Whether you’re new to this Canadian cocktail or celebrating National Caesar Day, these are the go-to spots around the city.
In Toronto, the Caesar is a member of an elite club of cocktails that everyone knows. Not all Caesars are created equal. Simple presentation is great, too, but there are many renditions out there—and many that use the Caesar as a creative jumping-off point.
What is a Caesar cocktail?
For the uninitiated, the Caesar cocktail is a winning yet somewhat unexpected combination of ingredients that magically work well together. The pillars of a Caesar typically are vodka, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, clamato juice and often with a celery spear, lime wedge, and something pickled.
Sometimes, other spirits like gin and tequila are used. If this sounds like a Bloody Mary, the key differentiation is the clamato juice. The drink was first made by Walter Chell in 1969 at The Calgary Inn (now The Westin with a location of The Keg).
The clamato juice is a mixture of clam juice and tomato juice that you can find at nearly all grocery stores across Canada. The mix is extremely important, as are the accoutrements on top of the Caesar.
Considered by many to be Canada’s cocktail, here are 15 of the best Caesars in Toronto that run the gamut from classic to suped-up.
The Good Fork
Beloved for their menu of “Meze,” “Brunchy,” and “Lunchy” eats, The Good Fork puts their own special spice on the Caesar cocktail—literally! It comes with an ample spread of their smoked spice blend down one side of the glass as a unique way to show off the rimmer.
The “not your average Caesar” comes with vodka, pickle juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire, Walter’s Caesar Mix, a spear of house-made pickles and that signature smoked spice rim.
Mildred’s Temple Kitchen
When it comes to the version here at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in Liberty Village, we’re talking about one of the most elevated Caesars in Toronto. The Bungalow Island Caesar uses vodka, Walter’s Caesar Mix, a drop of Red Hot Millie Peppers hot sauce, Worcestershire, freshly grated horseradish and curly celery.
Once you see a Caesar hit someone else’s table at brunch, it’s near impossible not to order it—the celery is shaved into ribbons just so and placed on top in a way that delights!
Rodney’s Oyster House
Rodney wears many hats as a restaurant and wholesaler of some of the world’s best seafood. On a buzzy strip of King Street West, every dish and drink is an opportunity to show off its bounty of seafood.
So it makes sense that Rodney’s Caesar features a juicy Gulf shrimp on top. The perfect treat to whet your appetite before a platter of oysters!
Score On King
Not one, not two, not three—Score On King in Old Town has a specific Caesar Menu with nine different variations and the most over-the-top Caesars in Toronto. Taking garnishes to the next level, you’ll see everything from fried tempura shrimp and bacon-wrapped scallops to mac and cheese.
But catching our eye the most may be the “Scorn Dogg” with mini corn dogs, dill hot mustard and onion rings on top. Perfect for watching the game and feeling like you’re right there in the stands.
Cherry Street BBQ
With slow-smoked meats and classic slides, Cherry Street BBQ brings their barbeque point of view lakeside with a patio.
The Pit Caesar is a nod to their roots and is a pretty great straightforward classic until you spend the extra $3.50 to add a spare rib which takes the flavour over the top. Now you’ve got yourself a drink that eats like a meal!
The coziest little brunch and dinner spot on Dundas West in Little Portugal, it’s always worth tucking in here. And when they say their Caesar is “dressed up”, they mean the garnishes are on point but not too fancy. Find two Cool Ranch Doritos delicately balanced on a skewer of three perfect little pickles with horseradish and lime wedge at The Federal.
Tabule Middle Eastern Cuisine
A Harissa Caesar is just the kind of spice you need in your life, and Tabule doesn’t stop at the cocktail itself. As a perfect compliment to the Middle Eastern fare that you’ll be dining on here, this version has vodka, Walter’s Caesar mix, Worcestershire sauce, harissa, lime juice, and fresh basil with a sumac and za’atar rim.
And while I personally love the Riverside location and its tucked-away patio in the summer, you’ll find this splendid cocktail at all three of their locations.
Also read: Dig into Middle Eastern Food on the Danforth
We can’t talk about over-the-top Caesars in Toronto without talking about Hunter’s Landing! They have a seriously wild Caesar on the menu called the “Landing Cure.” It is gigantic and it is designed to cure the mother of all hangovers.
It’s got the hair of the dog with the alcohol and it’s also got an entire meal and more on its rim. Here’s the exact description: “vodka, pizza slice, poached shrimp, fresh vegetables, chorizo sausage, bocconcini cheese, mozzarella arancini and Clamato”.
Everyone should be able to try Caesars in Toronto, including vegans and vegetarians! Open at this location since 2017, Hogtown Vegan is a trusted spot on College West serving up Southern-style comfort foods.
The classic Clamato is replaced with tamari and vegetarian juice for a similar umami flavouring, and there is also the classic presence of hot sauce, pickled beans, olives, celery, lemon, and lime.
Take me out to the ball game, but make that a Caesar! For a drink-and-a-show ballpark Caesar experience, The Keg Caesar is available in many places at Rogers Centre—at The Stop and Catch Bar in the 100 level, WestJet Flight Deck in the 200 level, and Corona Rooftop Patio in the 500 level.
Not only can fans explore the drink in a cup while watching the games, but they can also go for the hotdog version with the Caesar Dog at the Schneider’s Porch that features Caesar toppings.
Also read: Explore Toronto’s Epic Sports Scene
Lobster Burger Bar
With an “East Coast to Table” philosophy, this King West restaurant in the Theatre District serves and sources lobster from Canada’s East Coast and is also a self-owned lobster supplier. Walking on the wild-caught side, the Lobster Burger Bar has the LBB Caesar made with Motts Caesar, vodka and a mini burger topping made with Angus beef, olives on a skewer, and a lobster tail.
We have three Caesars on the brunch menu at Pogue Mahones, a traditional pub with Irish brunch. They offer a classic “Straight Up” Caesar as well as a vegan Caesar made with vegan clamato juice by Walter’s.
But the most eye-catching combination is the Dill-Icious Caesar with vodka, Tabasco sauce, pickle juice, lime juice, Clamato juice, dill pickle slice, and dill salt rim. Pickle-lovers, assemble!
Although it’s not a restaurant or bar, this local shop is renowned in Toronto for providing all the best equipment and inspiration for all things cocktails, from ingredients to cookbooks and so much more.
When it comes to making a Caesar cocktail at home, you can pick up almost all the ingredients and all tools here. For yourself, or perhaps, if you’re visiting from out of town and want to bring home a great Canadian gift—the Caesar Booster Trio may be just the thing! Simply add vodka!
Bottomless alert! The Caesar experience here is unique because there’s a beautiful lake view from Hotel X, and yes, it’s bottomless.
Rose Cocina’s offers a brunch-tasting menu on the weekend, and you are able to enjoy the option of bottomless drinks with a choice of mimosas, margaritas, mules or Caesars. The value is there, but it’s also a wonderfully balanced yet spicy vodka Caesar with chilis in the rim!
Also read: 5 Hotel Rooftop Bars with Stunning Views of Toronto
The thing about that clamato juice is that it pairs oh so well with more seafood. Enter Pearl Diver in Old Town, a seasonal seafood restaurant that brings a freshly shucked oyster into the mix. As an oyster house in the downtown area, the PD Caesar is done traditionally with horseradish, an olive, a smokey spiced rim and then one beautiful oyster perfectly balanced on top.