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The Abbot on Eglinton

Abbot on Eglinton Toronto
The Abbot on Eglinton (website)

508 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto ON M5N 1A5 (on the north side, between Heddington Avenue and Castle Knock Road, the nearest major intersection is Avenue Road and Eglinton Avenue West) 416-487-8350
Google Maps

Forest Hill’s best place for a pint.

The Abbot on Eglinton has little competition, save the Queen’s Legs, which is a totally different type of pub, but this doesn’t mean that the pub doesn’t still try. True, there is limited seating and groups of five or more will be stuck having to go into the back, which is a restaurant, but if you are meeting just one other person, then the Abbot on Eglinton is your oyster. Plus the pub part of the Abbot on Eglinton is limited to those 16 years and older, which means it doesn’t suffer the same problem as its sister pub, the Abbot on Yonge.

The Abbot of Eglinton also goes for the gastropub vibe, with even a Globe & Mail article published about a lobster that was caught off Nova Scotia and ended up on the table of an Abbot on Eglinton diner. In keeping with the neighbourhood, the Abbot on Eglinton has its posher features and it’s not very relaxing in its atmosphere, but that said, were I still living in a tiny basement apartment in Forest Hill, this would have been a regular hangout for me, not just because they have a dish outside for thirsty dogs.

Number of visits by yours truly: my first on a weekday afternoon in August 2014, but not my last
TTC information: a 15-minute walk west of Eglinton Station. You can take the the Eglinton West bus, which drops you near the pub, but given the chronic congestion between Oriole and Avenue on Eglinton, I would walk if it’s near rush hour
Booze selection: a limited selection of about a dozen Canadian beers with Thornbury cider (yes, they have Pimm’s)
Food selection: traditional pub grub with catering available (the same as the Abbot on Yonge)
Service staff: good
Prices: not bad
Toilets: good, accessible toilet at the back
Patio: nope
Wheelchair accessible: yes, toilet at the back
Televisions: one
Live music: nope
Piped-in music: soothing Motown

Rating: four pints (out of five)

The Abbot on Yonge

Abbot on Yonge Toronto
The Abbot on Yonge (website)

3367 Yonge Street, Toronto ON M4N 2M6 (on the east side, between Golfdale Road and Snowdon Avenue, the nearest major intersection is Yonge Street and Lawrence Avenue) 416-544-9074
Google Maps

A lovely place to spend an sunny afternoon.

The Abbot on Yonge is a lovely pub with hardwood floors, stained glass partions, and a variety of seating options with numerous booths, tables, and high chairs at the bar for you to choose from, making this an idea place for large groups.  This pub aspires to be a gastro-pub with cloth napkins and catering available and from what I ordered, eggs Benedict, it was delicious, however, according to a friend, the wings were horrible and there were only two options available.

Because the Abbot on Yonge is loud, due in part to its high ceiling, I found I was raising my voice more than I felt comfortable doing so. Unfortunately, the Abbot on Yonge is very child friendly, which is a drawback for yours truly as I don’t like ill-behaved children (which is most children) or their parents, all with their forked tongues, beady eyes, and twitching tails. The Abbott on Yonge has a sister pub on Eglinton, near Chaplin, and there used to be a pub called the Abbot on the Hill on Yonge near Summerhill which is now the Monk’s Table.

Number of visits by yours truly: my first on a weekend afternoon in August 2014, but not my last
TTC information: a nine-minute walk north of Lawrence Station or you could catch the Yonge bus, but if it’s not raining or snowing and you have only one bag, you are better off walking
Booze selection: 21 beers and a number of wines, and Somersby cider (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: traditional pub grub with catering available (see above for wings issue) 
Service staff: a little spotty, which seems to be a common online complaint
Prices: a little expensive
Toilets: not bad, but there are 10 different doors downstairs, so you might have to send a friend down with a ball of twine so they can return to the correct doorway 
Patio: nope
Wheelchair accessible: toilets are downstairs, so nope
Televisions: one
Live music: nope
Piped-in music: the only song I could make out due to the noise level was  Gloria Gaynor’s “I Feel Love”

Rating: four pints (out of five)

TorontoPubs’ Yonge and Eglinton Pub Crawl

https://goo.gl/maps/MD33g

Notes on this pub crawl: the walk (0.9 km) takes about 12 minutes in total. Keep in mind that the Rose and Crown turns into a dance club, so you might want to start there instead of ending there, Duke of York can get busy (but remember there is an upstairs), plus the Unicorn is full of pretty things, so you might have to skip that as you could have trouble getting a seat.

Notes on pub crawls in general: consider at least 45 minutes per pub visit and let your server know that you having just one drink and then moving on into the fizzy night so she/he knows that you’ll need your bill quickly. Pay by cash so you aren’t waiting for the credit card/debit machine and tip generously as you may be back one day for longer than just one drink. Check the pub’s website/Twitter in case they have an event that night. Also keep in mind the day and time, Saturday nights with the FIFA World Cup’s final on is not the best night for said pub crawl, but it is one of the best times to be in a pub.

The Rose and Crown (TorontoPubs review)
2335 Yonge Street

The Duke of Kent (TorontoPubs review)
2315 Yonge Street

Scruffy McMurphy’s Irish Pub (TorontoPubs review)
150 Eglinton Avenue East

The Unicorn (TorontoPubs review)
175 Eglinton Avenue East

The Granite Brewery (TorontoPubs review)
245 Eglinton Avenue East

Unfortunately, this pub crawl is not wheelchair accessible.

Indie Ale House

Indie Ale House Toronto

Indie Ale House (website)
2876 Dundas Street West, Toronto ON M6P 1Y9 (on the north side, the nearest major intersection is Keele Street and Dundas Street West) 416-760-9691
Google Maps 

Home of the happy hipster. 

I have a love-hate relationship with NOW Magazine’s annual Bar/Pub/Beer Guide. Some picks are great and sometimes they miss the mark completely. As a result, I am skeptical about their glowing endorsements and was prepared to be disappointed with the Indie Ale House, one of NOW’s top picks, and also given a good friend’s less-than-enthusiastic review of the place. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the Indie Ale House, although I was the eldest and least fashionable person in the establishment and thus felt rather out of place. This is the home of the happy hipster and there were more beards, plaid tops, colourful trousers, and iPads visible than at a National’s concert or at an IKEA sale.

The Indie Ale House looks a bit like a cafeteria with too many tables (which means you can hear your neighbours’s conversations) and it sounds a bit like one too. There was wood everywhere, except for the exposed brick wall and tin ceiling, and from where I was sitting I could see the beer vats. The Indie Ale House only takes reservations for large groups (and they go on and on about this on their website) and they also only present one bill for said group. They were getting their knickers in a twist (the page with this rant is now only available as a now unavailable cached version) about the name, the pub is called Indie Ale House with three words, but their Facebook, Twitter, and Instragram accounts all say the Indie Alehouse. If they can’t be consistent, then they shouldn’t grumble when others aren’t.

Number of visits by yours truly: my first, on a weekday afternoon in July 2014, but not my last
TTC information: take the Dundas West (Junction) bus north from Dundas West Station (seven-minute journey)
Booze selection: 11 craft beers that night, which change often, the cider they had then was Spirit Tree (I write that as I expect they change it often). No Pimm’s
Food selection: limited menu, but large servings
Service staff: not bad, but it seems that we might have been lucky
Prices: good for portions
Toilets: decent
Patio: nope
Wheelchair accessible: appears to be
Televisions: two tiny screens, not on
Live music: nope
Piped-in music: Indie 88.1 (of course)

Rating: four and a half pints (out of five) 

TorontoPubs’ King Street West Pub Crawl

https://goo.gl/maps/nCYaV

Notes on this pub crawl: the walk (1.1 km) takes about a quarter of an hour in total or you can take the King Street streetcar and hop on and off. Keep in mind that that Fynn’s of Temple Bar is a little posh, WVRST and Bar Hop can get busy (hence the lack of TorontoPubs reviews — hopefully that will change one day) and the Banknote is small and kinda boring. TTC directions back to the subway are available on each pub’s individual review.

Notes on pub crawls in general: consider at least 45 minutes per pub visit and let your server know that you having just one drink and then moving on into the fizzy night so she/he knows that you’ll need your bill quickly. Pay by cash so you aren’t waiting for the credit card/debit machine and tip generously as you may be back one day for longer than just one drink. Check the pub’s website/Twitter in case they have an event that night. Also keep in mind the day and time, Saturday nights with the FIFA World Cup’s final on is not the best night for said pub crawl, but it is one of the best times to be in a pub.

PDF of this TorontoPubs’ King Street West Pub Crawl with map.

Bar Hop
391 King Street West

The Firkin On King (TorontoPubs review)
461 King Street West

Fynn’s of Temple Bar (TorontoPubs review)
489 King Street West

Bier Markt (King West) (TorontoPubs review)
600 King Street West

WVRST
609 King Street West

The Banknote (TorontoPubs review)
663 King Street West

The Wheat Sheaf (TorontoPubs review)
667 King Street West

The Foggy Dew Irish Pub (TorontoPubs review)
803 King Street West

Unfortunately, this pub crawl is not wheelchair accessible.

Bier Markt (King West)

Bier Markt King West

Bier Markt (King West) (website)
600 King Street West, Toronto ON M5V 1M3 (on the corner of King Street West and Portland Street, the nearest major intersection is King Street West and Bathurst Avenue) 416-862-1175
Google Maps 

A great patio on King Street West with great beers. 

We ended up at here because WVST was full due to June’s Cider Week and I needed some liquid refreshment — stat! So, fortunately, the Bier Markt just down the street fit the bill and an evening that seemed derailed was quickly set right. My partner in crime and I had been to the location several times before when it was the Amsterdam, but we hadn’t been to it since it became a Bier Markt. We sat on the patio, which I usually avoid, however, the weather was so nice, I risked a tan and agreed to a spot on the patio. We enjoyed a free beer sample and enjoyed the people and car watching.

The Bier Markt is very dark inside, in part because it is in a basement, like her sister pub on the Esplanade. Is this a branding attempt? Seating is varied downstairs with high top tables with backless stools and tables against a brick wall. All in all, a decent pub with lots of beer.

Number of visits by yours truly: my first on a weekday afternoon in June 2014
TTC information:
take the King streetcar west from King Station (seven- to ten-minute journey — according to a very optimistic TTC itinerary)  or take Bathurst Streetcar south from Bathurst to King, which will take about 12 minutes and then walk east
Booze selection:
well over 100 beers from around the world, with a focus on Belgian beers. As always with a selection this large, be prepared for a back-up order as they might be out of your first choice. For those who are cider drinkers, they have Somersby, Blacktorn, Magners, two types of Rekorderligs and the nectar that is Crabbie’s (alas, no Pimm’s)
Food selection:
fancy end with oysters, risotto and beer can chicken soup 
Service staff:
good
Prices:
 expensive for the most part. However, it is cheaper for some beers
Toilets:
nice, watch for the hidden ledge on the way to the toilet, I can see people stumbling over that in the darkness
Patio:
west and one of the best in downtown, great for people watching
Wheelchair accessible:
no
Televisions:
three
Live music:
 DJ on Wednesdays/something on Thursdays/live rock on Fridays/something on Saturdays (alas their website is useless at explaining what is happening on Thursdays and Saturdays) 
Piped-in music:
modern

Rating: four pints (out of five) 

TorontoPubs’ St. Lawrence Market Pub Crawl

https://goo.gl/maps/1mcwN

Notes on this pub crawl: the walk (0.6 km) takes about eight minutes in total. Keep in mind that the Jason George pub is the weakest link in this crawl, so you might just want to skip it and C’est What is just too hip for its own good. TTC directions back to the subway are available on each pub’s individual review.

Notes on pub crawls in general: consider at least 45 minutes per pub visit and let your server know that you having just one drink and then moving on into the fizzy night so she/he knows that you’ll need your bill quickly. Pay by cash so you aren’t waiting for the credit card/debit machine and tip generously as you may be back one day for longer than just one drink. Check the pub’s website/Twitter in case they have an event that night. Also keep in mind the day and time, Saturday nights with the FIFA World Cup’s final on is not the best night for said pub crawl, but it is one of the best times to be in a pub.

PDF of this TorontoPubs’ St. Lawrence Market Pub Crawl with map.

Scotland Yard (TorontoPubs review)
56 The Esplanade

Bier Markt (Esplanade) (TorontoPubs review)
58 The Esplanade

Fionn MacCool’s (TorontoPubs review)
70 The Esplanade

C’est What (TorontoPubs review)
67 Front Street East

The Flatiron and Firkin (TorontoPubs review)
49 Wellington Street East

The Jersey Giant (TorontoPubs review)
71 Front Street East

The Jason George (TorontoPubs review)
104 Front Street East

Unfortunately, this pub crawl is not wheelchair accessible.

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