The Comrade

This Riverside mainstay is a hole-in-the-wall in the best way possible. But for an illuminated red sign in the front window, you could walk past it for a decade without ever stepping foot inside—then one day wonder how you ever missed it. It’s the sort of place that’s always lively, but not too lively: there’s always a table or bar stool at the ready, and while it’s suitably dark—with mahogany accents and a pressed tin ceiling—it’s bright enough to read a while, snacking on house-made potato chips and slowly sipping a zippy white negroni or a Gift Horse, made with bitter bianco, vermouth, bourbon and chocolate bitters, from a heavy frozen tumbler. As Toronto’s neighbourhood bars become ever more upscale, the city could use a few more Comrades.

758 Queen St. E., 416-778-9449,