Other than swizzle sticks, nothing comes cheap in a bar. Even a pickled eggs cost a buck, and that's if you can find one in the first place. Here's a rundown of our favourite spots where frugal barflys can eat for free.
In the Rosewater Supper Club 's (19 Toronto, at Adelaide, 416-214-5888) swanky lounge, tipplers nibble from on-the-house bowls of mixed cashews, almonds and hazelnuts alongside dishes of tangy green and black kalamata olives. At the top of the core, Canoe (see review, this page) also goes nuts. Besides dehydrated veggie chips and a pretzel mix, it also lays out warm cashews, salted almonds and pink pistachios in the shell.
East side, Barrio (see review, page 42 ) has just introduced its own freebie take on bridge mix: roasted peanuts, garlicky soy beans, corn nuts, pepitas, Cheerios, chex and Goldfish sprinkled with cheese 'n' parsley.
During its daily 4-to-7-pm cocktail hour, the Keg (165 York, at Richmond West, 416-703-1773, and others) gives away deep-fried pita chips paired with a chunky Asiago cheese dip, while the Drake (see review, page 36) forks over addictively hot wasabi peas. In the Market, Amadeu's (see review, page 37) treats its clientele to lupini beans, a Portuguese-style tasty tidbit that also makes an excellent projectile. Up the street, the Cloak and Dagger (see review, page 36) has been known to reward its regulars with jalapeño-kicked nacho chips, while Ossington's Crooked Star (see review, page 34) occasionally whips up a big bowl of buttered popcorn for its thirsty horde.