King Taps is a massive multi-level beer hall with over 50 beers on tap and an extensive menu of slightly elevated pub eats like pizzas, tacos, sandwiches and burgers.
It’s a tap house first and foremost, but beer and food are still designed to have equal standing here.
Located in First Canadian Place in the middle of a nexus of office buildings, the place opens at 11, packs by noon, and has a wait to get in by the after-work hour.
With a total capacity of roughly 450, there are bars and patios both upstairs and down, 54 flat screen TVs, and an open kitchen that allows the staff to be part of the atmosphere.
Art decorates the space and provides nicknames for different areas. A small statue of a dog by William Sweetlove has been affectionately dubbed “Dougie” by the staff, so the downstairs bar is nicknamed Dougie’s.
Similarly, the upstairs space has a gigantic piece by local artist Daniel Mazzone that combines stained glass and collage techniques, with his friend Maria as model, therefore this space is Maria’s, with a huge central 34-seat bar.
Every pint poured originates in a keg room visible through a window in the entryway, capable of housing 72 kegs.
Minimacks ($14) are a small plate that compartmentalizes Big Mac flavour into the secret sauce, American cheese, pickles, and Ontario-raised mini beef patties.
Crispy sushi ($13.50) performs a similar trick with seared rare Albacore atop crispy sushi rice with avocado and yuzu emulsion, concentrating sushi flavours down to core ingredients.
The Forager ($18) is one from a list of pizzas, tender, chewy crust topped with four types of roasted mushrooms, kale, truffle-ricotta cream, and Grana Padano.
They’re all fired in a 4800 pound pizza oven that had to be crane lifted in, and are half price after 11.
The “Sierra” salad ($13) goes a little greener with grilled avocado, organic greens, fennel, beet, pickled red onion, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, white cheddar, and citrus and apple cider vinaigrette that add juiciness.
Chicken tacos ($14) are a generic but crushable, tortilla that should probably be toasted filled with chipotle-braised local chicken and crunchy corn and pickled red cabbage.
One flight ($12) on offer is made up of beers King Taps collaborated on with local breweries: a French Blanche created with Rainhard, a light summery lager produced with Creemore, a very hoppy West Coast pale ale created with Muskoka and an IPA brewed with Batch.
Spot local graffiti artist Anser’s first ever neon piece in a restaurant up in this place.
Sports and retro music videos that accompany the poppy, nostalgic soundtrack of the place play on the televisions, giving it a fun, almost karaoke vibe.