Toronto’s best new patios

Toronto’s best new patios

More Patio News

The pandemic brewed up the perfect breeding ground for patios, ushering to life hundreds of new al fresco arrangements across the city. Now there’s a patio for everyone: the city is littered with everything from casual CaféTO streeteries and garden patios on castle grounds to fine-dining tents for the well-funded. All are excellent places to stay, sip and snack a day away. Here are just some of our favourite new patios. (And stay tuned as this list will continue to change and grow over the summer and into the fall.)

The Port Light Photo by Ebti Nabag
The Port Light

Shameful Tiki’s brand-new sibling spot is one of the better places to spend an afternoon. The Bloorcourt patio is filled with nautical and tropical tchotchkes and equipped with a full menu of boozy, beach-y drinks. Not ready to dine on a patio? Owner Alana Nogueda also serves tropical takeaway tipples out of the patio bar’s sidewalk-facing porthole.

Ryus Noodle Bar

This teensy, serene little patio off Broadview doles out heaping bowls of hot and cold ramen (plus 100-ounce towers of beer to wash it all down with). Keep an eye out for the plum ramen: Japanese-style dashi finished with bright refreshing plums and a hit of house salt—perfect for hot summer days.

 

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Grape Glass

While the Grape Witches’ excellent curations of natural, biodynamic and small-producer wines needs little introduction, may we point you towards the real star of their new back patio: a glorious, over-the-top water feature. Stop into the shop-slash-clubhouse-slash-patio for a glass and a snack while reclining in the shadow of a flowing fountain.

Toronto Beach Club Photo by Daniel Neuhaus
Toronto Beach Club

With chef Ted Corrado at the helm, Woodbine Beach’s sprawling new lakeside lounge specializes in hyper-fresh seafood and caviar. There’s a tower piled high with lobster, mussels, shrimp and other under-the-sea treats; creamy lobster linguine; and ice cream topped with caviar. Also: ice-cold cocktails. Did we mention it’s a stone’s throw from the beach?

 

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Happy Coffee & Wine

Happy Coffee is one part bottle shop, one part coffee house, one part luncheonette; acting as a destination for working, chatting and drinking from 9 a.m. on. Come for your morning email catch-up and cortado on the back patio, but don’t be surprised if you stay through lunch to nosh on shrimp burgers and sip on wine. Don’t forget to grab a few bottles to go on your way out.

 

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Gusto 501

This Corktown offshoot of King West’s popular Italian spot opened about a month before the city shut down (and then reopened and then shut down again and then reopened and then shut down again). This summer, the multi-level restaurant’s sweet little rooftop patio is finally getting its chance to shine. Go for the wood-fired pizza, cocktails and cool views of the Gardiner. And—in keeping with the Gusto tradition—there are $1-per-ounce pours of the house wine.

 

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Avling

Don’t expect standard brewpub fare from this east end brewery’s new permanent patio: vegetables are sourced from their own rooftop garden, charcuterie is butchered in house, and beer is consciously-crafted from local ingredients. All can be consumed on from the comforts of a picnic bench or Muskoka chair.

 

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The Fed

This stalwart brunch favourite at Dundas and Dufferin has turned their back alley (formerly home to their recycling bins and dumpsters) into a perfectly serviceable spot to dig into their perfect breakfast sandwiches, burritos and burgers.

Bar Pompette Photo by Renée Suen
Bar Pompette

Pompette’s new laid-back little sister has stay-all-day sensibilities, offering a rotating selection of wine, coffee and snacks on a quiet back patio off College. Expect caffeinated beverages in the morning, wine and cocktails later on, and food whenever appetite demands.

Patio YSC

Members of the Yonge and St. Clair BIA banded together to craft one big super patio, offering snacks and drinks from 11 bars and restaurants nearby. Set up camp on the colourful patio (a transformed parking lot) and use your phone to order pizza from Trattoria Capocaccia, tangy vindaloo from Ambiyan and spring rolls from Mr. Thai (or, all of the above). Live jazz is a bonus (or not, if jazz isn’t your jam).

 

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Tachi Patio Bar

We didn’t expect Tachi, the stand-up, quick-service counter at Assembly Chef’s Hall, to be a sleeper hit of Toronto street patios, but their unique brand of high-quality, high-speed omakase has translated well to our anything-goes patio mentality. Come for the ridiculously fresh sushi, stay for the pours of Hibiki Japanese Harmony whisky.

Photo by Renée Suen
Stock Bar

Midtown’s new Terroni-Cumbrae collaboration is bringing grocery shopping to a whole new level—literally and figuratively. The nuevo-Italian grocery store’s just-opened patio takes up three stories of the space—a street-front situation, plus two rooftop places to dig into pasta, spritzes and obscure Italian wines (the latter of which will help with those crosstown construction headaches).
 

 

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Camp Fet Zun

The spacious backyard space at Fet Zun has lived many lives. As an antique market, as a burger joint with bocce ball—it’s a de facto base for whatever Anthony Rose and Robert Wilder feel like dreaming up these days. This summer it’s Camp Fet Zun, where diners can dig into brisket, dip into labneh and slurp up halvah milkshakes.

Rendezviews Photo by Daniel Neuhaus
Rendezviews

The draws of Rendezviews—a larger-than-life, heavily-graffitied patio holding court in a former parking lot—are endless. There are soccer games on big screens, frequent bar takeovers by major beer brands, views of the CN Tower, plus bites peddled by Pai, Ballroom and SOS Pasta (but let’s be real—you’re here for Instagram).

Photo by Daniel Neuhaus
Vela

There’s a lot going on at this behemoth new King West bar-slash-restaurant: caviar sandwiches, cocktails by Robin Goodfellow, a 2,000-square-foot covered CaféTO patio. An undulating, LED-lit indoor space by Partisans is well worth a peek but for now, the sprawling patio is serving up said caviar sandwiches, a full slate of impressive wines, and many more dishes, including a full slate of wedge and chop salads.

The Dive Shop

For a vacation that requires no air travel (or multiple nose-invading Covid-19 tests), this new east-end beach bar fully adopts a toes-in-the-sand mentality. The ground is sand-covered, there are swings in lieu of bar stools, and plates like garlic shrimp, spring rolls, and jerk wings are doled out in generous portions.

Pepper’s Food and Drink

Consider Pepper’s the bodega of our dreams. The Wallace-Emerson spot is well-stocked with wine and Asian-Canadian snacks, plus there’s a hot counter stocked with steam buns and other casual meals served quickly. Order a six-piece fried chicken meal and curly fries, then snuggle into a patio picnic table for low-brow, high-flavour fun.

The Octopus Garden

The sprawling back patio of what was once the Cadillac Lounge is hardly recognizable, particularly because it’s gussied up with a massive fountain and draped in a sea of floral garlands. The food leans to standard bistro fare: grilled fish fillet, platters of pasta and oysters on the half shell.

Know of a great new patio—be it a permanent one or a temporary CaféTO set-up? Email us at food@torontolife.com.