If you’re looking for a sophisticated place to sit back and relax after a long day of seeing the sights, Toronto’s dining-and-drinks scene has never been more exciting. But be sure to complement your experience with a great view of the city. Here are some of Toronto’s best spots for delectable eats, fabulous wine lists, handcrafted cocktails and beautiful vistas.
When it comes to the best views in the city, it’s hard to beat the one commanded by Canoe, a restaurant located on the 54th floor of the TD Bank Tower in the heart of the Financial District. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide breathtaking peeks of the harborfront and Lake Ontario to the south and the CN Tower and skyline toward the west. The sunsets are epic, and the southwest corner tables are some of the most popular — they provide an impressive perch for closing business deals or enjoying a romantic evening. Stop in for a Paddler’s Sangria (Biff’s Juicy Red, brandy, seasonal fruit) at the bar or stay awhile and enjoy the sophisticated artisanal Canadian cuisine (such as tea-smoked duck breast or Alberta lamb) brought to life by executive chef John Horne.
Boasting a panoramic view of the downtown skyline from Yorkville, The Roof Lounge at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Park Hyatt is legendary in itself, once frequented by high-profile Canadian literary giants such as Margaret Atwood and Mordecai Richler. Located on the 18th floor, overlooking the Royal Ontario Museum’s magnificent crystalline structure below and the city in the distance, The Roof Lounge is best known for its martini list and classic cocktails, brought to life by bartender Joe Gomes, who has been working the bar since 1959 — when you could see the lake without a view obscured by the high rises and skyscrapers.
When you step through the revolving doors into the lobby of the Four-Star Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, the warm, sophisticated, gold-inflected furnishings greet you as if you were visiting an old friend. While the scenery inside is stunning, it’s the hidden-away DEQ Terrace & Lounge that offers the unforgettable vistas. The classic wood-paneled bar features small tables for an intimate tête-à-tête and a private lounge complete with a fireplace for a cozy after-dinner drink. Still, it’s DEQ’s terrace that takes the cake. The outdoor urban oasis is tucked behind the hotel, lightly concealed by greenery but with a view of the adjacent Simcoe Park. The cocktail bar features treats like the Brazilian favorite caipirinha and, if you’re feeling especially celebratory, bottles of Dom Pérignon or Ace of Spades.
The stylish Thompson brand, with properties in New York, Chicago, L.A., Miami and now London, is known for being a luxury boutique imprint with an urban flair. The Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel, located steps from the dining and nightlife excitement of King West, offers a fashionable place to unwind, and there’s nowhere better to do just than the Rooftop Lounge. Here, lounge members and hotel guests can take in 360-degree views of the Toronto skyline and Financial District to the east and Lake Ontario to the south from the comfort of a lounge bed or in the infinity pool. By night, the bar serves creative cocktails (the Bacardi-, brandy- and blackberry-packed Into the Woods) or bottle service to suit all tastes.
When you’re in the heart of the city, head to The Chase for a host of unique views. Downstairs, the casual Chase Fish & Oyster, with its modern maritime décor, boasts one of the city’s most attractive raw bars. Upstairs, however, the formal Chase dining room exudes elegance, from its sparkling chandeliers to its plush seating and sophisticated bar that draws a well-heeled crowd. The window-filled bar serves guests inside and on the outside patio (complete with lounge cabana seating), where you’re at the heart of the city’s business district and surrounded by Art Deco heritage buildings and skyscrapers alike, towering above.