Cold Tea Kensington What you're drinking: Literally whatever the barkeep recommends. To find this spot, cut through the discreet Kensington Mall and keep your ear close to the wall. You’ll come across a secret doorway with muffled music and chatter behind it. Open it up and enter the promised land, wherein beer & cocktails can be had. There are no menus, so tell the bartender what you like, and they'll rustle you up something tasty.
Smiling Buddha Little Portugal What you're drinking: A sub-$5 bottle of beer (!) Smiling Buddha looks anything but smiley from the outside. It’s a run-down dive. But it’s wonderful. Go there for cheap drinks, and talk to the friendly owners about renting it for a night and hosting your own little soiree.
The Hole in the Wall Annex What you're drinking: Something from the craft beer list -- Flying Monkeys, or Beau's All Natural are recommended. This place literally is just a hole in the wall along Dundas St West. You’ll find a huge drink list and great food here. It’s a long, narrow, dimly lit bar -- and inescapably comfortable. They also bring in live music that fits right in with the mood.
Unlovable Little Portugal What you're drinking: One of the tallboys -- the PBR is only $5. An unmarked basement bar in the west end, Unlovable is actually quite lovable. It’s underneath a travel agency and even if you’re standing in front of it, you might miss it (just look for the stairs). Inside you’ll find a good, dependable beer list and a mid to late '20s hipster crowd.
Green Room Annex What you're drinking: A pitcher of Steam Whistle. Existing in a back alley off Brunswick Ave, Green Room is a cheap place to start or end your night. Don’t eat the food, this is strictly a beer chugging affair -- the crowd is mostly students usefully exploiting their loans.
Communist's Daughter Little Portugal What you're drinking: Creemore Springs. Granted, Communist's Daughter has blossomed into one of the more popular bars in the west end of the city, but it’s still a great retreat to mingle with a laid-back crowd, and it's still basically hidden. Don’t let the "Snack Bar" sign fool you, follow the smell of the booze.