FOOD AND DRINK
Where to Watch the Big Game in Toronto – Whatever Your Game
Toronto will always be Leafs Nation, sure, but it’s also starting to build up a pretty thriving little basketball culture, not to mention the city’s large clutch of transplanted soccer supporters, and die-hard Blue Jays that keep hoping for a return to the Series. Here are the best places to catch a game or do the post-game analysis with fellow fans.
Although it’s only a stone’s throw from the Air Canada Centre, a lot of people overlook the Miller Tavern on Bay, which gets a nod for friendly staff, a mind-blowing selection of beer, spirits and wine, and totally elevated bar food.
31 Bay Street, 416-366-5544
The Dock Ellis
The Dock Ellis, on Dundas West, is a leader in the new breed of sports bars that are taking over Toronto’s west end. It boasts a solid beer selection of local choices and a killer food menu of game-day snacks including riblets, fried chicken, and brisket.
1280 Dundas Street West, 416-792-8472
This King St. East bar was forced to shorten its name from The Betty Ford Clinic to simply Betty’s after a “cease and desist” letter arrived. It’s still a great place to chat with the friendly regulars who still come to this local for a pint and the game.
240 King Street East, 416-368-1300
For die-hard soccer fans, the Football Factory has no match. It opens seriously early (7 a.m., no joke) on weekends for European matches, with no time lag, and serves up plenty of Heineken and Stella Artois, the moment local liquor laws permit. (In case you’re wondering, that happens at 11 a.m. in Toronto.)
164 Bathurst Street, 416-368-4625
Dog and Bear
On a stretch of Queen West that’s becoming so fashionable few can keep up, the Dog and Bear is a tried and true venue for hockey games and post-game partying. Always buzzing, and full of locals, the bar is generally packed with folks noshing on the excellent pub grub and washing it down with one of the 20 beers on tap.
1100 Queen Street West, 647-352-8601
For sheer size, location, and number of giant TVs, Real Sports deserves honourable mention. This behemoth of a bar applies its go-big-or-go-home philosophy to everything it does, including its Triple Threat pulled pork sandwiches, foot-long hot dogs, and schooners of beer.
15 York Street, 416-815-7325
Queen and Beaver
The television at the Queen and Beaver really only comes out for soccer matches, but if you want a heated discussion about footie, this is the best place to go. It’s also just a really great bar, with awesome décor, food, and drink, setting new standards for gastro-pubs everywhere.
35 Elm Street, 647-347-2712
A lot of people mistakenly think the Entertainment District venue, The Ballroom is just a bowling alley bar. As if that weren’t enough, it’s actually so, so much more than that, including one of the best places to catch a game and relish some of the best food to ever be served in a sports bar, anywhere.
145 John Street, 416-597-2695
The Jason George
The Jason George isn’t explicitly sports bar, per se, but it’s a first-rate local that’s popular with St. Lawrence area residents who want to grab a pint, some good food, and catch a period or two of hockey. Follow their lead if you want a laid back atmosphere and some friendly bar banter.
100 Front Street East, 416-363-7100