Stephen Howell cooks upscale comfort food at White Brick Kitchen.
indicates open late
All restaurants or bars are licensed, take debit or credit cards and are open seven days a week unless otherwise indicated.
West Side: West Queen West
1154 Queen W, at Beaconsfield, 416-516-2550, thebeaconsfield.com. Directly across the street from the Drake, this cozy local offers all the fun of its chi-chi neighbour but without the velvet rope. Weeknights from 5 to 7 pm, while quantities last, dishes like beer-battered fish 'n' chips and a pint of 50 for 9 bucks!
96 Tecumseth, at Whitaker, 647-352-6000, thebeastrestaurant.com. Watch for the return of Beast 120 next week when selected tapas, local beers and wines by the glass go for $5 each Wednesday to Friday from 5 to 7 pm. Closed Monday, Tuesday, holidays.
124 Ossington, at Argyle, 416-535-4586, bellwoodsbrewery.com. Local microbrewery slings house-made suds alongside a shareable snack card in a one-time chop shop. Sundays, all cask pints are 6 bucks each, tax in. Closed some holidays.
922 Queen W, at Shaw, 416-535-0404, carmensayz.com. Recently launched spinoff of Kensington's Torito sports a similar tapas carte as well as several Spanish paellas on a quiet backyard deck.
Cherry Cola's Rock 'n' Rolla Cabaret and Lounge
200 Bathurst, at Queen W, 416-703-6969, cherrycolas.com. Viper Room-style music bar geared to the over-30 crowd with a backyard grotto decked out with its own mini-bar.
936 Queen W, at Shaw, 416-531-4447, thecountygeneral.ca. Splendido's country-bumpkin cousin goes the trendy comfort food route with shareable mains, retro cocktails and a period soundtrack. Closed some holidays.
Done Right Inn
861 Queen W, at Manning, 416-703-0405. Cheap beer, cool tunes, attitude-free servers and a large tree-shrouded deck out back.
207 Ossington, at Dundas W, 416-534-8520. The original no-reso resto, ex-Tempo chef Tom Thai's eclectic tapas spot doubles in size come patio season with the addition of a 40-seat backyard deck. We recommend the ribs! Closed Sunday, holidays.
125 Ossington, at Argyle, 416-531-1601. Inexpensive and veggie-friendly Vietnamese pho on one of Ossington's few curbside patios. Closed Tuesday.
745 Queen W, at Tecumseth, 416-366-4743, harlemrestaurant.com/underground. Sister to Harlem on Richmond East, with a similar soul-food-meets-the-Caribbean menu, plus a Bamboo-like backyard grotto. Other patio: 67 Richmond E, at Church, 416-368-1920. Also: 67 Richmond E, at Church, 416-368-1920.
640 Queen W, at Palmerston, 416-703-3377, lahacienda.ca. Think Grand Electric and its many clones were the first intentionally loud restos? This Tex-Mex temple to cow-punk was doing raucous back when today's Young Turks were still in short pants.
Red Tea Box
696 Queen W, at Euclid, 416-203-8882. Tucked away behind one of the best bake shops in town, this intimate tree-shaded terrace and coach house feels more like the south of France than west of Bathurst. Spectacular pan-Asian bento boxes and fizzy lemongrass lemonade only prove the point. Closed Tuesday. Unlicensed.
136 Ossington, at Argyle, 416-532-6474, reposadobar.com. Toronto's largest tequila bar expands onto a walled-in backyard deck come summer. Cheese plates, crab cakes and mini-empanada flights, too.
Sky Yard @ Drake Hotel
1150 Queen W, at Beaconsfield, 416-531-5042 ext 244, thedrakehotel.ca. Some patios are just too damned popular. Case in point, the 150-seat rooftop deck of the west side's hottest boutique hotel. Lineup too long? Check out the laid-back sidewalk Cafe and its second garden terrace.
807A Queen W, at Manning, 416-703-0574, squirlys.ca. Shabby-chic shrine to all things grunge with a heated year-round indoor/outdoor backyard deck. Tuesdays after 4 pm, a pound of grilled chicken wings goes for $6.50. Sundays, get a a pizza and a pitcher of draft for 19 bucks.
13 Ossington, at Queen W, 416-535-6861. Tiny rock 'n' roll cocktail lounge with an intimate covered deck out back. After-school special: all pints and highballs discounted a buck till 7 pm. Hipster cred: Drew Barrymore partied here.
72 Ossington, at Humbert, 416-850-0093, union72.ca. Half-price bottles of wine every Monday night on a hidden backyard deck. Closed Tuesday, some holidays.
924 Queen W, at Shaw, 416-536-8963, ursa-restaurant.com. Combining elements of sports nutrition, raw foodism and molecular gastronomy, iconoclastic chef Jacob Sharkey Pearce likes to literally go out on a limb. Who else would have the cojones to pair elk tartare with sumac and pine bark? Closed Monday.
West Side: Liberty Village
165 East Liberty, at Hanna, 416-535-8787, brazenhead.ca. Oirish pub with large two-level deck spotlights a serious selection of single malts and $17 prime rib suppers Sunday from 5 pm. Free oysters at the bar Fridays from 5 to 7 pm while they last!
Maizal Quesadilla Cafe
133 Jefferson, at King W, 416-802-4155. Now that everybody but Tim Hortons does tacos, could quesadillas be the next big thing? They will be if this charmingly authentic café in the former Liberty Belle has its way. Closed Monday, holidays.
70 Fraser, at Liberty, 416-588-0005, schooltoronto.com. Brad Moore's extremely slammed Liberty Village café doubles in size when weather permits with a 140-seat wraparound patio. Where else can you do brunch seven days a week? Closed some holidays.
25 Liberty, at Atlantic, 647-748-8200, 25liberty.ca. Roasted duck breast with potato gratin and house-aged black Angus steaks with garlic mash in what used to be the Liberty Bistro. Closed Monday, holidays.
120 Lynn Williams, at Hannah, 647-340-8008, williamslanding.ca. Party-hearty meat market with second-storey deck from the crew behind the now-defunct South of Temperance.
West Side: Parkdale
1704 Queen W, at Roncesvalles, 416 588-0100, barsalumi.com. Cousin to nearby Local Kitchen, this breezy Italian caffe continues the Woodbrige vibe on a secluded backyard deck.
1296 Queen W, at Grove, 416-536-7717, cadillaclounge.com. Move over, Electric Mud. You, too, Barque. You're not the only Southern barbecues on the block any more. Possessed of one of the largest - and most laid-back - patios west of the Bull, Parkdale's ever-rockin' Cadillac Lounge now boasts a slammin' lineup of 'cue. Beautifully smoked chickens find their way into Yardbird sandwiches dressed with aged cheddar, sautéed 'shrooms and the pit's own bacon, while Memphis-style brisket gets paired with bourbon-laced baked beans and vegan slaw. Kitchen manager Lori Pearson even puts applewood-smoked baby plum tomatoes in the house salad. How are they going down? "People love them. They taste just like bacon!"
5 Brock, at Queen W, 416-516-8286. The hottest resto of the year spills onto what's little more than the paved parking space out front and calls it a patio starting May 24. Who cares about ambience when the 'cue's this extraordinary? And did somebody mention lunch? Closed Monday, Tuesday, some holidays. Cash only.
1330 Queen W, at Elm Grove, 416-627-3459, grandelectricbar.com. And you thought getting into this trendy taqueria was difficult before? Now that its 40-seat partially covered backyard gazebo is open, the lineups are even longer, if that's possible. Too cool to queue? Show up at noon real soon.
100 Sorauren, at Pearson, 416-588-1234, mitzis.ca. Kid-friendly luncheonette on a tree-lined side street in deepest Parkdale. Warning: lineups for Saturday and Sunday brunch. Closed some holidays. Cash only.
1249 Queen W, at Gwynne, 416-535-8089, therhino.ca. Long before the nabe was a hotbed of locavore restos and wine bars, this artsy hang was a particular fave, especially since there are always more than two dozen draughts on tap and 300 different bottles in the fridge.
1554 Queen W, at Fuller, 416-532-2570, thesister.ca. A slight change of management keeps this venerable Parkdale saloon on track. Same musician-friendly vibe, similar veggie-friendly pub grub, all on a quiet backyard deck. $5 martinis every Monday night.
West Side: Roncesvalles
333 Roncesvalles, at Grenadier, 416-534-5543, alternativegrounds.com. Mismatched cups, freshly roasted beans and a small backyard hideaway make this alterna coffee house a neighbourhood fave. Closed holidays. Unlicensed.
Fat Cat Wine Bar
331 Roncesvalles, at Westminster, 416-535-4064, fatcat.ca. Gorgeous backyard garden features $25 lobsters Monday and Tuesday evenings, $20 pitchers of sangria every day from 5 to 7 pm and live music Thursday nights.
396 Roncesvalles, at Howard Pk, 416-535-6225, thelocalpub.ca. Live music of a rootsy nature and pan-global pub grub almost every night of the week.
416 Roncesvalles, at Howard Park, 416-535-8561, loonspub.com. Brit-style neighbourhood pub with shuffleboard, seven TVs and large 95-seat garden.
Vicky's Fish & Chips/Sue's Thai Food
414 Roncesvalles, at Howard Park, 416-531-8822. No other resto in town has such a disparate card at war with itself - so-so fish 'n' chips versus terrific Southeast Asian eats on a sunny backyard deck.
West Side: Dundas West
928 Dundas W, at Gore Vale, 416-551-8854, theblackhoof.com. Though the feeding frenzy that greeted the arrival of Jennifer Agg's groundbreaking all-charcuterie cantina has subsided, tables are still hard to come by, most noticeably on peak Friday and Saturday nights. Closed Tuesday, Wednesday, some holidays.
885 Dundas W, at Claremont, 416-703-0668, cafe668.com. A favourite of even those who eat meat, this unusually stylish bistro pairs its award-winning all-vegetarian pan-Asian menu with organic beer and wine.
832 Dundas W, at Euclid, 416-364-4785, campagnolotoronto.com. Fancy roasted bone marrow with oxtail marmalade, and fresh burrata with roasted grapes followed by 60-days-aged local strip loin sided with flowering broccoli, wild leeks and classic Romesco sauce, all eaten al fresco under the stars? This be the place! Closed Monday, Tuesday, holidays.
1288 Dundas W, at Coolmine, 416-534-1200, sociale.ca. This upscale spinoff of Pizzeria Libretto features an old-school Italian card and a see-and-be-scene curbside terrace.
202 Dovercourt, at Argyle, 416-532-7397, juliescuban.com. They don't have DJs and they don't do bottle service. But what the ever-affable Sylvia Llewellyn and Jesus Baute have in spades is hospitality, the old-fashioned kind that values customer comfort over cash flow. Not that you'll need the big bucks to enjoy plates of Cuban papa rellenas and pork picadillo under a quiet starry night sky, but you will need reservations. Closed Monday.
1132 Dundas W, at Ossington, 416-850-8886, thelakeviewrestaurant.ca. Beautifully restored art deco diner with round-the-clock breakfasts and late-night poutine lineup. Open 24-7/365.
1665 Dundas W, at Margueretta, 647-352-5605. Once the quirky Naco Gallery Cafe, this intimate spot from the gang behind 3 Speed comes with kitschy vintage decor and a short snackable carte from former Swan chef Jane Ferriss.
West Side: College
489 College, at Markham, 416-923-5300, andypoolhall.com. Part mod-mad lounge, part Warhol-themed billiard parlour, AP attracts an eclectic crowd eager for booty-shaking and cocktails.
1000 College, at Havelock, 416-539-8239, bairrada.ca. A noisy Portuguese churrasqueira with a humongous backyard garden lined with rows of family-style picnic tables set-up around a fountain grotto. Suckling pig every Wednesday night. Also: 2293 St. Clair W, 416-762-4279. Closed Monday.
974 College, at Rusholme, 416-532-7424, blackskirtrestaurant.com. Old-school Italian trat in Little Italy - of all places! - with a sidewalk communal table out front that holds 10. Closed Sunday, Monday, some holidays.
594 College, at Clinton, 416-534-4637, diplomatico.ca. A fixture in Little Italy for 45 years and one of Toronto's very first al fresco restaurants, this sunny west-facing terrace is packed from early morning till late into the night.
501 College, at Palmerston, 416-964-1555, lacarnita.com. While it might not be the most original joint in town - new-wave tacos, strong booze and ear-blisteringly loud retro rap ring any bells? - owner/chef Andrew Richmond's exercise in social media now includes a small curbside patio-slash-holding-pen. Closed Monday, holidays.
573 College, at Clinton, 416-530-7569. Think of the former Ted's as the anti-College Street bar. Translation: cheap pool, cool tunes and scenester-free backyard shade.
53 Clinton, at College, 416-846-4217, thefuelhouse.ca. Nouvelle fast food - deep-fried pickles, fish tacos, pork belly banh mi - in a cloistered back garden right next door to the Dip. Closed Tuesday, some holidays.
503 College, at Palmerston, 416-944-8884, gracerestaurant.ca. The one-time Xacutti brings Yorkville chic to Little Italy in a fabulously exclusive inner courtyard. Closed Sunday, holidays.
Hogtown Pub & Oysters
633 College, at Grace, 416-645-0285, thehogtownpub.com. Low-key gastro-pub with half-price drummies on Sunday with the purchase of a pint, and $1.50 oysters all night Thursday till midnight.
Il Gatto Nero
720 College, at Crawford, 416-536-3132. Firmly ensconced in slightly upmarket digs, this treasured Italian sports bar sticks close to its working-class roots.
Mod Club Theatre
722 College, at Crawford, 416-588-4663, themodclub.com. 60s-themed concert club with curbside action.
890 College, at Delaware, 416-733-3474, redfishresto.com. Former Fishbar chef David Friedman presents a sustainable seafood carte on the quieter end of the Little Italy strip. Don't miss the $18 Sunday-night fish fry! Closed Monday, some holidays.
690 College, at Montrose, 416-533-8083, ryojiofcanada.com. Looking more like a King West bottle-service club, this cavernous Japanese import features an extended ramen lineup including vegetarian alongside Okinawa-style tapas meant for nibbling over sake cocktails.
Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe
712 College, at Montrose, 416-531-7755. Old World Italian ices on one of two patios watched over by a large bronze statue of an eagle. Trivia: founded in 1959, the SSC was one of Toronto's very first patios.
577 College, at Clinton, 416-536-7000, sidecarrestaurant.ca. Quiet tree-shaded courtyard famous for its Sunday-to-Wednesday-night $25 three-course prix fixe. New this summer: $10 cocktails!
488 College, at Palmerston, 416-966-5050. The one-time John Street shrine to all things beer moves north into much larger digs and a walled-in backyard garden.
612 College, at Clinton, 416-537-8755, souzdal.com. No longer the tiki-tastic Sutra, this darkly romantic cocktail bar re-emeges a few blocks east. Still the same: most 2-ounce cocktails are only $7.75.
505 College, at Palmerston, 416-972-1475. Swanky wine bar popular with downtown's fashion set spills out onto a spacious street-side wooden enclosure.
41 Clinton, at College, 416-533-9619, giancarlotrattoria.com. This quiet tree-shrouded eatery attracts celebs like Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida for Italian-style classics like garlicky tiger shrimp and romantic risotto for two. Closed Sunday, holidays.
586 College, at Clinton, 416-534-7751, utopiacafe.ca. Budget- and vegetarian-friendly burgers and burritos on an always busy garden deck.
665 College, at Beatrice, 416-536-7575, vivoli.ca. Busy Italian trat with rooftop deck that's a favourite of rapper Drake.
293 Palmerston, at College, 647-342-6307, woodlottoronto.com. With its parallel vegetarian card, chef David Haman's temple to seasonal, locally sourced ingredients is one of the rare restos where carnivores and herbivores can eat side by side. Massive portions make doggy bags compulsory. Closed Monday, some holidays.
West Side: Koreatown
693 Bloor W, at Clinton, 416-535-9541, clintons.ca. This log-lined multi-storey tavern features all-day brunch and live indie bands or DJs most nights.
690 Euclid, at Bloor W, 647-350-4227, hrvatibar.com. Croatian beer hall with decor by Brenda Bent and a snackable carte from Hey Meatball's Rodney Bowers that includes cevapi sausage platters, chicken paprikash and palacinke crepes. Closed Sunday, holidays.
692 Bloor W, at Clinton, 647-748-8847, japasoysterbar.com. Japanese-inspired tapas just like the name says, plus buck-a-shuck oysters every Tuesday from 5 pm.
White Brick Kitchen
641 Bloor W, at Euclid, 647-347-9188, thewhitebrickkitchen.com. Kitty-corner to a KFC in Koreatown, Stephen Howell's White Brick Kitchen has yet to be discovered by the smartphone set but has still managed to develop a loyal clientele since opening last year. They come for retro-ish mains like beef-shank shepherd's pie, BLTs built with house-smoked beef bacon, and his rightfully acclaimed banana-bread French toast at weekend brunch. Then there's his fried chicken, slow-brined, washed in buttermilk and deep-fried 'n' honey-glazed to crispy perfection, a flaky scallion biscuit and a tangle of purple cabbage slaw on the side. Howell says he picked up some of his tricks while working alongside Tom Davis at Stockyards on St. Clair. "I used to think chicken came in a bucket until Tom pointed me in the right direction."
West Side: Bloordale
1226 Bloor W, at Brock, 647-748-6366, barneon.ca. Greek tapas and cocktails in what was once Calico's secluded backyard garden. Buck-a-shuck oysters every night till 7 pm.
1090 Bloor W, at Gladstone, 416-531-4000, draftpicksgrill.ca. The one-time Pizza Roma morphs into an anodyne sports bar. Same great pizza, they still deliver and they're open till 4 am Thursday through Saturday.
229 Geary, at Dufferin, 647-350-4555, kitchbar.com. Fishbowl-sized cocktails and $5 tapas like spicy mac 'n' cheese and pulled pork quesadillas on a bleak industrial stretch of auto repair shops.
796 Bloor W, at Crawford, 647-342-4359, madrasmasalatoronto.com. Veggie-friendly South Indian dosa on a porch overlooking Christie Pits. Bonus: free parking!
616 Gladstone, at Shanley, 416-533-7741. This convenience-store-cum-café on a quiet side street just north of the Gladstone Library dishes up an all-day menu of Caribbean kid-friendly mains to eat on the patio or take home. Unlicensed.
1163 Bloor W, at Pauline, 647-430-3834. If Bloordale is the new Ossington, this laid-back resto-bar from the Communist's Daughter crew proves it: funky Cameron-style bar up front, daily specials and crowd-pleasing weekend brunch, and a 50-seat pergola-covered cedar deck out back.
West Side: Junction Triangle
1627 Dupont, at Edwin, 416-561-9114, farmhousetavern.tumblr.com. Barnboard on the wall? Check. Seasonal snout-to-tail menu? In place. Buck-a-shuck oysters Sunday from 5 to 6 pm? Bingo!
2535 Dundas W, at Jerome, 416-769-7284, ravisoup.com. Superb multiculti soups 'n' wraps in a lovely garden setting north of Bloor. Other patio: 322 Adelaide W, at Peter, 647-435-8365;
1426 Bloor W, at Sterling, 647-342-1567. Looking for a cheap first-date alternative to Kalendar? This laid-back café in the Junction Triangle offers innovative veggie-friendly mains paired with locally brewed suds at prices that would get you a salad on College. Closed Tuesday, some holidays.
West Side: Junction
Axis Gallery & Grill
3048 Dundas W, 416-604-3333, axisgalleryandgrill.com. Pints and pub grub on the Junction's main drag. Think Black Bull minus the motorcycles and the lineups.
2945 Dundas W, at Pacific, 416-916-2368, thebeet.ca. All-organic café with a carte that ranges from gluten-free falafels to jerked tofu, sautéed mushrooms and baby kale sided with roti and salad. Kids' menu, too. Closed some holidays.
394 Pacific, at Dundas W, 647-430-3909. Informal Vietnamese pho spot with a 99-item menu and a humongous plasma TV. Quick service and speedy takeout, too.
3030 Dundas W, at High Pk, 416-769-5736, 3030dundaswest.com. Massive music venue, art gallery and pinball arcade with a more than solid $5 tapas menu from ex-Grand Electric chef Adisa Brian Glasgow. Huge selection of local microbrews, too. Closed Monday, some holidays.
West Side: Bloor West Village
A Dark Horse
2401 Bloor W, at Jane, 416-769-4696. Not to be confused with the espresso bar of the same name, this kid-friendly UK-style pub has one of the sunniest terraces in the area.
Earth Bloor West
2448 Bloor W, at Jane, 416-763-2222, thinkglobaleatlocal.ca. Sibling to Ed Ho's Globe on the Danforth and Earth Rosedale in, erm, Rosedale, this huge rooftop deck is best late in the afternoon under a cloud-free sky. Buck-a-shuck oysters and half-price appetizers daily from 4 to 6 pm! Closed Monday, holidays.
Kennedy Public House
2199 Bloor W, at Runnymede, 416-769-3888, thekennedy.com. Upmarket gastro-pub with live bands, weekend brunch and a few curbside tables close to the Runnymede subway station.
Swan & Firkin
2205 Bloor W, at Runnymede, 416-767-9222, firkinpubs.com. Formerly Bert and Ernie's, this Swansea pub features a busy sidewalk patio out front and a larger outdoor deck overlooking the street upstairs.
West Side: Beyond
2994 Bloor W, at Royal York, 416-236-0081, merlotrestaurantandpatio.com. Mainstream French bistro with awning-covered rooftop deck in the wilds of Rob Ford's Etobicoke.
5555A Dundas W, at Hwy 427, 416-504-6699, therockpile.ca. Headbanger's paradise halfway to Hamilton endorsed by our own Amy Mech. Catch Molly Hatchet live on Saturday (May 18).
3795 Lake Shore W, at Brown's Line, 416-546-2093, woodysburgers.com. Extravagant Priest-style burgers cooked on a wood-burning grill sided with retro fries and onion rings from the crew behind the late Freshwood Grill.