Toronto is home to almost 3 million people and sees almost 45 million people visit each year. With so many people passing through, it’s no surprise that there are so many different personalities and tastes – Toronto even has a quirky, kitschy side!
If you are looking for somewhere different to enjoy some interesting food, themed cocktails, and a unique atmosphere, here are 11 places in Toronto that celebrate the weird, the quirky, and the downright whimsical.
The Grand Order of Divine Sweets
The world just can’t get enough Baby Yoda… The Grand Order of Divine Sweets (The GOoDS) is a bakery and café that specializes in designing uniquely detailed desserts with wonderful geeky twists. From life-sized edible Star Wars® droids, cakes that hang from the ceiling, and wearable suits of chocolate armor, there is nothing that Master Designer, Sam Lapointe won’t tackle – you can even eat your way through the galaxy of truffles. Celebrating many Fandoms far and wide, there is a sweet treat, baked good, and café beverage for every taste.
One part nostalgia and one part superhero, Figures has taken the concept of a comic book store and turned it into a resto-lounge that could also pass as a secret lair. They are very committed to the comic book/superhero theme from the secret entrance through a comic book shop to the cocktail names. Sip on a Poison Ivy or Empire Did Nothing Wrong cocktail or try some of their menu that takes you through the Exposition, Climax, and Resolution of your meal while you reminisce about all of the “figures that shaped us” (their fitting slogan).
Storm Crow Manor
What do you do if you open a bar in a Victorian-style mansion? You create a geek’s paradise with theme rooms and secret doors, of course. Storm Crow Manor is a Toronto bar offering themed pub fare and cocktails – and a lot of science fiction. Whether you are looking for a nice glass of Butterbeer, Romulan Ale, Peach’s Iced Tea, or a Corpse Reanimator to wash it all down, or you want to roll the 20-sided dice to see what Dungeon Burger you’ll get before closing with a Valententatcle for dessert (created by The GOoDS!), your experience will be both delicious and entertaining.
Cast a spell, or just drink a potion yourself at The Lockhart, Toronto’s Harry Potter-inspired tapas and cocktail bar. While the décor is more a nod to Harry Potter in its subtlety, there is no denying the magical connection. The food menu is currently limited to snacks and – BRUNCH! – but the cocktails alone are worth the visit.
The Shameful Tiki Room
With two locations in Canada, The Shameful Tiki Room celebrates summer all year round with their Polynesian-themed food and beverage menu. The unassuming street view doesn’t give any clues as to what you can expect inside – and it’s a lot to take in from the take home tiki drink bowls to the delicious food with a little bit of sweet and a little bit of spice. Drinks and dishes are even served in tiki heads and volcano bowls to go with the over-the-top décor. This is your tropical island escape without ever having to set foot on a plane.
Tiki, but make it upscale. Miss Thing’s is a Hawaiian restaurant that went with a more subtle tropical décor and a focus on the details in the drinks and food. Don’t let the modern take on tiki fool you, you can still sip a cocktail out of a coconut and order cocktails like Disco Juice, Caribbean Queen, and Total Eclipse of the Shark.
Enjoy Wes Anderson films? Ever wanted to feel like you were in one? Bar Mordecai is where you need to be. Inspired by the aesthetics of said director’s very distinct style, this upscale bar is meant to replicate the vibes of a classic hotel lobby. With food and drinks sticking closely to the theme of hotel lobby bar staples, this is the new hot spot for drinks and eats on Dundas West.
While the concept is super popular in other parts of the world, O.NOIR is one of two fine dining restaurants where you can “dine in the dark” in Canada. Put your cell phones and any other items of clothing or tech that will emit light because this dining experience was designed to heighten all of your other senses as you rely more on touch, hearing, taste, and smell. Conceptually, it was also developed to show people what it feels like to dine if you are visually-impaired. The wait staff are also all visually-impaired.
Is it a spa or a cocktail bar? The fact that you have to ask is why you should visit Majesty’s Pleasure. Both locations in Toronto are designed for the ultimate self-care experience. From a full-service spa to a full-service bar. For some, champagne or a fancy cocktail just makes everything sweeter. It’s great as a destination or a stop on the way out for the evening so you can look and feel your best.
What’s a list of unique Toronto bars and cafés without the Poop Café, right? When Poop Café opened in Toronto in 2016, most people didn’t really get it (some thought it was downright offensive), but they were curious enough that it was a hit. Where else can you eat poop-themed desserts and coffee beverages out of toilet-shaped dishes while sitting among poop-themed décor? It is Toronto’s first (and probably last) toilet-themed spot, but I’ll bet your curiosity is already getting the best of you…
Unicorns are EVERYWHERE… and I kind of love it. Unicorn Café opened in December 2019 and it is brought to life by the same people who created Poop Café. They just seem to understand this whole themed café thing. Wear a unicorn onesie and dine on a feast of unicorn-inspired Asian food, desserts, and coffee beverages while you sit among the rainbow pastel décor.
Whatever your tastes, Toronto has a lot to offer when it comes to the quirky and unique. These restaurants, cocktail bars, and cafés will make for an interesting experience. As a bonus… They are also really Instagram-worthy!