toronto patios 2015

10 patios you can drink on right now in Toronto

It's patio time in Toronto - the sun is out and you can probably leave the house without putting on your long johns and balaclava - so, naturally we're itching to take our drinks outside. After all, it's been a long winter and we can't wait to thaw out under a warm afternoon sun.

Here are my picks for the top patios you can drink on right now in Toronto.

The Black Bull
The opening of the Black Bull patio is Toronto's surest sign that winter is over. This iconic Queen West spot is now open for drinks, and will soon be open for food. With a huge 100-seat side-patio, the space is often too full during the peak summer months, so this is your chance to get a table without having to fend off tourists.

Nothing says summer is near more than lounging on a Kensington Market patio. If you make it out this weekend you just might be able to elbow your way past the usual crowd of bearded hipsters and colourful market locals for a picnic table seat. Ronnie's Nassau St. locations is prime real estate for people watching during what will hopefully be a relaxing, spring-like weekend.

Bellwoods Brewery
The sidewalk patio at Bellwoods Brewery, in the heart of Ossington, is usually jammed with a long line of folks waiting to sip on local brews while cashing in on the neighbourhood vibe. But if you're willing to brave the cold, you can get there before the usuals and score a piece of the sidewalk action and a taste of their early-spring brews.

The Office Pub
This is a classic pub filled with young professionals in skinny ties and dark jeans in need of a place to gripe about their work day. The Office Pub offers a street-level patio facing John St., as well as a two-tier garden patio in the back for those hoping to avoid bumping into their bosses. Come to eavesdrop on disgruntled TIFF and CBC employees while enjoying a cool pint of beer.

There's only two tables here, so if you want a seat, start running, 'cause this niche Kensington spot has a cult following of discerning beer lovers. On the upside, unlike some of the other patios in the market, this one has a distinctly cool vibe - think brooding rock-star the day after a gig.

Cafe Diplomatico
CafĂŠ Diplomatico is a piece of the historic Little Italy community, which has continued to thrive on College. This no-fuss patio offers relatively cheap pints and a classic pizza and pasta menu - perfect for carb-loading while watching soccer games.

Leslieville knows how to take it easy during a sunny weekend day, and Stratengers' sidewalk patio is a local pub grub favourite. Expect an eclectic menu that includes a hodge-podge of typical Italian, Indian and "Canadian" favourites. Follow the locals and head here for brunch.

Rock Lobster
The east coast is still under a snowstorm but here at Rock Lobster you can get a taste of the region while sitting on their back patio. There are long rows of tables down the middle at this Queen W. location, as well as a few comfortable booths. To accompany your beer try a few regional trademarks like lobster rolls or the lobster tacos, and maybe shed a tear for our friends in Halifax still wearing their parkas as they shovel their driveways.

Joy Bistro
Joy Bistro, with a view of Jimmie Simpson Park, is another favourite Leslieville brunch spot. Pretend summer is already here and enjoy a salad or classic Benny on one of its two patios. This place is revered by locals for its good, locally-oriented food at a reasonable price. You can also drop by for happy hour and have a drink under the twinkle of the string lights.

Williams Landing
Guns, drugs and porn - that's what's some might surmise is lurking beneath the condo facades that now outnumber the historic warehouse spaces in Liberty Village. Get a birds-eye-view of the action on the patio at Williams Landing and decide for yourself.

What did I miss? Add your suggestions for the best patios you can drink on right now in the comments.

Follow Sima Sahar Zerehi on Twitter @SimaSaharZerehi. Photo of the Office Pub patio by Jesse Milns.

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