Food & Drink

Toronto's Essential Dive Bars, and Why You Should Drink in All of Them

Published On 09/16/2015 Published On 09/16/2015
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1. Done Right Inn 861 Queen St W, Toronto, M6J 1G4

Done Right Inn is certainly a dive bar, but it's the kind that everyone -- not just the town lowlives -- actually goes to. Cheap beer, a small working TV, and friendly bar maids with years of unpretentious service experience draw crowds on the weekends. A back patio offers a nice escape and you'll find that cozy seats and tables under verdant foliage await you for an inexpensive all-night catch-up. This is a dive done right.

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2. Wide Open Bar 139 Spadina Ave, Toronto, M5V

Wine, beer & cocktails, and incredible deals on all three. Whether you're a weekday warrior or you live for the weekends, there's a bargain on booze to be found here.

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3. Imperial Pub 54 Dundas St E, Toronto, M5B 1C7

An old school dive with an endless interior. Pop a squat on the ground floor bar or at the upstair library and rooftop patio.

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4. Grossman's Tavern 379 Spadina Ave, Toronto, M5T

One of the oldest live music venues in the city, Grossman's hosts jazz, rock, blues, folk, and roots act to the tune of cheap pitchers. A hospitable mainstay worth a visit.

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5. Bovine Sex Club 542 Queen St W, Toronto, M5V 2B5

Yes, we love the name. No, we won't get over it. This punk/metal friendly dive misleadingly does not serve sex alongside their beers. Still... gotta love the name.

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6. Sneaky Dee's 431 College St, Toronto, M5T 1T1

A dive bar. Get the nachos. (Some things in life are straightforward, Sneaky Dee's is one of them.)

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7. Wheat Sheaf Tavern 667 King Street West, Toronto, M5V 1M9

This tavern is a part of history, and not in the way that pair of sunglasses you lost in '06 is. No, this creaky old pub has been around since 1849. Still serves the beer you're after, but now you can imbibe while watching TV or playing an offensively contemporary song on the 1,200-song jukebox.

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8. Ted's Collision 573 College St, Toronto, M6G 1B2

For when you want to hit the bar head on (and also kinda love the idea of drinking in Little Italy.)

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9. Silver Dollar Room 486 Spadina Ave, Toronto, M5S

Laid back layover for touring blues bands and local rock regulars.

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10. Stella 1261 Bloor St W, Toronto, M6H 1N7

Pick a beer from the chalkboard list to enjoy with some... curry? Damn right. What's not to love about a Indian food cum dive bar where you can enjoy a DJs spinning in a relaxed atmosphere.

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