Toronto is a remarkable city with many faces and great, friendly, open-minded people. It reminded me Berlin a bit, not only because of the TV tower. Cider is available here at literally every bar, pub or restaurant. To my surprise, most bars carry commercial cider from Europe such as Somersby. Fortunately, they usually also stock an alternative to this European cider from concentrate, a cider from a local cider maker Thornbury Village.
I’ve decided to check what others already wrote about cider in Toronto, and I have found at least two very good articles about where to find cider there. One from Toronto Life published Feb 2017 and one slightly older from BlogTo. Nevertheless, I’ve made the decision to compile my own list and share with you my feedback and impressions. It took me a longer while to write about all the cider spots in Toronto. But here it is!
- Her Father’s Cider Bar and Kitchen (119 Harbord St., Toronto ON M5S 1G7)
Her Father’s Cider Bar & Kitchen is my absolutely
number one favourite in terms of cider spots in Toronto. If I had lived in Toronto I would surely become a regular customer. You can find regularly rotating tap selection featuring local cider makers from Ontario area. Cider flights are also available. If that’s not enough, they have an incredible selection of bottled cider available as well. Since I sat at the bar I kept staring at 4 giant refrigerators stocked with cider from different regions of Canada, mainly Ontario and Quebec, but also the U.S.. Also European ciders from the UK, France, Spain and even Estonia from Jaanihanso can be found here. When I was reviewing the extensive bottled cider menu I was really confused and overwhelmed by the choice here. Fortunately, the staff was amazing and I got a few recommendations for a number of interesting Canadian ciders. Trust me, I wanted to try every single cider on the menu and it was almost a torture to pick only a few. Here is the link to their hypnotizing cider menu. If you’re into ice cider you can sample ice cider from Quebec by the glass. Also, their cocktails are based on cider if you are a fan. Even the food there tastes incredible. Pure heaven! I actually wanted to pay them a visit again on Monday but unfortunately they’re closed on Mondays so you can imagine my huge disappointment. Anyway, Her Father’s Cider Bar & Kitchen is a must visit spot for every cider lover.
- Cider House 391 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto ON M6R 2N1
Located in the middle of the Polish neighbourhood on Roncesvalles, the Cider House is a nice and cosy bar that has a wide selection of regional cider from Ontario on tap. Cider flights featuring 4 different ciders are available here at 9 CAD and are slightly cheaper than at Her Father’s Cider Bar & Kitchen. My tasting notes from the visit there can be found here. They also serve food but I wasn’t hungry at the time. Fortunately, Cider House is open on Mondays so I came here one more time before heading to the airport as it was close to Bloor, an UP Express station.
- Birreria Volo 612 College St. Little Italy, Toronto,
Birreria Volo, as the name already indicates, is located in Little Italy. It’s actually well-hidden and it took me a while to find the place. It’s pretty dark with minimalist and modern design that appealed to me. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the dim light in the place. As for cider, at Birreria Volo they usually have 2 to 4 changing regional ciders available on draught. Click here to see what is currently available on tap. Again, they even have Estonian cider from Jaanihanso by the glass. I came here a few times as it was close to my airbnb accommodation and I just enjoyed being there.
- Tequila Bookworm 512 Queen St W (at Portland St) Toronto ON M5V 2B3
Tequila Bookworm is a lively bar based in the popular shopping street in Toronto, Queen Street West. Again, it was similarly hidden just like it was in the Birreria Volo’s case. At Tequila Bookworm they have always at least two ciders available on tap. Since they had really weird cider (at least to me) on offer at the time of my visit, such as Vanilla Ice Cream Apple Pie Milkshake cider from Revel Cider Company or Hopped Peach Cider (I’m not a fan of hopped cider) from the West Avenue Cider Company, I’ve decided not to stay there longer and continued my search for cider spots in Toronto. But if you’re not a cider purist like me, you might enjoy your glass of cider here.
- The Only Cafe 972 Danforth Ave (at Donlands Ave) Toronto ON M4J 1L9
Since I’ve decided to explore Toronto on foot, which turned out to be a terrible idea as I wasn’t aware that streets can be that long here, I didn’t manage to check The Only Cafe. But I hear that they also have a great cider selection. 5 changing regional craft ciders on tap. For their current line-up check here.
- Wvrst 609 King Street West, Toronto ON, M5V 1M5
Wvrst is another place famous for craft cider, and sausages, I would guess (Wurst is German for sausage) that I didn’t manage to check out as it was on the other side of the city and thus not part of my route. However, from what I read now about this place, I do regret that I didn’t pay them a visit. Next time!
In terms of shops, you will find cider at special stores that have a licence to sell alcohol called LCBO. I was told that ice cider is available only in the winter here. They have many stores around the city and the state. You can also purchase cider straight from the source if you decide to visit a tasting room of one of the local cider makers. Check out the website of the Ontario Craft Cider Association to see the list of local cideries. Cheers!
If there are more cider spots in Toronto worth mentioning, just drop me a line! I would be happy to update my post.