Name: Better Half Bar/North of Brooklyn Contact: 663 Greenwood Ave., northofbrooklyn.com, @betterhalf.663 Neighbourhood: The Danforth Owners: Josh Spatz, Alex Potter Chef: Alex Potter Accessibility: Not fully accessible
North of Brooklyn has historically been a takeout-and-delivery-focussed pizzeria, barring a small number of seats in some of its locations, including inside Geary Avenue’s Greater Good Bar. But according to chef Alex Potter, the pizza is best when it’s hot out of the oven—what pizza isn’t?—so it was about time for a dedicated dine-in location.
The menu will be familiar to fans of the brand—it’s their classic, well-rounded selection of pizza toppings, including the popular kale and double-smoked bacon. The crust, too, is best known for its delightful crispness—it’s made with a poolish, which is a low-yeast, pre-ferment method that helps develop deeper flavour in the dough.
There’s craft beer from mostly local breweries, including east-end neighbours Left Field and Godspeed. A good mix of IPAs, lighter lagers and innovative local favourites—like Godspeed’s yuzu saison—makes for a comprehensive selection with broad appeal. If you’d prefer wine with your pizza, you’ll find low-intervention bottles here. Most were selected because they go well with pizza, which typically means lighter wine with the occasional touch of effervescence, like an excellent 2020 Bruno Zanasi lambrusco.
Family friendly by day and a rollicking good time by night, the two-floor space is all casual, convivial vibes with a few sports bar elements—namely a big TV dedicated to showing every Raptors and Leafs game (volume down, unless it’s the playoffs), and foosball, chess and checkers, and shuffleboard on the lower level. Vintage beer signs and red oak panelling give the place a warm, homey vibe; there’s lots of comfortable bench seating, and plenty of room to hang out at the bar. Fun fact: this location used to be a children’s art school. A few knick knacks from its history are sprinkled around the room, including a fun poster depicting the proper names for colours like “cadmium yellow” and “Prussian green.”
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