Us Torontonians live and breathe for
the cute Instagrams at outdoor bars in the summer. Let’s be honest here, we need to take advantage of the warm weather before the blistering winter comes around. And what better way to finish off an incredible (and disgustingly hot) summer than at the best outdoor bars in Toronto? This list has you covered from amazing rooftop bars to Instagrammable adult beverages, and everything in between.
1. Thompson Hotel
Located on King West, this rooftop patio is typically reserved for hotel guests and event goers. However, the views of the city are some of the best and should definitely make it onto your list of bars to visit before the summer is over. It’s super spacious and has a pool, perfect for this killer heat wave. Scam your way in if you have to.
2. The Porch
This one makes it on all the best outdoor bars in Toronto lists, but for good reasons. It is known for its unobstructed view of the CN tower and serving drinks in buckets. The only downside is due to its Instagrammable backdrop, there tend to be super long lines in the summer, so beware.
3. Cocktail Bar
With gorgeous cocktails that focus on flavour and change depending on the season, it’s no wonder that this bar made it onto our list of the best outdoor bars in Toronto. They offer beer and wine as well, but I suggest you stick with a cocktail when ordering since that is their specialty. Only bummer? Their patio is only open until 11 pm now *eyeroll*.
4. Drake Sky Yard
There’s no place quite like this one, making it one of the best outdoor bars in Toronto that you really need to visit before the summer ends. With murals on the wall painted by local artists, great food, and amazing drinks, you really can’t go wrong — other than not getting a seat. What to order? Their mojitos are my personal fav.
It’s the pub you never knew you needed. With its New-Zealand inspiration, located in Yorkville, this is a great stop on your end of summer bar crawl. They have 2 dozen draft beers to choose from and tons of pub food to nosh on. No wonder it’s been around for 35 years.
Images: Shutterstock; @thompsontoronto / Instagram; @theporchto / Instagram; @melaniesubekti / Instagram
We’re approaching the part of summer when the temperature in NYC becomes absolutely unbearable. The “concrete jungle” isn’t so fun once you realize it’s actually just a massive heat trap and the city decides it no longer needs to collect its 10,000 pounds of rotten garbage anymore. God forbid you have to get on the subway at any point, that’s just game fucking over. Anyways, our respite from all of this is either 1) the Hamptons, obvi or 2) scenic bars where we can cool down with some extremely overpriced beverages. Here are the best places to get drinks with a view of the city this summer, because I don’t care if there are beaches, I’m still not going to Jersey.
1. Le Bain (West Village)
Le Duh. This rooftop bar is located at the top of The Standard and is basically the only place in Manhattan I’m willing to tolerate that doesn’t have central AC pumping throughout the entire thing 24/7. TBCH the glass rooftop can get exceedingly hot on a sunny day but is worth it for the views, the pretty people and the pitchers of cocktails, in that order. Oh and there’s also a pool if you feel like getting herpes.
2. Frying Pan (Pier 66)
If you want to be as close to the water as humanly possible without drowning then Frying Pan is your place since it’s literally a boat that’s permanently docked. During the day it’s basically a giant frat party which can be extremely fun if you don’t get seasick because again, it’s a boat and it moves. You’ll probably be feeling pretty wobbly from the alcohol regardless, so either way it’s whatevs.
3. Loopy Doopy (Battery Park)
You already know this place even if you don’t think you do, since it’s the bar where everyone ‘grams a picture of their boozy popsicles dipped in champagne. It costs almost $30 for that drink, which is good, but like, not that good. It’s also filled with lots of annoying (sorry not sorry) finance people, so this is a one-and-done kind of venue unless you enjoy your Prosecco with a side of douchebag.
4. Refinery Rooftop (Midtown West)
It’s not the most “lit” bar in NYC, but then again if you went to Frying Pan every day you wouldn’t have a liver. Refinery Rooftop definitely has its charm in an industrial-chic kind of way, which makes it perfect for anything from after-work drinks to your go-to spot for shit-talking people while drinking rosé. The food is pretty decent too, if that’s a thing you’re doing this summer.
5. Gallow Green (Chelsea)
When the last plant you’ve seen was the succulent you killed last year, Gallow Green provides a nice urban oasis that’s perfect for weekend day drinking. It’s more chilled out than some of the more packed venues listed above, which means you can both cure your heat stroke and not come into physical contact with any bro who’s fully sweated through his button-down.
6. Hotel Chantelle (LES)
Most times I’ve been here I’ve been extremely blacked out, but from what I can recall this rooftop is a spacious area that’s great for large groups of drunk people. They do brunch during the day, which turn into club tables at night aka the perfect section to get free drinks from and then walk away immediately after.
7. Rock & Reilly’s (Midtown West)
This place is a hidden gem but I guess I’ll share it with you because I’m feeling somewhat generous. If you work or live near Midtown and don’t feel like schlepping far away for some nice scenery and drinks, this place has both and a ton of space. There’s an indoor section (which has a sports bar vibe) and outdoor section with its own bar area. There’s usually never a line, so please don’t completely blow up my spot k thanks bye.