Matt’s Favourite Open-Air Booze Pens (Patios)

Patio season is upon us! Here are 5 Toronto staples to hit up when the weathers nice.

It’s still pretty cold and goth-y outside but I want you to think ahead a couple of weeks to that glorious first warm day when the patios open for business. You know that day when it’s still way too cold to be on a patio but we all pretend we’re not freezing because at least we’re outdoors, dammit!? If you’re like me you want to be prepared to drop everything and go on an alcoholiday on a minute’s notice. Here are some of my favourite places to go and make bad decisions and mortgage your future al-fresco!

1. Bettys

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This King East spot has a huge back patio where you can still get some sun and drink on the down-low without your boss casually strolling by. I know some people aren’t in to back patios but this one is big enough to do some people watching without a sidewalk.
 

2. The Rivoli

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Some people like the Black Bull as a go-to spot on Queen West but I’ve always found it to be crowded with not a ton of prime real estate for people watching. The Rivoli is the perfect place to watch the parade of ironic t-shirts and misappropriated fashion saunter by. As we all know the best part of being too cool for school is pretending WE’RE not too cool for school.
 

3. The Done Right Inn

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Another Queen West dive with a back patio with no pretense whatsoever. It’s kinda scummy and I kinda like that. Located right near Trinity Bellwoods park where I’ve heard that discreet consumption is tolerated as long as you take a common sense approach. You didn’t hear that from me.
 

4. The Ceili Cottage

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I’m a Leslie-villain and there aren’t a ton of patio options in my hood, but the Chottage (correct pronunciation for those in the know) is no consolation prize. The food is awesome and they have loads of great Irish whisky and beer to wash it down with. I highly recommend the oysters and they also boast the best sticky toffee pudding in the city.
 

5. Ronnie’s

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This Kensington Market patio is the perfect place to drink day into night after a day of eating and shopping in the market. It’s got just the right balance of scummy and communal with picnic tables instead of tables and chairs. A great place to meet people if you’re new to the city.