For the first time in what feels like an epoch, Christmas is NOT cancelled this year which means pubs are open for last call and we can finally share a cup of yuletide cheer with our besties. Whether you’re looking to indulge in the literal spirit of the holidays, or if temperance sips are more your jam, we have a cracking list of spots where you can toast the most wonderful time of the year. Here are the Top 5 Holiday Themed Bars in Toronto.
Toronto Winter Village
The Distillery District Christmas extravaganza is a festive rite of passage for Torontonians. Yes, it is busy, but boy is she cosy. For Hallmark movie style feels, the Winter Village is a must. It is outdoors so bring your cutest toques and berets, and make the most of the beautiful lights and MASSIVE Dior decorated tree. Came for Santa, stayed for the drinks? Yeah, same. Just joking, I came for the drinks alone. Toronto Winter Village has upped its game with its offering of cocktails (hot and cold) and an assortment of whisky flights. Yeah, flights of whisky; it’s a thing! Non alcoholic mixed drinks and, of course, hot chocolate are also available at the drinks huts. This is one bar you can bring your kids to, if you really want to. Aunty over here really does like to give them a wide berth, though.
Please note, the Winter Village is ticketed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays after 4:00 pm.
- Raspberry Gin White Hot Chocolate
- Ontario-spiced apple cider and a sprinkle of cinnamon (Spirit-Free)
Thirsty Elf at the Fairmont Royal York
Back again for another year, the Thirsty Elf is always a smash hit, sell-out success. Reservations MUST be made in advance as this spot is super tiny. If Christmas threw up on a small-scale British pub, it would be something akin to the Thirsty Elf in the absolute most glorious way. Glassware is seasonally joyful and the cocktail menu, curated by the Fairmont’s director of mixology Rus Yessenov, is well balanced and delightful. Have you ever wanted to sip a drink from a Christmas ornament? Of course you have. The Thirsty Elf has you covered. Plus you get to venture into the stunning Fairmont property, replete with a beautifully lit tree and an underground Gingerbread walkway.
- The Naughty List
- Be Good For Goodness Sake (Spirit-Free)
Java Jingle at Little Sister
Now across both Little Sister locations in Toronto, the Java Jingle brings the magic of yuletide to the two popular Dutch-Indonesian eateries. The pop-up cocktail bars have decked the halls with boughs of glitter and there is an extensive cocktail list with a lightly tiki skew. Playfully named drinks (e.g “Hot Girl Winter” and “Getting Blitzen”) will have you trolololing with your friends. The best news is that the food here is AMAZING. If you want to fill your bellies with snacks as well as laughter, Little Sister is serving Christmas at the beach vibes.
- Grinch Please
- Sumatra Spiced Beef Croquettes
Project Giggle Water
One of the city’s best cocktail bars dials up the festive cheer each year by wrapping the whole place in christmas paper and filling the space with light-up, blow-up bears. The light show doesn’t stop at the decor either; a number of drinks on the menu come sporting disco ice cubes. The early 00s called to say hi, and we were here to receive it! Bringing pure merriment to Dundas West, Project Giggle Water is nestled in one of the city’s coolest neighbourhoods and is the perfect spot for post-dinner holiday drinks! While there isn’t a child in sight, the bar is donating $1 from every drink sold to Toys for Tots Canada
- St Nick’s Secret Spritz
- Smash Burger
Miracle on Bloor St
OKAY WOWZA. This seasonal pop-up graces the city but once a year, however it is categorically the most magical place ON EARTH let alone in Toronto. Pioneered the team behind Civil Liberties, recently voted the Best Bar in Canada by World’s 50 Best Bars, excellent mixology is as high a focus as the flawless decor. There are so many iconic moments to be had in this floor-to-ceiling immersive Christmas space including a rather handsy bear, cocktails served in dinosaurs and fabulous Christmas drag performances. This year, Miracle have also teamed up with Glade candles on a series of festive scents, which means the whole place smells amazing too. Can I live here? Seriously, though.
- Grandma Got Run Over By A T-Rex
- Hot Buttered Rum
A very merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night drinking (responsibly, obvs).
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