Toronto’s best new patios 2017

The 10 finest sunny spaces to grace our restaurant and bar scene since last year


Patio season is finally in full swing, and while we’re sure you’ve already got a fave hangout for sipping and snacking al fresco, why not try something new? We’ve scouted out some of the most notable spaces that opened over the past year – plus 10 tucked-away patios that deserve a second look. Get there before everyone else does!

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    Untitled Session4247.jpg

    Photographer: Samuel Engelking

    Bar Reyna

    158 Cumberland, Toronto, Ontario

    Nicki Laborie’s queenly Bar Reyna may have finally dethroned Hemingways and Sassafraz as Yorkville’s outdoor hangouts of choice. A tiny patio out front is perfect for people-watching, but the real star is the enclosed backyard space, where mod planters and tile motifs decorate the walls and cushy pillows line wooden benches. Even better, there’s a retractable roof, so you can nosh on your mezzes and sip a Her Royal Highness (the $30, four-ounce ne plus ultra of girly drinks) unmoved by Mother Nature’s whims. NM

  • 2

    District Eatery

    303 King West, Toronto, Ontario

    A party atmosphere without all the party bloat: that’s what seems to be the raison d’être behind District Eatery, a new spot aiming to lure locals to King West’s touristy restaurant row. The menu serves light but fun fare like melon-prosciutto salads, naan “nachos” and smoked fish charcuterie, while the booze list’s refreshing house-steeped “power teas” are the stuff of your day-drinking dreams. Speaking of day-drinking, the super-sunny 55-seat rooftop deck is tucked far away from prying eyes who might spy you playing hooky from your desk. NM

  • 3

    Madame Boeuf and Flea

    252 Dupont, Toronto, Ontario

    Getting a little messy is applauded at Bar Begonia’s backyard burger pit and patio, which satisfies even the deepest Peter Pan complexes with ice cream floats and mounds of cheesy fries in plastic chip-truck baskets. Plastered with band posters and set with tables topped with checkerboards, it feels a bit like a community picnic reimagined by a high-schooler. But Madame Boeuf is decidedly an adult space, where frozé and draft Dark N’ Stormies flow freely as things get heated over at the bocce court (which also transforms into a bean bag toss). Add shopping to the list of activities, thanks to the flea market held on the last Saturday of every month. SP

  • 4

    Birreria Volo

    612 College, Toronto, Ontario

    This condensed showcase for cutting-edge beers is hidden in plain sight, and those in the know might spend a whole night savouring fruit-spiked sour ales at the bar without realizing there’s a patio out back. But it’s there, past the washrooms and cellar and tucked around the corner: a tidy strip, dotted with plants and art, where hardcore beer lovers bend and brush elbows over lambic and Basque sidra. SP

  • 5

    Glad Day Bookshop

    499 Church, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1Z3

    What could possibly make Toronto’s only LGBTQ bookstore, bar, restaurant, café and event venue any awesomer? A patio for a backyard kiki, naturally. Good thing they inherited the tiny, cozy backyard space from former tenant Byzantium (head right through the back of the shop and out the unmarked rear door to find it). Depending on numbers, your Pride party crew might have a rough time squeezing into the wooden booths – but nothing beats having your own private clubhouse away from the hubbub of Church Street. NM

  • 6

    Barrio Cerveceria

    884 Queen E, Toronto, Ontario

    In Toronto, a city that big-ups mediocre tacos, Mexican-ish restaurants can stand out with a little (or a lot of) extra pizzazz. Barrio Cerveceria’s special sparkle is not one, but two generous outdoor spaces that shoulder much of the restaurant’s capacity. Hit the sunny park-side patio for a few rounds of afternoon cervezas or get cozy while drinking your way through about 20 different riffs on the margarita under tiny, twinkling lights in the loud and splashy courtyard that accommodates 120. SP

  • 7

    Cherry Street Bar-B-Que

    275 Cherry, Toronto, Ontario M5A 3L3

    The wide-open space that drew pitmaster Lawrence La Pianta to the Port Lands also means his BBQ roadhouse has one heckuva back deck. The ample elbow room, killer views of downtown and drool-inducing menu of smoked, meaty eats (get the brisket) would be enough to lure us down, but La Pianta and co. decided to beef things up (pun absolutely intended) by transforming a shipping container into an outdoor bar, bringing in bands and DJs and offering a surprisingly sophisticated slate of cocktails. NM

  • 8

    Macho Radio Bar

    92 Fort York, Toronto, Ontario

    Folks don’t tend to go out of their way to hang in CityPlace, but this Mexican snack joint’s big, bombastic, fiesta-ready deck might be enough to sway us down to condo town. The hundred-seat front patio is a stunner, with big bands of colour slicing across the covered patio’s canopy and trees popping up through the floor. Not moved by aesthetics? They’ve also got drink specials for every conceivable occasion: $5 margaritas on Monday, $5 beers on Jays home game days, bottomless mimosas at brunch.  NM

  • 9

    Rorschach Brewing Company

    1001 Eastern, Toronto, Ontario

    Brand new Rorschach’s 90-seat patio hugs a stately old farmhouse (formerly Le Papillon) overlooking Woodbine Park. A natural canopy overhead lends a secret jungle vibe, while a partial roof will let you taste 16 house-brewed beers from the rooftop bar without incurring a gnarly sunburn. Keep an eye out for weekend barbecues, where rotating grilled delights are paired with some of Rorschach’s signature “Parkhouse” ales. SP

  • 10

    Nando’s

    741 Queen West, Toronto, Ontario

    Nando’s, which originated in South Africa in the late 80s, now peddles its Portuguese-style chicken, flame-licked and feverish with peri-peri, across the globe. There may be outposts in Fiji and Qatar, but the true marker of Nando’s cosmopolitanism is its primo patio real estate on Queen West. Fringed with fancy grasses (the better to spy on randoms ambling to and from Trinity Bellwoods), the front patio is sheltered enough for diners to go unselfconsciously savage on chicken parts and central enough for weekly lunch dates. Our one major gripe – where’s the vinho verde at? SP

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