Written by: Rebecca Felgate
If the sun is shining then you’ll find me outdoor dining! Here are five of our favourite ground-level (and accessible) patios in the Downtown Core.
Gusto 101 — 101 Portland Street
Southern Italian fare with wine on tap in an industrial setting; Gusto 101 is a cool spot on the increasingly trendy Portland Street. Diners looking for some sunshine can choose between the street patio and the greenhouse rooftop, each offering a well deserved side dish of Vitamin D; something we’re all too keen for after our long winters. Okay, I promise that is the last time I’ll mention the “W” word… eeep! Exposed brick and wooden tables suggest relaxed dining, although the menu offers slight elevation on classics. Order the arancini. Just do it. Yum.
Vela — 90 Portland Street
If the Vela Patio wasn’t so lovely it would almost be a shame to sit outside this beautifully designed Portland Street restaurant. The interior IS stunning (so do pop in and take a gander), however the patio is spacious and replete with greenery. Sustainably mindful, Vela Chef Kim Haugen has created an approachable but classy menu indoors and out, but if you’re not in the mood for a full meal, the snack menu is quite the ticket. Labelling itself as a Spritz Garden, I highly encourage cocktails and bites outdoors to start or finish your night. Speaking of cocktails, the Vela drinks menu was curated by Toronto mixology royalty, Robin Goodfellow, so you can expect them to be top notch. Enjoy!
O & B Canteen — 350 King Street West
I am calling it now; O & B Canteen is absolutely the best spot for people watching during TIFF. Right in the hub of the entertainment district, O & B kitchen is a casual spot to grab a tasty bite pre-movie, pre-theatre or pre-show. Think unpretentious dishes like nachos, calamari, poutine, pizza, tacos. What’s more, O & B Canteen has a cracking Happy Hour (that actually lasts 4 hours).
Steam Whistle Biergarten — 255 Bremner Boulevard
Be it a ball game or just general merriment that brings you down to Steam Whistle it is always a vibe. Styled on a German Biergarten, here are few places you can drink steins of beer in this city, so I always take the opportunity! It doesn’t get fresher than Pilsner straight from the source! The menu also includes a bunch of cocktails and beer cocktails, including a beerita that I really do actually rate as an excellent option for a hot day! Hungry? Cool, have a pretzel. Or some chicken wings. Or both! Backdropped by the Roger’s Centre, the CN Tower and a whole load of cool vintage trains, a trip to Steam Whistle always feels like an iconic Toronto day out in itself.
Oretta — 633 King Street West
Transforming King Street West into a floral heaven, the Oretta patio is well situated along one of the tastiest streets in town. The art-deco chic of the interior sits adjacent to the flourishing curbside stretch, where revellers can soak up the sun and enjoy traditional Italian fare with a spritz in hand. Pizza, pasta, insalate, antipasti; all the good stuff is here. Not in the mood for a full meal? No problem; Oretta is the perfect spot for a little patio cinq à sept.
Plenty more great options below or check out our Summer Guide:
- Akira Back — 80 Blue Jays Way (Bisha Hotel)
- Anejo — 600 King Street West
- Aria Ristorante — 25 York Street
- Bar Chica — 75 Portland Street
- Belfast Love — 548 King Street West
- Campechano — 504 Adelaide Street West
- Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen — 104 Portland Street
- Cibo Wine Bar King St West — 522 King Street West
- Dasha — 620 King Street West
- Elephant & Castle — 212 King Street West
- E11even — 15 York Street
- Epoch Bar & Kitchen Terrace (Ritz-Carlton) — 181 Wellington Street West
- Figo — 295 Adelaide Street West
- Gabby’s — 309 King Street West
- La Carnita — 106 John Street
- Lapinou — 642 King Street West
- MARBL Toronto — 455 King Street West
- Marked — 132 John Street
- Mira Restaurant — 420 Wellington Street West
- Pai — 18 Duncan Street
- Petty Cash — 487 King Street West
- Pink Sky — 480 King Street West
- Rodney’s Oyster House — 469 King Street West
- Ruby Soho — 587 King Street West
- The Fox on John — 106 John Street #3
- The Keg Steakhouse + Bar — 560 King Street West
- The Landing — 123 Front Street
- RendezViews — 229 Richmond Street West