Tropical cocktails, mouthwatering eats and sun-drenched seating.
The sun's out and the patios are officially open! While you probably have your favourite bars and restaurants that you're already looking forward to visiting, there are also tons of hidden gems in the city that deserve some love this summer.
Toronto is home to some of the best restaurants in the country, and this summer is your chance to explore them. From Etobicoke to Scarborough, through the Islands to North York, let your taste buds take you on a tour of these BIPOC-owned restaurants.
You can also get the chance to win a whole year of patio dining from Destination Toronto, just by visiting patios across the city — from rooftops to sidewalk patios and even parking lots. To enter Destination Toronto's latest contest, simply take a photo while at the patio and share it on social media using the hashtag #PatioscapesTO.
The contest runs for six weeks, with each week having a special theme. From now until July 13, the theme is "First Timer". Destination Toronto wants you to find a patio to try that you've never been to before. If you're stuck for ideas, this list of seven great patio spots should give you a good head start.
So are you ready to enjoy some of the greatest patios Toronto has to offer? Just bring your bubble or your household and your appetite. As always, respect the restaurant's safety protocols that they have put in place and dine responsibly.
Address: 794 Dundas St.W., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: Patois is owned by Craig Wong, a third-generation Chinese-Jamaican chef. Craig is also the head chef at Patois where he's well known for his curries, doubles and Chinese noodles.
His most famous creation is his jerk chicken chow mein. Patois also serves wines, cocktails, spirits and beers.
Aunty Lucy's Burgers
Address: 296 Brunswick Ave., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: Located inside the Annex, Aunty Lucy's is a Toronto staple. Created by Chieff Bosompra, it started as a pop-up restaurant but quickly became a mainstay of downtown Toronto.
To keep up with current rules and regulations, they've created a patio with ample seating just outside the restaurant's entrance. As for what's on the menu here, you can expect delicious burgers, fried chicken, sandwiches and more.
Nunu’s Ethiopian Fusion
Address: 1178 Queen St. W., Toronto ON
Why You Need To Go: Nunu's Ethiopian Fusion has been on the block for 11 years. Great for those seeking a healthier option, the Nunu's menu features contemporary dishes inspired by cuisine from Ethiopia and Africa's northeast.
Think salads of mango, cilantro and shallot, misto platters and marinated beef. With a menu that's thoughtfully divided into "carnivore" and "herbivore", this restaurant has tasty options for everyone.
Address: 241 Niagara St., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: Set up inside an unassuming convenience store, UFO Restaurant is a hidden gem that'll keep you coming back for more. This family restaurant, owned and operated by the Nguyen family, boasts a massive menu full of breakfast and lunch specialties from eggs benedict and pancakes to pho and banh mi. Pair your meal with a fresh fruit smoothie or Vietnamese iced coffee and enjoy the sun on this relatively unknown patio near Trinity Bellwoods.
Snap a pic while you're there and share it on social media with the contest hashtag for your chance to win 52 weeks of free patio dining with Destination Toronto.
Address: 2790 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: Roux is a stylish spot with a great atmosphere where you can sit back, relax, enjoy delicious food and hang out with your friends. Owned by Chef Derrick Markland, this restaurant serves Creole-inspired dishes featuring ingredients like andouille sausage, catfish and oysters.
You can find contemporary French-American dishes on the menu at Roux, including cheesy grits and eggs, fried chicken and waffles, jambalaya, and gumbo. Roux also offers a cocktail menu featuring Southern classics like bourbon sweet tea and a refreshing mint julep.
Address: 1544 Queen St. W., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: With a commitment to authentic Tibetan and Himalayan food, Tibet Kitchen is a firm favourite with Toronto locals. The cozy Queen Street eatery is owned and run by Garab Lama who enthusiastically serves traditional dishes like momos (Tibetan dumplings), chilli chicken, and hand-pulled noodle soups.
Tibet Kitchen's charming backyard patio is a lush, leafy spot decorated with string lights. Tucked away from the street, the patio feels like a secret garden oasis where you can relax and enjoy some delicious food.
Address: 699 Danforth Ave., Toronto, ON
Why You Need To Go: If you're in the mood for Caribbean- and Cajun-style eats or tropical-style cocktails this summer, SugarKane's patio is where you want to be. The menu is full of goodies like jerk corn, saltfish cakes, Creole jambalaya and goat curry bowls.
There's also a dessert menu that includes the decadent Island Turon — a plantain and mango dessert held in a crispy shell and topped with rhum caramel and strawberries.
With these seven patios to visit, you'll never be stuck wondering where you should go for dinner again!
While you're out living up your best summer life, don't forget to enter Destination Toronto's summer contest for a chance to win 52 weeks of free patio dining (valued at $5,200) or one of five $100 gift certificates to dine at a Toronto restaurant. Full terms and conditions can be found on the contest website.
While these BIPOC-owned restaurants are all great places you should visit, you can enter the contest by visiting any patio in the city that's new to you. If you're not ready to dine in patios just yet, you can order takeout or delivery to continue to support Toronto's restaurants.