We always remember our first time. The climactic ascent (via some secret backdoor anteroom or through the front foyer with the rest of the commoners). The euphoric rush as you place your feet firmly on the somewhat solid ground. The dizzying surplus of alcoholic concoctions that takes the experience to another level entirely. Yes, we always remember our first rooftop patio. Whether it’s the spectacular scenery, the meticulous menus, or a cherished history of personal memories that endear it to our hearts, we’ve all got that special elevated hangout. These are the criminally underrated rooftop patios that have caught our attention over the years. Check them out and relive your first time.
Brazen Head | 165 East Liberty Street
Looking for a happening Liberty Village hangout that isn’t as socially demanding or claustrophobic as the famous Williams Landing or the Local? Try the traditional Irish pub across the street. Brazen Head, in addition to great food, music and atmosphere, offers a variety of spectacular patios, located everywhere from the ground to the treetops, that actually encourage conversation while exposing the scenic vistas of the LV neighbourhood.
Mascot Brewery | 31 Mercer Street
Located snugly atop another bar, Odd Thomas, in the heart of the Blue Jays district, this lively establishment offers breathtaking views and an extensive laundry list of craft beer options. Don’t let the name, or its proximity to the city’s multitudinous array of arenas, fool you: this is not a sports bar. There are, however, perks available to those arriving in teams, as larger parties can tap their very own personal five-litre keg tableside.
The Beverly Hotel | 335 Queen Street West
For a night of sophisticated, elevated imbibing, The Beverly Hotel rooftop patio surely springs to mind. Though often overshadowed by the expansive Thompson Hotel hideaway, the sky-high views and expertly crafted cocktails at the BH offer a less congested evening under the stars, with just as much glamour and magic.
House on Parliament | 454 Parliament Street
Those who know beer know the H O P. With an impressive list of local and global pours, this Cabbagetown institution is the go-to drinkin’ hole that always manages to draw crowds from east to west. The bountiful gastro menu speaks for itself, and the brunch experience (if you can get a table) is nothing short of astonishing. Now, with an intimate, treetop patio on which to indulge the senses, the staff here are well on their way to making this one of the best spots in the city.
Valdez | 606 King Street West
Recently exposed for housing one of the best hidden bars in the west end, this Latin hotspot can also boast a truly dazzling rooftop space. Replete with vibrant colours and charming tables, this wooden oasis is a welcomed respite from the bouncy crowds and clamorous Latin music that permeate below. It’s a perfect arena for beautiful-people watching, or a quick, simple cerveza between friends.
Murphy’s Law | 1702 Queen Street East
Occupying what feels like an entire city block, the rooftop of Murphy’s Law—a taste of Ireland on the beach—is a low key affair for those craving cheap eats, cold taps and crowds of fellow merry-makers. With traditional Irish fare, in addition to a sampling of other worldly delights, there is definitely something for everyone, while the panoramic seascape views are reason enough to grab a table just for yourself.
Bovine Sex Club | 542 Queen Street West
The rooftop tiki bar at this famously grungy Queen West punk house is like a desert oasis in the sky. Picnic bench seating and an eclectic menu of Caribbean and Polynesian-style cuisine serves as a harmonious juxtaposition to the creative chaos brimming below deck—the perfect space to grab a nightcap after an evening of angst.