Social munchers can rest assured, there’s more to the city’s après-dinner-hour menu than burgers and pizza. And these days, it’s all about sharing. Foodies will love the dizzying array of scrumptious $5 Spanish-style tapas cooked up by chef Nathan Isberg at Coca Tapas and Wine Bar. Gleaming hardwood floors and Rorschach-like inky art set the tone for chic social dining at Kultura. The plates may be small but are satisfying, and they’re bound to take you on a culinary world tour—think spiced tandoor beef and Jamaican chicken risotto. 7 West Café is the go-to spot for hungry locals seeking late-night comfort food with mile-high cheese-oozing open-faced tuna melts, tasty lasagna and around-the-clock brekkie at this 24-hour hub.COCKTAILS!
For cool relief on a balmy night, sometimes plain old rye’n’Coke just won’t do. Instead, get a refreshing fix with the vodka-spiked juicy cocktails, like the signature Lost my Cherry Blossom, at Marben. The luxe decor at this two-storey resto-lounge blends clean marble and wood lines with oh-so-cozy nooks for getting close. Thankfully, flattering rose-hued lighting remains after a recent reno. Mix with the sophisticated set at sleek and sexy Ultra Supper Club, where the restaurant morphs into a bumping nightclub after the plates have been cleared. On the breezy rooftop lounge, cushy white and navy banquettes bring South Beach flair. Check out the drink list at laid-back Czehoski. Once a Polish deli, it’s now a cool haunt where $12 martinis are topped off with fresh fruit wedges and the Bellinis are knee-slapping strong.MUSIC!
Three nights a week, the seductive Sopra Upper Lounge hosts live acts such as soulful Canadian crooner and Juno award winner Liberty Silver. Her rendition of the Etta James classic “At Last” gets the place swaying on the dance floor. Seemingly pulled straight out of a 1940s movie set, Live@Courthouse is the spot for music lovers looking for a night of Latin, blues, swing and jazz. Cathedral ceilings make for a grand-yet-intimate scene. A 12-foot black and white photo of Miles Davis flanks an entire wall at Opal Jazz Lounge, giving the impression that the legend would approve of this musical haunt and its top-notch rotation of local and international performers. The Boiler House has live jazz Thursday through Sunday in the Distillery District amid award-winning decor.
For an insider’s guide to the city’s nightspots, see Nightclubs By Neighbourhood.
TIP! Here’s one bar where you’ll actually enjoy hanging out with a bunch of wise guys: The Laugh Resort hosts comedy shows every Wednesday through Saturday evening.
WEB EXCLUSIVE! For more of the city’s flavour after dark, see 10 Best Cocktails.—Bonnie Malott