day drinking toronto

The top 10 bars for day drinking in Toronto

Bars for day drinking in Toronto are a special breed. It's not just about being open earlier than most other places — there's plenty of options in that regard — but rather a vibe that's conducive to whiling away the day over a few quiet pints or afternoon-appropriate cocktails.

Here are my picks for the top bars for day drinking in Toronto.

Birreria Volo

This beer-focused bar opens at 2 p.m. each day its open so you can plan your session drinking. There's a dizzying array of options here from hard-to-find European offerings to local craft beer on tap and by the bottle. The growing natural wine list is also worth mentioning should you want to shake it up. The snack-y menu will keep you upright.

Bar Raval

How many places in the city have a cocktail list partially designed to encourage day drinking? With its long hours (8 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily), Bar Raval offers numerous options that are heavy on flavour but light on pure booze. There's also craft beer, a smart wine list, and a Spanish-influenced menu that encourages nibbling.

Northwood

One of my favourite places to start early, Northwood allows you to begin with a coffee (they open at noon) and then transition into beer or booze. There's always a well chosen selection of craft beer, but it's the extensive cocktail list that spans classics to modern concoctions that gets me.

Sneaky Dee's

If it's nachos and cheap pitchers that you're after, Sneaky Dee's is the place. It opens at 9 a.m. on the weekend for brunch, but drinkers would be best advised to come after 1 p.m. when the crowd has thinned out a bit.

Ronnie's

Everyone's favourite Kensington Market watering hole does brisk business with a loyal day drinking crowd. The bar opens at 1 p.m. each day and slowly fills up in the hours before 5 p.m. with a crowd chattering over pints and cheap domestic bottles. In the summer, the patio is rammed from open to close.

Library Bar at the Royal York

Day drinking doesn't have to make you seem like a degenerate. On the contrary, the activity can be perfectly refined. For an upscale day-drinking experience head to the gorgeous Library Bar at the Royal York. The space is reserved for afternoon tea during weekends, but opens at 11:30 a.m. for your Mad Men-esque weekday drinking adventures.

Bar Hop Brewco

Bar Hop and sister location Bar Hop Brewco open at 12 p.m. on weekdays, while the later takes an extra hour of rest on weekends opening at 1 p.m. These spots are all about the beer, with over 35 options on tap along with frequent cask options. There's a full menu to keep your buzz under control.

Betty's

This King East spot is your classic unpretentious day-drinking spot where folks will generally grab a bite to eat, watch some soccer or other sports, and enjoy a few pints before the sun sets. The bar opens at 11 a.m. daily.

Imperial Pub

For some of us, the day drinking experience should have a little bit of grit to it, which is what you get at the Imperial, which opens at 11 a.m. daily. The crowd is a mix of Ryerson students and more grizzled drinkers, but the room oozes Toronto character and the friendly staff have seen it all.

Queen & Beaver

Day drinking is synonymous with the British pub experience, of which the Queen & Beaver is one of Toronto's best options. The pub opens at 10 a.m. on weekends and 11:30 a.m. the rest of the week. Sister pub the Wickson Social is also a good bet for an English breakfast and an afternoon of pints.

Lead photo by

Josh Chong at Bar Raval


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