Where to Find the Best Classic Cocktails in Toronto

Enjoy timeless drinks in bars across the city

Classic cocktails are the O.G.s of the cocktail world. These days, everyone’s inventing, infusing, and innovating, but sometimes a well-made traditional drink just can’t be beat. Check out these bars for the best classic cocktails in the city.


This dark cozy bar at the corner of Bloor and Crawford is known for it’s cold brew coffee, cocktails and snacks. It’s a great café during the day but if you go at night it’s a hopping neighbourhood bar. Their cocktail menu includes a complete classic section, but we suggest ordering the Manhattan to start.

Bar Isabel

The Sazerac is New Orleans’ official cocktail and at Bar Isabel it’s served up just as it should be in the Big Easy. Bar Isabel’s version features six-year-old Sazerac whiskey and an absinthe rinse.

Goods and Provisions

This local Leslieville tavern has great food, oysters, and drinks. And while they have an extensive bourbon list, when it comes to classic cocktails, go for the Dark & Stormy. This rum and ginger beer cocktail proves that rum is not just an island drink.

Cocktail Bar

Black Hoof and Rhum Corner owner Jen Agg, opened Cocktail Bar on Dundas Street West in 2011. Agg’s team serves up all sorts of classic cocktails here as well as craft beer and snacks. If you enjoy a liquor-forward drink, go for the Hoof Manhattan or the White Negroni. Or if you’re really ready to go, order the Corpse Reviver No2, made with both gin and absinthe.


This British gastro pub in Yorkville serves lush and hearty food in a beautiful space. When you think of drinking in the U.K., you might first think about grabbing a pint at the pub, but this restaurant knows how to do more than pull a draft. If you want to stick with the whole Great Britain theme, order up a Pimms Cup. If you’re willing to depart from the obvious, try one of their classic martinis.

The Gladstone Hotel


(Photo by Kevin Steele via Flickr)

The cocktail list at The Gladstone was originally designed by Sandy De Almeida, who can also often be found at The Drake. Her Blood and Sand cocktail at the Gladstone though is both strange and delicious. The Blood and Sand is one of the few classic cocktails that features scotch and Sandy’s version of it is simultaneously approachable and complex.

The Roof Lounge, Park Hyatt

We would be remiss to make a list about the best classic cocktails in this city and not include the Park Hyatt rooftop bar. Here’s where you’ll find signature cocktails served in a rich leather and mahogany room. Order a martini and step on to the balcony for a sparkling view of this city. This is the way classic cocktails were meant to be enjoyed.