Tourists ruin lives. Our lives. Your lives. They take up coveted reservations at our favourite restaurants, wear awful clothing (fanny packs, hello!) to our beloved theater shows, and walk at the pace of differently-abled snails on our downtown sidewalks. Naturally, Toronto summers see tourists flocking in droves to our fair metropolis to revel in the dirty heat emanating from our paved streets. When the incoming insurgents become too much to bear, we like to take shelter from their shame on Toronto’s best backyard patios. Here’s where you can find us going all incognito this summer…
The Combine Eatery
Essentially an urban oasis, The Combine Eatery’s backyard patio is nothing but pure R&R. Enclosed by stunning wooden walls (so it’s never too windy) and covered by a custom-built pergola replete with ceiling fans (for those too-hot days), the back patio at this Toronto restaurant is perfect for cool summer nights and muggy sunlit days. Tacos and bourbon, anyone?
Across the street from The Combine Eatery on the Danforth, Allen’s beautiful backyard patio is a Toronto staple. The weeping willow sashays in a summer breeze as you gently slice through choice cuts of meats. If you’re able to nab a spot out here on those days where the humidex makes you feel like you’re walking through a wet sponge, you’ll do well to keep the pints coming for hours on end.
DEQ at Ritz-Carlton
Swankiest backyard patio in Toronto? Hells yes! DEQ at the Ritz-Carlton is one of those after-work cocktail hour spots that’s got an unbelievable beverage program and some of the sexiest suits and skirts in the city reveling in its urban splendor.
Stout Irish Pub
With a faux lawn underfoot the small cropping of picnic tables, Stout Irish Pub’s patio feels like a jaunt outside of the city core. One of Toronto’s best backyard patios, Stout’s hidden gem is ideally suited to those who love a robust craft beer list alongside slightly elevated takes on pub classics. Bonus: Their menu has quite a few dietary restrictions covered, and the kitchen has always been friendly with our mods.
Smith is one of our brunch spots we try not to talk about too much. Not because it isn’t amazing, but because we don’t want the line-ups to fill any quicker! Outstanding food, fabulous drinks (it’s in the village after all), and an adorable strip of patio hidden at the back make Smith a best bet anytime of the day.
Kitschy and comfortable, Rebel House has one of the best back patios in all of Toronto. No frills furniture, twinkling string lights, one of the biggest canopy umbrellas we’ve ever seen, and, of course, some awesome beers on tap and some pretty swish nosh make a sit-in on Rebel House’s patio a favourite pastime during the warmer months.
Rock Lobster on Queen Street West
An ode to all things Canadiana with an east coast twist, Rock Lobster’s Queen West patio digs are always hot n’ happenin’ when the mercury rises. Grab some snow crab clusters and down a couple Scott Howards while feeling an undeserved sense of national pride.
F*ck Algonquin Park, Big Crow is our favourite place to camp (read: drink profusely while donning madras). You’re basically out of town without ever leaving the TTC’s reach while perched in Big Crow’s wooden grace. Campfire cuisine abounds here, and we can never have too many cocktail pitchers. (We keep trying though!)
The Harbord Room
An urban mix of rural familiarity, The Harbord Room’s outdoor space is resplendently refined. Sip on a summer cocktail while a fanciful feast explodes on your palate, all the while breathing in the humid air that defines a Toronto summer. PS: Best. Effing. Burger. Ever.
Union still has some of the best steak tartare in the city. And that uber-hot sauce accompanying the oysters… killer. (Come to think of it, not once have we frowned at any plate that’s graced our tables here.) The back patio has been a favourite on Toronto’s restaurant scene ever since opening (before Ossington was as cool as it is now, actually), and it’s still one of our go-to spots for perfect sharable dishes alongside some robust yet balanced cocktails.
What are your favourite backyard patios in Toronto? Comment below or tweet us @ViewtheVibe!