The Court Jester

Court Jester Toronto
The Court Jester
681 Danforth Avenue, Toronto ON M4J 1L2 (on the south side of the Danforth, between Pape Avenue and Jones Avenue) 416-465-6247
Google Maps 

Pub and deli-dining together on the Danforth. 

This is a review of the new and larger location of the Court Jester on the Danforth, which moved from the west side of Pape to the east in December 2014. My friend and I checked out the new location shortly after it opened. I went to the old Court Jester a number of times over the years. (One of my sisters, who used to live nearby, met a boyfriend there.) From the outside, the new Court Jester looks somewhat the same with the same insipid jester creature, but it’s better on the inside with a lighter, more up-scale look and a variety of seating, including high-top tables. The new Court Jester features a deli counter at the front, called CJ’s Deli, which was very busy while we were there with lots of people getting take-out.

The new Court Jester is now child-friendly (sigh) and features weekend brunch and all-week-long breakfasts. Although I have been there only the once, I would say that the new Court Jester is attracting a new clientele. Like the old pub, it has darts, a pinball machine, and board games.

Note: the front step was very slippery in winter and there is the Jester on Yonge, so make sure you and your friends know which one you are going to.

Number of visits by yours truly: five or six, most recently on a weekday evening in January 2015
TTC information: just a two-minute walk east from Pape Station
Booze selection: 16 beers including Strongbow cider (forgot to ask about Pimm’s, sorry!)
Food selection: the menu is online, not surprisingly with a number of deli sandwiches
Service staff: good service
Prices: not cheap, but lots of food
Toilets: no hot tap water in the ladies’, I verified this by turning on and off the two valves under the sink (what lengths I go to for you, my dear readers). Not impressed. Apparently the men’s was good, but freezing cold in the winter
Patio: I don’t think so, but the window in the front is an up-and-over door
Wheelchair accessible: not wheelchair accessible
Televisions: four televisions
Live music: I don’t think so
Piped-in music: Beatles, Queen, Coldplay

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


The Fox and Fiddle (Danforth)

Fox and Fiddle Danforth

The Fox and Fiddle (Danforth) (website)
535 Danforth Avenue, Toronto Ontario M4K 1P7 (on the south side of Danforth, between Carlaw Avenue and Fenwick Avenue, the nearest intersection is Pape Avenue and Danforth Avenue) 416-462-9830
Google Maps 

Decent sports pub on the Danforth.

I’m not a fan of the Fox and Fiddle pub chain — too many televisions, a little dark even for my gothic sensibilities, and the focus on looks (the first image on their website is of a woman holding two plates, but the food is out of focus and partly cut off, her nose and above is also cut off, the camera is focussed on “The Fox and Fiddle” name on her chest). However, they could be worse and when Toronto had that huge winter storm in 2013 with the power outages, the Fox and Fiddle on the Danforth allowed its customers to charge their cell phones there as they had power.

The Fox and Fiddle on the Danforth features two pool tables, a party room in the basement, and games at the back. The seating is varied with high-back chairs, different size booths, a bench for 14, etc. Ho-hum.

Number of visits by yours truly: three or four visits, most recently on a weekday afternoon in December 2014
TTC information: two-minute walk west of Pape Station
Booze selection: 40 beers with Somersby and Strongbow ciders (yes, they have Pimm’s)
Food selection: standard pub fare, the kitchen is open until 2 am
Service staff: good (We were chatting with our server and another patron who had just walked in immediately asked her for a beer while we were talking, she politely dealt with him and I watched him drink his pint in two minutes.)
Prices: reasonable
Toilets: the gender signs are on the door handle plates, which is not where you would expect them to be
Patio: north on the Danforth
Wheelchair accessible: nope
Televisions: lots and lots including several inside booths
Live music: likely not
Piped-in music: modern

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

TorontoPubs’ Danforth (Greek Town) Pub Crawl

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.

The Brass Taps Pizza Pub (Danforth)

Brass Taps Danforth Toronto

The Brass Taps Pizza Pub 
493 Danforth Avenue, Toronto ON M4K 1P5‎ (on the south side of the Danforth, between Logan Avenue and Fenwick Avenue, the nearest major intersection is Pape Avenue and Danforth Avenue) 416-466-3403
Google Maps 

In the mood for beer and pizza? Then I have the place for you.

I’ve been to the Brass Taps Pizza Pub on the Danforth a couple of times over the years and I like it, but I wasn’t blown away. Perhaps because it tries to cater to multiple groups that don’t necessarily overlap, I find the pub spreads itself too thin. Pub? Pizza parlour? Children’s party palace? (A favourite of The Sun, need I say more?)  That said, there seemed to be a number of regulars clinging to the bar the night in question.

The Brass Taps Pizza Pub interior was dark with booths, regular tablet, high tables, and chairs, as well as pool tables and pinball machines at the back. By the time we left at eight that weeknight, the place was very busy, and it’s open until two every night.

Note: like the nearby Auld Spot and Court Jester pubs, there is a similarly named pub elsewhere in Toronto, so make sure your group knows you are heading to the right Brass Taps Pizza Pub.

Number of visits by yours truly: three or four, most recently on a weekday evening in December 2012
TTC information: equidistant from Chester and Pape Stations
Booze selection: more than 30 beers including Waupoos, Magners, and Sir Perry ciders. Note that the menu in the pub has a number of beers crossed off the page and the online menu says they have Strongbow cider, but it wasn’t on the menu in the pub. Time to update both! (no Pimm’s)
Food selection: lots of pizzas, as well as traditional pub grub, but not a lot of appetizers. You do wait for the food, but you are warned about this on the cover of the menu, and all items are available for take-out
Service staff: friendly and fast
Prices: reasonable (the fact that a children’s party was being held there at the back of the pub shows that they must be reasonable)
Toilets: not bad
Patio: summer patio on the Danforth
Wheelchair accessible: nope, toilets downstairs
Televisions: at least eight
Live music: sometimes 
Piped-in music: Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” and The Only Band That Matters

Rating: four pints (out of five)