A guide to a fun night out in Toronto this weekend no matter where you live

Toronto nightlife is in the midst of the holiday season. For those staying in town, bars, clubs and parties all over town are still going on and are guaranteed to make the weekend before New Year’s Day a lively one.

Here’s an ideal weekend guide for east, west, and central Toronto.

The east side isn’t as saturated with nightlife as the west side, but it does have some gems for Friday and Saturday nights. The east side is ideal for a quiet and energetic evening.

A good after-work bar for dinner before a night out is the Vatican Gift Shop near Gerard and Jones. Whether you’re bringing friends or going on a solo date, try our vegan Augustine and Capriccioso pizzas, paired with seasonal cocktails and local IPAs.

The Vatican Gift Shop is full of church-themed decorations. Photo by Hector Vazquez.

Walk or take the tram to Farside near the corner of Broadview and Gerard in East Chinatown. If you’re looking for an upbeat but chill night filled with pinball machines and old movie screenings, this is the place.

Or find The Dive Shop at 1036 Gerrard St E across the street from the Vatican. Their signature cocktails, the Coconut Margarita (a staff favorite) and the Coconut Pineapple Margarita, are both popular cocktails containing 1800 Coconut Tequila. .

Heart of Toronto

The city center offers many options for the perfect night out.

Start your evening at Bar Volo, a bar, brewery and bottle shop on Nicholas Street. If you’re into beer, the Volo Bottega Blonde and Volo X Town Vivita are great ways to start the night. The former is a classic blonde lager and a safe choice, while the latter is an in-house brewed, dry-hopped drink.

toronto flight bar

Var Volo is tucked away on Nicholas St. near Yonge and Wellesley. Photo by Fareen Karim.

Want to continue your night of sitting and drinking? Head to Bar St. Law near St. Lawrence Market to sample the wine and snack menu. If you can make it on Thursday, enjoy Boogie Nights hosted by musician Sean Leung and his DJ.

For a change, head west to the Entertainment District. Here you’ll find the Black Pearl, where you can dance to the sounds of Afro House at the Choas + Euphony event. Toronto-based DJ his Minzi Roberta, Hangaelle and Jelz spin all night long.

west toronto

The West is known for being chaotic and nightlife tends to be more experimental.

Start your night of light with a few shots of the iconic Jelly King beer or Roman Candle IPA at Bellwoods Brewery. If you’re hanging out with a friend, try splitting fries and his signature aioli mayonnaise together.

Bell Woods Brewery

Bellwoods Brewery has more space since it expanded into the space next door.Photo by Fareen Karim.

Once the bill is in place, head to La Piscina on Brock, west of Dundas. Come enjoy tapas and cocktails. If you find yourself there on Wednesday, head to the ‘Garden Disco’ for the last disco night of the year.

If you want to go south down Queen W Street, head to Cold Tea for their signature Friday dance night. Hosted by DJ Manalang with DJ his Just Jenneh and Audiotoks

If you want to change things up and head to a more intimate dive bar spot, stick to Dundas West, walk across the street to Black Dice and order the Sakura, a mixture of sake, grenadine and lemon.

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