We are sharing the inside scoop on Toronto’s secret dining scene. In part three, we uncover the secret bars within some of the city’s top restaurants. Some require a walk downstairs into an underground speakeasy, while others are up top. Whether you’re looking for a spot for post-dinner libations or killing some time before snagging a table, these bars are the perfect destination. Be prepared with the secret password when required.
Billing itself as the “worst kept secret–secret bar,” Good Fortune is not so hard to find in the basement of La Carnita Uptown restaurant. Palm leaf wallpaper and pink walls give this space a retro, Miami Beach–inspired ambience. Mosey down here for buzzy vibes, funky cocktails and a hand-held menu of crinkle cut fries and cheeseburgers. 130 Eglinton Ave. E.
Hop on down to Maison Selby’s lower-level bar, Sous Sol, for after-dinner drinks or to seek out cosier climes. The vibes are good, and the bargains aren’t bad either, with the bar offering a selection of tasty $10 cocktails (and a longer list of pricier concoctions). The menu takes a cue from the French restaurant upstairs for elevated nibbles like duck liver parfait. 592 Sherbourne St.
Find The Cloak Bar in the basement of Marben restaurant on King West. Pull back the heavy, cloak-like curtain (the inspiration for the lounge’s name), and you’ll enter a chic space that evokes turn-of-the-century London. Spirit-forward cocktails and menu items like sticky toffee pudding and beans on toast also nod to the bar’s for- British-eyes-only vibe. 488 Wellington St.
Rise on up
Perched above its sophisticated sister restaurant DaiLo, LoPan is a homey-yet-hip snack bar. Make your way up here for on-point cocktails made with Asian-influenced ingredients like strawberry Szechuan peppercorn–inspired mezcal. With a menu that features playful takes on dim sum, like the Big Mac Bao, you might find yourself lingering here longer than planned. 503 College St.
Follow the red lights and head up the flight of stairs found inside midtown’s Little Sister restaurant to reach Bar Batavia. This cocktail bar takes a more snackable approach to the Indo-Dutch cuisine offered at Little Sister, offering dishes like shrimp chips with peanut sauce. Pair a few small plates with the bar’s well-executed cocktails. 2031 Yonge St.
Find Escobar (and its much-Instagrammed neon Pablo Loves You sign) on the second floor of King West’s bumping Baro restaurant. The entrance is easily spotted just beyond Baro’s upper-level raw bar — the real catch is that you’ll need to know the password to get in. The password changes daily, but if you’re lucky, you can convince a Baro staffer to share the secret. 485 King St. W.