With the city’s first dedicated cider bar opening this Ontario Craft Cider Week and another on the way from Jen Agg later this spring, Toronto cider lovers are about to be in their element. But local bars, pubs, and cafes have been hip to this gluten-free easy drinking alternative for a while now, offering great selections while championing local brews. These are the best places you can count on for cider right now.
BIER MARKT | Various locations
Put aside – if you will – Bier Markt’s namesake selection of over 150 quality brews from more than 30 countries, and before you get to the appetizer menu, you’ll find an enviable collection of ciders – on tap and in cans and bottles – from all over the world. With two locations downtown, one in Don Mills, and another out in Etobicoke, Bier Markt might also be Toronto’s most reliable source for cider.
BAR BEGONIA | 252 Dupont St.
Anthony Rose (Big Crow, Fat Oasha, Rose & Sons, Swan by Rose & Sons) is Toronto food world royalty, and his Parisian-style bar in the Annex further proves how comprehensive his tastes are. Also mixed into the inspired seasonal house cocktail menu here, you’ll also find an impressive selection of French (Cote Albret, Eric Bordelet Poiré), Spanish (Zapian Sidra), and Ontario (Empire, Revel, West Avenue) ciders.
PORTER HOUSE | 1321 Dundas St. W
This meatless pub in Dundas West is an exclusively vegan operation, and offering brews from Ontario cideries like KW Craft, Revel (Hop X), and Pommies (Farmhouse and Pear) they have the gluten-free crowd taken care of, too (don’t miss the non-alcoholic house-made spiced apple cider, either).
BAR HOP | 391 King St. W, 137 Peter St.
With two locations within just a couple of blocks of each other right in the heart of downtown, Bar Hop has the Entertainment District’s market for local craft libations somewhat literally cornered, and it hasn’t missed the cider memo either, offering a handful of local craft creations from Coffin Ridge, Revel, Spirit Tree, and West Avenue on tap and in bottles.
TEQUILA BOOKWORM | 512 Queen St. W
Queen West cafe Tequila Bookworm is a local’s best friend. Focusing on exclusively Ontario produced beer, wine, and cider, they always keep two ciders on tap in addition to a selection of bottles and cans.
THE CURE | 1484 Dundas St. W
Formerly the Hogtown Cure, this Dundas West restaurant kicked off this year with a new look, a new layout, and new branding, but its dedication to local pleasures remains a constant. Their cider menu consists of a handful of Ontario cans and bottles from Brickworks (Batch 1904, Stadium Island Peach) and Spirit Tree Estate (Apple Lager, Dry Hopped).
WVRST | 609 King St. W
This King West beer-and-sausage hall is also keen on bringing select craft ciders to its long, communal tables, currently offering 11 varieties from Ontario and California in bottles in addition to the ones on tap. They’re known to team up with local cider makers for special collaboration brews, and for this year’s Ontario Cider Week, they’re tapping two vintage kegs of West Avenue’s Spontenaity and Gold Dust ciders.
THE CRAFT BRASSERIE AND GRILLE | 107 Atlantic Ave.
Liberty Village’s Craft Brasserie and Grille is primarily a beer bar, but amongst its 120 taps, you’ll find four dedicated to local hard ciders from Brickworks, Spirit Tree Estate, and West Avenue.
(Photo by: Yelp Inc.)