Toronto’s best new patios 2019

10 hot new places to grab snacks, down drinks and bask in that long-awaited sunshine


Paradise Grapevine

Paradise (formerly lovably greasy Greek diner Menalon) splashed onto Toronto’s snowballing wine scene late last summer, becoming a Bloorcourt classic once again. After an interminable winter, we’re delighted to be back on our favourite BS gulping weird treats under the majestic grape arbour that transforms the back patio into a secret wine garden. If all tables are claimed, sidle up to an overturned barrel and post up among the vines till late with a pal and a bottle of pét-nat – a grandfathered licence means the wine at Paradise flows till 2 am. SP

Read more: Inside Paradise Grapevine, a chill beer and wine bar

841 Bloor West, at Shaw, 416-536-7178, paradisegrapevine.com

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Baro

The rooftop patio at Steve Gonzalez’s three-floor temple of Latin American food has been in the works since opening day in 2016. Finally, the retractable roof is up, the rafters are dotted with greenery and the chefs are working the wood-burning parrilla. True to the different concepts scattered throughout the building, Baro’s patio features its own menu that capitalizes on the rooftop grill, including smoky wings, cedar-plank salmon and fire-roasted eggplant. Count on this to be a go-to perch for the King West crowd. NM

485 King West, at Portland, 416-363-8388, barotoronto.com

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Aviary

Located in a strip of restaurants quickly becoming an alternative to the touristy sheen of the Distillery, this sister sports bar to the Dock Ellis offers plenty of patio real estate, with a whopping 130 seats. Even more exciting is the prospect of fresh pours from Longslice Brewery, which produces a slew of brews (including Hopsta La Vista, Slam Dunkel, Loose Lips Lager and more) right on the premises – perfect for washing down fancy pub eats like house sausages with sauerkraut and smash burgers served on a potato roll. NM

484A Front East, at Tannery, 647-352-7837, aviarybrewpub.com

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Viaggio

This cute little Dundas West Italian joint from former Commodore owner Jon Vettraino has flown under the radar since opening over the winter – but if you haven’t checked it out yet, now’s the time. Viaggio’s sizeable side patio has atmosphere to spare, with plenty of string lights, greenery, a colourful mural and bistro chairs. If that somehow ain’t enough to draw you in, they just installed a 2.5-tonne pizza oven right on the patio for leisurely dinners al fresco. Aperol Spritz weather beckons. NM

1727 Dundas West, at Lansdowne, 416-519-8165, viaggiorestaurant.ca

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Clay

Move over, Museum Tavern rooftop: there’s a new place to drink high above Yorkville. The Gardiner Museum recruited the Food Dudes to handle the revamp of its restaurant, and the result is an airy, modern cafe and lunch spot with a light, seasonal menu by chef Bianca Azupardo and a wraparound balcony with a bird’s eye view of Queen’s Park. Note that Clay is only open for breakfast and lunch – perfect for a time-out from museum-hopping or an extended midday break. NM

111 Queen’s Park, at Bloor, 416-586-8086, clay.restaurant

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Alobar Yorkville

It’s official – Yorkville is good again. Celebrate by slapping on your finest knock-off shades and grabbing a snack on Alobar’s trim patio, which opened in front of Patrick Kriss’s stunning bar (a sister spot to Alo and Aloette) last September. The expertly mixed cocktails that float out to shaded tables from the bar mark the sharpest possible departure from the abysmal sangria of Yorkville circa 2010. For that, we are all deeply grateful. SP

Read more: Inside Alobar Yorkville, a sister spot to Alo

162 Cumberland at Avenue, 416-961-1222, alobaryorkville.com

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Coffee Oysters Champagne 

It doesn’t get much grander than Champagne en plein air, and even if said air’s from King Street rather than the French countryside, no number of trundling streetcars can keep you from slipping into a bubbles-and-bivalves-induced reverie. And there’s a glut of bubbs to be had on this pretty, new patio, outfitted with marble tabletops and woven white bistro seats – COC boasts one of the most expansive Champagne lists in the city and pours nearly 20 sparkling wines by the glass alone, from $10 Prosecco to wallet-denting vintage Dom Pérignon rosé ($88 for 5 oz). Santé to the happiest hour. SP

214 King West, at Simcoe, 416-408-4044, sipshucksip.com

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Score on King

You gotta have a gimmick to make it in this business, and this sports bar, a recent Vancouver transplant known to its hometown crowd as Score On Davie, has its down pat: massive Caesar cocktails topped with entire cheeseburgers, or grilled cheese sandwiches, or wings, or nacho bowls, or deep-fried Cornish game hen (no, that last one isn’t a joke). But the location, formerly Copetin, also comes with a handsome side patio that recently got an all-black makeover complete with cozy bench seating. It’s perfect for kicking back and enjoying a leisurely beverage, and the meal that’s served on top of it. NM

107 King East, at Church, 416-519-4654, scoreonking.com


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Walrus Beer Hall

While the Walrus’s sprawling patio, hidden in the heart of the Financial District, might not offer as much reset potential as somewhere more isolated, it’s definitely a great spot to observe suited-up creatures get loose in their nocturnal habitat. This 144-capacity beast opened last July, so while it may not be brand new this season, it’s heckin’ nice and the Walrus team knows how to mix a fine drink – the bar was just nominated as best high-volume cocktail joint by drinks authority Tales of the Cocktail. SP

187 Bay at Wellington, 416-363-7261, donnellygroup.ca/walrus

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Bar Noce

After two decades of quietly, deliciously doing its thing on Queen West, Noce recently freshened up its space, treating Toronto to an extended sunshiny patio in the process. Right across the street from Toronto’s most packed de facto patio, Trinity Bellwoods, Italian treats await further outdoor consumption. Sip through a list of signature Negronis (try the “Aztec” iteration, made with mezcal, Campari and vermouth di Torino, $15), order a plate of fritto di mare (it comes with smoked tartar sauce, by the way, $22) and sink right into the dolce vita. SP

875 Queen West, at Walnut, 416-504-3463, nocerestaurant.ca

See also:

The 15 best Toronto patios of all time

Toronto’s best rooftop patios

Toronto’s best hidden patios

The best Toronto patios for … everything

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