With restaurants back in action, we’ve dusted off our well-kept list of resto/wine bars that were long tucked away on our phone notes and Instagram pins.
Luckily, Toronto is a food and wine lover’s paradise. With no shortage of mouthwatering menus created by talented chefs, complemented by traditional and natural wine lists curated by expert sommeliers, local foodies are ready to take advantage of the culinary playground we call home.
From local favourites like Boxcar Social and The Annex Hotel, to new kids on the block like Osteria Rialto and Taverne Bernhardt’s, we’ve rounded up four of our favourite wine bars for every occasion:
The Annex Hotel
- Neighbourhood: The Annex
- Open 7 days a week, 3pm-late
Tucked away on the historic Brunswick street, The Annex Hotel offers much more than its trendy minimalist suites. Our favourite part is The Wine Bar at The Annex. It’s a luxe hidden gem that offers the perfect amount of intimacy for cozy conversations. Guests and locals alike can enjoy a curated menu of biodynamic and natural wines or craft cocktails; perfect for an evening or afterwork cheers. The 100 year old building, which once housed University of Toronto student favourites The Green Room & Tilt Arcade Bar, keeps its rustic charm, all while bringing a classy yet cool energy.
Known For: Natural & biodynamic wines and charcuterie.
Perfect For: Happy hour drinks or a relaxed night cap.
- Neighbourhood: Summerhill, Riverside & Harbourfront
- Open: 7 days a week, 10am – 12am
With three equally charming locations across the city, Boxcar Social is a Toronto staple. Once known for their craft coffees, the cafe turned wine bar has taken the city by storm with an impressive selection of unique wines you won’t find at the LCBO. Whether it’s the hustle of the cafe, the dreamy lit up patio or the tricolour bottle shop, Boxcar Social offers something for everyone.
Known For: Laid back snacks paired best with a unique selection of wines from red to white to orange.
Perfect For: A workday turned into play.
- Neighbourhood: Bloordale
- Open: Wednesday – Sunday, 6pm-1pm
Osteria Rialto is an Italian lover’s dream and a space that earns its praise of excellence. From housemade pastas to fresh fish, their thoughtful menu stands out of the crowd and their curated wine list transports you straight to Italy. Osteria is just one of the highlights of the coveted Paradise On Bloor, which is also home to the iconic Paradise Theatre, an impressive wine shop and the swanky Bar Biltmore rooftop. Pick up a bottle for your next park picnic, attend a show, enjoy dinner at Osteria or cap off the night at Bar Biltmore. Choose your own adventure…or do it all in an evening. With so much to offer, the world is your oyster.
Known For: A tailored menu of old & new world wines, best enjoyed with their rotating selection of fresh pastas and burrata.
Perfect For: A celebratory occasion or an night out on the town.
Exclusive Benefits for SommTM Cru and Grand Cru Members: Members enjoy a complimentary glass of wine. Become a Cru member and show your membership card on site.. simple as that!
- Neighbourhood: Ossington Village
- Open: Wednesday – Sunday, 5pm-10pm
Missing those casual European nights at an unassuming local tarverne? Us too…but luckily Berhnardt’s is right in our backyard. Once “Julie’s Snack Bar ” convenience store, Bernhardt’s stays true to its roots as a relaxed neighbourhood destination known for its local eats and natural wines. Their elegant spin on comfort food and mouth watering wine list will have you planning your next visit before the bill crosses the table. Grab a glass of wine on their picnic bench as you wait to be seated, and then dine on their twinkly patio or warm up in the candle-lit interior. You can’t go wrong with a place this right.
Known For: Daring wines, Comfort style roast chicken & fresh veggie inspired dishes.
Good For: An evening of good wine, good food and good people.
-Natalie Gardner is the Marketing & Communications Manager at Somm.
This feature article is part of a collaborative series between VineRoutes and Somm – a Toronto-based technology company focused on making wine more approachable and accessible to everyone. Somm is building a personally tailored recommendation engine for the human palate, and in the process, is putting a sommelier in everyone’s pocket. Download Somm today to join the journey and become part of the Cru. Visit www.somm.io.