty of mood lighting, the back, enclosed patio at C Lounge is a favourite spot for event organizers and fundraisers looking to put their guests in a relaxed and generous mood.
After more than a month of renovations Marben has just re-opened with a self-described farmhouse feel save for their front patio which hasn't changed much from its previous incarnation. Open for lunch, dinner and late nights 7 days a week with a new Monday Brunch and ice cream sandwiches all summer long.
This pub at the corner of Portland and Wellington is owned by the same people as the Bedford Academy. They boast a casual side patio, pub standards and surprises like wings, chicken curry, pho and pad thai and 19 beers on tap.
The Old York Pub
At the corner of Wellington and Niagara, this popular local can pack about 30 people into its east facing patio. They make a good burger, great fries and have a nice selection of beer on tap.
Niagara St. Cafe
Right next to the Old York, this cozy bistro has a slightly smaller patio than its neighbour and draws an entirely different crowd. This isn't the place to stop by on the way to a TFC game but instead draws locavores eager to indulge in Asian jellyfish slaw, grilled bison bavette and other items featuring organic and locally sourced ingredients.
The Foggy Dew
Just up the street this Irish pub offers a mammoth patio that snakes along King and south on Niagara. There's no shortage of seating here with more than 120 chairs on which to park and imbibe in one of the more than 15 beers on tap.
East of the Foggy Dew on King, Cafe Cinquecento is a local haunt for southern Italian cuisine. Arrive early to score one of the five tables on the north facing patio. Order a Moretti, a plate of calamari and some fresh homemade ravioli and debate the future of King Hollywood video across the street.
The Wheat Sheaf
At King and Bathurst, one of Toronto's oldest pubs is still a good bet for beer and 1/2 price wings (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday) on an east-facing side patio with a prime view of the developing streetscape to the south. The kitchen here churns out standard pub grub but the service is still friendly and efficient after all these years.
Directly across Bathurst from the Wheat Sheaf, the Banknote presents a more modern take on what a pub should be. The patio here doesn't rank among the best in the area but for those who just need to be outside they and about a dozen of their friends can fill up the small, north-facing patio on King. Good ribs, burgers and mussels.
Susur may no longer man the kitchen here but with a revamped menu and new lunch service, this tapas restaurant doesn't need to work too hard to draw a regular crowd. Their front, slightly fenced in patio features plush purple chairs and plenty of shade making it a chill and refined spot to sample some sake and Singaporean style slaw.
On Tecumseth, the Beast has just opened in the space that was once Susur's first breakout hit (Lotus) and was more recently Amuse Bouche. The front patio seats less than 20 but is a great option to experience an inventive weekend brunch feast of pork belly benny, huevos rancheros or sheep's milk yogourt with rubarb and granola.
The Spoke Club
It might be a private club and not open to the public but there's no denying that the rooftop patio atop the building once home to the Amsterdam Brewery offers the best views in the area.
More patio guides:
The Financial District
West Queen West
Ossington and Dundas West
The Distillery District
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