The top 5 bars on Ossington
Bars on Ossington in Toronto are known for their grungy, hip vibe, places to see and be seen, or just knock back something strong on your way home at the end of the day. These bars are great places to pre-drink before a big night out. Or, with plenty of great food and restaurants in the area, spend your whole night at one of these spots before noshing on some Poutini's or King Slice and passing out.
Here are my picks for the top bars on Ossington.
Luring people in for years with its cheeky name and proximity to the 63 Ossington bus stop, Sweaty Betty's is a crammed little staple of this neighbourhood. Due to this location it's also often crowded and difficult to get into. Get a pint of draft beer and up close and personal with some locals.
This bar is named after a cartoon duck, and perhaps this encourages those undergoing a little Peter Pan syndrome in the Never Never Land of Parkdale, Dundas West, and other surrounding neighbourhoods to embrace their inner child while partying here. There's no food but they'll suggest local fast food takeout, and they often have DJs spinning so you can shake it.
Painted Lady is a bar inspired by New Orleans, borrowing its name from a moniker for the women of the night that The Big Easy is known for. They do burlesque shows in keeping with this theme, as well as more run-of-the-mill DJ nights. They are geared for performance, even having chosen the wood in the bar for its auditory qualities. The vibe is eclectic and zany.
Reposado is a tequila bar with a nice neighbourhood vibe and live music. They serve tapas such as spicy pickled vegetables, tequila cured salmon, crab cakes and mini empanadas. They have a house band called the Reposadists, and events pretty much every night.
At Dundas and Ossington lies the grandaddy of all Ossington bars, the infamous Dakota Tavern. Located in a basement right next to a sports bar frequented by old dudes in scooters and with nothing more than a sign that reads simply "BEER MUSIC WHISKY" above its creaky wooden doors, you'd barely know it's there except some of the premier bluegrass and country music is performed here.
Photo of Baby Huey by Hector Vasquez.
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