Toronto’s best new patios with great late-night menus
2A Kensington Ave., no phone, elreybar.com
At Grant van Gameren’s new Mexican hot spot in the market (pictured above), the main attraction is mescal—lots and lots of mescal—which comes in folksy clay copipas. Platters of spicy, salty snacks (morita-dusted popcorn, puffy house-made Fritos, a crunchy cricket-peanut mix) help soak up the hooch. The lantern-lit patio facing Kensington Avenue just about doubles the teeny bar’s capacity—and the people-watching is exceptional.
158 Cumberland St., 647-748-4464, barreyna.com
Yorkville’s new Mediterranean tapas bar has not one, but two decks. The back patio is prettier, with twinkly lights, potted plants and plans for a retractable roof. To eat: oysters and five variations of fully loaded fries, like Spanish shoestrings covered in manchego and chorizo. High-rollers might consider Her Royal Highness—a $30 cocktail made with vodka, rum, saffron, cardamom and rosewater. It comes in a copper, pineapple-shaped goblet, natch.
77 Adelaide St. W., 647-748-2025, cactusclubcafe.com
Bay Street’s all-season patio has a retractable roof, pillow-lined booths and a devoted crowd of suits brokering deals over DJ sets. The kitchen whips up Rob Feenie’s signature steak frites, flatbreads and fish tacos until 1 a.m. If networking is more important to you than noshing, the bloody caesar—capped off with a borettane onion, bocconcini, a vermouth-soaked olive and a Peruvian pepper—doubles as a drink and a light snack.
The One Eighty
55 Bloor St. W., 51st flr., 416-967-0000, the51stfloor.com
At the Manulife Centre, patiogoers take in the city’s skyline from 51 storeys up. Until 2 a.m., servers wheel around a bar cart—the restaurant’s take on dim sum—stocked with dishes like confit octopus with chorizo jam and Big Mac fondue with taro chips. Bonus: after 10 p.m., the food is half-price, and select cocktails, like the Saint (bourbon, Lillet Blanc, ginger syrup, lemon juice and a grapefruit garnish) are only $10.
Round the Horn
331 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-785-2123, @roundthehorn331
This Roncey sports bar has a sprawling, leafy back patio and an all–hot dog menu (okay, there’s popcorn, nachos and chili, too). We recommend the Mac Daddy, a mess of shredded lettuce, cheese, onions, pickles and secret sauce, with a pint of über-local draft like Left Field’s Sunlight Park saison. If it starts to rain, head inside where there’s an AC/DC pinball machine, a Super Nintendo console and a bunch of classic board games.