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Mirco Brewery Beer w/ pub fare downtown TO?

I've recently moved to Toronto (Bloor-Sherbourne area) and my significant other is coming up for his first visit to my new neighbourhood. We're interested in having a nice evening at our favourite type of place: somewhere with plenty of delicious local/micro beers, satisfying pub fare (does not necessarily have to be traditional though), and a friendly atmosphere where we can talk and relax. Being new to the area, I'm finding the search to be a bit overwhelming and thought I would try these boards (new user!) Is there any place that stands out on these three points in the downtown area? The nice thing about living where I do is that it only takes a quick subway ride to get just about anywhere downtown. I really miss my cozy Kingston Brew Co. and would love to hear your recommendations. Thank you in advance!

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  1. I can think of a couple of places that might fit the bill, not too far away from you. If the beer is more important than the food, Cafe Volo on Yonge just south of Bloor (at Dundonald, maybe?) has lots of good Ontario microbrews, from the GTA and further afield. The pizza is pretty darn good too (they're small, individual-sized ones) - some of their more unusual combinations work really well.

    For a more unique experience, you could walk over to Parliament and catch a bus down to the Mill Street Brewery in the Distillery District. They typically have about 1/2 dozen of their own brews on tap, and they're very good. The food is pretty typical pub-ish stuff, but it's well executed (i.e., somebody back there really knows what they're doing with a deep fryer).

    I have to say, though, that if you're looking for something with atmosphere that's more like the Kingston Brewing Company, I'd recommend the House on Parliament (on Parliament, just south of Carleton, west side). It tends to have more in the way of imports than microbrews, but they always have at least a couple local ones. It's very cosy, the music is good (esp. if you have a thing for late 80s alterna-pop...for some reason I always hear the Cure in there), the staff is friendly and the food is great. I am a sucker for their pulled pork sandwich with spinach salad.

    Happy pubbing!

    1. If you're at Bloor and Sherbourne you should check out the Rebel House (www.rebelhouse.ca... beware of annoying, over-design-y web site). It's across from the Rosedale TTC, about a 15 minute walk from your location. Great beer selection, fantastic pub-y food, nice atmosphere (note the cozy upstairs).

      I also like C'est What (Front and Church) for a great selection of beer, but the food is only so-so (not bad, just not great).

      Neither are quite as traditional as the Kingston Brew Pub, but both are pretty great options.

      1. I definitely second the Caffe Volo recommendation. The beer list is huge (and while they do have a good selection of local and Southern Ontario, they have many more imports), the food is pretty good, and the music is usually good too.

        1. it's out of your hood, but i've always loved the in-house brews (mmmmm raspberry) at the Granite Brewery at Mt pleasanr/Eglinton. food is pubby to be sure, but meets approval from most guys i bring there, not sure about ambiance though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LemonLauren

            C'est What down at Church and Front is also worth the walk, delicious food and great beers.

          2. Another place that gets overlooked is The Victory Café on Markham St. (Bloor & Bathurst area, a short subway ride). Exceptional local microbrews and good pub fare. Their sweet potato fries (a bit of a fad these days) are quite good. My favourite part about the place is that the bartender really knows his beer. Definitely more casual than Mill St. and Volo, but still worth a look.


            1. Why not Starfish at Jarvis & Adelaide? Definitely a step above the usual Pub Clubs and wings fare we usually find. And a few micros on tap – I had a pint of Welly (Wellington County Ale) last time I was in.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jimmyb32

                but the OP requested pub fare

                I like the Pour House on Dupont.

              2. Allen's and Dora Keough are pretty good too (although there have been reports that hte food is slipping). Irish pubs... just a short ride down the Bloor line...


                1 Reply
                1. re: Rabbit

                  Also a little further east than Allen's and Dora Keogh is the Auld Spot Pub. Their food is quite good and is all new twists on pub standards like bangers and mash. Beer list isn't particular big, but they do have some interesting selections.

                  Note on Dora Keough - lots to drink but if you want a meal you will have to reserve in advance for Yer Ma's Kitchen, a $30 prix-fixe (more info on the site). It's as close to authentic Irish pub as you're going to get in this city though.

                  Allen's next door, on the other hand, serves quite a few pub-style eats and has a ginormous selection of beers. No complaints about the food from me - I've been twice in the last few months (once for brunch and once for dinner) and have enjoyed my food both times. They have more of a Boston/NYC Irish pub feel... great patio out back, too.

                  Auld Spot
                  347 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K, CA

                  Dora Keogh
                  141 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K, CA

                  143 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1N2, CA

                2. you will kick yourself in the nards if you don't go to rebel house.

                  1 Reply
                  1. Not on a subway line, but the Mill St. Brew Pub in the Distillery has some surprisingly good food (think pub fare with the occasional upscale twist) and all of the tasty Mill St. Brewery beers. Very casual, though it can be quite loud in there due to the high ceilings.

                    And for a more upscale (though still reasonably casual) choice, Beerbistro is not a pub (hence the name), but has a fantastic beer list, including many Canadian micro-brews and very good food in a very nice atmosphere.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: TorontoJo

                      yes dora's and allens are both great and much closer or a short subway ride - 2 stops? - allen's menu says they make what they consider to be toronto's finest burger - I think they are right! very very good and dora's has them too (you order at the bar and they get them from allen's kitchen).

                      1. re: shana

                        Local 4 is a good spot for local microbrews and pub-style food. It's on Dundonald St in the Yonge and Wellesley area, so it's not too far from where you are. Haven't tried the food yet, but you can take a look at their menu, as well as their beer list, online.

                        "We believe in supporting local breweries and businesses, so our Draft Selection consists of Micro Brewed Craft Beer from Ontario and Quebec. The bottled beer selection also reflects this mandate with a variety of breweries, big and small."


                    2. There is a pub called Bow&Arrow at Yonge and Davisville. Almost 30 microbrews on tap and quite decent food. That's my default watering hole these days, and I love it. :-)

                      1. I suggest the Beer Bistro at 18 King St E. The food is great and the selection of beer is fantastic!

                        1. So many fabulous suggestions! We ended up at Rebel House on Yonge Street, and had an excellent evening. It was Friday night and the place was packed, but we were lucky enough to get the last two-seater upstairs. The cheese pennies were delicious, and my partner really enjoyed his sausage plate; we shared the PEI mussels, which were in a bleu cheese sauce (very good, fresh and the cheese flavour was rich). Round one was a nice but rather forgettable pilsner, but round two was a DELISH wheat beer called Denison's Weissbier; so flavourful, mmm.

                          We will definitely have to check out many of the other places recommended on this thread; thank you all for the help!

                          1. Some place links...

                            Rebel House
                            1068 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W2L4, CA

                            587 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA

                            Mill Street Brew Pub
                            55 Mill St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                            C'est What
                            67 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E1B5, CA