Patio Time

The back patio at Bairrada Churrasqueira is a gem. Photo: David Gray-Donald.

Toronto has so many patios to check out – some highly visible, and some tucked away. Here are a few of our faves.

Three Speed (1163 Bloor St. W) and Bar Neon (1226 Bloor St. W) in Bloordale both have nice shaded back patios, with good drinks and food.

In Little Portugal, the big back patio at Bairrada Churrasqueira (1000 College St.) is a real gem, with trees all around. Sit at the picnic tables and enjoy tasty BBQ chicken, fish, and lots more.

Cafe Diplomatico (594 College St.) is a classic in Little Italy. Grab a coffee, drink, or food from 8 am til midnight, and til 2 am on weekends. Good view of College Street and up residential Clinton St.

At the north end of Kensington Market, Pamenar (307 Augusta Ave.) is a hip coffee and drinks spot, with over 100 gins to choose from. The small trees and vines around the back patio add to the vibe, especially night. The smaller front patio fronts onto the pedestrian-busy Augusta Ave.

The patio seating right on The Danforth sidewalk at Only Cafe & Bar (962 Danforth Ave.) is actually pretty small, but the windows at the front roll up so a lot of the inside feels like you’re outside. Coffee and cafe food on one side, decent drinks on the other, and lots of live music.

A couple doors down, grab tasty Turkish food on the (also small) patio at GALATA (940 Danforth Ave.).

In Leslieville, head to Betty’s East (1301 Queen St. E) for a good beer list and quality pub food. The patio fronting onto Queen St. doesn’t have the same tree shade as Betty’s old King St. location, but still a good atmosphere.  

Mexitaco (2496 Kingston Rd.) in Scarborough has good tacos, drinks, and churros. All enjoyed on a relatively quiet, decent-sized patio at the back. What’s not to like?

Eat delicious South Indian food at Karaikudi Chettinad (1225 Kennedy Rd.), north of Lawrence Ave. in Scarborough. It’s a nice outdoor eating situation, even if it’s right beside the parking lot. Dosas, mutton dishes, biryanis, and more.

In North York, Safari Bar & Grill (1749 Avenue Rd.) has a great patio just off the sidewalk. A big, quality menu (pizza, burgers, salads, etc.) and reasonable prices.

The patio at the Boxcar Social harbourfront location (235 Queens Quay W) looks out on Lake Ontario and gets a nice breeze. Good coffee and drinks. It isn’t open until May 19th though.

There aren't many good bars with outdoor seating on Yonge in the stretch just south of Bloor, but at least there's the Artful Dodger Pub (10 Isabella St).

This article appears in the May/June Issue.