After surviving what seemed like an eternal winter (cue the Frozen ‘Let It Go’ jokes), we have seen those April showers that are finally giving way to sunny days. While you might be happy to be leaving the comfort of indoor heating, what I’m especially excited for is the beginning of patio weather! Be honest with yourself, when have you ever had a bad time under the sun with friends having a few drinks and fighting over the last nacho on your shareable group platter? I am also the type of person to order a group platter for one, but that’s a discussion for another time.
Since I am simply looking out for your best interests, I have compiled a list of 10 patios that you need in your life this summer. You
supply the friends; I’ll supply the tips.
DRAKE SKY YARD
1150 Queen St West (Age: 19-55)
Known as a top spot for social urbanites, the Drake Sky Yard has been a staple patio for over ten years in the Queen West area. Open year round, this rooftop paradise takes on new life during the summer months with marshmallow-roasting and to-die-for mojitos. Plus their brunch vibe and menu can compete with the best of them.
22 Cumberland Street (Age: 19+)
Yorkville plays host to several amazing patios, but The Pilot’s nonchalant laid-back attitude definitely won me over. Casual meets with friends can turn into hours of good conversation. The simple layout doesn’t feel pretentious, and the mix of stainless steel against the greenery under the retractable awning definitely creates a really unique atmosphere.
14 Madison Avenue (Age: 19-35)
Patio chairs and picnic tables line this amazing outdoor space filled to the brim with people every weekend. Known most notably for students looking to get a pint with pals, The Madison is great for Annex locals and graduate students looking to get away and take sometime for them- selves. Mondays you go for the relaxed vibe, but Friday’s are meant for heavy par- tying. Go at your own discretion!
10 Temperance Street (Age: 28-60)
The Financial District’s answer for what a patio venue should be. With beautiful décor and amazing views, The Chase is meant more for an upscale take on typical patio gatherings. Definitely geared towards a more mature audience looking to have expertly made entrées and premium liquors. If you got it, why not spend it?
124 Ossington Avenue (Age: 19-45)
Known as a brewpub, Bellwoods is what you expect a beer garden to be. Surround- ed by picket fences and furnished with simple picnic tables, it has a relaxed vibe that pairs well with the cheese boards and salumi platters available on the menu.
1164 Yonge Street (Age: All)
This family owned fixture offers some of the best globally mixed ‘diner’ inspired food in Toronto. Granted Rosedale offers an elevated look at what the typical diner menu might have. From Duck Confit to poutine, your options for food will definitely range. It’s a personal favourite for many media personalities, so keep an eye out for a casual drop in!
ELECTRIC MUD BBQ
5 Brock Avenue (Age: All)
Southern-styled BBQ and patio weather is a seriously deadly combination. This is where Electric Mud BBQ really shines with a street-facing patio that allows diners to kick back, relax and gorge on poboys, fried chicken and smokey side ribs. I’m getting hungry as I type this. Although the drink menu is limited to their specific concoctions, it’s definitely worth the visit.
398 Church Street (Age: 19+)
Located on Church, this sidewalk patio offers an easy going and relaxed way to enjoy their Asian fusion inspired menu. Plus I’ve been told that their sake mojito is quite the splurge; so take a walk (or shot) on the wild side. Their menu concept of ‘small plates, raucous staff, plenty of booze’ might not be for everyone, but it certainly grabbed my attention.
518 Church Street (Age: 19-40)
Sometimes the best places are the most unassuming, and O’Grady’s fits the bill perfectly. With domestic pints at $4 dur- ing the week (along with other well-priced drink specials), it’s an amazing spot to have a night out that will cost you less than $20. Plus the kitchen is open late for those ‘later than expected’ hunger cravings. Go and enjoy a pitcher (or two).
553 Church Street (Age: All)
Now it’s a universal principle that everyone loves brunch, and if someone says they don’t, they’re lying. Smith is both figuratively and literally a hidden gem. It’s side patio is cloistered and quaint, perfect for those early mornings to yourself and a few friends. Order a Caesar and embrace every- thing on the menu. I mean everything.