If a Chainsmokers song can now trigger a headache, then you’re probably starting to get over the club scene. Between that, the aching feet from your stilettos, and trying to find the bathroom in those ridiculously dark venues, clubs start to become too young for us (or maybe we start to get too old, but I don't like to think about that).
Though this doesn't mean you have to give up on Toronto’s party scene just yet. Below is a compiled list of bars that you should check out if you’re itching for something other than the typical club scene. So fear not aging youth, because these ones are hell of a lot more casual, fun, and - most importantly - have better music.
The Thompson Hotel
I can’t make a list of the best bars in the city without starting with The Thompson Hotel, can I?! Even though I feel even more broke than I already am when I’m there, the views from this rooftop pool are so nice that I feel like tiny Drake on the CN tower.
The Ballroom Bowl
There’s a lot I can sell you on with a large entertainment venue like the Ballroom Bowl, but all I have is three special words: games and rooftop patios. Beat that, Lost and Found.
Located on the iconic Church Street, Woody’s is a lively gay bar that entertains you from the moment you walk through the door; and even though I once got judged for asking a performer to sing Hilary Duff’s “This Is What Dreams Are Made Of” - well, I guess this venue is even bigger than you, Lizzie McGuire.
Chill Ice House
There's no way I'm the only one who thinks of that song from Bring It On when someone mentions Chill Ice House - butanyways, this unique experience provides you with cozy coats and gloves at the entrance, so the only thing you’ll have to worry about is which Vodka cocktail you’ll be ordering.
Rock N Horse Saloon
While the crowd at Rock N Horse Saloon is similar to one you find in a club, the vibe is a little more Dierks Bentley than it is Drake. Also, they have a mechanical bull, which basically gives you a chance to yell “Yeehaw” without being scrutinized.
Queen Street Warehouse
You’ve definitely heard of this place before, and I can promise you that the reputation holds up. Always fun. Always playing good music. And don’t even get me started on those sour key candy cocktails (spoiler alert: I only get them to eat the sour keys).
Bar+ Karaoke Lounge
If you’re dying to live out all of your new Mamma Mia 2 fantasies like I am, then this is the place to do it. At Bar+ Karaoke Lounge, you’re give the opportunity to do some Donna and the Dynamos training in one of their many private karaoke rooms.
Sky Yard at The Drake Hotel
Don’t be confused by the name of the hotel, because you’re more likely to hear Bob Marley than the repetitive club mix at this epic rooftop. Combined with imaginative cocktails and a relaxing island-esque atmosphere, the Sky Yard is the ultimate summer hangout spot.
The Rec Room
Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, The Rec Room has a way of balancing the best of childhood and adulthood: by combining arcade games and alcohol.
I know what you must be thinking - another country bar, really? But if you’re not into the rhythm of Luke Bryan’s “Move” by now, then the country rock vibe at Horseshoe Tavern is definitely going to be the thing that reels you in.
Track & Field Bar
Thankfully there’s no actual running included at this one, but there is some *sigh* general exercise. At Track and Field Bar, they have shuffleboards and bocce courts, along with the basic activity of kicking back a few beers.