Like poutine, the Caesar is quintessentially Canadian, and restaurateurs across the city have found new and exciting ways to serve the otherwise simple drink. If you’re looking for one that’s made with just hot sauce, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and vodka, you won’t find it on this list. Here’s where to get some of the city’s most surprising Caesars.
To match the menu at this Italian eatery, the bartenders add a pinch of rosemary to their Caesars and top them with crispy Pancetta. Instead of celery salt, the glass is dipped in steak sauce and lined in steak spice.
Cherry Street Bar-B-Que
The Caesar at this Port Lands smokehouse is a meat lover’s dream. The Clamato mix is combined with fresh herbs, tamarind paste, and barbeque sauce, and it’s garnished with an entire smoked side rib.
The Caesars at Ceili Cottage are infused with dark purple dulse (a form of seaweed), which gives the drink a slightly darker hue. But that’s not the only ingredient that sets this cocktail apart — alongside Smirnoff, the bartenders pour the brine from a freshly shucked clam into the Clamato.
There’s no need for a menu at Harlem Underground if you’ve already ordered their Caesar. That’s because the morning-friendly drink is garnished with chicken and waffles, and an assortment of fruit — it’s basically brunch in a glass.
Dundas & Carlaw
The Caesar at Dundas & Carlaw is also known as “The Sleazer” and is typically served as a double. This part-cafe, part-bar also includes a huge dill pickle and pepperettes as a garnish, but the best part of the drink might be the crunched-up Cool Ranch Doritos that line the glass’s rim.
Candied bacon isn’t traditionally found in Caesars, but maybe it’s not so surprising that it would make it into a quintessentially Canadian drink, especially at a smokehouse like Barque. Before being used to rim Caesar glasses, the bacon is smoked for two hours and then candied in brown sugar and simple syrup.
Like the ones served at Harlem Underground, the Caesars at Hunter’s Landing could substitute an entire meal. Bursting out of the mug you’ll find a lobster tail, a hunk of house-made chorizo, a few slices of smoked mozzarella, bacon, a slice of pizza — yes, you read that right — and a pile of vegetables.