Best Lakeside Patios in Toronto
If you are visiting Toronto in summer 2016, you’ll definitely want to know where the best lakeside patios in Toronto are. Downtown Toronto sprawls across Lake Ontario and as a result, there are many Toronto restaurants offering lakeside patios in the summer. We’ve rounded up our favourite Toronto lakeside patios to make it easy for you. (Please note that bar and restaurant patios in Ontario are now smoke-free.)
You might think you’re lost when searching out Against the Grain Urban Tavern since it’s hidden behind a few industrial and commercial buildings, but continue to venture forth because you’ll stumble upon a lovely waterfront patio overlooking Toronto Harbour and the Toronto Islands. The food is uncomplicated and prices are about standard for a Toronto patio. Some of the dinner menu items include Urban Cobb Salad ($15), Tavern Burger ($13), 8 oz. New York Striploin ($21), Fish & Chips ($16) and Lake Huron White Bass ($23). Serving staff can be a bit slow at times so don’t plan on stopping in for a quick bite. Reservations are recommended. Against the Grain Urban Tavern is located at 25 Dockside Drive (behind the Corus Building) near Sugar Beach at Lower Jarvis Street and Queens Quay East, 647-344-1562.
If you’re attending events at the Rogers Centre, the Amsterdam BrewHouse at Harbourfront is within a 10 minute walk and offers a spectacular view of Lake Ontario, excellent fare and Amsterdam Brewhouse’s own craft beer. Enjoy crisp, malty and hops craft beer that has been brewed with natural ingredients and no preservatives. You can even take some of their craft beer home with you. Stop off at the Amsterdam Brewhouse’s store at the north end of the building. As far as food goes, the Roasted Vegetable and Goat Cheese Pizza ($16) is fabulous and will leave you feeling satisfied. Other menu items include Kale Salad ($13), Nova Scotia Crab Cakes ($14), Lemon Chicken Schnitzel ($18), Ontario Pan Seared Pickerel ($24), and Brewhouse Smoked Ribs ($22). The Amsterdam Brewhouse is located at 245 Queens Quay West, 416-504-1020. The restaurant does not take reservations for the patio since Amsterdan BrewHouse is probably the most popular patio on Toronto’s Harbourfront. Expect to wait 20-30 minutes for a table on the patio during busy times. It will all be worth it though.
The Cabana Pool Bar at Polson Pier is a luxurious Toronto patio pool bar overlooking the waterfront. Private cabanas rent out for upwards of $1,000 per day and offer patrons the opportunity to enjoy the patio’s refreshing swimming pool. If you just want to enjoy the view of Lake Ontario, it will cost you a $20 admission fee to get into Cabana on weekends, but know that you will be enjoying Toronto’s best waterfront patio visited by celebrities including Justin Bieber and Paris Hilton. Casual poolside eats from Oliver & Bonacini include pizzas, sandwiches, salads and Cabana platters. Friday happy hour specials served from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. are $9 each for vegetable spring rolls, BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders, Three Cheese Nachos, Sweet Potato Fries and Margherita Pizza. Admission to Cabana Pool Bar is free Tuesdays to Thursdays with a $10 fee to use the swimming pool; $15 on Fridays includes admission and use of pool; and Saturdays and Sundays are $20 admission with $20 pool fee. Cabana PoolBar is located at 11 Polson Street at Polson Pier, 416-479-7645. Open Tuesdays to Sundays.
This is one of our favourite Toronto waterfront patios, but it’s tucked away in a secret spot on the Toronto Islands so you’ll have to take the Ward’s Island Ferry across Toronto Harbour to access it. Once you get there, however, you won’t want to leave. The Rectory Cafe is one of the most tranquil patios in Toronto, nestled as it is in a canopy of trees, overlooking Lake Ontario and Ward’s Island Beach. Enjoy leisurely lunch favourites such as Baby Kale Salad ($13), Tandoori Pulled Chicken Sandwich ($15), Brisket Burger ($15), Roasted Tofu & Chickpea Curry ($20) and Fresh Atlantic Salmon ($28). If you’re a soup fan, you’ll love their homemade soup ($7) made fresh daily from natural ingredients. After your meal, take a walk along the boardwalk from Ward’s Island to Centre Island to burn off your meal. The Rectory Cafe is located at 102 Lakeshore Avenue, 416-203-2152 on Ward’s Island, part of the Toronto Islands. Take the Ward’s Island Ferry from Jack Layton Ferry Terminal at the foot of Bay Street at Queens Quay.
I hope you have a chance to check out some of our best lakeside patios in Toronto this summer. Here’s to a long and exciting summer!