Never Have I Ever: Explored Toronto’s hidden bars

No one can deny that when it comes to the bar in Toronto, this city knows what it’s doing. But what about the more underground places? We’re trying to find our #NeverHaveIEverTO moments. So in honor of venturing beyond our ponds, we’ve teamed up with Destination Toronto to put together a list of some of the city’s best-kept secret bars and speakeasies.

If you have not followed our #NeverHaveIEverTO series … you will want to check them all out! For those who have, here is a quick summary. Never Have I Ever, TO is a city-wide game started by Destination Toronto in partnership with Toronto City. The two make fun of the backyard by encouraging Torontonians to explore new experiences within (and on the outskirts of) the city to support local tourism and small businesses and then share their NHIETO moments on social media with #NeverHaveIEverTO. In support of the campaign, we have found our own NHIETO moments and shared with you in the hope that you too will discover yours somewhere here.

So let’s get to it! Here are 6 of the best hidden bars and speakeasies in Toronto.

Mahjong bar

mahjong bar toronto hidden bars
Via Mahjong Bar

Hidden behind a storefront, this hidden place is a place you will not want to miss. It has a relaxed vibe and all the Asian style tapas you could dream of. Who knows, their unreal palm wallpaper might just inspire your next DIY reno project.

Where: 1276 Dundas St W

Cold tea

toronto hidden bars
Via cold tea

When we talk about hidden bars in Toronto, it’s impossible not to think about cold tea. Although they unfortunately had to close their doors last year, they are back as ‘Labora @ Cold Tea’ and serve as a pop-up at the Labora restaurant. This place has great cocktails and Spanish-inspired dishes.

Where: 1186 Queen St. West

The gift shop

toronto hidden bars The Gift Shop
Via the gift shop

This local gem is hidden behind a hair salon. It’s the perfect place to try some of their crazy cocktails! And hey, maybe after a few pieces you have the fluid courage to make the big hair change you have been daydreaming about.

Where: 88 Ossington Ave.

The standards

This place is called The Standard and we promise you it’s just what it puts. Follow the flamingo through a pizza place and a graffiti tunnel to find this hidden gem. Speakeasy has a true 1920s ban pattern – classic and timeless. Although this place is currently closed due to covid, it is the ideal choice for your Saturday night and definitely worth keeping an eye on!

Where: 1316 Queen St W

Hush Hush Bar

toronto hidden bars
Via Curiocity

This newly reopened bar is such a secret, it’s right there in the name! Hush Hush Bar, which was once a small speakeasy, has grown in size and has taken its new home under the Nest Nightclub in Little Italy. The bar is a nod to historic bans with vintage d├ęcor and old school classics on the menu.

Where: 423 College St.

Kappen

This secret spot has all the mystery and allure that the name suggests. What is hiding behind the cloak? A speakeasy cocktail bar of course! This place has a cool and classic feel that you will not want to miss. The interior is really impressive. There are plenty of small plate of tapas available, but if you get a little hungrier, just go upstairs to the restaurant, it is below and get some dinner!

Where: 488 Wellington St

Well, this brings us to the end of our exciting-meetings-relaxing Never Have I Ever, TWO moments. Ready to find your own #NeverHaveIEverTO experience and hit some of these incredible places? Let us know which of these speakeasies in Toronto you want to check out first.

Happy to explore, TWO!

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