Summer is finally here and with it, patio season! We in Toronto love spending this warm season outside, enjoying a beverage – or two – and food. Ossington Village has a wide range of choices for you to eat and/or drink in the fresh air.
Recently anointed one of the best patios in the city, Bellwoods Brewery can’t get any busier. Get there early or be prepared to wait in line. The reward will be tasty snacks and their award winning beer.
BQM‘s side patio at Ossington and Rolyat is a hot draw in the summer. It gets lots of sun and is open for both lunch and dinner and offers great people watching on the strip.
Crafted by Te Aro
The backyard at Crafted allows you to enjoy your coffee in a quiet garden. It’s not a big space, but it rarely seems to fill up. If you can’t get a seat out back, the front is also nice when the big garage doors are open. You’ll still get some fresh air with your coffee and snack!
Churchill, at Dundas West and Lakeview, has a nice side patio that fills up early. You can have some cocktails and bao while listening to DJs spin, but the party does have to end at a reasonable hour. They close the patio well before last call to keep from bothering the residents with noise.
The fenced off back patio at Tom Thai’s South Asian bistro is a lovely oasis in the summertime. The fusion food is among the best in the city too. Foxley does not take reservations, so expect a bit of a wait, but they’ll call you when your table is ready, so you can explore more of the neighborhood and even enjoy a beverage.
Rua Vang Golden Turtle is probably the winner in the Ossington pho wars for the patio alone. The side space, on Argyle Street, fills up all summer long with diners enjoying the cheap pho, and other Vietnamese specialties, along with some cold beverages.
Ideal Coffee/ Bobbie Sue’s Mac & Cheese
The side patio at Ideal, on the corner of Ossington and Foxley, is a popular spot in the summer months. During the day, enjoy the company of locals over a coffee and pastry, and in the evening, join others enjoying their Bobbie Sue’s comfort food al fresco on the next door patio.
Popular all year round and at all hours, The Lakeview has a prime patio on Dundas West. If you don’t mind the traffic and the lines of people waiting for a table during weekend brunch, you’ll enjoy the wide menu selection and people watching.
It’s just a few seats out front, but you can technically say Opera Bob’s has a patio. If you aren’t watching the Jays or English football, watch the Dundas West locals with a beer in your hand.
The back patio at Reposado has lots of seating and you can get friendly with others while enjoying a wide selection of tequilas and tapas. Look for special pop-up barbecues on summer weekends.
Sweaty Betty’s, an Ossington institution – it’s been open for almost 12 years – has a great patio tucked in the back. Bring your friends, order some cheap drinks, and spend some time enjoying the night air and the antics of the dive bar’s many customers.
So Rashers just installed seats out front. If you choose, eat your bacon sandwich on Ossington.
We also have to mention two local favourites whose patios are in limbo.
- The Crooked Star has been closed since December. We have seen some work going on inside, but don’t know when the renovated space will be open. That side patio is a popular one on summer nights and weekends, so here’s hoping it will be operational soon.
- The Red Light is another story, one which we are still investigating. This hip bar with friendly staff serves craft beer and a great selection of whiskey, especially bourbon. The back patio was a really fun place on Dundas West until it was unceremoniously shut down 3 years ago. It costs a lot of money to get approvals to reopen. Stay tuned for more details from us and let’s all hope the patio can reopen soon.
None of these places are secret, so definitely plan ahead or arrive early to ensure a good seat. Have a great summer and let us know your favorite local spot to hang outside!