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hap·py hour : 
a period of the day when drinks are sold at reduced prices in a bar or restaurant. 

Did you know? Happy Hour has only been legal in Toronto since 2007 and it was only in 2019 that establishments were legally allowed to describe it as such. It’s generally agreed upon that Happy Hour takes place anytime between 4PM and 8PM and usually only lasts 1-2 hours.  In Québec it is known as Le Cinq à Sept, as it is only on offer between 5PM and 7PM.  These daily after work specials are a great way to check out a new place without breaking the bank. 

We enjoy being able to stop into our local for a quick drink after a long day. Fortunately for us, the west end is full of lovely little restaurants and cocktail bars with various happy hour specials. What’s even better, is that these are all within walking distance of transit or if you’re lucky enough to live local; walking distance of your home. When the weather is warm, and the skies are blue, a crisp glass of white wine hits the spot, or perhaps you’re more of a cocktail or beer kind of person. Either way, the west end has you covered for a quick, responsible after work drink on your way home.  

Our top 5 picks to enjoy happy hour in the West End are:

1) Decco  – The Junction  

This little Junction joint is one of the longest-serving restaurants in the Junction area.  Known for authentic Italian fare, Decco is on our list for date night and now also for an excellent happy hour.  Monday through Friday from 4-6 PM features a happy hour menu of drink specials, including a $10 Aperol Spritz and $10 Prosecco.

If you start to feel peckish, they even have a happy hour 3-course dinner available, for $33 all in. This small space is an ideal spot for people watching on the Junction strip, thanks to its fully open front windows right on Dundas W.  Pull up a seat, order some bubbly and discuss the day while keeping an eye on the action. 

Decco is at 2840 Dundas Street West. 

Want to discover more of our local faves? Check out these other posts from our blog!

2) Bar Neon – Bloordale  

The tiny storefront of Bar Neon can easily be missed while walking about Bloor Street.  This unassuming little space is packed with Mediterranean flavour and is home to one of our favourite happy hours in the city.  From 3-5 PM, they offer buck-a-shuck oysters and $7 pints plus other wine specials. When the weather is nice, there is a super cute, very secret back patio with full service.

Access their cute patio through the alleyway across from Susan Tibaldi Park and really feel like a local. We like to pop in here for some oysters, a fresh cocktail and a warm olive plate.  Close your eyes and you could be on the Mediterranean somewhere, if only! 

Bar Neon is at 1226 Bloor Street West. 

3) The Rhino – Parkdale 

[Text Wrapping Break]Perhaps one of the most well-known watering holes in all of Parkdale, the Rhino has been an institution since 1992. With its massive patio right on Queen Street West, there is never a dull moment.  From 3-6 PM you can order from a list of $5 beers, liquors and snacks.

The Rhino has one of the largest beer lists we’ve ever seen, with offerings from all over the world.  They also have 25 craft beers on tap. Located along the best shopping strip in Parkdale, grabbing a drink at the Rhino will make you feel like a local. 

Check out The Rhino at 1249 Queen St. West – in the heart of Parkdale! 

Looking for other places in the West End to grab a bite to eat? Explore more of our local recommendations below!

4) Mattachioni – The Junction Triangle 

Tucked away on Dupont just east of Dundas, Mattachioni is perhaps home to the best sourdough we’ve ever tasted! This excellent Italian bakery and pizzeria do a fantastic and aptly named aperitivo hour, Monday to Friday from 4-7 PM.  Here you’ll find classic 30z cocktails on offer for just $7 Think Negroni, spritzes and Campari sodas. Though there aren’t any food specials, if you’re lucky you might be able to pick up a loaf of the aforementioned sourdough if there’s any left.   

Mattachioni is located at 1617 Dupont Street. 

5) The Commoner – Roncy 

The Commoner has an excellent patio that spans Dundas West and around the corner onto Lynd Ave. right in the Roncy neighbourhood. This is yet another fabulous spot for people-watching.  With Patio season upon us, this is a great spot to stop for a drink special on your way to or from the bustling Roncy strip.  Their menu has quite a few options for sharing plates and nibbles, the perfect amount of food when enjoying a quick after work cocktail with colleagues. 

The Commoner is at 2067 Dundas Street West. 

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