Toronto, Canada’s trendiest city, is fast becoming the hipster capital of the world. It's a very international city, with over half of its population made up of non-Canadians, and so it's no surprise that it's jam-packed with super-cool places to head to and grab a drink or set down for a few rounds for the evening. Of course the choice can be somewhat overwhelming – so to help you whittle it all down, here are our top 10 hipster bars in Toronto:
The best part about this bar is the free retro arcade games in the back – choose from Tetris, Pac Man or try your hand at the pinball machine. The bar is decorated with the images of a golden phoenix and dragon, it's got some great beer deals and its perfect for large groups also.
The Handlebar is renowned for its great atmosphere. This place has the perfect balance if you want to strike up a conversation – but it also has a dance floor and some great cocktails. Mind you, as the night goes on, you might have to fight for the attention of the bar staff cause the placed gets packed to the rafters. Their selection of draught beers is top quality. Keep an eye out for their awesome movie nights.
No nonsense hipster bar. It's quaint, cosy and a great place to chill. The drinks are cheap and the music is very chilled. Packed full of hipsters, but it manages to be unpretentious – and make sure you try one of their infamous pickled eggs.
This is a small venue so make sure to grab a seat early in the evening before it fills up. Service is fast and friendly, while one entire wall has a menu on it. Very easy to start conversations with strangers here. Try their signature cocktail that mixes tequila, ginger beer and chai tea!
This place dishes out some amazing Mexican food with locally brewed ale. Rustic wooden floors, interesting decor and friendly staff all add to the great vibe of the place. Pumping tunes all night.
This bar is one of the most famous underground bars in Dundas West. The entrance is below street level, it's got bright orange classroom chairs, retro games and plenty of charm. As it's cheap and cheerful at weekends, and you'll always spot some students taking a break from study chilling out here.
Part of the boutique Drake hotel, Drake One Fifty is one of the trendiest in the city. It's definitely worth trying one of their cocktails, particularly the tantalising ‘Brown Butter Maple Old Fashioned’, which was created by a Drake bartender.
Go through the kitchen of Valdez and through the freezer door and you can find this hidden VIP cocktail lounge with a Prohibition Era setting. There isn’t an official menu at Escobar cause they're that hipster so let the bartender prepare you something new.
This speakeasy bar isn’t easy to find but it's definitely worth the trek. There’s a hidden doorway inside Kensington Market with a single red light above it that opens up into the bar – and again, there's no menu so the bartenders make speciality cocktails based on your favourite alcohol. Oddly enough, though, they don’t serve cold tea!!!
Our favourite spot in Toronto and despite its anti-vodka mantra, which is posted by the entrance, the cocktails in this bar are classy. It's intimate enough for a great first date venue with some great jazz music playing in the background. You've got to try their signature cocktail is 3oz Manhattan, made with homemade bitters. Epic.