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.
Gianna’s Patties and Pies
Looking for a little taste of Detroit? 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.
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. This summer, 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.
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!
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. 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.
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 have 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. Kind of sounds like perfection, no?