TorontoPubs’ East Danforth Pub Crawl

https://goo.gl/maps/mRBi3bTJRCM2

Updated 2017.01.17

Notes on this pub crawl: the walk (1 km) takes about 12 minutes in total taking into account traffic signals. Keep in mind that all five pubs are small and you might have difficulty getting a seat. Local 1794 is a little further east than the other four pubs, but worth the walk.

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’ East Danforth Pub Crawl with map.

Morgans on the Danforth (TorontoPubs review)
1282 Danforth Avenue

The Borough (TorontoPubs review)
1352 Danforth Avenue

The Wren (TorontoPubs review)
1382 Danforth Avenue

Sarah’s Café and Bar (TorontoPubs review)
1426 Danforth Avenue

Local 1794 (TorontoPubs review)
1794 Danforth Avenue

Unfortunately, this pub crawl is not wheelchair accessible.

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Local 1794

Local 1794 Toronto

Local 1794 (website, Twitter)
1794 Danforth Avenue, Toronto ON M4C 1H8 (on the north side, between Woodington Avenue and Glebemount Avenue, the nearest major intersection is Coxwell Avenue and Danforth Avenue) 416-463-1794
Google Maps 

Proof that someone reads my blog and also knows that East Danforth needs more good pubs! 

Local 1794, apparently owned by the former proprietors of nearby Taps & Tales, opened earlier this year in January in an area that is now filling with pubs (Wren, Morgans, the Borough, and Sarah’s). I am personally delighted as this part of Toronto has been crying out for more pubs for a decade or more.

Local 1794 features a long wooden bar with seating for about 20 people and the booths have their own electrical outlets and Apple ports. There is also regular table seating and elevated bench and high top tables. The walls feature a suspended fireplace at the back and large old black-and-white pictures of Toronto. There is an area at the back of Local 1794 that can be reserved for larger groups.

Number of visits by yours truly: my first, but not my last on a weekday afternoon in April 2015
TTC information: equidistant between Coxwell and Woodbine stations, a five-minute walk east from the former and a six-minute walk from the latter
Booze selection: more than 40 beers, with a focus on Ontario craft beers, as well as Magners and Strongbow cider (they have Pimm’s). They also have scotches and lots of wine
Food selection: gastropub with specials such as “lobster, shrimp, and spinach terrine with lobster bisque lemon beurre blanc sauce” and pizza from a wood-burning stove. The menu, which is online, is presented on a clipboard-like device using (Canadian) Robertson screws
Service staff: good and in fancy attire, our waiter made a beer suggestion a beer for our second round and made a good choice for us
Prices: not bad
Toilets: clean (no toilet paper in either stall and we arrived early enough that I knew the toilets hadn’t been checked before opening, our waiter did rush in with bog roll after I let him know — can’t let the sisterhood down)
Patio: south-facing and an up-and-over door for that yummy car exhaust flavour inside
Wheelchair accessible: no
Televisions: two, one playing an old gangster movie from the 1930s
Live music: considering having at brunch
Piped-in music: modern

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

Sarah’s Café and Bar

Sarah’s Café and Bar (website, Twitter)
1426 Danforth Avenue, Toronto ON M4J 1N4 (on the north side, at the corner of Monarch Park Avenue, the nearest major intersection is Coxwell Avenue and Danforth Avenue) 416-406-3121
Google Maps 

A diamond in the rough. 

Similar to our odyssey to the Gull and Firkin, my husband had hurt his Achilles tendon and was having difficulty walking. A friend had recommended the One in the Only Cafe on the Danforth to us, so we decided to check it out. We walked out after five minutes of sitting in the dark and being ignored by the staff. Perhaps we weren’t hip enough? We then went east to Seanachai, which used to be The Hargrave, which was closed that Sunday afternoon. We pressed our faces against the dirty windows and it looked like it was no longer in business (it’s now Rails and Ales). The one time we had been there, they weren’t serving food, even though it was dinnertime. On we trod and decided to go with something reliable.

Sarah’s is a diamond in the rough, near dives/greasy spoons/regulars-only places called Big Ronnie’s and Jane’s Happy Bar. Sarah’s follows the trend in that it has a person’s name in its title, but the similarities end there. Sarah’s is the type of place you could take your date or your mum. (Let’s put it this way, one of the times I was in Sarah’s, I was sitting beside a lesbian couple who were quietly dividing their assets post break-up.) I’ve been to Sarah’s a number of times over the years and it’s always a good time for me, not necessarily my nearby seating companions.

Sarah’s is very bohemian with big windows, lots of cushions, velvet-covered lampshades, and tables with fancy inlay. Strangely, it doesn’t look like the interior shots on the website, which seems misleading. The kitchen is front and centre, so you can try to see the progress of your dinner order. The place can get very busy late at night, but there is also a room in the back, so check that to see if there might be a spot for your group.

Number of visits by yours truly: five or six, most recently on a Sunday afternoon in early June 2011
TTC information: Greenwood Station or Coxwell Station. Looking at the map, it’s equidistant between the two
Booze selection: lots and lots to choose from, 13 on taps and 70 in bottles — with a Belgian focus — including pear cider (no Pimm’s). Like most places that boast a selection this large, be sure to have a back-up choice when ordering. They also have an extensive wine list
Food selection: the fancier and eclectic end of pub grub, such as cheese platters and mussels, but not a lot of selection. Apparently, Sarah’s also does catering
Service staff: very friendly, but can be slow
Prices: expensive
Toilets: two unisex and both leave something to be desired. The wheelchair-access toilet is better than the all-access one, in there my friend hit her head on the hand dryer as she was standing up.  My beloved grandmother would not have approved
Patio: two, one to the west and one to the south of building. The west one has a cover and both are of a decent size
Wheelchair accessible: one of the toilets is accessible with railings
Televisions: one in the back room that I have never seen turned on
Live music: open mic every Sunday afternoon
Piped-in music: The Smiths

Rating: five pints (out of five)