What it is: On King Street West, on the edge of the city’s vaunted Entertainment District, this dark, shotgun-style temple to beer and other libations has a pedigree. The back story: For many years, Toronto was the place to go in Canada for beer bars. Among the earliest was Smokeless Joe’s, founded by Sergei Sawchyn and later sold to an actual Joe—Joe Sacco, who hired his nephew, Rob Pingitore. After Smokeless moved and eventually shut down, Pingitore took his considerable beer savvy and partnered with Jim MacDonald to open Bar Hop.
Why it’s great: While you’ll find more taps at their brewpub offshoot—Bar Hop Brewco, located just a 10-minute walk away—there is no topping the warm, welcoming vibe of the King Street original. There’s a sunny street front for summer, a dark and inviting interior for colder months, and an atmosphere that can go from calm and comforting to raucous and merry in a matter of moments. Best of all, besides a carefully constructed beer list that offers one of the city’s finest mixes of mainstays and rotating specialties, Bar Hop also has one of downtown’s top whisk(e)y lists, plus superior wine and cocktail selections. No drinker, even the beer-phobic, will lack for choice. —Stephen Beaumont
Hours: 4 p.m.–midnight, Sunday–Wednesday; 4 p.m.–1 a.m., Thursday; 4 p.m.–2 a.m., Friday; 1 p.m.–2 a.m., Saturday
Address: 391 King St. West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada