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7 Hottest Rooftop Scenes in Toronto

By Suresh Doss
May 28, 2014

With patio season in full swing, we've rounded up 7 essential patios for you to soak in the summer sun along with a bite and drink.

  • El Catrin

    This Modern Mexican restaurant in the Distillery District has quickly become one of the hottest destinations for patio fun in the last year. The heated patio is not only gorgeously decorated with large chandeliers, but is perfect for large groups if you want spend the afternoon sipping on bebidas and eating tacos.

    What to Try: El Catrin has one of the best tequila lists in the city; start there. Also, the especialidades de la casa (share plates) rule; try the octopus carnitas, bucket of shrimp and beef short-rib plates.
    Insider Tip: You'll definitely need a reservation to score some prime people-watching seats on this patio, or go earlier in the day

    18 Tank House Ln.; 416-203-2121

  • Black Bull

    No patio guide is complete without mentioning crowd favourite Black Bull Tavern. When the seats start to fill up on this patio, you know the season has arrived.  It's one of the the best spots for people-watching in the city, located in the heart of the Queen West shopping district.

    What to Try: It's all classic pub fare at Black Bull: wings, chicken fingers and pizzas.
    Insider Tip: Lineups are a daily occurence. Go early, or have a cocktail at the bar inside and coax the bartender into putting you on the wait list.

    298 Queen St. W.; 416-593-2766

    (photo from website)

  • Drake Sky Yard

    Seven days a week the Drake Sky Yard is bustling with activity, whether it's tourists trying to take in a little Toronto culture with fried chicken and craft beer, or locals looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the Downtown core.

    What to Try: The cocktail list is one of the best in the city, so there are no losers. But try the champagne-based cocktails and long-drinks menu. Also, chicken and waffles for brunch and the Drake burger for dinner, got it?

    Insider Tip: Call ahead to reserve seats as it fills up quickly in the evenings. 

    1150 Queen St. W.; 416-531-5042

    (photo from website)

  • Brazen Head Irish Pub

    When the TFC seasons begin, this is where you'll find the hardcore sports fans pre- and post-game. Brazen Head also boasts one of the best patios in the Liberty Village district, perfect for cooling post-game heated debates.

    What to Try: Classic pub fare to go with endless pints. Try the bison meatloaf or the Guinness-glazed BBQ ribs.

    Insider Tip: During the weekends, the restaurant serves up spicy Caesar cocktails at brunch for $4.

    165 E. Liberty St.; 416-535-8787

    (photo from website)

  • Gusto 101

    Enjoy Southern Italian cooking with a twist or two while sipping on draft wine on this hot King West patio. Gusto 101 has two patios: one is ground level, but you'll want to head upstairs to the sky lounge if you prefer eating and drinking under the stars.

    What to Try: Wine on tap (poured by the ounce) to start, or ask for the weekly barrel-aged cocktail. If you love Negronis, then you've come to the right place: Gusto has a menu dedicated to the classic cocktail with six variations.

    Insider Tip: You don't require reservations to sit at the patio bar upstairs, so leave your name on the wait list and head there first for a drink.

    101 Portland St.; 416-504-9669

    (photo from website)

  • Stock Restaraunt Terrace

    Located on the 31st floor of the Toronto Trump tower, the Stock terrace offers a fantastic and one-of-a-kind view of the Downtown core. The terrace has an intimate enough vibe perfect for a pre-drink before hitting the town, or a quiet nightcap.

    What to Try: The Stock offers a lounge menu that's good for sharing if you want to nibble while enjoying the views. Try the tuna taktaki and charcuterie board, or you can just skip straight to dessert and ask the host to bring you the chocolate cart loaded with housemade chocolate confectionaries, bonbons and ice creams.

    Insider Tip: Hard to believe, but the terrace is still somewhat of a secret as it's quietly tucked away from the dining room. Make reservations ahead of time just in case. P.S.: Go during sunset.

    325 Bay St.; 416-637-5550

  • The Beverley Hotel

    There is some solace to be had on the busy Queen West shopping district, and you'll find it on the rooftop patio of the five-storey boutique hotel The Beverley. The view is 360 degrees of Toronto, set to the tone of grilled meats and boozy cocktails.

    What to Try: Steak tartare, wok-charred edamame beans and the lobster bahn mi.

    Insider Tip: Go straight after work if you want to grab one of the few lounges at the back of the patio in time for sunset.

    335 Queen St. W.; 416-493-2786

    (photo from Hip Urban Girl)

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