So, World Cup fever is coming upon you like that one friend you see every four years; the one that gives you an excuse to get wasted and party it up in a sports bar Paris Hilton-style (if Paris Hilton went to sports bars, that is) before they completely disappear from your life for extended periods of time. Let’s be honest, even if you’re not really a sports fan, this month-long soccer… er… football tournament has a way of creeping into your psyche, until the next thing you know you’re donning an old jersey and getting ready to crowd around a television, snacking on nachos and cheering with complete strangers.
But June doesn’t just signify the World Cup – it’s also patio season. And if you’re anything like us, you’ll want to make the most out of your World Cup experience by working on that tan while you watch your favourite team compete. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here you’ll find a list of Toronto’s best patios that will be showing the game so you can cheer your lungs out and irritate the whole neighbourhood and all the people that are actually, you know, working.
At over 3,000-square-feet, Touro’s patio is the largest in the York region with seats for over 60 guests. In preparation for the World Cup, they’ve set out several large screen TVs so you can watch the game while sipping on caipirinhas and cheering on the host country of the games. Get there early for a much-coveted spot by the waterfall.
Firkin on Harbour
If you’re going to be cheering your heart out on a patio, you’ll want to make sure the place you’re going will offer plenty of beverages to keep your pipes prepped and your wallet from crying. Firkin on Harbour has 20 draught beers gracing the bar, with many local and craft options to quench your various thirsts at more-than-reasonable prices. You can even enjoy a “deal”icious menu specifically designed for the World Cup!
With its proximity to such Toronto landmarks as the CN Tower and Rogers Centre, Hunters Landing is the place to be if you’d like a more urban atmosphere. The neighbourhood is already lively and engaging, so factor in the World Cup and you’ve got a season that you’ll definitely remember. Bonus: If you head there tonight for Brazil vs. Croatia, you’ll get to be a part of their patio launch party – expect fresh grilled meats, live Brazilian dancers, DJs, and giveaways.
Pizzeria Via Mercanti
This one goes out to all the Italian fans out there. If you find yourself stranded in Downtown, looking to cheer on Balotelli or Buffon, fear not because our favourite Italian joint on Elm street will be showcasing the World Cup games on their incredible patio. Indulge in the city’s finest pizza and sip on some limoncello while you bask in the sun and cheer on your favourite team.
Known across Toronto as one of King West’s coolest neighbourhood hangouts, The Citizen is one of our favourite destinations for craft cocktails and home-cooked classics like grilled cheese and steak frites. And now we’ve got even more reason to go there: They’ve opened a new patio, and they will be showing the 3pm and 6pm World Cup matches on it for all your viewing glory. Add to that cocktails, beer, and wine for $4, sangria pitchers for $20, and half-priced appetizers from 3pm until 7pm and you have a guaranteed groovy time.
The Ballroom Bowl
Is it even remotely a surprise that The Ballroom made this list? They’ve got both a rooftop and streetside patio, 4 bars, and an array of daily specials that you can munch on while enjoying the game. And when the match is over, that doesn’t mean it’s time to leave – they’ve got pool, foosball, ping pong, and, of course, bowling, so you can celebrate long into the night.
If you’re on the lookout for some of the best Latin American street food in Toronto, you need to check out Valdez. This restaurant is more than ready to satisfy your empanada and chorizo sausage cravings, and their rooftop patio is prepped with a retractable roof for when it rains (which, given Toronto’s bipolar weather conditions, is pretty likely to happen). Making this the official World Cup “Latin Headquarters”, watching the game on their rooftop patio won’t be a bad decision. And, before you ask, yes, there’s tequila.
Jack Astor’s (at Front & University)
The team at Jack Astor’s is a band of self-proclaimed sports fanatics, so it comes as no surprise that they’ll be showing the game on their patio. Whether you’re crying over your favourite team’s victory or Jack’s famous hot sauce, there’s little doubt their patio will be one of the hottest places to watch the World Cup.
Conveniently located on King East, Betty’s is the place to go after work or shows in the area. Their prompt, friendly service and generous food portions give you reason enough to keep returning, but their patio is really something special. It offers both sunny and shady spots for those that don’t want to spend their afternoons frying in the sun, and a great selection of entrees to appeal to even the pickiest of eaters.
School Bakery Café
You may already know School as being one of Toronto’s best brunch restaurants, but their patio is not to be overlooked. Sunny and surrounded by poplar trees, it’s the perfect place if you’d like a more serene atmosphere to watch the game.
For excellent German cuisine look no further than The Musket. Being one of Toronto’s few authentic German watering holes already gives it a pretty good reputation, but its patrons are what make it truly special. During World Cup season, the patio is crammed with dedicated (but always pleasant!) fans who passionately cheer on Team Germany over plates of schnitzel and apple strudel.
For a little taste of New Zealand in the heart of Toronto, there’s Hemingway’s. It has multiple floors and a large rooftop patio, so you don’t have to worry about any potential oncoming claustrophobia or elbows in your face. Their bacon wrapped teriyaki maple salmon is nothing to scoff at, either.
Make sure you get here early, because Café Diplomatico is no hidden gem. Always crowded and perpetually lively (seriously, are they ever empty?), “The Dip” is the place to be if you find yourself in Little Italy. Multiple large screen TVs inside and out will give you a good view of the match, while waiters will keep your glass full and your plate loaded with pizza and pasta to your heart’s content.
The Duke of Gloucester
If you’re looking for an authentic English experience, there’s The Duke. With a good selection of beers on tap and some pretty tasty grub, this is one pub you’ll definitely want to visit. Come early so you can skip the inevitable long line and squeeze in with the regulars.
Which of these patios do you think you’ll watch the game on? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.