Dora Keogh (website, Twitter)
141 Danforth Avenue, Toronto ON M4K 1N2(on the south side, between Broadview Avenue and Bowden Street) 416-778-1804 (don’t bother to call as they don’t answer and they don’t return messages, even though this was for a group-of-16 reservation!)
Probably the most authentic Irish pub in Toronto.
I tried to go to Dora Keogh last year, but it was packed to the gunnels. I tried again a few months later and the fellow behind the bar said that they weren’t serving food at the time, so we went elsewhere — likely the Old Nick as I try not to drink on an empty stomach and I also try to avoid Allen’s. Dora Keogh now serve food at the regular times and there were lots of places to sit at four-thirty on a Saturday afternoon, but it was packed by the time we left at five-thirty. The copper-topped tables aren’t large enough to fit more than two dinner plates, so keep that in mind if your group members are all hungry, you might have to take shifts.
Dora Keogh has a large snug that fits about sixteen people, with its own bar access (the room was reserved). There is also a private kitchen at the back that seats eight to fourteen. Reservations for these full meals must be made in advance. The pub also features a fireplace and hardwood floors and a room in the front with a door, so it might be popular with those who prefer a quieter pub as it very noisy.
Number of visits by yours truly: my first, but not my last, on a Saturday afternoon in December 2011
TTC information: within stumbling distance of Broadview Station
Booze selection: more than 20, two with pull taps, including Strongbow cider (no Pimm’s). The gentlemen who sat beside us left without having anything and I asked why. Apparently, at five-thirty on a Saturday afternoon, the pub had already ran out of two beers, so the men were going elsewhere to try their luck
Food selection: limited, but yummy. Curried chips, please!
Service staff: there is no table service, so all orders must be placed at the bar. The bar service is good, but it can get crowded. Elbows out!
Prices: not cheap
Toilets: one per gender, not including a wheelchair accessible one
Patio: tiny smoking area on the Danforth
Wheelchair accessible: yup
Televisions: none (huzzah!)
Live music: lots of live music, check the website for bands
Piped-in music: it was live music while I was there, so I don’t know what they play when the band’s on break
Rating: four and a half pints (out of five)