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Good cocktails and plates of food to share?

I hope to go out this Saturday to celebrate my recent graduation.

Looking for a place where the boy and I can share small plates of good food and drink a few (or many) cocktails.

Hoping for a scene (background noise and people watching), but nothing over-pretentious (aka spice route).

Any suggestions?

I was thinking the bar at vertical, but a recent post led me to believe it is quieter than what I had in mind.

Thanks in advance :)

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  1. I'm probably stating the obvious here, but the top of the Park Hyatt has some nibblies and very good cocktails. The people watching is limited to people more in their pre or mid cougar years, but the view is unparalleled, and the drinks are pricey, for fair disclosure.

    As it's going to be nice on Saturday, you might also try the roofs of the Drake, Pilot or Globe. If you want the jazzy vibe, the jazz bar at Centro is also decent.

    1. I actually LOVE the reservoir lounge on Saturday nights with Tyler Yarema on the piano... the band is super loud though don't know if you're into it. Food is pretty awesome.

      1. The Park Hyatt is lovely, but might fall into the pretentious category, or at least the "mature crowd" category. Have you thought about Torito in Kensington Market? Good tapas and a very bustling young crowd. Good people watching there and in Kensington Market in general.

        1 Reply
        1. re: TorontoJo

          Torito came to mind for me too... it's just as you describe - great food, drink, and people-watching... zero pretension.

          Nyood is really great for small plates and cocktails, but it is a bit scene-y and you may find it on the pretentious side. I haven't been yet, but feedback on the Harbord Room makes me think it might work for you??

          1. re: bluedog

            Torito is the first place I thought of as well. The bar at Sidecar might be a good option too.

          2. Another vote for Torito but it is more geared toward the wine drinker than a dedicated cocktail place. The sangria is excellent too.

            SWS

            1. depends if you want "small plates" or just good sharing food, but i would check out harbord Room and see if their menu strikes your fancy. the cocktail list always wows me, but i end up ordering ontario wine cause they carry some great selections.

              3 Replies
              1. re: LemonLauren

                I have been to Torito and do love the place.
                Since its a bit of a celebration, I was going to pull out a dress and heels, and him a suit and tie. We have never been to Harbord Room, Nyood, Pilot, or Resevoir Lounge. Would we stick out like sore thumbs or blend in?
                Thanks :)

                1. re: pancake

                  Nyood is stylish... you could definitely get away with a suit/dress. Pilot is very causal - it's actually pretty pub-ish, but the roof is nice. Reservoir is a mixed bag, I think you could probably get away with it, but it's on the more casual side. I haven't been to Harbord, but I think it leans more to the casual side?

                  1. re: Rabbit

                    yeah, but i see lots of hot folks dressed up there too!