underground bars toronto

10 underground bars in Toronto that are hidden spots for late night drinks

Underground bars in Toronto are some of our city’s worst kept secrets. Running the gamut from dives to music venues to cocktail bars, here are some places to hide out from the world, tuck into some tasty drink choices, and maybe even enjoy a little unexpected entertainment.

Here are my picks for the top underground bars in Toronto. 

Sous Sol

This swanky speakeasy can be found beneath Maison Selby. It's located in the basement of the historic C.H. Gooderham House. You'll have to tuck downstairs where the washrooms are to find the subtle entrance.

Drake Underground

This music venue beneath the drake hotel on West Queen West has regular events. You’ll shell out a lot for even a beer these days, but the programming is still top notch.

Bistro 422

A rite of passage familiar to many in Toronto, you can still get the cheapest cocktail pitchers at this dive named for its address in Little Italy. 

The Dakota Tavern

This reputable country bar at Dundas and Ossington always has an incredible honky-tonk dive atmosphere thanks to its below-ground digs and folksy live acts.

Imanishi Basement Bar

Make your way to Cabbagetown to discover this secretive sake hideout from the same people behind Imanishi.

Pong Bar

The sound of click-clacking ping pong balls echoes from a set of stairs inside Walrus Pub in the Financial District, as there’s actually a full-on ping pong bar under the restaurant. It even connects directly to the PATH.

The Shop

What started out as a punk bar underneath an arguably more famous business, Parts & Labour. With the restaurant upstairs now shuttered, it's garnered a reputation of its own right. The scene these days is oriented more towards DJs, hip hop, and more eclectic sounds.

Bambi’s

This hotspot with a lively dancefloor and a DJ booth right next to the bar lurks moodily underground at the corner of Dundas and Dovercourt.

Good Fortune

This bar can be found beneath taco joint La Carnita at Yonge & Eglinton. Open nightly from 5 p.m., the dark, loud and boisterous watering hole offers a taste of downtown in the uptown neighbourhood.

Under The Alpine

Beneath the European-style beer cabin The Alpine is where you'll uncover this bar. Expect live music, loud sports, and never ending drink specials.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim at Sous Sol. With files from Amy Carlberg and Jaclyn Skrobacky.


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