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Toronto Pubs for group of friends

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Hi everyone,

My b-day is coming up and I'm planning to just go to a pub with a group of friends for drinks (and probably food too). I've usually gone to O'Grady's or a pub near UofT when I was still a student, but I think this year, I'm thinking about venturing off my norm.

Can anyone recommend some good pubs in the downtown Toronto area? Here's what I'm looking for:
- Some lighting at least (not too dark inside)
- A place not too noisy where I can hear my friends when we talk to each other (I'm aware there will be noise at a pub. I just don't want to be screaming at my friend's ear the entire night)
- has an area that can seat around 15-20 people
- Good beer (bonus points if it's not too expensive)
- Casual vibe/atmosphere

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I haven't been in a while, but what about "C'est what"?

    http://www.cestwhat.com/index.asp

    5 Replies
    1. re: Hondapendragon

      I was going to suggest C'est What? as well. Awesome beer list and the volume level is low enough that you won't need to scream to talk to people. You may want to call them about 15-20 people though.

      1. re: kwjd

        The Monk's Table isn't downtown, but it's midtown and has some good things going for it. You could reserve the entire upstairs area for your group, which could seat 20 pretty comfortably. The menu is interesting and the food's pretty decent. They have some interesting beers available. The service is efficient, attentive and quite friendly. The only downside is that parking is available only on side streets, but it isn't impossible to find. If I lived in Toronto and in that neighbourhood, it would definitely be my neighbourhood hangout.

        Especially good if your friends are coming by TTC or cab might be the Queen and Beaver on Elm Street.

        1. re: 1sweetpea

          I second the Queen and Beaver, good beer and I like the food.

        2. re: kwjd

          Ditto on C'est What.

          1. re: TorontoJo

            Thanks for the recommendations!

            I checked out C'est What's website and it said they don't take reservations for Friday and Saturday nights around this time of year :S I guess I can call and follow up with them if that's still in place.

            @1sweetpea: I saw the website for The Queen and Beaver and looks pretty cool. I added that to my list.

      2. The Bedford Academy fits your criteria and, as a converted mansion, has lots of rooms for a group to party..
        http://www.thebedfordacademy.com/inde...

        1. I've heard great things about Victory Cafe, just not sure on the noise level. Good microbrews. Near Bloor and Bathurst.

          http://www.victorycafe.ca/

          4 Replies
          1. re: miketoronto

            I like The Vic too.

            1. re: miketoronto

              2 thumbs up for Victory Cafe!

              1. re: miketoronto

                I can't imagine you'd be able to get seating for 15-20 people at The Vic. As others have mentioned, C'est What? has a good selection of beers, and they'd probably be able to seat that many people. Never tried their food, tho.

                1. re: Jimbo321

                  The food there is fine, but it's nothing special. It is a lot better than most pubs though since it is made fresh. I go for the beer (all Canadian microbrews), not the food.

              2. You may want to try The Three Brewers at Yonge and Dundas. There is lots of seating upstairs and for around $8 you can get 1 litre of beer in a giant stien. Food is just okay...def. go for the cheap beer!

                1 Reply
                1. re: gillyb

                  thanks! i've passed by this place a few times i think, but never went in. i'll add this to my list.

                2. The Dora, a door or two beside Allen's. Same owner. As genuine an Irish pub as you'll find in the city. Snugs for groups. Bring your own crack...