Eat + Drink

Sip and Stroll Your Way Through Toronto’s Bar Scene on a Queen Street West Pub-Crawl

There’s no better way to get a taste of Toronto’s beverage scene than by going on a good old-fashioned pub-crawl down one of the city’s trendiest streets.

Whether you’re only in town for a night, celebrating a big occasion in a group, or simply want to get to know the city through a pair of beer goggles, barhopping is a chance to experience multiple venues in a single night.

Queen Street West is known for its stylish boutiques and, of course, go-to bars that range from divey to classy. If you rock a no-frills attitude and want an experience that is historic, edgy and a blast, then this walkable Queen Street West pub-crawl is perfect for you.

Grab your wallets, put on your heels, designate a driver and get started.

The Black Bull Tavern

toronto bars
The Black Bull is the perfect place to start your tour. (Photo: Getty Images)

Start the night off full-throttle at the Black Bull. This old-school tavern has been on Queen Street West since the 1800s; just look at the photographs on the walls to get a sense of what Toronto looked like back in the day. Catering to a mixed crowd of hip and trendy out-of-towners and loyal locals, this bar is known for its large patio and laid-back vibe.

Price point: $-$$

Location: 298 Queen Street West

Horseshoe Tavern

toronto bars
Groove to live tunes at the Horseshoe. (Photo: Getty Images)

A mere two-minute walk from The Black Bull is the famous Horseshoe Tavern. This dive bar opened its doors in 1947 and has since become a staple on Queen Street West.

Dedicating its nights to live music acts — encompassing everything from indie, rock and country to blues and funk — the Horseshoe takes pride in helping bands make names for themselves.

With a casual vibe and a wide selection of local craft beers, this popular bar has long been an integral part of the community — just ask the staff, most of whom have worked there for 20-plus years.

Price point: $-$$

Location: 370 Queen Street West

BarChef

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Experimentation is always a good thing and BarChef doesn’t disappoint. (Photo: Courtesy of BarChef)

Your third stop offers a change of scenery for your taste buds. BarChef opened in 2008 as a progressive and modern cocktail bar that allows completely free artistic expression via mixology.

With a warm, dark and intimate environment, BarChef uses the freshest and highest-quality ingredients. Cocktails change depending on available ingredients and the essence of the season.

Try out some of their staples like the Vanilla and Hickory Smoked Manhattan. If you’re not up for those, the massive back bar, which holds one of the city’s largest selections of spirits, will definitely have something to tickle your fancy — and your taste buds.

Price point: $-$$

Location: 472 Queen Street West

The Cameron House

At this point you’re at least three drinks in and might be craving a pause for a round of live music.

Opened in 1981, Cameron House’s main vision was to offer a home to artists of all mediums, most notably musicians. From the art on the walls to the piano in the corner to the funky bar, you will not only find all forms of artistic expression here, but also a real sense of community.

Mainly a beer and whiskey bar, this unique venue caters to like-minded individuals who make and enjoy music rather than to people of a specific age range. All are welcome to enjoy live music seven days a week.

Price point: $-$$

Location: 408 Queen Street West

Lisa Marie

Now gear up for a little rock ‘n’ roll to end the night.

With a rough, industrial look; communal tables; metal walls; and a massive Elvis mural, Lisa Marie brings on the funk. Focusing on a great craft beer selection, an offering of fun street food and hearty comfort food, this venue is the perfect last stop to wrap up the evening.

Price point: $-$$

Location: 638 Queen Street West

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