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6 great bars and restaurants for a retro date in Toronto

Retro dates in Toronto will let you foregoe pricey dinner reservations in favour of inexpensive nostalgia. From malt shops to diners there are plenty of options how you and your date can go back in time.

Here are my picks for where to go on a retro date in Toronto.

Bean and Baker Malt Shop
If you've ever daydreamed about romantically splitting a milkshake in a malt shop à la Archie and Veronica, Bean and Baker is where to bring your bae. The Harbord Street shop gives a shout out to the 1940s and 1950s with old-school diner decor, era-appropriate tunes and soda jerk outfits.

Swan Dive Bar
If stopping by a soda shop feels a little too G-rated, try this Dundas West bar. Its checkered floors, collection of vintage photographs and stacks of B-movies pay homage to eras past, while its crowd is distinctly 21st century. Bonus: instead of sipping on milkshakes, you and your date can get cozy over boozy beverages.

Tom's Dairy Freeze
Instead of heading for Sweet Jesus to impress your guy or gal with some seriously outrageous ice cream, why not go the classic route? Tom's opened in 1969 and looks like it still belongs in that era, making it perfect for a vintage-style date. The frosted treats here aren't topped with cotton candy or mountains of marshmallows, but sometimes simplicity is key.

Poetry Jazz Cafe
Transport back to a time before screamo, emo, metal and alt-rock by hitting up this Kensington spot. The dimly lit rooms and live music create romantic ambiance unparalleled by most other bars in the area (which err on the rowdier side).

Harry's Drive-In
This city is chock-full of killer diners, most of which give off some serious retro vibes. If you want something a little more interesting than vinyl booths and neon signage, make your way to this old-fashioned Scarborough eatery. You and your date can share burger and fry combos in the front seat of your Honda while listening to your favourite mixtape (AKA a Spotify playlist filled with oldies).

Junction City Music Hall
You could invite your date over to your place to play Call of Duty with you, but to be honest, that'll probably leave you having your calls screened. Instead, take him or her out to Junction City Music Hall for a night of vintage-style gaming - it's much more romantic than first person shooter RPGs (trust me on this one).

What did I miss? Add more retro date ideas to the comments.

Photo of Bean and Baker Malt Shop.


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