TorontoPubs’ Danforth (Greek Town) Pub Crawl

https://goo.gl/maps/vjS7eDq9z1T2

Updated 2017.01.16

Notes on this pub crawl: the walk (1 km) takes about a quarter hour in total taking into account traffic signals. Keep in mind that Dora Keogh can get crowded, Louis Cifer is a little big for its britches, and that Allen’s can be snobby.

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 (links in TorontoPubs review of establishment) 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.

Printable PDF of this TorontoPubs’ Danforth Pub Crawl with map.

The Old Nick (TorontoPubs review)
123 Danforth Avenue 

Dora Keogh (TorontoPubs review)
141 Danforth Avenue

Allen’s (TorontoPubs review)
143 Danforth Avenue

The Auld Spot (TorontoPubs review)
347 Danforth Avenue

Louis Cifer Brew Works (TorontoPubs review)
417 Danforth Avenue

The Brass Taps Pizza Pub (TorontoPubs review)
493 Danforth Avenue

The Fox and Fiddle (TorontoPubs review)
535 Danforth Avenue

The Court Jester (TorontoPubs review)
681 Danforth Avenue

Unfortunately, this pub crawl is not wheelchair accessible.

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Allen’s

Allen's Toronto

Allen’s (website)
143 Danforth Avenue, Toronto ON M4K 1N2 (on the south side, between Broadview Avenue and Bowden Street) 416-463-3086
Google Maps 

The place to go for whiskys and brunch, perhaps together, on the Danforth.

I was recently asked by someone who knows I write this blog why I don’t like Allen’s. It has to do with the service. We’ve walked into Allen’s and been ignored by the staff, or told that everything is reserved and treated like we’re suppose to know that you have to make a reservation on the weekend, and the noise was so loud one time that we fled to the Old Nick just down the street for some peace and quiet. On a strip with her sister pub Dora KeoghAuld Spot, and the aforementioned Old Nick, I have managed to avoid Allen’s for several years, however, we decided to try Allen’s again to see if it was as bad as I remember. It wasn’t.

The clientele on the Saturday afternoon in question was mainly older, but it might have been the tail end of the brunch crowd and Allen’s is a very different place at night. It’s more restaurant at the back than pub and we sat in one of the booths near the front. Our server was very pleasant and did much to unblemish the memories of previous visits. I doubt I will go back to Allen’s given the other choices in the area, but if dragged there, I won’t sulk in a corner, which is the highest praise I can extend to the place given my elephant-like memory.

Number of visits by yours truly: my fourth or fifth visit, most recently on a Saturday afternoon in December 2012
TTC information: within stumbling distance of Broadview Station
Booze selection: more than 80 beers, most in bottles, with Waupoos and Strongbow ciders. They also have an extensive wine and whisky list, the latter is what Allen’s known for. Yes, they have Pimm’s
Food selection: fancier end of pub grub
Service staff: can be awful or, as it was most recently, can be pleasant
Prices: expensive
Toilets: they use the same cleaning agents as my grandparents, which was a little weird to realize. The toilets were clean
Patio: tiny smoking area on the Danforth but a nice big one on the south side
Wheelchair accessible: no, as the toilets are downstairs
Televisions: two tiny ones that I could see
Live music: no
Piped-in music: not on, but I seem to recall jazz on previous occasions

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

Dora Keogh

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!)
Google Maps 

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) 

The Old Nick

The Old Nick (website, Twitter
123 Danforth Avenue, Toronto ON M4K 1N2 (on the south side, between Broadview Avenue and Bowden Street, the nearest major intersection is Boardview Avenue and Danforth Avenue) 416-461-5546
Google Maps 

Perfect for a pint or two while enjoying the delights of the Danforth.

I went to The Old Nick in December 2010 with my husband and several friends and at the end of the evening, the bill we were handed was a mess. Totalling close to $200, the bill was broken down by price, not by drink, and took quite some time to figure out due in part to the uncooperative waitress. Of course, everyone had to stay till the bitter end to find out what they owed. Anyway, this evening clouded my opinion of the Old Nick. (Be sure to ask for separate bills so you don’t waste your time repeating our error.) On the other hand, there is a great male waiter named Marty who is charming, funny, and very attentive.

The Old Nick’s exposed brick walls are covered with gold-selling albums, a copy of the Magna Carta, and Canadiana, such as a copy of Diefenbaker’s Bill of Rights. There is a semi-private snug at the back, which can seat about ten or so, and be reserved, there are also a number of games in the area with bits missing. The kitchen is exposed and we usually enjoy quick food service. In the main area there are movable tables and chairs, note the live music plays at the front with their backs to the window. The pub is very gay friendly and marches to the beat of its own drummer.

Number of visits by yours truly: half a dozen or so, most recently on a Saturday evening in April 2011
TTC information: within stumbling distance of Broadview Station
Booze selection: more than 20, including cider (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: lots of pasta, quick service
Service staff: depends on who you get. Wonderful (Marty) or whiney
Prices: expensive but generous
Toilets: they have a problem with the drains in the ladies’ room (and probably in the men’s), which makes it less than ideal. However, the toilets are clean
Patio: in the back, south facing and very nice, one of the best in the city
Wheelchair accessible: no, step at front
Televisions: two. Usually the televisions are showing movies or television programs. The most recent time I was there, the television I was facing was showing a half-hour charity infomercial on cleft palates. There was blood, it wasn’t mine, it wasn’t pleasant
Live music: Tuesday and Saturday nights
Piped-in music: Willie Nelson and company

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