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best patio dining in the GTA

now that th nice weather is here (or at least on its way) , i'm wanting to get a head-start on the best patio dining in t.o.

any suggestions? The beach and leslieville area is preferred but I will travel anywhere.

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  1. Had a lovely meal last Summer at Leslie Jones' back patio. on Queen E.
    Have always loved the outdoor dining at Julie's Cuban on Dovercourt.

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    Leslie Jones
    1182 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1L4, CA

    Julie's Cuban
    202 Dovercourt Rd, Toronto, ON M6J3C8, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: Julie McCoy

      Love Julie's Cuban.....a beautiful patio is the Fifth, tho slightly pricier. Allen's is awesome when its super hot. George's patio is stunning, as is the food and service.

    2. Bymark is great, as long as it's not too crowded. Best bet is to avoid it on Thursdays or go for lunch (better sun in the afternoon as well). One has a great patio as well, though best for brunch (sun issues again).

      I really disliked Leslie Jones' patio, service, and food the few times I was there for brunch.

      I'm also a big fan of the back patio at the Rebel House.

      With the Beach and Leslieville oriented east-west along Queen they tend not to have great patio environments or sun. The Gull & Firkin being a prime example of the problems of being on the south side of Queen. I wish Boardwalk Pub was better and that the city had a few decent restaurants with a lake atmosphere. Unfortunately you have to go far out of the city or get to a private club. If you can get an invite, RCYC has the best outdoor dining in the city and amazing views...

      2 Replies
      1. re: preppycuisine

        I'm always intrigued by how different people can have such opposite experiences in a place. I have only been to Leslie Jones the one time, and it was an evening meal. The candlelight was nice, the service attentive and the food delicious. We all left quite pleased we had chosen there and I plan to head back soon. Perhaps it is the case that patios in the evening can be more charming than the light of day? I'll be sure to report back on whether the second visit brings anything new!

        1. re: Julie McCoy

          I can think of a number of places that are perfectly acceptable at night but not during the day, mainly bars of course.

          With Leslie Jones I just didn't like the light or the atmosphere. I can see it being much better at night, but unfortunately still saddled with the same kitchen and staff.

          Of course I generally haven't been happy with anything in Leslieville - too "hip"/"hipster". If I want to be ignored and overcharged, I can do it far closer to downtown (and actually have a hard time getting treated as bad downtown as I do in Leslieville since I'm a suit).

          Vittorio's at Dupont and Avenue has a great patio (the former Adriatico/Lure) but I haven't been since they started closing the restaurant repeatedly. Could also go for the rooftop patio at the Drake (though mostly drinking focused). The patio at the Roof Lounge at the Park Hyatt is superb, but again not really a dining focus.

      2. Milestones at Yonge dundas has a great patio on the 4th floor overlooks the square.

        1. Here's the link to a similar thread I started last year (though without the geographical preferences) - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5103... - it's a good sign that the first patio post of '09 came more than 2 weeks earlier than the first post from last year - let's hope that bodes well for a great summer!!

          4 Replies
          1. re: peppermint pate

            Just scanning through last year's thread, I noticed a reference to Waterside Bistro at Lower Sherbourne & Queen's Quay (& construction next door). Before anyone goes looking for this place, thought I'd mention that the WB (and the tennis club it was attached to) is No More.

            (btw peppermint, this is off-topic, but thanks for the torito rec you gave me last week - I really enjoyed my dinner there!)

            1. re: dxs

              Awesome dxs - thanks - I was going to post to ask you where you ended up that evening. Torito is one of my absolute favourite spots in this city - been there 15+ times and it's always been great food, very warm service, good value and lots of fun. Getting there early to meander around the market before dins is an added treat (which reminds me to thank whoever it was who started the Good Egg shop thread - finally made it in there - what a great, great store).

              1. re: peppermint pate

                I'll be back to Torito many times I'm sure. They had a special that night of ham, chicken and la bomba rice croquettes - basically paella in a crunchy bite sized package. Delicious. And as for the shrimp al ajillo... 'wow' pretty much sums it up. Nice selection of sherries too.

                And to bring this back on topic - looks like a great patio out back (I took a peek).

                1. re: dxs

                  Yes, Torito has a GREAT patio.

                  If I have one (small) criticism of Torito, it's that they never change their menu and it's not a huge menu. But at least the last few times I've been, they have 4 or 5 specials so that freshens things up a bit (even though I can't leave there without having the chorizo, shrimp and steak). Oh damn, now I've got a craving going...

          2. one of my faves, not for ambiance, but just for amazingness of food, is Utopia on College. I hear Sidecar, also in the hood, has a great patio too. up on Harbord I can't wait for patio season at Harbord Room and Momo's. uptown, there is a so-so streetside patio at Granite Brewery at yonge/eg and a great backyard patio there as well. huge patio.

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            Utopia
            586 College St, Toronto, ON M6G1B3, CA

            Granite Brewery
            245 Eglinton Ave E, Toronto, ON M4P, CA

            Sidecar
            577 College St., Toronto, ON M6G 1B2, CA

            Harbord Room
            89 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA