7 Hottest Rooftop Scenes in Toronto

By Zagat Staff  |  May 11, 2015

With patio season in full swing, we've rounded up seven essential patios, from secluded alfresco lounges to scenic rooftops, to soak up the sun while enjoying a bite and drink.

  • Drake Sky Yard

    Set atop the Queen West boutique hotel, the Drake Sky Yard is bustling with activity all week long, 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: Try the champagne-based cocktails for a fizzy tipple. At dinner, the Drake burger is a must-try, and if you're lucky enough to score a brunch spot, demand the chicken and waffles.

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

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

  • Gusto 101

    Enjoy Southern Italian cooking with a twist while sipping on draft wine on this hot King West patio. Gusto 101 has two patios: one is ground level; 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 of six variations dedicated to the classic cocktail.

    Insider Tip: Reservations are not required to sit at the patio bar upstairs, so leave your name on the wait list and hit the patio for a drink.

    101 Portland St.; 416-504-9669

  • America Restaurant

    Located on the 31st floor of the Toronto Trump tower, America's balcony offers a fantastic and one-of-a-kind view of the Downtown core. Seating just 14, it's an unexpectedly intimate setting.

    What to Try: Fittingly for a place in the Trump Hotel, the restaurant's menu offers opulent interpretations of American staples, such as foie gras-topped buckwheat pancakes with preserved peaches and candied peanuts. For a decadent main, order lobster Rockefeller, a classic dish. If you have room for dessert, ask about the Clusterphuck, an ever-changing chocolate bark that we named one of the city's most decadent chocolate desserts.

    Insider Tip: The eatery opens at 6:30 AM daily, offering pastries and coffee, so if you're an early riser consider grabbing a light breakfast here to watch the sun rise over the city from an exceptional vantage point. This also gives you a chance to take in the view before a clublike atmosphere takes over the space.

    325 Bay St.; 416-637-5550

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    The Beverley Hotel

    Find refuge from the busy Queen West shopping district on the rooftop patio of the five-storey boutique hotel The Beverley. 

    What to Try: Brunch fans can grab their favourite meal here all week long, and the Nutella Crunch French toast is a true indulgence. In the afternoons and into the evening, the spirit-forward seasonal cocktails are the main attraction. 

    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. And if you prefer suds over mixed drinks, a can of PBR will set you back just $5.

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

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    Globe Bistro

    Since its opening in 2006, this Danforth restaurant has been at the forefront of the locavore movement, showcasing seasonal ingredients and an acclaimed list of Ontario wines with select global bottles. The high-walled rooftop patio doesn't offer much of a view, but after a wicked winter, any chance to eat in the great outdoors is warmly welcomed.

    What to Try: Chef Daniel Sanders' creativity is evident in the crispy-skinned pickerel dish, which is served with a wild rice cake, crab and apple salad and a Thai chile purée.

    Insider Tip: On weekdays from 4 PM-6 PM, oysters, beer and wines by the glass are available for half-price.

    124 Danforth Ave.; 416-466-2000

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    The Chase

    Overlooking the Financial District, this swanky contemporary Canadian restaurant is home to a lush, 75-seat patio that's a popular post-work haunt for the Bay Street set. The elevated vantage point offers a 270-degree view of the city skyline.

    What to Try: If you're thirsty for summer, a strawberry-rhubarb margarita with a touch of basil syrup gives a taste of the season to come. For a decadent dinner, you can't get more luxurious than butter-poached lobster with fresh pasta in a cheesy, rich Parmesan beurre fondue.

    Insider Tip: The Chase is frequented by a well-heeled crowd, so dress up if you don't want to feel out of place, and don't head here for a quiet conversation: this place can get loud.

    10 Temperance St.; 647-348-7000

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    Momofuku Daishō

    Set in a glass cube looking out on University Avenue, this third-floor Asian-fusion restaurant affords great views year-round, but when the warm weather hits, the patio is the place to be. 

    What to Try: One of owner David Chang's signature dishes, bo ssäm is a crowd-feeding feast of slow-roasted pork shoulder served with sides of kimchi, oysters and rice, along with lettuce leaves for wrapping.

    Insider Tip: Specializing in shared plates and large-format meals, Daishō is best enjoyed with a group, but be sure to make a reservation, or you'll likely be out of luck.

    190 University Ave.; 647-253-6227