Picture this: It’s mid-July. You’ve spent the beginning of patio season (and all your hard-earned cheddah) reveling in rooftop splendour and judging passersby all the while enjoying some of the best food and drinks in the city. The reality of your now-broke-ass situation settles in, and you have two options: retreat to your sad 14-square-foot “balcony” with a Mike’s Hard Lemonade 6-pack and some serious FOMO baggage, or get ready to rough it university-student-style on some of the cheapest patios in the city. Take your pick, but chances are we’ll see you on one of these budget-friendly badass patios, slinging back copper-tinged beers and processed finger foods like the renegade you truly are…
This Queen West staple boasts some of the cheapest brews in town. (A pint for under $5 including tax?! Are sleepover cots available?) Sure, the food is subpar, and the service, while friendly, calls for double-fisted ordering, but you’ll zig-zagedly walk away from an evening under the stars (read: landing Porter flights) with a mere $30 spent and an undeserved sense of financial stability.
A platter of wings for 8 frugal folks works out to about $7 each. Little else on Pauper’s Pub’s menu ascends beyond the $12 mark. Talk about money in the bank… or, rather… money staying in the bank. And if you’re a disciple of the Cult of Brunching, Caesars are only $3.50 a pop on Sundays.
It’s rare that a day basking in the summer sun at Yorkville’s Hemingway’s will cost you over, say, $60. And that’s after 4 hours, 7 pints, a tray of nachos, and a Caesar salad. Best part? There’s something like 17 patios here, so even if you’re told to wait like a commoner you’ll only feel like a second-class citizen for about 20 minutes or so.
Einstein Bier Hall
The patio leaves much to be desired, sure, as its small 15-seat capacity is, well, small. But, if you score one of the coveted spots you’ll be downing 1L pours of Amsterdam’s Natural Blonde Lager for only $8.50. Ready to get crunked…?
Madison Avenue Pub
Have $15 to spare? Grab two bottles of domestic and a half-priced starter at the Maddy before 6pm and fake it like you’re an aristocrat slumming it for the day. Or opt for half-priced Wing Wednesdays or $3.50 domestic bottles and bar rail Thursdays. No matter the prefix on whichever day, guaranteed you can check out of the Madison Avenue Pub with a purple bill left over from your two greens.
The Office Pub
Rotating events and a central location make The Office Pub an interesting zone most nights of the week. They’ve also got a pretty killer selection of daily specials, ranging from Pimp Your Burger Mondays to Wholly Craft Wednesdays. There’s always at least one drink on the docket for $5.50 or less, too, and weekends see $14.99 pitcher deals for all-day sit-ins.
Utopia Cafe and Grill
Head here on Monday evenings for half-priced wines and half-priced burgers while a balmy summer breeze plays tricks with your senses. The pitchers at Utopia are well-priced, too, as are the myriad of dishes on their comfort food-focused menu.
The Green Room
Sporting uber-cheap bar rail and no food priced over $8, The Green Room is a long-standing Annex favourite for those nights when you need to make a twenty stretch as far as possible.
The Wheat Sheaf
One of Toronto’s oldest watering holes, The Wheat Sheaf has dirt cheap eats and reasonably-priced pints. Sundays through Tuesdays sees their wings getting the half-priced treatment, and on Wednesdays opt for $14 pitchers and half-priced apps.
Lou Dawg’s (Church and Gerrard)
Maybe not the “cheapest” eats and drinks around, but totally affordable nevertheless. The reason Lou Dawg’s scores a prime spot on this list is the value-for-dollar that’ll leave a saccharine sweetness in your pie-hole. Most of the food tops out around the $13 mark (and is hand-crafted indulgence at its finest), and the Smoked Lemon Southern Tea is one of the most dangerous liquid concoctions we’ve ever sucked back.
What’s your favourite cheap-ass patio in Toronto? Comment below or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.