Toronto is a bustling Canadian city with an endless array of sights, restaurants, and natural landmarks. There's the CN Tower, Niagara Falls, and much more.
But why not drink your way through Toronto? And I'm not just talking booze.
After spending some time in Ontario's biggest city, I can think of no better way to explore Toronto than to wash every experience back with a drink.
Cocktails on Toronto Island
Take a 10-minute ferry from downtown Toronto across the harbor and get your island life on.
The Toronto Islands are a series of 15 inter-connected islands that are extremely walkable. The island boasts quaint pedestrian streets and a laid-back vibe. It felt like I had taken a ferry to the Hamptons, but in reality, downtown Toronto was just across the way.
Kick back at any one of the small bars and restaurants scattered throughout the island for some cocktails and sunshine. I recommend Island Café for a fun atmosphere and a sprawling outdoor area.
Thrifty Tip #1: The ferry is located between Bay Street and Yonge Street in Downtown Toronto. It costs about $8 round trip. Find everything you need to know here.
High Tea at Omni King Edward
The Omni King Edward Hotel is a historical staple in downtown Toronto. The hotel has dates back to the early 1900’s and has hosted numerous royalty and famous patrons.
The weekend high tea service is a Toronto tradition. And although it will set you back around $50, the experience is completely worth it. Reservations are recommended and you’ll choose from 24 high-quality teas to be served alongside finger sandwiches and desserts.
We had a blast getting dressed up and even ordered an Uber Black car for the occasion… you know, for the sake of feeling fancy. Stick around afterward for a one-hour hotel tour to learn about the history of the building and to check out some of the more private spaces. Our server was able to give us details on the tour, so make sure to ask.
Sake Flights at Izumi
Sake may not be the first thing that comes to mind in Toronto but trust me, you’ll want to make a stop at Izumi.
Brewed from local spring water, Izumi is the first sake brewery in eastern North America. Stop in on a Saturday or Sunday for an hour-long tour and tasting for $15. The brewery also has a taproom where you can stop in for a tasting flight and chat with the brewers.
We made it on a weekday afternoon and had the place to ourselves, and struck up some great conversation with the bartender. The location is also a great jumping off point for an evening exploring the vibrant Distillery District.
Niagara Falls Winery Tour
No trip to Toronto is complete without a detour to Niagara Falls.
Of course, you can see them from New York, but the best views of the falls are found on the Canadian side. In order to get to Niagara Falls, you’ll take a 90-minute road trip through some of Ontario’s best wine country. If you are feeling adventurous, rent a car and make the drive.
Instead, you should take advantage of any number of day tours from Toronto that include stops at wineries along the way. Tastings are included in the tour price and you’ll get to sample some of the region’s world-class Icewine, a sweet dessert wine.
Thrifty Tip #2: Look for a tour that includes a Hornblower ticket, your pass to get on a boat and out into the jaws of Niagara Falls. While touristy, it's a must-do experience at the falls!
Toronto has endless options when it comes to things to do. If you’re looking to drink your way through the city, these options offer something for everyone.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.