Get Cozy With These Toronto Bars

By Jessica Huras

Whether you’re looking for a romantic date night destination or a welcoming place to gather with friends, cozy bars offer the perfect intimate backdrop over a few drinks. Although every bar offers a different experience, they all have low lighting, charming decor, and good drinks. Bundle up and get comfy at these cozy Toronto bars. 

Library Bar 

100 Front St W; https://www.fairmont.com/royal-york-toronto/dining/librarybar/

This timeless venue at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel evokes the library of a historic mansion, decorated with plush fabrics, dark wood, and shelves of well-worn books. Since 1972, Library Bar still draws a steady stream of curious visitors and local business people. Befitting the bar’s old-school vibe, they excel at making classic cocktails, including a signature Bird Bath martini which is prepared in a special carafe that allows the spirits to breathe. 

Seoul Shakers

1241 Bloor St W; https://www.instagram.com/seoulshakersclub/

With its graffiti-scrawled facade, Seoul Shakers looks virtually abandoned from the outside but step inside and you’ll want to find a cozy corner to stay for a while. Lush plants dangling from the ceiling, glowing neon bar signs, and quirky vintage accessories (including a retro jukebox) give the bar a hip but homey vibe. The cool cocktails have a Korean influence and the small plates menu makes for tasty nibbling alongside your drinks. 

Bar stools with people sitting on them and plants hanging from the ceiling.

Maple Leaf Tavern 

955 Gerrard St E; http://mapleleaftavern.ca/

Maple Leaf Tavern elevates the traditional neighbourhood tavern experience with made-from-scratch comfort food and a cutting-edge cocktail program. Maple Leaf Tavern was given a thoughtful makeover in 2016 that modernized the space but preserved its cozy, tavern vibes. A beautiful open kitchen with a wood-fired grill gives the restaurant a contemporary feel, while elements like brass light fixtures, oil lamps, and a handsome wooden bar area channel its historic roots. 

A wine class on a bar table and booth.

Famous Last Words

392 Pacific Ave; http://www.famouslastwordsbar.com/

There’s nothing cozier than curling up by a glowing fireplace with a good book, and that’s exactly the vibe captured by this cute cocktail bar in the Junction. Named for a novel by Canadian author Timothy Findley, Famous Last Words plays up its literary theme with bookshelf wallpaper, bar and tabletops tiled with thousands of Scrabble pieces, and shelves lined with hundreds of books. Cocktails like ‘The Life and Death of Sophie Stark’ also feature book-ish references, while an electric fireplace and comfy seating areas serve to crank up the cozy factor.

A fireplace with bookshelf wallpaper and a glass with a yellow beverage.

Piquette

1084 Queen St W; http://www.barpiquette.com/

This Queen West wine bar strikes an inviting balance between cozy and polished with its whitewashed brick walls and bistro-style tables. Featuring an ever-changing selection of over 100 wines, Piquette’s wine list is impressive but the staff aim to make it approachable for novice and experienced oenophiles alike. Low lighting and a modest open kitchen where small plate snacks are prepped create an intimate ambiance for enjoying long conversations over glasses of wine. 

A wine bottle and a glass beside it with a chalkboard menu and empty table and seats.