bars college street toronto

The top 10 bars on College St.

Bars on College Street run the gamut from student hangs to date night spots. Whether you’re craving some nachos or a late-night session of boozy bocce ball, you’ll find it on one of Toronto's most diverse streets.

Here are my picks for the top bars on College Street.

The Green Room

What the Annex lost, Little Italy gained. Since moving from Bloor to Crown and Tiger’s old digs, this pub has seen a major upgrade with high ceilings and an overall cleaner appearance. It might not have a second floor anymore but drinks are still as cheap as ever.

Bar Raval

Eat Spanish tapas with boozy cocktails in what’s arguably the most beautiful bar in the city. This Gaudi-inspired interior (by the same firm behind the Union station project) is surprisingly lowkey and, like all of Grant Van Gameren’s spots, it’s the perfect place for a killer cocktail.

Bangarang

Billiards and cocktails on tap — if that doesn’t sound like a nice time I don’t know what does. This place is full of fun accents, from the glass-cased greenery to the eclectic mix of games. Never tried Sjoelen? That’s okay, inebriation makes you good at everything.

Mrs. Robinson

This cocktail-heavy bar feels like an attempt at an upscale speakeasy. They've got a live band and drinks like the smokey Second Chance Machine served in a paper bag. Named after the legendary founder of Sugar Hill Records, you’ll also find tasty – albeit pricey – meals here.

Birreria Volo

Located on the main drag of Little Italy, this narrow bar is the spot for barrel-aged and saison brews. Head into what’s essentially an alley and take a seat at one of their salvaged barrel tables to snack on the little menu of cucina povera (poor man’s kitchen) bites.

Sneaky Dee’s

If the graffiti’d walls of Sneaks could talk, it’d have stories for days. This venerable punk hangout will always be the heart of College Street, no matter how many new bars pop up along the stretch. Where else would we go for cheap 1 a.m. beer and dirty Tex-Mex nachos? 

Track & Field

This bar is by the same people behind Bangarang, who clearly have an obsession with historically hoity-toity games. This basement hangout focuses a bit more on lawn games like bocce and shuffleboard, making it too unique not to include on this list.

Nightowl

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, this bar serves up boozy creamsicle floats with orange soda, vanilla ice cream and, of course the most essential ingredient, vodka. It’s super chilled out in here, with arcade games and other original cocktails available in case you're trying to avoid diabetes.

Laylow

Just as the name implies, this spot is perfect for a lowkey evening hang. If you’re looking to have an (audible) conversation with some friends over a pint of Belgian or German-style beer, it's one of the nicer options on this street.

Mum’s the Word

Head upstairs to this awkwardly situated bar above a pharmacy. It may look more like a bakery from the outside (it does serve breakfast foods in the morning) but at night the interior’s aglow with neon lights and equipped with a $10 menu of adventurous cocktails.

Lead photo by

Photo by Hector Vasquez at Birreria Volo


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