The top 10 bars and pubs on Queen St. East
Queen St. East may not have Vogue magazine's blessing as one of the hippest neighbourhoods, but there are a ton of great bars for you to check out. From country bars to a winterized yurt, Queen St. East has almost everything one could want in a bar scene. Start planning your pub crawl now.
Here are my picks for the top bars and pubs on Queen St. East.
Drinking at this tiny upstairs space is like hanging out at your coolest friend's apartment. Named after the legendary comedian, it carries its sense of humour all the way through to its decor. Cheap drinks, friendly service, and sandwiches from Rasher's for when you're a few beers deep - it's a can't lose.
This cozy speakeasy-style bar is a staple on Queen East. Their impressive and well-crafted cocktail list is a huge draw for the neighbourhood. I suggest ordering a round of "Gilded Radners" to start your night off in a sophisticated way.
I think I can pretty safely call Queen and Leslie's Hitch the hip headquarters of Queen East. Pair the great weekly events like Monday Trivia Club, Bring Your Own Vinyl night, and cult movie triple headers, great staff (I'm lookin' at you DJ Damn Aykroyd!) and rotating taps of craft brews and you really can't go wrong.
Boots 'N' Bourbon Saloon
I'll be the first to admit this spot is a bit of an acquired taste (it's a themed bar, after all), but if you're a small-town turned city girl like myself, you'll like this little taste of home. From the guys who brought you Rock Lobster, this Riverside bar gives you live music, dancing and a mechanical bull. Dust off your bolo ties and cowboy hats and head out!
An Sibin Pub
No matter what you're celebrating or trying to forget, $3.54 shots of Jameson are usually the answer. Those looking for a more traditional pub-style menu and vibe should head to An Sibin. Live music on weekends and drink and food specials all week makes it a great stop on the neighbourhood pub crawl.
This massive space just east of Yonge is a departure from fine dining from the folks behind Nota Bene. With fabulous cocktails and a decent beer list, this is a nice middle ground between ritzy Financial District bar and a more casual spot.
Don't be put off by the dark and mysterious entryway of Wayla. Once there, continue through to the fun and funky dance floor and bar area for a great night out. This LGBTQ bar is tops for great dance music and parties. They now also offer a fresh sandwich bar starting at 11am if you're feeling a little rough from the night before.
In the winter there's a yurt out front, need I say more? Seriously, we're talking an expansive beer list, unpretentious atmosphere and a delicious, newly-revamped menu of solid pub fare. The Ceili also has one of the best patios on the east side.
This is the beer lover's Beaches hangout. The beer list has as much personality as the decor (that's a compliment). It's a great place for all you wannabe Hemingways to grab a pint and write your next novel. This isn't a regular bar food menu, either - Castro's Lounge is totally vegetarian.
I can perfectly explain the vibe of Hi-Lo at Queen and Saulter by saying that you can play pinball while drinking a top-notch cocktail served in a tiki glass. The bar's musical decor and long communal seating help to create an inviting and casual atmosphere.
What did I miss? Let us know your favourite Queen East bars and pubs in the comments. Photo of Hitch by Jesse Milns.
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