From loud, massive bars to cozier and quieter neighbourhood spots, Toronto is filled with sports bars that offer their own distinct experiences. Our top ten list not only includes those that are known for their colossal amount of TVs, but those that are known for their good grub, too…
Rally Sports Bar + Smokehouse
For those that love a good Southern-style BBQ, Rally Sports Bar promises to deliver. All of their sauces, rubs, and dressings are made in-house, and all of their meats are slow-cooked up to 12 hours daily. Their pulled pork poutine and smoked spare ribs are the perfect meats to chow down on while watching the game from your choice of 40 HD TVs.
The Loose Moose
Rowdy and largely full of the after-work crowd, The Loose Moose is a great place to kick back with the largest draught selection in the city. Better yet, the food is delicious; their garlic fries are unreal. Oh, and get their donuts. You can thank us later.
Dog & Bear
Mirroring a traditional British pub, Dog and Bear is a friendly neighbourhood watering hole with 9 flat screen TVs to watch the game on. While they offer the usual pub fare of chicken wings and nachos, their menu also includes British breakfast favourites like beans on toast and sausages, as well as sticky toffee pudding. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good burger and fries as much as the next person, but every once in a while devouring a plate of bangers and mash hits the spot like nothing else can.
An Sibin Pub
An Sibin doubles as both a pub and a sports bar with delicious Irish fare. Enjoy their Chip Butty (house-cut fries stacked upon a bun with chipotle aioli and creamy coleslaw) along with their wide selection of draught beers and whiskeys. And you’ve definitely gotta try their Guinness Stew. Just imagine tender chunks of beef brisket cooked for days in a Guinness broth with potatoes, parsnips, and carrots. We’re already drooling at the thought.
Even if there’s no game on, little else is better than dining at Monarch Tavern. Located in Little Italy, this sports bar has become the neighbourhood mainstay for its hospitality and warm atmosphere. It offers classic pub fare and the option of playing a game of pool, pinball, and darts between bites of buttermilk fried chicken and buffalo style wings.
Real Sports Bar
Easily one of the best sports bars in North America, this Toronto gem broadcasts every sport ever played on the pitch, court, or ice. With 114 beer taps and 200 HD TVs, it’s no wonder that it’s featured in our top ten list of sports bars. Fortunately, the folks there know that a game’s not a game without the food. Their feel-good favourites include wings with 14 different flavours to choose from (we recommend their signature Thai Sweet Chili) and 11 different types of gourmet burgers. Pair those with their sweet potato fries, and you’ll never want to leave.
While it’s definitely a little touristy, Wayne Gretzky’s is still a damned good bar for those who want to catch up on the game and enjoy some respectable draught and food. Gretzky fans can drool over the game-worn jersey from Wayne’s rookie year and the stick he used in the 1987 Canada Cup final, but everyone can drool over the chocolate truffle ganache tart, Italian sausage pasta, and perogies.
The Dock Ellis
A slightly more low-key sports bar, The Dock Ellis is a great place to meet other fans of the game. For those who aren’t glued to the screens and like to socialize, this bar is right up your alley. Here you’ll find communal tables, foosball, and pool. You’ll also find some great food – corn dogs, nachos, fried chicken, etc. – all for less than $10.
Both a sports bar and a bowling alley, The Ballroom has ping pong, pool, bubble hockey, and foosball. And, Thursday nights throughout NFL season, they’ve got Bud Light cheerleaders. They’ve also got a good selection of salads, which is a welcome addition to the usual greasefest found in most other sports bars. But if rabbit food isn’t really your thing, their selection of gourmet flatbreads and entrées are nothing to scoff at (even if you’re not a fish fan, their grilled 5-spice honey salmon will instantly turn you).
This upscale lounge is credited with bringing the excitement of horse racing to Bay Street. And, since horse racing was once the sport of kings, it’s no surprise that their menu will make you feel like royalty as well. Braised pork with jasmine rice, pecan dusted pickerel, teriyaki chicken salad, and black angus striploin are just a few of the menu items that’ll make you want to come back again and again.
Do you have a go-to sports bar that also offers great food? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.