That cold front is rolling up the eastern seaboard. Torontonians need beverages that can warm away the chill. Our picks for the season.
472 Queen St. W; 416-868-4800
A mixologist-driven haunt known for its attractive staff (confirmed) and molecular gastronomy-flecked cocktail list (confirmed over and over). Lab-like concoctions include liquid nitrogen-filled bowls, gelatinous tonics, and foam. Read Emily Fiffer's postcard about drinking at Barchef.
2. Cold Tea
60 Kensington Ave.; 416-546-4536
Through a secret doorway hidden at the back of Kensington mall is a small bar with makeshift industrial charm and a constantly evolving cocktail menu. A small dim sum stand caters to late-night hunger pangs.
3. 923 Dundas St. W.; 416-792-7511
The sister bar to the popular has fireplaces, snug seats, and smooth Manhattans. What else could you possibly ask for on a cold night?
A mini chain with mini bar service. Pull up a stool and watch the latte art in action. Baked goods from local purveyors are available for dunking into perfectly pulled cups of coffee.
1150 Queen St. W.; 416-531-5042
The hopping hotel bar serves a mix of local artsy types on business tabs and visitors ready to dive into the QSW scene.
121 Yorkville Ave.; +1-647-348-1300
Cask-conditioned ales, cocktails, and "pudding wines" (tawny ports and late-harvest rieslings) served in the cozy pub, lounge, or dining room of an old red brick house that feels like a British social club.
1566 Queen St. W; 416-588-7750
The fashion-y crowd settles with drinks at communal tables. The connected music venue, showcasing local bands, has enough room for a gaggle of fans to dance, dance, dance all night.
136 Ossington Ave.; 416-532-6474
An enormous selection of tequilas and premium margaritas — with nary a sombrero in sight. A small stage offers space for live jazz; a focused yet thoughtful tapas menu keeps the agave from going right to your head.
297 Harbord St.; no phone
Toronto's caffeinated wunderkid shows off nerdy cafe toys, like La Marzocco Linea machines and 19th-century siphons, and sets the stage for purist coffee drinks with plenty of tlc and decorated foam.
609 King St. W; 416-703-7775
Welcome to the sausage party! Grab a seat at one of the long wooden picnic tables, clink a frosty glass of German brew, and share plates of hand-cut fried potatoes while comparing bites of bratwurst, merguez, and Italian pork sausage under a string of twinkling lights.
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