Opium Bar Toronto

Opium Bar

Opium Bar is a moody little spot serving Asian-inspired snacks and cocktails. 

It's intimate in here, and just large enough to accommodate some parties if you book in advance, though the space consists mostly two-seaters and chairs along the bar. opium bar torontoDim lighting and hanging lanterns are meant to allude to the clandestine opium dens of 19th century China.

opium bar torontoThe menu features an impressively diverse mix of eats for a bar, with some heavy influence from Northern China and Japan. 

opium bar torontoSnacks like the jiao zi beef and onion dumplings ($8.50), come in a plate of five and are unexpectedly delicious for bar food. 

opium bar torontoIt's an extra 75 cents to get them pan-fried, but it's worth it for the thin layer of crispy, fried lace underneath these juicy dumplings. 

opium bar torontoTwo croquette spring rolls ($8.50) are highly satisfying crispy rolls filled with potato mash, corn, mozzarrella, and bacon. 

opium bar torontoAn order of a favourite Japanese bar food, takoyaki ($8.50) arrives in five pieces and comes topped with mayo and bonito flakes.

opium bar torontoAnother Japanese snack: the grilled octopus ($19.50) comes with some Northern Chinese flavours.

This duo of skewered octopus tentacles are seasoned with cumin and Chinese BBQ sauce, and are the biggest tentacles I've ever seen served at a restaurant or bar. 

opium bar torontoSalt and pepper Taiwanese popcorn chicken ($8.50) is made using tapioca flour for a particularly lighy and crispy batter. These little poppers are meant to be dipped in the bar's housemade sriracho mayo. 

opium bar torontoFor anyone who needs more than a few bites to hold them down, a Chinese-style noodle ($10) should be enough. 

opium bar torontoYou can mix this melange of beef, mushroom sauce, and a little black vinegar for a traditional meal.

opium bar torontoBut the main attraction of the menu is definitely the black Opium Fried Chicken ($12.50) 

These big, crispy pieces of juicy chicken thigh are coated in several layers of batter mixed with charcoal, and come on a bed of lettuce.

opium bar torontoAny of these snacks pairs well with the bar's list of about eight signature cocktails, including its namesake drink, The Opium ($13.50). 

opium bar torontoAnd the Feng Shui ($12) is a mix of gin, sake, lychee, lemon juice and thyme for a light and refreshing drink.

opium bar torontoFun cocktails and excellent bar snacks make Opium Bar an easy choice for a private retreat on weekdays, though prepare for the spot to get busy on weekends.opium bar toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez

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