Wondering which neighborhood of Toronto has the best nightlife? The answer to this question depends on the kind of vibe you’re looking for.
As diverse as its population, the nightlife scene in Toronto is electrifying and entertaining, with a plethora of experiences at your disposal once the sun goes down in the City of Queens. From the old-world charm of Victorian-era buildings and street cafes to the cosmopolitan downtown bustle, there’s something in store for everyone.
Boiling it down, our favorite neighborhoods in the city are Kensington Market for trending watering holes, Queen West for vibrant nightclubs, and Ossington Avenue for its amazing mixology fixtures. But there’s much more in the city than these three picks.
So, are you ready to party in one of the world’s most happening cities? Let’s take a look at the best neighborhoods in Toronto for the ultimate night outs with the gang.
Sandwiched between Spadina Avenue and Sudbury Street, the King West is easily one of Toronto’s most trendy, lively, and vibrant neighborhoods. This is a one-stop location for all your after-dark activities – from fine dining options to dance clubs and everything in between.
Formerly an industrial part of town full of godowns, King West is a buzzing hotspot of entertainment in downtown Toronto today. Visit this strip for its upscale restaurants and rooftop patios.
Our Top Pick: Don’t miss out on the gastronomic delights at Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen, where one can find Caribbean cuisines infused with the coziness of home-style cooking.
One of the most popular neighborhoods in Toronto, Queen West is known for its boutique cafes, restaurants, art galleries, and much more. Outside of Toronto, though, people recognize Queen West as the ‘second coolest neighborhood in the world,’ as proclaimed by Vogue magazine.
Queen West offers an unmatched experience after dark. If you’re visiting Toronto for the first time, you can’t afford to miss this baby.
Our Top Pick: The Drake Hotel is our top pick in Queen West. Don’t miss this boutique hotel, which gives you a glimpse of the art and culture of Toronto, with outstanding hospitality, of course.
Ossington Ave, or Ossington Avenue, is a cult part of the city. Claimed by many locals as the trendiest street in Toronto, Ossington Avenue attracts a boisterous young crowd to its watering holes and nightclubs. Live music and mixology establishments reign supreme in this strip, making this neighborhood an excellent spot for the perfect night out.
Our Top Pick: The twinkling lights, vintage mirror, and art frames make Sweaty Betty’s a must-visit at Ossington Avenue. It has arguably been the best dive bar in Toronto for the best part of two decades with its classic selection of beer and whiskey.
Being one of the oldest neighborhoods in Toronto, The Annex has withstood the test of time. A single visit to this area is like time-traveling back to the 20th century. Divided into two sections, the front part of The Annex is full of trendy restaurants, art galleries, and unique shopping escapades.
Meanwhile, the other part of The Annex is a residential haven built in the 19th century.
Our Top Pick: The Royal Ontario Museum is the landmark destination at The Annex. With over 13 million exhibits full of artifacts, specimens, and artworks, one can find everything here, from dinosaur skeletons to famous paintings.
If you want to experience Toronto in a snapshot, the Entertainment District is where you should head to. This neighborhood is home to some of the most famous Toronto landmarks, namely the CN Tower, along with a gamut of bars, restaurants, theaters, and nightclubs.
Our Top Pick: There are several attractions in the Entertainment District worth the visit, like the Royal Alexandra Theater, Rogers Center, and Ripley’s Aquarium, but none more iconic than the CN Tower. The view from the top is breathtaking, and you can also make dinner reservations at 360° Restaurant and dine in the second-tallest man-made structure in the world.
Make sure that time is your ally when you visit the Entertainment District.
Dundas Street West
TimeOut magazine described Dundas West as the ‘culture consumer’s paradise’, and rightly so. This stretch between Queen West and Trinity Bellwoods has a thriving nightlife scene with vintage fashion shops, boutique art galleries, cafes, and a swarm of watering holes.
Our Top Pick: Head to Communist’s Daughter for the coziest ambiance. This watering hole has been a local favorite for two decades and is a great spot for some leisurely time with friends, family, or even strangers. Oh, and don’t forget to get your hands on the real-life jukebox here.
Welcome to the historic Distillery District, named after the founding of the Gooderham & Worts Distillery almost two centuries back. This renovated neighborhood is full of cobblestone streets and Victorian-era buildings that have been restored to give nostalgia of the Old Town of Toronto.
Apart from various distilleries and breweries, visit this neighborhood for its restaurants, cafes, and galleries.
Our Top Pick: Whilst in the Distillery District, go for the Mexican vibes at El Catrin, the largest Tequila bar in the country. Sip on margaritas and have a taste of Mexican excellence, including tacos, tortillas, empanadas, soups, and more.
Kensington Market is another lovely district in Toronto that gives you unparalleled options for a sundown spree. From vintage fashion and art decor shops to restaurants, cafes, and rooftop patios, Kensington Market is the hotspot for an entire evening of shopping and entertainment.
Various restaurants offering cuisines from around the world, including Mexican, Italian, European, and more, call Kensington Market home.
Our Top Pick: Given the sheer number of gastronomic options here, we recommend booking a food-tasting tour of the market, where a guide will accompany you to sample food and drinks from various cultures of the world.
If Italian cuisine and culture are your thing, don’t miss out on this cozy neighborhood tucked West of Queen Park. Discover the Italian heritage in Toronto with various patio bars, gelato diners, and dance clubs.
Our Top Pick: Treat yourself at Cafe Diplomatico – the city’s oldest Gelateria Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe. Sip on cappuccino and taste Biscotti at this heritage Italian cafe in Toronto.
A west-end neighborhood nestled between Queen West and Lake Ontario; Parkdale is the true emblem of Toronto, thanks to its multicultural and artsy essence. Bars, vintage shops, and independent galleries make Parkdale a must-visit on your trip to Toronto.
Our Top Pick: Housing the largest Tibet expat community in the city, it’s only fitting that you pay a visit to the Tibet Kitchen for a mouthful of momos and other Tibetan dishes.