Toronto’s, not so obvious, bars!
Toronto Temperance Society
Also known as College Street’s ‘secret bar’. Toronto Temperance Society is hidden conspicuously above Sidecar and serves some of the best cocktails in the city. The catch? You have to be a member. Members can join for the monthly fee of $25.00, which gives you access to cocktails perfected over generations and drinks made fitting to arduous pre-1920s tradition.
Location: 577A College St.
In order to get to LoPan you have to take the flight of steep stairs in the separate entrance beside DaiLo on College St. Lo Pan features a smaller dim-sum style snack menu (highly recommend is the Big Mac bao), along with a list of asian-inspired cocktails. If you want a cool, decorative lounge bar with strong aesthetic, LoPan is the place to go.
Location: 503 College St.
In order to get here you must be confident. What do you mean? Well, try hitting up Valdez and walking through the kitchen and then behind their freezer door, that’s how you’ll find Escobar. The actual menu is non-existent but ask for whatever drink(s) you please and they can usually serve it up. Not to mention, they usually have great music and live djs. There is sometimes a password in order to get in, so try to ask around before you randomly show up.
Location: 495 King St. West
You may have passed by the glowing neon sign advertising tarot cards and palm reading services on Dundas St W. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get your palm read here, the good news is once you’ve descended yourself down the staircase, you will find a speakeasy style bar specializing in live music and strong cocktails. Live2UToronto definitely recommends a visit.
Location: 1307 Dundas St. W
Both a bar and arcade, Nightowl serves up inexpensive booze-spiked floats, beer, and snacks, all amidst live music and arcade games. If you are trying to find a place that is bustling without the annoyance of a club atmosphere, then Nightowl is the spot to go this weekend.
Location: 647 College St.