The Toronto International Film Festival is in full swing, and we’re rounding up the city's top hot spots for food, drinks and celebrity spotting.
Whether you’re heading out for drinks before a show, or just looking for a glam dinner option, these are your best bets for eating and drinking during TIFF... and feeling like a celebrity at the same time. And to make things a little easier for celeb gazing, we've chosen places that are all close to the action downtown.
La Societe via The Girls on Bloor
Located in the heart of Yorkville, La Societe is known for its 1920s Parisian bistro, complete with a big bar and two patios. You'll find plenty of unique and delicious drinks on this cocktail menu thanks to mixologist Kyle Stefanto. One of our favourites is the Watermelon Julep. Ultimately, La Societe is a popular spot for star gazing and people watching on Bloor Street West—perfect for TIFF!
Good Son via The Girls on Bloor
This is a popular spot in the trendy West Queen West neighbourhood
. Owned by Top Chef contestant Vittorio Colacitti, this restaurant offers an intimate atmosphere. The menu focuses on Toronto's multicultural and classic Canadian cuisine, while also using locally sourced ingredients. We highly recommend their tasting menu which gives you a taste of four to six dishes. Just dropping in for a drink? Their cocktail menu also offers a new twist on old favourites.
Byblos via Facebook
Byblos is located right beside all the TIFF action at King and John. This Mediterranean restaurant has such exquisite and unique flavours in their sharing dishes, making it perfect for group dining. Mixologist Wes Galloway takes his cocktail craft seriously with Egyptian, Morrocan and Turkish flavours — there are always new additions to their cocktail menu but one of our favourites is the Gulab with pomegranate flavours!
Weslodge via Facebook
With its signature bright yellow marque doors on King West, Weslodge is a go-to after a screening. Their prohibition-style cocktail list has an emphasis on sweet and citrus. But what makes their cocktails so unique is homemade bitters, tonics and ice cubes they use to create the perfect drink experience.
Patria Flatbread via The Girls on Bloor
Patria is a Spanish tapas restaurant located right behind Weslodge on King Street West. This cozy restaurant offers small and large tapas-style plates perfect for sharing with others after a show in the heart of the theatre district. Their cocktail menu is crafted by Elan Marks, who also oversees the cocktails at Weslodge and Storys.
Located on the 51st floor of the Manulife Center at Bay and Bloor, The One Eighty (previously Panorama Lounge), offers a 180 degree view of the city. Their menu features fresh, new takes on comfort dishes from culinary cuisines around the world, while their cocktail menu adds a burst of colour and flavour thanks to fresh herbs and flavoured liqueurs.
Thompson Hotel via The Girls on Bloor
The Thompson is one of the most exclusive, awe-inspiring patio lounges in the entire city, and there’s a reason it’s for members only. The rooftop lounge tends to be more accessible during TIFF, and that’s great news for those looking for one of the swankiest hotel parties filled with celebs. With an infinity pool, a full service indoor bar that opens up completely during the warm months, as well as a close-up view of the CN Tower, it’s easy to see why this is a luxurious retreat.
Intercontinental via Facebook
Both of the Intercontinental locations — downtown and in Yorkville — are ideal for celebrity spotting and cocktail sipping. But if you really want to be near the action then we recommend heading to the downtown location’s Azure bar and restaurant. From a pre-theatre menu to a multi-course tasting menu and prix fixe options, the restaurant is highly recommended for its fine dining contemporary Canadian cuisine.
Luma via Facebook
Right in the heart of all the action inside the Tiff Bell Lightbox, Luma is a beautiful restaurant operated by Oliver and Bonacini. If you don’t already know, these culinary masterminds are the geniuses behind many of the city’s delicious restaurants serving contemporary Canadian cuisine, with plating that will have you running straight to Instagram. This has to be the number one spot to star gaze!
This hip restaurant serves up cocktails and fancy French bites in a chic 1920s-style bar with black-and-white furnishings. Located in the St. Lawrence Market, this spot is close to all the action and has been labeled a “hideout” for the stars and those seeking upscale, carefully-cultivated libations. With small, shareable plates and a laid-back, historic location a bit out of the way, East Thirty Six is worth a visit for an after-movie drink or two.