Where to eat and drink near the 2012 Grey Cup
With 52,000 rabid Argos and Stamps fans crowding the streets around the Rogers Centre on Sunday, you need a game plan for pre- and post-game eating and drinking. Sure, you can pack into Loose Moose or Lone Star Texas Grill, but there are other, better dining options within a 20-minute walk of the dome. Here, your 15 best bets.
• Real Sports Bar and Grill: It may be nestled in the heart of that other sports complex, but this 25,000-square-foot amphitheatre of game-watching excess, with its 199 HD flat screens, is only a 15-minute stroll away. Good luck getting in without a reservation. 15 York St., 416-815-7325.
• Le Sélect: Head to this long-running Wellington bistro for pre-game steak frites or duck confit. 432 Wellington St. W., 416-596-6405.
• O&B Canteen: Oliver and Bonacini’s ground-floor cafeteria in the TIFF Bell Lightbox is expert at getting diners in and out as quickly as possible. 330 King St. W., 647-288-4710.
• Marben: Even without Carl Heinrich, this rustic-’n’-local Wellington Street room still draws crowds for hearty, meaty meals. Probably the best burger within walking distance of the dome and a good place to get a drink. 488 Wellington St. W., 416-979-1990.
• Toca: Admittedly, football fans are unlikely to crave a fine dining take on Mediterranean sharing plates before the big game, but that doesn’t mean they can’t stop by the Ritz afterward. 181 Wellington St. W., 416-572-8008.
• Miller Tavern: Feel like a surprisingly swanky pre-game cocktail at a refreshingly unswanky price? Here you go. 31 Bay St., 416-366-5544.
• SpiritHouse: The cocktails at SpiritHouse are even swankier than those at Miller Tavern, but they’re also pricier. It’s likely a better fit for the suits in the boxes than the fans below. 487 Adelaide St. W., 647-277-1187.
• Bar Wellington: This straightforward pub is a welcome respite from the glossier King West clubs and resto-lounges that surround it. 520 Wellington St. W., 416-341-8880.
• Victor: Chef David Chrystian’s tapas-inspired menu is based on the cuisines of Toronto neighbourhoods—perfect preparation for an Argos win. 30 Mercer St., 416-883-3431.
• Paese: With its well-made Italian food, Paese normally caters to theatre-goers, but we see no reason why it shouldn’t be invaded by pre-Grey Cup hordes. 333 King St. W., 416-599-6585.
• Weslodge: Charles Khabouth’s new neo-saloon may be a tad shiny for most Argos and Stamps fans, but the taxidermied heads exude a suitably testosterone-jacked vibe. 480 King St. W., 416-274-8766.
• Jacobs and Co.: Steak! What better way to celebrate a rout of the Stamps than capping off the evening with a 32-ounce dry-aged Alberta prime rib-eye? That is, if the Argos haven’t taken over the whole restaurant already. 12 Brant St., 416-366-0200.
• The Fifth: More steak, with a side of lounginess. 225 Richmond St. W., 416-979-3005.
• The Ballroom: The place to go for post-game bowling and beers. No, really. 145 John St., 416-597-2695.
• Spin Toronto: Same as above, but for ping-pong. 461 King St. W., 416-599-7746.