As you know, we love to bar hop. It comes with Josh being a bartender and all. I recently blogged about How to do a Proper Bar Hop and after writing that post, we realised that we had yet to do a planned out proper bar hop in our own city of Toronto. Since we are saving for our wedding, we have been spending a lot more time at home, watching
bad tv and saving our pennies, err, nickels, for that big day. And during that time, a lot of new places have been opening up in this great city. So we set out on Thursday to hit up four of the places that a lot of people are talking about.
Stop #1: Thoroughbred (304 Richmond St W)
I had heard some murmurs about this place that opened it’s doors a couple of months ago but admittedly, I knew nothing about it. It’s located on Richmond in a funny little spot squished between new condo buildings that are under constructions and across the street from the ScotiaBank Theatre. This building used to be a house until it was converted into what is now Thoroughbred. The main floor is all bar and lounge while the upstairs has a dining room and open kitchen, complete with a chef table. We started the night here, arriving shortly after they opened and we sat at the bar where the whole team was getting prepared for the night ahead. Brendan Schätti is the bar manager here and Taylor Corrigan was also working that night. I had The 808 to begin which felt like a healthy choice as a starter since it had carrot-cucumber-celery-beet juice in it (along with Leyenda Organic Mezcal, cayenne, citrus and dill). Our plan was to have some food here but to not fill up (remember the rule of always eating food at your first stop on any bar hop!). They have three menus at Thoroughbred: the bar menu, the vegetarian bar menu and the dining menu. We ordered the Mixed Grain Waldorf salad, Kung Pao Cauliflower and Mushroom Nachos (meat version is with duck confit). Let me tell you, everything was awesome. Before we left, Taylor gave us a couple of his deluxe jello shooters. Mine was an El Diablo and yes, I ate it with a spoon. Classy.
Stop #2: People’s Eatery (307 Spadina Avenue)
People’s Eatery is far from being a new place in Toronto because it opened MONTHS ago but sadly, we had yet to visit. Our friend Sarah Parniak is the bartender here and it was almost embarrassing that it took us this long to come visit her. Here we ate the Whitefish Salad (delicious!) and the General Tso-Fu (delicious!). Sarah made us some (even more delicious!) cocktails, mostly ones that she is currently perfecting. I love the space here with the gold shimmering metal above the bar and the tall candlesticks on the tables. Their shots are served in Chinese teacups which works with the Chinatown neighbourhood. If we didn’t have plans to visit two other bars, I would have been happy to sit here eating and drinking all night.
Stop #3: Rasa (96 Robert Street at Harbord Street)
I hadn’t heard of Rasa when Josh suggested that we go there but when I pulled up their website, I have to admit that I was pretty annoyed. It has a video playing in the background and while it’s cool that they have this beautiful video, the site doesn’t make it possible for you to stop it from running and therefore, you need to attempt to read text with a moving video behind it. Maybe I’m just getting old but I couldn’t handle it. However, after saying that, I really liked it here. Chanel Wood is the bartender and she has a great list here. The space is a mix of old & rustic with modern touches. I was full of food at this point but Josh still managed to try the Jalapeño poppers and Po Boy bites. I think that this would be a great spot to go back and have a date night with a proper full dinner.
Stop #4: The Gaslight (1426 Bloor Street West)
Awww, The Gaslight. This was the a bar that everyone has been talking about. Located in what was once Zocalo, Megan Jones and Tim Pritchard opened this baby not too long ago and man alive, did they ever do a good job of it. As soon as you walk in, you instantly feel as though you have been there before. It’s the type of bar that you only dream of having on the corner of your street so that you can claim it as your local. Since this was the end of our night we only had a couple of pints of beer and a whisky here. As well, since this was the end of our night, I didn’t take any photos but I did wake up with this in my pocket.
Our next Toronto bar hop will include some classic bars in the city that we love. Stay tuned for that…
P.S. I apologise for the terrible photos in this post. As a professional photographer, it’s slightly embarrassing. Because of this, I had to include an image that my favourite photographer Chris Buck took of us in the summer on the patio of our local, Food & Liquor. I love it.