Call it winter, call it spring, but us sports fans refer to it solely as playoff season.
And if you don’t have much-coveted tickets to catch our Raps and Leafs at the ACC, there’s no need to feel like you’re missing out.
Though our city is drowning in bars, which will no doubt show the playoff games and Jays games alike, not all spots are created equal.
Curated for our Toronto Storeys readers, we’ve put together a list of high-end pubs and establishments with spaces and design concepts that are just as sought after as their food and drinks. Each has impressive beer and cocktail lists, and all will be playing the games.
Looking for a more tasteful place to catch the game in a sexy setting with impressive options while you cheer on our city? Here are our top picks, along with you can expect from each spot:
(Photo courtesy of Sarjoun Faour)
Number of TVs: 24 screens on two floors
TV sound on or off? Sound will be played for both with sound priority given to Leaf games.
Drink/food specials during playoff games: Daily features listed on their website here.
Seating: Over 400 seats, including 45 seats at the main bar, and eight seats at the mezzanine bar. Capacity is approximately 500 people inside, with an additional 200 to be added on the patio this summer.
Reservation or walk-in? You’re welcome to make a reservation or walk-in. The venue takes reservations for up to half the space, with the rest open to walk-ins.
Space designed by:McKinley Burkhart
Notable feature(s): Upon entrance, guests are greeted by a glass-enclosed keg room, which holds more than 250 kegs. Stainless steel draft beer lines connect the keg room to the restaurant’s centrepiece — an oval-shaped bar lined with 160 taps ready to pour great beer, from traditional lagers to obscure ales, ciders and wine.
(Photo courtesy of Donnelly Group)
Number of TVs: 20 screens (55-inch and 75-inch TVs)
TV sound on or off? The Pub plays sound for playoff games (not for regular season games). Case by case scenarios on occasion.
Drink/food specials during playoff games: Daily specials.
Seating: The Ivory Room Bar and main bar have about 20 seats each. Entire venue seats about 165, with a capacity of 416 (I see what they did there).
Space designed by: Donnelly Group’s resident artist, Ricky Alvarez from Tinto Creative.
Notable feature(s): The Ivory Room martini bar is an attraction, serving as a magnet for curious and creative patrons. It features a wall of over 150 pieces of artwork and a library of superlative design, culture and art books, drawing inspiration from an idyllic London flat.
(Photo courtesy of ICONINK)
Number of TVs: Four TVs in the bar area vary in size up to 50 inches, one 65-inch TV above a fireplace in another part of the dining room and one in their event space. They also have a projector for a huge screen in the main area. Imagine watching a game there.
TV sound on or off? Sound is played in some, but not all areas, so that those who want to have a beer and a chat can, while others cheer on their team with sound.
Drink/food specials during playoff games: Each day they offer a different food special and $5-beer special to go along with it.
Seating: There are 15 seats surrounding the bar for guests, while the total seating capacity is approximately 130.
Space designed by:+tongtong
Notable feature(s): They have multiple Ping-Pong tables, a foosball table and dart boards. All free for guest use. They’re also a functioning brewery so their beer is always fresh.
(Photo courtesy of Northern Maverick Brewing Co.)
Number of TVs: Seven screens, plus a TV in the private dining room, should groups of 20 to 40 be looking for a private space to rent for watching a game.
TV sound on or off? They’ll be playingthe playoff games with sound on.
Drink/food specials during playoff games: The specials are currently $5 lager, $5 Jager shots and Chef's Smokehouse BBQ specials.
Seating: 30 bar stools with a space capacity of 350 — including the private dining room, restaurant and bar (440 is with the patio)
Space designed by: HCA Architecture Incorporated. (Architects: principal, Harry Christakis, OAA, MRAIC. Designers: Andy Gearing and Candice Bollivar.)
Notable feature(s): It has 70-foot long quartz bar and in-house brewery with nine beers on tap.
(Photo courtesy of Cactus Club Cafe)
Number of TVs: 10 TVs on the rooftop deck, including flat screens and projector screens
TV sound on or off? The sound is on for all playoff games.
Drink/food specials during playoff games: Yes! All playoff promotions are exclusive to the rooftop deck.
On game days, they have ticket giveaways for every home game for both the Leafs and the Raptors. Plus, there's an NHL grand prize giveaway: Two VIP tickets to the NHL Awards in Las Vegas (includes flights, accommodation, event passes etc). To enter, visit on Leaf game days and purchase a Molson Canadian or Coors Light to receive an entry ballot.
Also, there's a VIP Raptors Experience: On game days, order a Ciroc highball and be eligible to win a VIP Game Day experience on The Deck at Cactus (includes dinner, drinks & the best seats in the house).
Seating: 175 capacity on the rooftop.
Space designed by: Cactus Club Café’s internal design team.
Notable feature(s): The rooftop has a four-seasons retractable roof and is heated, to make an all-year-round patio.
(Photo courtesy of Donnelly Group)
Number of TVs: 10 55-inch TVs
TV sound on or off? Venues play sound for playoff games (not for regular season games). Case by case scenarios on occasion.
Drink/food specials for playoff games: No specialty menus but they’ve got really great daily specials focused on value and quality while supporting local craftspeople.
Seating: Scotch bar with approximately eight seats. Main bar with approximately 22 seats. Entire venue seats about 160. Capacity is 277.
Space designed by: Mason Studio
Notable feature(s): Belfast Love’s game room features a scotch bar, housing over 60 different scotches.
(Photo courtesy of The Anne Boleyn)
Number of TVs: 12 50- to 60-inch TVs
TV sound on or off? Sound on for both Raps and Leafs playoff games.
Drink/food specials for playoff games: No.
Seating: 200 people inside, 80 outside.
Space designed by: Lisa Ho Studio
Notable feature(s): The space was designed to be broken into progressions of experience. There’s an entrance, lounge high-top area, bar, then main dining and private dining areas. Though the space is grand with high ceilings and sourced antique artwork and pieces, it’s still a warm, welcome and intimate setting. People are drawn to the big brass bar and the brass mouldings. They also have 20 beers on tap.
(Photo courtesy of The Keg Steakhouse)
Number of TVs: Two to three located in each lounge
TV sound on or off? Sound is on for all playoff games at their downtown Toronto locations (Yonge and Eglinton, York St., Mansion, King West, Esplanade.)
Drink/food specials for playoff games: Daily $5-drink specials.
Space designed by: Graydon
Notable feature(s): King West — Whisky table, fireplace, large lounge space, private library room in lounge.
York St — Large lounge space, fireplace.
Esplanade — Large lounge space.
Mansion — Unique ambiance, full of character.
Yonge and Eglinton — Large lounge space, TV visibility from all areas of the lounge.