The 5 best patios that won’t break the bank

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    Mike Watier

    Queen St Warehouse

    232 Queen W, Toronto, Ontario

    A menu where everything is $5: when BC-based chain El Furniture Warehouse set up shop in the Annex in 2013, it was music to the ears of the student crowd, and now it’s all the rage among the tourists, shoppers and post-gamers on Queen West. The booze isn’t quite as cheap, mind you – though you’ll probably want to splash out on a sausage-garnished Caesar or a beer-garita. If blaring top 40 isn’t your thing, grab a spot on the quieter side patio, where the roadside-diner-style burgers come with a perfectly framed view of the CN Tower.

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    Kathryn Gaitens

    Pauper’s Pub

    539 Bloor W, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1Y5

    What better place to snag a deal on bar snacks and beer than the second-classiest student pub in the Annex? (It’s just below the Victory Café on my list, in case you were wondering.) The sunny rooftop patio outstrips the stuffy red-boothed interior by a mile, and there are deals every day of the week, from $6 3-ounce martinis on Monday to $3.50 Caesars on Sunday, plus half-price apps and $4.21 house pints at happy hour. In short, this is a perfect place for lazy patio afternoons, though you may have to elbow some undergrads for a primo spot.

  • 3

    Cloak & Dagger Pub

    394 College, Toronto, Ontario M5T 1S8

    This College watering hole has one of those black-hole-like pub interiors that instantly suck up any natural light. But if you don’t want to lose track of whether it’s day or night, grab a pint from one of the 26 taps and take a spot at the picnic tables on the 50-seat back patio. If you’re lucky, you’ll show up during an all-you-can-eat burger and hot dog cookout or the AYCE taco buffet on Sunday, which gets you all the ground beef you can handle for $10.

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    Natalia Manzocco

    Java House

    537 Queen West, Toronto, Ontario M5V 2B6‎

    Dirt-cheap pitchers and food, plus an open, sunny patio and a prime Queen West location make this raggedy little café Toronto’s most popular day–drinking destination. The sangria, though hit-or-miss, is wildly popular same goes for the bargain-basement brunches, fried tofu and pad thai. (Pro tip: The avocado and Brie sandwich is vastly improved by the addition of extra bacon.) Regardless of off days in the kitchen, it’s pretty darn tough to mess up beer – and Java’s most premium pitchers sell for just $14.25.

  • 5

    Done Right Inn

    861 Queen W, Toronto, Ontario M6J 1G4

    The Done Right is divey in all the best ways, but the back patio is downright charming. Down your $5 beers and $5.50 bourbons while perched at wooden booths under leafy shade trees and twinkling lights, then pay for them with Canadian Tire money so you’ve got change left over for the pinball machines inside. There’s no actual food to speak of, but never fear: the 7-Eleven down the street is fully stocked with taquitos. Because what’s one more bad decision?

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