In this day and age, the act of finding a date is as quick and senseless as swiping left and right. Dating apps often cause us to see people as profiles rather than as actual human beings. It seems silly to rely on an app over a friend (that you really trust) when it comes to your dating life.

On the other side of the coin - as the matchmaker, you only want the best for your friend. The venue you pick is therefore of critical importance. It needs to bring some element of intrigue to break the ice but also be laid back enough to allow the your friend to connect with his or her date. Here are 8 cool places to set up your friend on a blind date in Toronto:


Cocktail Bar // 923 Dundas St W

The Cocktail Bar is a cool and composed place that combines great cocktails with tasty bar snacks. The venue is intimate, but not so much that it's too overwhelming for a first date. The ambience is just right for a casual conversation and your friend is sure to appreciate the selection of cocktails (even if he or she ends up not appreciating your matchmaking choice). Check out their affordable menu here.


Signs // 558 Yonge St

Signs is a great restaurant to set up a friend who has a hard time breaking the ice with small talk alone. The restaurant is staffed by deaf individuals, so diners need to rely on sign language to order food (instructional guides are provided at each table). If anything, your friend may appreciate being able to see how his or her date behaves under odd circumstances. Signs Restaurant also has an awesome selection of wines and poutines that your friend can pick from.


3030 Dundas // 3030 Dundas St W

3030 Dundas has an amazing atmosphere for a blind date. It's more than just a restaurant - it's a hub for socializing and entertainment. The venue typically holds live music nights and has a cool art gallery, some pinball machines and a wide selection of craft beers on tap. Your friend won't have to worry about running out of things to talk about because there are so many things within 3030 Dundas that are conversation starters themselves.


Photo credfmattock

Foxley // 207 Ossington Ave

Foxley is a good choice for setting up a friends who are total foodies. The restaurant is owned by chef Tom Thai, who has worked at a variety of popular Toronto restaurants such as Tempo and Canoe. Foxley represents his own personal take on Asian cuisine; incorporating a variety of Latin food inspirations into his dishes. Whether the blind date goes well or not, your friend will still appreciate the tasty foods that Foxley has to offer.


O.Noir // 620 Church St

O.Noir is a perfect place to set up a friend who seriously prioritizes getting to know one's personality during a date. The restaurant's concept involves dining completely in the dark, so it would literally be a blind date. They have a delicious menu of main dishes and desserts, as well as a fully licensed bar. It can't be that bad; I mean, that's how Rachel McAdams got to know her date in About Time.


Photo Darren Calabrese

Bar Fancy // 1070 Queen St W

Bar Fancy is as laid back as it gets. Everything is rather minimal, from the decor to the furniture (fold-up chairs and metal bar stools give a real industrial feel). The bar also has a variety of beers, wines, and tasty finger foods that you can check out here. It's a perfect venue for friends on a budget!


The Well // 121 Lower Ossington Ave

The Well likes to call itself "your local watering hole", and that's a pretty good way to describe it. It's the perfect place to go to after work for easy drinks or sweet snacks. The venue also supplies board games, if alcohol isn't a strong enough ice-breaker. Check out their daily drink specials here.


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