How to get a taste of the tropics without leaving Toronto
Secret no. 1 to making the most of the city this chilly season
1 Vancouverite Rod Moore recently opened a Toronto location of his Shameful Tiki, an elaborate homage to the classic 1950s tiki bar, complete with retro float lights, taxidermied puffer fish, bamboo- and thatch-lined walls, tiki regalia (including life-size totems carved by Moore) and retro wall art. To drink: high-proof, high-intensity throwback cocktails like the pain killer, the zombie and the navy grog. It’s a trip to Polynesia via Parkdale. 1378 Queen St. W., no phone.
2 Miss Thing’s delightfully evokes a mod Honolulu hotel bar, with gramaphone light fixtures, midnight-blue tufted banquettes and Brylcreemed bartenders pouring modern twists on tiki classics. Mai tais are served in frosty copper cups shaped like pineapples, and the Tommy’s Colada, with Tromba Blanco tequila, lime-habanero syrup, pineapple juice and coconut milk, comes in a hollowed-out coconut shell. 1279 Queen St. W., 416-516-8677.
3 The Shore Leave was opened last fall by two friends, Julian Altrows and Zach Littlejohn, who previously worked together at the east side’s beer mecca, the Only Cafe. That explains the drinks menu, which is as devoted to local craft beer and cider (dispensed from tiki totem–shaped taps carved by Altrows), as it is to umbrella-festooned daiquiris and oversized bowls of rum punch. 1775B Danforth Ave., 647-477-8833.