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night out toronto

A guide to a fun night out in Toronto this weekend no matter where you live

Toronto's nightlife is still kicking off amid the holiday season. For those staying in town, bars, clubs and parties across the city are still being held, guaranteeing an eventful weekend before the new year rings in. 

Here is my guide to your ideal weekend, broken down from east, west and central Toronto. 

While the east side isn't as saturated in nightlife as the west is, it still has its gems for a good Friday and Saturday night. The east side is your ideal location for calmer yet energetic nights.

A good post-work bar to grab dinner before a night out is Vatican Gift Shop near Gerrard and Jones. Whether you're bringing a friend or going for a solo date, their vegan Augustine pizza and capriccioso pizza are your go-to choices, mixed with a seasonal cocktail or local IPA.

vatican gift shop

The Vatican Gift Shop comes with a lot of church-themed decor. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Walk or take the streetcar to Farside, near the corner of Broadview and Gerrard in East Chinatown. If you're looking for an upbeat but chill night, filled with pinball machines and screenings of old movies, this is your spot. 

Or just walk across the street from the Vatican where you'll find The Dive Shop, located at 1036 Gerrard St E. Their signature cocktails, Coconut Margarita (a staff favourite) and Coconut Pineapple Margarita are go-to's, both including 1800 coconut tequila.

Central Toronto

At its core, the city has a lot of options for the perfect night out. 

Kick the night off with the bar, brewery and bottle shop Bar Volo, located on Nicholas St. If you're leaning towards beers, their Volo Bottega Blonde and Volo X Town Bibita are the best way to start the night. While the former is a classic blonde lager and a safe choice, the latter is a dry-hopped drink brewed in-house. 

bar volo toronto

Var Volo is hidden away on Nicholas St. near Yonge and Wellesley. Photo by Fareen Karim.

Want to continue your night of sit-down drinking? Head to Bar St. Lo near St. Lawrence Market and venture into their wine and snack menu. If you find your way there on a Thursday, enjoy their Boogie Nights hosted by musician Sean Leon and DJs

If you want a change of pace, head west to the Entertainment District where you'll find Black Pearl and dance to the sounds of afro-house during their Choas + Euphony event. Toronto-based DJs Minzi Roberta, Hangaelle and Jelz will be spinning throughout the night.

West Toronto

The west is known for its chaos and tends to be more experimental with its nightlife. 

Start your night of light with a few rounds at Bellwoods Brewery of their iconic Jelly King beer or Roman Candle IPA. If you venture there with friends, split a plate of fries alongside their signature aioli mayonnaise.

bellwoods brewery

Bellwoods Brewery has a lot more room since the expanded to the space nextdoor. Photo by Fareen Karim.

Once the bill has been rung up, make your way west of Dundas to La Piscina on Brock. Come for the tapas and cocktails and if you find yourself there on a Wednesday, stay for their final disco night of the year with 'Garden Disco.'

If want to make your way south onto Queen W St., head to Cold Tea for their signature Friday dance nights. Hosted by DJ Manalang, with DJs Just Jenneh and Audiotoks

If you want to switch things up and head to a more intimate dive-bar spot, stick to Dundas West and just walk across the street to Black Dice and order their Sakura, a mixture of sake, grenadine and lemon. 

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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