Hit up one of Toronto’s hippest west-end neighbourhoods and dive into some delicious eats at these Parkdale patios.
One of the best things about the Parkdale neighbourhood has to be just how local it feels. Every shop, restaurant and park feels like a hidden gem in the west-end part of the city.
Spanning from the foot of Roncesvalles Avenue to Dufferin along Queen Street West (south to the water and north to Wright Avenue), this neighbourhood has become a hotspot for local chefs to open up food joints that are not only incredibly cool and unique but it also has some of the best tastes in the city. An added bonus? They come with patios that are perfect for checking out this summer. Here are some of the best for when you’re ready.
*Don’t forget, if patios still aren’t in your comfort zone, or your favourite restaurant doesn’t have a patio, you can still get all the great eats with takeout or delivery via www.ToGoToronto.com.
Known for having an amazing rotation of Ontario craft brews on hand, you could call the Escape Goat one of Parkdale’s favourite watering holes. It’s the spot to grab a pint and a burger thanks to their menu of scrumptious pub fare (seriously, the burgers are two-handers and a thing of beauty).
But what might be surprising is they have a great patio set up in the back with a semi-covered area (for drizzly days), TVs (so you can watch whatever big game is on), bar stools and tables. Plus Escape Goat is taking part in CaféTO—which means even more outdoor seating along the sidewalk.
On weekends, they often do a “pop-up” with another local foodie spot—like Tita’s Mexican Food (so you can indulge in your taco craving with that local beer). 1510 Queen St. W.
Year-round-patio. Those are the only words you need to know! Superfly’s covered patio equals so many days of great drinks and nibbles beyond the typical patio season—and they’re ready to welcome everyone back this summer.
Superfly is the place to go in Parkdale if you’re a cocktail lover—and hey, if you’re not, it’s the place to go to be swept off your feet by a fancy-schmancy cocktail creation! I love this spot for pre-dinner bevvies and a nibble (thanks to Korean-inspired snacks prepared by Kaboom Kitchen).
You’ll find me here cheersings with a Superfly Spritz (Campari, red wine, lemon juice and a dash of sugar), a classic margarita, or the Coco Chanel (Flor de Caña, Hennessy, Amaro, Averna, benedictine and bitters). There’s also a great selection of wines and beer for those who fancy something a little “less fancy” than a cocktail. 5 Brock Ave.
Gianna’s Patties and Pies
Looking for a little taste of Detroit (since we haven’t been able to go in a while)? Gianna’s Patties and Pies has you covered! They serve up Detroit-style pan pizza (in a rectangle shape) and even have one dedicated to the Toronto Islands with roast pork, grilled pineapple salsa, pickled jalapeño and fresh basil, along with an assortment of dips (try the hot honey—it’s amazing!). If comfort food is your thing, they have that too. And if you’re in need of a cool-down drink, they make their own house tonic for cocktails.
I love this spot because of its eye-catching red booths on the patio, perfectly mixed in with the leafy greens and the patio lanterns—it’s the most laid-back vibe. Another reason I love Gianna’s? They ask that if you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, transphobia, homophobia, sexism or racism to kindly not dine with them. 1554 Queen St. W.
The Mezz is one of those classic bars that have been in the neighbourhood for so long, they’re a true establishment. Opened in 1995, this is usually a spot to grab a drink inside and listen to some live music. These days it’s all about their patio space.
Picnic tables in the back are casual, cozy and secluded from the bustle of the street, and vines crawling over the terrace provide specks of shade. On the menu are a bunch of great local beers and true pub comfort food like burgers, grilled cheese and tomato soup (my fave), shareables and daily specials. 1546 Queen St. W.
Tibet Kitchen is a Parkdale gem. If you’re missing a taste of travel, the home-cooked, traditional Tibetan and Himalayan food here will give you all the wanderlust senses you need.
From the flavours of the momo (dumplings), the phowa (meal in a bowl), to the spicy curries, this is food you’ll come back to over and over again whether you’re a vegetarian like me or a meat lover. It’s also delicious food to nosh on during hot summer days out on the restaurant’s patio. Partially covered so you get ample shady and sunny spots, a large tree in the middle makes you forget you’re in the city. It’s a popular one, so make sure you reserve it in advance! 1544 Queen St. W.
The Rhino Bar + Grill
The Rhino (which gets its name from the faux rhino head that hangs in the bar) has to be home to one of the largest patio spaces in Parkdale. Which makes it perfect for these post-pandemic times. There’s tons of space, so you’re sure to be at a great social distance and still be able to people-watch along Queen Street West.
It’s a bit of a no-frills beer garden atmosphere—just tables and chairs, no umbrellas (so bring your sunscreen and hats!), but its easy-going, laid-back vibe is what makes an ice-cold beer taste even better on a hot summer afternoon.
They have 25 craft beers on tap (and the servers know every detail in case you have trouble choosing) but don’t pass up on one of their classic mules, or the brunch menu on weekends (yummy breakfast sandwiches and tacos are to be had!). Keep in mind it’s first come, first serve (no reservations) and seating limits are at 90 minutes. 1249 Queen St. W.
HAPPY Coffee and Wine
So any place that has the word “happy” in their names, has to be good right? I love this little shop—where you can buy coffee (grounds and freshly made), wine and other eclectic finds of lifestyle goods. They also just opened up a small patio out front where you can sit, people-watch along King Street West, soak up the summer breeze and sip on a matcha latte or a glass of cool white wine and have a small bite to eat from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Kind of sounds like perfection, no? 304 King St. W.