Toronto is a city full of streets that are practically overflowing with bars. From more boujee spots to complete dive bars, there is a setting for everybody and while there are some pretty well known spots, there are just as many that fall under the radar.
Whether these spots fly under the radar on purpose or not, these bars have earned a reputation for being either severely underrated or branded as a "secret bar." So get ready to keep your eyes peeled the next time you're in any of these neighbourhoods in hopes of spotting your new favourite drinking spot!
What Are You Looking For?
For 'Kensington,' click 'Next.'
Where: 60 Kensington Ave
Cold Tea is Kensington's not-so-big-secret anymore considering it's become a staple for many locals. Though, regardless of how many times you've visited, you can't deny that some days you still can't find the entrance.
Where: 503 College St
LoPan is a bar located upstairs from Dai-Lo and is a great place to take your night to the next level (literally). After grabbing some staple Cantonese eats you can grab some drinks upstairs at this low key cocktail bar!
Toronto Temperance Society
Where: 577A College St
If you want to check out Toronto Temperance Society, you are going to have to put in a bit more work than picking the average bar. To gain access you've got to call or e-mail them before hand if you want entry. After you've got the go-ahead, you can find the spot above Sidecar and enjoy some great drinks!
Where: 495 King St W
Escobar may not be the biggest secret in the city anymore, but that doesn't mean you can walk in without knowing the password. This password protected spot boasts an ever so Instagram-able neon sign inside as well as some delicious cocktails!
Where: 488 Wellington St W
The Cloak definitely lives up to it's name considering the entrance can be a pain to find. Though once you do finally get in, you won't be disappointed. They host some great drinks and company all housed in a homey setting!
For 'Trinity Bellwoods' click 'Next.'
Where: 184 Ossington Ave
This spot is as secret as it is small. The garage-inspired spot behind super point hosts a dj and tons of eccentric design elements that will definitely have you pulling out your phone once or twice to capture the ambiance on camera. Though to find this spot you'll have to keep your eyes peeled on the only clue they've got for you- a neon tiger.
The Gift Shop
Where: 89-B Ossington Ave
The Gift Shop is located at the back of a barber shop, and is so low key it's practically impossible to find a photo of the space on Instagram! Though the gorgeous aesthetic of the space will have to heading over whether you need a trim or not! From the mirror tiled ceilings to the mid-century design touches throughout the space, you'll find yourself revisiting time and time again!
Where: 1276 Dundas St W
Mahjong Bar is the place to go for anybody who has a soft spot for tropical-themed anything. From the tropical wallpaper to the red glow lining the bar area, it's as fun of a spot to grab a drink as it is nice to look at!
Where: 1415 Dundas St W
This dive bar is a great place to go to with friends if you are looking for an easy night out at a place with some character. From the star wars pinball machine to the collaged hallways, the place has a grungy feel to it that will definitely keep you coming back!
Where: 1307 Dundas St W
The Libertine is the ultimate low-key house party in the city. From the wallpaper and insane booth service they offer, it's a great place if you want to dance but aren't down to get squished around in a traditional club.
For 'The Annex,' click 'Next.'
Where: 539 Bloor St W
This low key spot in the Annex is a great place to catch live entertainment, homey pub food and choose from a ton of beers on tap. With two levels and a side patio, there is tons of room for your friend group to pay this spot a visit!
Where: 270 Bloor St W
If you are looking for the perfect low key Italian spot in the city, look no further! Bar Mercurio serves up some incredible classic Italian east from pizza to pasta as well as a ton of gluten free options for any sensitive stomachs out there!
Where: 298 Brunswick Ave
This spot definitely is not a stranger to students but if you aren't one you may have been letting this place slip out of your hands these past few years! They've got some incredible drink deals that make for the perfect night out as well as a low-key ambiance.
Where: 529 Bloor St W
While this place definitely isn't a massive secret to students, if you have never been to Dance Cave in your life, you are doing nightlife in Toronto wrong. This dive spot is a great place to dance around in your sneakers to music you actually want to hear
not some random DJ's remix of a Drake song for the upteenth time.
The Bedford Academy
Where: 36 Prince Arthur Ave
Annex locals love this spot for some classic pub food and a welcoming ambiance, but even if you aren't from the neighbourhood that doesn't mean you shouldn't pay the spot a visit! It's an easy choice if you are looking for a chilled out night with friends.
For 'Queen West,' click 'Next.'
Where: 1070 Queen St W
This spot is such a great place to grab a drink and some finger food in the city. They serve up staples like mussels and deep fried chicken as well as some incredible artichoke dip, all found in a super homey feeling space!
Done Right Inn
Where: 861 Queen St W
Done Right Inn is a low key spot that is perfect if you are looking to grab a drink in the Queen West area. Though I definitely would suggest revisiting once the weather gets warmer to enjoy their killer patio!
Where: 508 Queen St W
Velvet Underground is a super popular spot for concerts but you may not know that it's a great place to grab a drink on a regular day as well! The dive-bar hosts a great crowd on nights when no concerts are set but I definitely would suggest coordinating your visit with a band's appearance considering it makes the night all the more fun!
Where: 21 Adelaide St W
Speakeasy21 is a super swanky cocktail lounge that hosts a menu made by the same chef behind fellow boujee Toronto establishment, Canoe. The spot is all about snacks and smaller plates that make for the perfect side kicks to their extensive bar options!
Pretty Ugly Bar
Where: 1237 Queen St W
This bar is far from ugly, from the massive bar to the other design touches like potted plants and empty bottles lining the walls, you are definitely going to find yourself whipping out your phone to snap a picture or two if you visit this place. Though, definitely keep in mind that this place is small so it may not be the perfect venue to bring a massive group of people to!