Patio season is officially here and we’re taking advantage of the beautiful outdoors as much as we can. There’s a new patio tucked away and perched above the busy Queen Street West area that is a welcome retreat. The walkway to CUBE Nightlclub, nestled between shops on Queen St W. just East of Spadina, leads you up to the open air, plant filled patio – an escape from the scorching heat of the concrete jungle. This is where you’ll find the gaarden — a completely transformed outdoor space perfect for drinks and delicious summer food offerings.
And by drinks, we mean seriously delicious drinks. Don’t pass them by as hint hint…they’re created by one of Toronto’s most well-loved mixologists Nishan Nepulangoda (Sofia) who’s known for crafting up the most creative and thirst quenching concoctions in the city – hands down. His cocktails incorporate regional herbs and flavourful ingredients that say “ah, summer has finally arrived!” Standouts include the 1800 Coconut Crusher for a more sophisticated pina colada, the gaarden Caesar is a real boost to a national favourite and comes with Gorgonzola Olives, and the refreshing Aperol Apricot Spritzer is made with Peach & Orange Ketel One Botanical Vodka (my new obsession) and Prosecco.
And of course, if you need some nourishment, the menu is all about summer. Lighter fare offered alongside BBQ favourites. Roasted Cauliflower is as pretty as it is tasty with hints of pomegranates and Kalamata olives. The juicy Jerk Chicken sandwich heats up a summer night perfectly with a hint of grilled pineapple sweetness. You’ll also find shareables like the salsa, guac and hummus platter and poutine, lobster mac n’ cheese, and poutine.
In partnership with Hoegaarden Beer, the gaarden green space follows one of the company’s guiding principles of bringing people together — it’s all about connections, sharing experiences and making new friends. And here, this goes for locals and tourists alike. By the way, it’s pronounced “WHOgaarden” according to their official site.
Whether you need to rest your weary feet from all the shopping or your boss called it an early office closure because “yay, summer hours”, the gaarden has lots of chill space. Ascend the steps to find ample seating from cushy shaded banquettes to high top tables in the sun. The open rooftop oasis with tropical greenery offers more of a Miami vibe rather than downtown Toronto. With warm service to match the warmer weather you’ll want to linger for a while…just bring your sunscreen.
Great meeting spot after work, date night, girls night out, catching up on your weekend goals, and before or after drinks before hitting the nearby theatres.
the gaarden is located at 314 Queen Street West rooftop. Opens Wednesday to Friday, 4 pm to late. Opens Saturdays 1 pm to late and Sundays 4 pm to late.