A Night Out in Toronto

Content originally written for the Let’s Go: USA & Canada Guide by our researcher-writer, Daphne Thompson.

El Furniture Warehouse ($)

410 Bloor St. W; (647) 350-7326; warehousegroup.ca/el-furniture-warehouse-bloor-st/; open daily 11am-2am

Its name is full of lies: El Furniture Warehouse doesn’t sell furniture, isn’t a warehouse, and our waiter just stared at us blankly when we inquired ¿Dónde están todas las sillas? Past that initial shock of betrayal, though, we quickly warmed to this Bloor Street dive bar’s menu of strong drinks and cheap eats. All dishes are just $5.95 CAD here, and it’s not tapas-style—you can grab a full-size French Dip or a hefty bowl of mac and cheese for less than you’ll probably spend on an Uber home. Cocktails are predictably pricier, but not absurdly so: the fruity Crazy Canuck, using Canada’s favorite Sour Puss spirit, is an inexpensive highlight on the lengthy cocktail menu. The place is scored to a bumpin’ soundtrack of early-2000s hits, and seems to increase in decibels throughout the night.

Food and drinks from $6 CAD; wheelchair accessible

The Shameful Tiki Room ($$)

1378 Queen St. W; shamefultikiroom.com; open M-W 5pm-1am, Th-Sa 5pm-2am, Su 5pm-1am

At least The Shameful Tiki Room is self-aware enough to know that its whole Polynesian kitsch aesthetic went out of style some fifty-odd years ago. Cultural appropriation? Product of colonialism? Hush, you—have another Mai Tai. This dark-at-at-all-times Parkdale outlet, dressed to the 1959s in tiki torches and palm fronds, just makes the problematic seem so fun. Pineapple-topped vintage cocktails are pricey (though heavy on the rum), and larger groups should invest in one of the popular punch bowls—they come with a gong bang and a fog machine eruption. Prevent the world’s worst sugar-induced hangover with some of the bar’s creative chow offerings; the deep-fried teriyaki broccoli might help you convince yourself that at least something about this experience is healthy.  

Cocktails from $9 CAD; wheelchair accessible

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