indicates open late
All restaurants or bars are licensed, take debit or credit cards and are open seven days a week unless otherwise indicated.
Downtown: The Core
25 York, at Bremner, 416-363-2742, ariaristorante.ca. Squeezed between Union Station and the ACC, this luxe Italian resto from the folks behind the long-running Noce on Queen West whips up casual mains like lobster 'n' shrimp club sandwiches and ravioli ai funghi in white truffle butter alongside a stage-left view of the giant Jumbotron come game and concert nights. Closed Sunday, some holidays.
155 King E, at Jarvis, 416-366-4040, biagioristorante.com. Old-school Italian trat and sculpture court tucked away behind historic St. Lawrence Hall. Closed Sunday, holidays.
58 The Esplanade, at Church, 416-862-7575, thebiermarkt.com. Belgian mussels and suds on a wall-to-wall patio strip close to St. Lawrence Market. Other patios: 600 King W, at Portland, 416-862-1175; 199 North Queen, at the Queensway, 416-862-7175; 7 O'Neill, at Don Mills, 416-862-7075.
188 University, at Adelaide W, 647-788-8888, shangri-la.com/toronto/shangrila/. High-end beanery with a streetside terrace just off the lobby of the swanky Shangri-La Hotel, where a continental breakfast goes for $22 and an Alberta prime beef dinner for $44.
66 Wellington W, at York, 416-777-1144, bymark.ca. Smack in the middle of the Toronto Dominion Centre, this swelegant patio in the heart of the financial district is home to owner and Top Chef judge Mark MacEwan's legendary Bymark burger. Thirty-five bucks gets you 8 ounces of grass-fed PEI ground beef on a house-baked bun dressed with pricy Brie de Meaux cheese and grilled porcini mushrooms, a tower of onion rings on the side. Closed Sunday.
Dineen Coffee Company
140 Yonge, at Yonge, 416-900-0949, dineencoffee.ca. Specialty java joint in a registered heritage building. Warning: bloggers with laptops. Unlicensed.
4 Temperance, at Yonge, 647-348-9146, fioredowntown.ca. Relatively inexpensive for the core - $20 mains instead of the usual $30 - this modish Italian eatery sports a small patio out front with a panoramic view of the skyline. From the ground, of course. Old-timers will recognize the joint as Breadspreads, the notorious bike courier boîte. Closed Sunday, some holidays.
111 Queen E, at Mutual, 416-863-6006, georgeonqueen.com. If you're looking for a romantic resto away from prying eyes, this gorgeous courtyard in a 19th-century warehouse complex fits the bill. Sure, you'll pay for the privilege. Chef Lorenzo Loseto's multi-course tasting menus start at $80, and that's meat-free. Closed Sunday, holidays.
Hard Rock Cafe
279 Yonge, at Yonge-Dundas Sq, 416-362-3636, hardrock.com/toronto. This hard-rockin' patio on futuristic Yonge-Dundas Square offers excellent optics for Cali skate-punks Social Distortion and Outkast rapper Big Boi's upcoming free NXNE concerts.
Hot House Cafe
35 Church, at Wellington, 416-366-7800, hothousecafe.com. Expect long lineups for Sunday's all-you-can-eat $19.95 brunch accompanied by live jazz. Reservations accepted only by phone.
10 Dundas E, at Yonge, 416-263-9800, jackastors.com. Rootin', tootin' roadhouse at the top of the AMC overlooking Yonge-Dundas Square. Other patios: 133 John St, at Nelson, 416-595-9100; 144 Front W, at University, 416-585-2121; 73 Front E, at Church, 416-603-8509.
111 King E, at Church, 416-366-8191, lamaquette.com. A favourite with wedding parties, this elegantly appointed space faces not just the Sculpture Garden but St. James Cathedral as well Closed Sunday.
20 Victoria, at King, 416-868-6748, metropolitanrestaurant.ca. Casual Cal-Ital pizza and pasta in a secret sculpture court surrounded by office towers. Closed Saturday, Sunday, holidays.
31 Bay, at Harbour, 416-366-5544, themiller.ca. Spinoff of the venerable and way-pricey Hogg's Hollow pub on the first floor of the Pinnacle condo tower. Good thing you can get a half-price cocktail alongside your $23 pad thai for an hour any time after the Leafs, the Jays, the Rock or the Raptors win a game. Other patio: 3885 Yonge, at Mill, 416-322-5544.
O&B Cafe Grill
33 Yonge, at Front, 647-260-2070, oliverbonacini.com/ourrestaurants/obcafegrill.aspx. Fancy garden terrace in the former Shopsy's across from the Sony Centre and the Hockey Hall of Fame.
192 Adelaide W, at Simcoe, 416-599-7646, sohohousetoronto.com. Hard to believe that this extremely exclusive members-only club with branches in London and New York City was once the divey Pretzel Bell. As well as a small, curbside celebrity smoking zone, there's now a rooftop terrace complete with outdoor fireplace. Not that they'll let you in, of course.
10 Dundas E, at Yonge, 416-596-6866, springsushi.com. Glitzy Vegas-style all-you-can-eat sushi from $15.99 per person at the top of the AMC overlooking the main drag. Cool fact: you order your food by iPads installed at every table.
325 Bay, at Adelaide, 416-637-5550, stockrestaurant.com. High above the financial district, Stock's ultra-exclusive 24-seat patio on the 31st floor of the Trump International isn't one of our regular haunts. In fact, on our way through the lobby full of American tourists, we were sure we'd be tackled by security before we made it to the elevator. But, up in the clouds, the welcome is warm, especially if you have the bucks needed for chef Todd Clarmo's $35 signature seared scallops with guanciale or the $49 Sunday brunch buffet. At those prices, a $9 domestic beer at sunset looking south to the old Commerce Court seems like a bargain.
57 Adelaide E, at Toronto, 416-203-3093, terroni.ca. They won't put cheese on your seafood spaghetti and they won't cut your pizza, though they'll give you a knife and fork. But the shady garden terrace in a sculpture court behind the old courthouse - the scene of Hogtown's last hanging - makes the contrariness seem almost charming. Other patios: 720 Queen W, at Claremont, 416-504-0320; 1095 Yonge, at Birch, 416-925-4020. Also: 720 Queen W, at Claremont, 416-504-0320. Closed Sunday.
38 the Esplanade, at Scott, 416-364-3764, tiltedkilt.com. Call this Vegas-based franchise Hooters without the owls. Where else can you get Irish nachos and "Big Arse" burgers served by buxom wenches in tartan mini-kilts and matching halter tops?
100 King West, at Adelaide, 416-214-2252, verticalrestaurant.ca. Now that First Canadian Place's lengthy renovation is complete, this Bay Street fave is no longer shrouded in scaffolding and you don't have to worry about getting conked on the head by a falling slab of marble cladding while chowing down on chef Giacomo Pasquini's $90 32-ounce USDA dry-aged rib-eye for two. Closed Saturday and Sunday.
60 Wellington E, at Church, 416-594-9675, worksburger.com. Ottawa-based gourmet burger chain takes it to the rooftop across from the Flatiron Building. Other patio: 888 Danforth, at Dewhurst, 647-748-4455.
Downtown: King West
391 King W, at Charlotte, 647-352-7476, barhopbar.com. If the name didn't give it away, this cozy suds slinger stocks a rotating roster of 36 craft beers and two selected casks on tap as well as more than 100 bottles and cans. Featured $5 pints Sundays, 2 pounds of steamed mussels with frites for $9.95 Mondays, and buck-a-shuck oysters on Tuesdays.
520 Wellington West, at Portland, 416-341-8880, barwellington.ca. This three-storey downtown outpost sits opposite historic Victoria Memorial Park. Other patio: Bedford Academy (36 Prince Arthur, at Avenue Rd, 416-921-4600).
461 King W, at Spadina, 416-598-4730, brassaii.com. Located in the same brick-lined courtyard as Crush Wine Bar, this sequestered terrace offers an al fresco alternative to noisier neighbouring clubs. Except weekends, of course.
604 King W, at Portland, 416-865-1600, buca.ca. Always busy Italian trat popular with the Bay Street crowd hidden down an obscure alleyway across from Susur's. Reservations essential, attitude on the house. Closed some holidays.
456 Wellington W, at Spadina, 416-260-9393, clounge.ca. Who needs a trip to South Beach when you can commandeer a cabana next to the reflecting pool at this spa-inspired bar from the Liberty Group for a fraction of the price? Closed Sunday, Tuesday to Thursday.
291 King W, at John, 416-506-8886, dazzlingrestaurant.com. Pricey pan-Asian supper club with two rear decks, both with postcard views of the Space Needle.
101 Portland, at Adelaide W, 416-504-9669, gusto101.com. Now into its second patio season, Janet Zuccarini's "it spot" shows no signs of losing its legendary lineups, especially now that the huge rooftop deck is completely glassed in and sports a year-round retractable roof. Best way to ensure no waiting: make a reservation for groups up to 13 for noon or 6 pm, the only times they take 'em.
601 King W, at Portland, 416-504-7867, susur.com. Hogtown sometimes takes Susur Lee's culinary genius for granted. If he's not gallivanting off to his resto in Singapore, he's popping up on some American food TV show. But while the carte here is more accessible than in the past, it's never been tastier. Or better value. Closed Sunday, holidays.
350 King W, at John, 647-288-4715, oliverbonacini.com. Large wooden deck on the second floor of the Lightbox with an iconic CN Tower view and ex-Auberge du Pommier chef Jason Bangerter's upscale weekend brunch.
480 King W, at Brant, 416-367-0505, patriatoronto.com. Charles Khabouth and fine dining are words you rarely see in the same sentence. Until this terrific Spanish tapas bar launched last fall, that is. Don't do crowds? Relax on the secluded first-floor terrace in relative privacy. Best al fresco brunch in town? Closed some holidays.
Roof Bar @ the Thompson Hotel
550 Wellington W, at Bathurst, 416-640-7778, thompsonhotels.com. Though entrance is restricted to guests of the hotel and condo residents, if you haven't yet found a way to get on the guest list for the spectacular rooftop deck, you aren't trying hard enough.
550 Wellington W, at Portland, 416-601-3590, scottconant.com/restaurants/scarpetta/toronto. Linger over superstar chef Scott Conant's signature $24 spaghetti starter at one long white communal table in a super-chic gazebo surrounded by a reflecting pool. Who said food of this calibre comes cheap? Closed Sunday.
432 Wellington W, at Spadina, 416-596-6405, leselect.com. This relocated Parisian bistro just off the King West strip features a solid franco card on a classy terrace up front and a second private garden deck out back. Better yet, 4-ounce steak frites dinners with soup du jour or crème brûlée still go for only $19.95.
499 King W, at Brant, 416-849-1808, spiceroute.ca. Once a Toyota dealership, this ginormous space has been transformed into what's best described as Ali Baba Goes to Vegas. Think velour, waterfalls and a 150-seat deck with koi pond. New this season: dollar dim sum every Thursday night! Closed Monday, some holidays.
99 Blue Jays Way, at Mercer, 416-348-0099, gretzkys.com. The Great One returns to the great outdoors on a hockey-obsessed rooftop deck shaded by palm trees in the heart of the theatre district.
667 King W, at Bathurst, 416-504-9912. Opened in 1849, the Sheaf is not only Toronto's oldest bar, but one of Hogtown's longest-running patios, too. Last stop before the CNE!
225 Richmond W, at Duncan, 416-979-3005, thefifthgrill.com. Accessed from a back-alley freight elevator, this heated and tented French country deck is an oasis of clubland civility for those who can afford it. If it's good enough for Mickey Rourke, it's okay in our books. Closed Sunday to Wednesday.
137 Peter, at Richmond, 416-477-1474, ohso.ca. We've lost count of how many times this medium-sized bottle-service club has changed hands. These days, the dress code forbids running shoes, sunglasses after dark, ripped and/or baggy jeans and hats of every description. Guess that leaves us out then. Closed Sunday to Wednesday.
270 Adelaide W, at John, 416-408-3666, parlour270.com. Formerly Up and Down, this tiny fenced-in backyard lounge is conveniently located round the back down the alley next to the firehall. Closed Monday to Wednesday.
Pure @ Aria
106 Peter, at Adelaide W, 647-228-2434, ariacomplex.com. Humongous rooftop retreat atop a multi-storied Jersey Shore-style bottle-service club with three raised VIP sections and two cocktail bars. Snooki and the Sitch would approve. Closed Sunday to Thursday.
Downtown: Queen West
298 Queen W, at Soho, 416-593-2766. After more than 160 years, this former bikers' bar is still the most sought-after parking spot on the Queen West strip. Why, show up on any balmy day after noon and you're bound to wait a good 45 minutes for a prime table on the 200-plus-seat patio. Worth it for the passing eye candy alone.
Bovine Sex Club
542 Queen W, at Bathurst, 416-504-4239, bovinesexclub.com. If the tiki-tastic patio on the roof of the Bovine looks familiar, that's exactly what owner Darryl Fine intended. "I spent most of the 80s on the Bamboo's patio," says Fine. "I miss it a lot." In tribute, he's created an 80-seat retreat suspended over the hard-rockin' nightery. Alongside the inevitable thatch-roofed cocktail bar, find a veritable jungle of tropical plants and enough kitschy knick-knacks to stock a junk shop. Just don't come expecting Motörhead or AC/DC. He'll likely be spinning exotica like Les Baxter and Martin Denny instead. "I like to think of lounge music as 50s beatnik rock 'n' roll."
408 Queen W, at Cameron, 416-703-0811, thecameron.com. Though it may have one of the smallest patios in town, the grand ol' art bar hosts a two-day block party with beer and live bands come this year's NXNE.
314 Queen W, at Peter, 416-263-0330, cubetoronto.com. Charles Khabouth transforms Ultra into a 60s- and 70s-inspired lounge with regular sets by big-name DJs on the roof of the old Bamboo. Seven nights a week starting May 30.
370 Queen W, at Spadina, 416-598-4753, horseshoetavern.com. The late Stompin' Tom's former stomping grounds on wild Queen West. Some band named the Rolling Stones once played here, too.
373 Queen W, at Peter, 416-593-0917, peterpanbistro.wordpress.com. Art deco diner renowned for its budget-friendly $8.95 lunch/$13.95 dinner pasta specials. Trivia: superstar chef Susur Lee started out here flipping burgers back in the early 80s.
208 Queen W, at Duncan, 416-598-4719, queenmothercafe.ca. With its overgrown trellis overhead and brickwork underfoot, it's little wonder this sheltered backyard terrace has been one of downtown's definitive outdoor dining destinations for more than 30 years. An eclectic veggie-friendly menu that appeals to almost all tastes could be a factor, too.
194 Queen W, at St. Patrick, 416-598-2475, therex.ca. Jazz seven nights - and days! - a week just down from the Four Seasons opera house. An unusually good burger, too.
332 Queen W, at Spadina, 416-596-1908, rivoli.ca. Long-running music-club-cum-pool-hall plates up creditable pan-global grub on a patio made for people-watching. Music trivia: Toronto's own Leslie Feist used to wait tables here back in the day.
Downtown: Kensington Market
184 Augusta, at Denison Square, 416-591-1245, amadeusdining.com. This treasured awning-covered Kensington haven across from the constant love-in taking place in the park across the road pairs pitchers of sangria with grilled Portuguese-style sardines and lupini beans. A Market classic.
356 College, at Brunswick, 416-500-3852, caplansky.com. Old-school smoked meat sandwiches, all-day bagel 'n' lox breakfasts and Ontario microwbrews at the top of the Market. New this season: maple-beef-bacon donuts!
60 Kensington, at Baldwin, 416-546-4536. Cold Tea is so much fun, it should be illegal. And it probably was, since we doubt the Toronto the Good of even five years ago would allow an indoor/outdoor bar in an inner city courtyard surrounded by boarded-up tenements and a chain-link fence. DJs drop retro Afro-Cuban beats while a capacity crowd of 94 in skinny jeans and loafers pound back tallboys of Rolling Rock and Steigl. Sometimes a celebrity chef like Steve Gonzalez rolls by and fires up the barbecue for some beef-heart anticuchos. It's like the best backyard house party you've never been to. No wonder there's almost always a lineup when they open at 5 pm - and now 2 pm Friday to Sunday.
Free Times Cafe
320 College, at Robert, 416-967-1078, freetimescafe.com. Offbeat café close to U of T with renowned $19.95 all-you-can-eat - and eat and eat - Jewish brunch buffet every Sunday from 10:30 am. Live klezmer music, too!
159 Augusta, at Dundas W, 647-748-3233, thehandlebar.ca. Bike-themed bar with DJs, live bands and comedy nights from the folks behind the now-defunct Avro. Indie jukebox, too. Closed Sunday, some holidays.
Hot Box Puff Lounge
204 Augusta, at Baldwin, 647-308-7845, hotbox420lounge.com. Subtitled "vapor lounge and potio," Toronto's only pot-positive patio is now located around the corner from its original Baldwin Street digs. Show up Saturday (May 18) for their 10th-anniversary party! Unlicensed.
245 Augusta, at Baldwin, 416-977-0056, jumboempanadas.com. A Chilean take-away in Kensington Market specializing in Latin turnovers, with one of Toronto's few smoke-free patios. Closed holidays.
61 Bellevue, at Nassau, 416-597-6912. Inexpensive all-day breakfasts sided with all-day sun in the former Bellevue Diner. Other patio: 1070 Bathurst, at Olive, 416-516-6495 Also: 1070 Bathurst, at Olive, 416-516-6495.
12 Kensington, at Dundas W, 416-599-2551. Budget-minded Asian Caribbean food and drink on Kensington Market's vintage fashion row. Trivia: once home to the legendary Tiger's.
Le Ti Colibri
291 Augusta, at Oxford, 416-925-2223. Health-conscious Caribbean sandwiches, salads and sweets in a hidden backyard grotto replete with a little grass shack. Watch for weekend brunch to kick in June 1. Closed Monday, holidays. Unlicensed.
235 Augusta, at Baldwin, 416-593-9717. At the crossroads of Kensington, this none-more indie coffee shop ain't going anywhere despite the wishes of a certain real estate speculator. Not only is it not closing, but it'll soon to be open seven days a week! Unlicensed.
Ronnie's Local 069
69 Nassau, at Augusta, 416-340-1110. The continuing popularity of this rather bleak Kensington watering hole may mystify those who can't tell a Broken Social Scene from a New Pornographer. Why, even rock star chef Anthony Bourdain swilled a pint here!
Silver Dollar Room
486 Spadina, at College, 416-975-0909, silverdollarroom.com. Rockin' showroom in the old Waverly Hotel.
431 College, at Bathurst, 416-603-3090, sneaky-dees.com. Late-night King's Crown Nachos on two 24-hour streetcar lines every Friday and Saturday till 4:30 am.
60 Cecil, at Spadina, 416-834-8304. Bike got a flat? If you've got an inner tube, this cycle-centric coffee house set in a coach house across from Grossman's will lend you the tools to fix it.
268 Augusta, at College, 416-840-0501, supermarkettoronto.com. Surprisingly large dance 'n' DJ club with a wallet-friendly pan-global pub-grub carte from ex-Lava chef Manh Nguyen.
Thirsty and Miserable
197 Baldwin, at Augusta, 647-607-0134, thirstyandmiserable.ca. Reborn Market watering hole with a tiny sidewalk deck in the former home of Planet Kensington (aka the Greeks). Feeling peckish? Order a previously frozen Swanson TV Dinner! Closed Monday, some holidays. Cash only.
276 Augusta, at College, 416-961-7373, toritorestaurant.com. Protected from the late-day rays by a billowing tent, the backyard deck of this lauded tapas bar invites comparisons to Spain's Costa del Sol. Sangria, anyone? Closed Monday, some holidays.
Wanda's Pie in the Sky
287 Augusta, at Oxford, 416-236-7585, wandaspieinthesky.com. As the name suggests, find fabulous pies and sundry baked goods alongside other vegetarian dishes on one of the Market's best people-watching corners. Back by popular demand: watermelon slushies and soft blueberry 'n' lavender ice cream. Closed some holidays. Unlicensed.
Downtown: Baldwin Village
30 Baldwin, at Henry, 416-977-1287, bodegarestaurant.com. Long-running French bistro in Baldwin Village with vine-wrapped terrace and both lunch and dinner prix fixes.
John's Italian Caffe
27 Baldwin, at McCaul, 416-596-8848, johnsitaliancaffe.com. This atmospheric terrace in Baldwin Village certainly looks the part. Shame its pricey pizzas rarely rise above perfunctory. Best bet: stick to a glass of wine.
39 Baldwin, at Henry, 416-596-2832, mataharigrill.com. Unusually stylish Malaysian bistro with a few Singaporean options like vegetarian Char Kway Teow and Curry Laksa. Closed Sunday, holidays.
3 Baldwin, at McCaul, 416-551-6362. This recent Leaside transplant fuses Old World authenticity and up-to-the-minute technique. When in doubt, say "omakase." Closed Sunday, some holidays.
240 King E, at Princess, 416-368-1300, bettysonking.com. Twenty-nine beers on tap plus an extremely large menu of multiculti pub grub in a shady backyard setting close to George Brown. Kids' menu and weekend brunch, too.
500 Queen E, at Sumach, 416-368-6893, dominiononqueen.com. Historic tavern features live jazz and blues most nights as well as ukulele jams Wednesdays, the Ronnie Hayward Trio every Saturday afternoon and rockabilly brunches Sundays from 11 am.
Pacific Junction Hotel
234 King E, at Sherbourne, 416-508-3466, pacificjunctionhotel.com. Island-themed resto-bar with private backyard deck from the gang behind Betty's next door. Closed Sunday, holidays.
555 Dundas E, at Sumach, 647-748-0555, paintboxbistro.ca. Surprisingly stylish terrace on the first floor of a condo tower in revitalized Regent Park.
Downtown: Distillery District
1 Trinity, at Gristmill Lane, 416-207-1709, balzacscoffee.com. Fair Ttrade organic coffee and snacks in jaw-droppingly gorgeous 19th-century warehouse digs outfitted with a chandelier worthy of The Phantom Of The Opera. Also: 43 Hanna, East Liberty, 416-534-7372. Unlicensed.
21 Tank House, at Trinity, 416-681-0338, millstreetbrewpub.ca. Famed for its organic lagers, the Mill Street Brew Pub resurfaces bigger than ever with a gastro-pub menu created by Top Chef Canada vet Elizabeth Rivasplata.
Greg's Ice Cream
32 Gristmill Lane, at Parliament, 416-961-4734. Greg Mahon's insanely popular Annex parlour finds a second home on the cobbles. Don't miss his signature roasted marshmallow ice cream! Other patio: 750 Spadina, at Bloor, 416-962-4734. Unlicensed.
17 Tankhouse, at Trinity, 416-361-5859, purespirits.ca. Converted warehouse with terrace where $17 gets you all the mussels you could possibly eat every Monday.