bars queen west

The top 10 bars on Queen St. West

Bars on Queen West stand out in an area densely populated with late night hangs. These weekend watering holes are all about good vibes, some music and of course and some outstanding libations. Expect Friday night feels even on weekdays. 

Here are my picks for the top bars on Queen West. 

Pretty Ugly

There's not really anything ugly about this small Parkdale bar. Decked out in Mexican art and textiles, it's all about Mezcal in this low-lit bar. You'll also find drinks like the sherry-based La Guita Manazinilla, one of the prettiest drinks you'll ever see. 

Dumbo Snack Bar

Heading into this Parkdale bar feels like walking into a speakeasy in Morocco, with the moody red lighting and Middle Eastern and Mediterranean-inspired eats. The giant grandma teapot of liquor offered is not so sexy, but adds a bit of fun to this sultry spot. 

Tennessee Tavern

Dine on some Eastern European bites in this woodsy, kitschy bar with chandeliers and blues music in Parkdale. The back patio here is quite stellar and a good way to enjoy some summer weather with some absinthe in hand, perhaps. 

Shameful Tiki Room

Transport yourself to the Hawaiian Pacific in this dimly lit bar full of eccentric little tiki accents. There are so many fun drinks here it's hard to choose, from the enormous mystery bowl of alcohol to the Chi-Chi cocktail. Booze plus delightful tropical decor equals urban paradise. 

Convenience

Though the cocktails, Pogos and Yuca Tots are pretty great; the best part of this bar might not actually be the bar. The front part of this corner spot is an actual convenience store (Pac-Man arcade game included) and heading downstairs to the 'phone' area is an experience in itself. 

Otto’s Bierhalle

The boozier version of the doner spot, you'll find full-fledged German meals at this bar at Queen and Dovercourt, with items like spätzle and sausages to accompany your brew. Hanging greenery makes this a pretty space to get drunk and really full with friends. 

Bar Fancy

This lowkey bar across from the Paul Garfinkel Parkette is sort of like its name: not anything to think too hard about. The whole point of this spot is a simple hangout with good cocktails and a deliciously simple menu coming out of the open kitchen. 

Apt 200

Playing host to all the hot happenings, you'll often see lineups during special events. Don't let that deter you though: on a relatively busy day it's more lounge than club, and you'll have the option to get twisted on cocktails or you can just busy yourself with the arcade games.

416 Snack Bar

Still one of the best spots downtown, this hole in wall on Bathurst—and so close to Queen—bumps great music. Paired with a small menu of creatively delectable bites and strong drinks, 416 maintains its status of a favourite Queen West bars. 

Rivoli

With drinks up front, a billiards hall uptairs, a summertime patio and a backroom venue, there's not much to dislike about this stalwart by Spadina. You can spend your whole evening here pre-gaming for the live act before heading upstairs for some post-show pool.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns at Shameful Tiki Room


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