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Where Bartenders go to Drink: Dundas West's Churchill Comes Out on Top

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Eater set out to discover where Toronto's bartenders like to go for drinks when they're not working, and it turns out they're all going to Churchill.

Open since 2010, this casual bar on Dundas West is as charming as it is comfortable. And when pretty much every bartender drops its name as their go-to after work, they've got to be doing it right.

Aja Sax, manager and bartender at The Huntsman Tavern, says that Churchill is a great mix of quality bar offerings and a casual atmosphere. She also lists Toronto Temperance Society as one of her go-to's, praising their "extensive food options" and friendly bar staff.

"The Harbord Room was one of the first places [in Toronto] to offer a good cocktail," she adds.

Brad Gubbins, bar manager at SpiritHouse, is a fan of TTS as well as The Samuel J. Moore for pints and 416 Snack Bar. But Churchill gets the biggest reco because "it's open on Sundays and Mondays when most bars are closed and bartenders have the days off."

Amos Pudsey, one of the bartenders at The Harbord Room agrees. "Great bartenders. Great drinks. Atmosphere feels like a bar. You feel at home when you're there. Nothing pretentious about it. And it's open until 2 a.m."

And Ursa's bartender, Atsushi Suzuki, says everyone goes to Churchill on Sundays. When he's not there he likes Reposado, TTS and Cocktail Bar because "it's pretty, cozy, and the cocktails are great."


· Introducing: Churchill, The Latest Lo-Fi Bar on "Destination" Dundas West [Toronto Life]
· Restaurant Review: Toronto Temperance Society [Post]
· First Look: THR & Co., a New Restaurant From The Team Behind The Harbord Room [Post City]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Churchill

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1212 Dundas St. W., Toronto
ON, Canada
Casual, comfortable and quality cocktails. Open on Sundays and Mondays. Hands down the fave. [Churchill/Yelp]

2. Toronto Temperance Society

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577a College St., Toronto
ON, Canada
(416) 536-7000
Visit Website
Private members club where everyone loves booze. Extensive cocktails and food offerings. Old timey feel. Non-members can go as guests of a member only. [Photo: TTS]

3. Harbord Room

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89 Harbord St., Toronto
ON M5S 1G4, Canada
(416) 962-8989
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Named enRoute Magazine's 3rd best restaurant in Canada in 2008. Consistently named as a favourite ever since. Check out their sister, THR&Co. too. [Harbord Room/Yelp]

4. Cocktail Bar

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923 Dundas St W, Toronto
ON M6J 1W3, Canada
(416) 792-7511
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Blink and you'll miss it. Not much to look at on the outside but oh so charming inside. Cocktail Bar started as a holding pen for Black Hoof spillover but holds its own in the drinks scene. [Cocktail Bar/Yelp]

5. Samuel J Moore

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1087 Queen St. W., Toronto
ON, Canada
(416) 897-8348
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A stylish bistro attached to casual concert venue The Great Hall, SJM attracts locals and visitors alike to West Queen West. Quality cocktails. [Samuel J Moore/Yelp]

6. Reposado

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136 Ossington Ave., Toronto
ON M6J 2Z5, Canada
(416) 532-6474
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This is not your university-days tequila. Reposado makes tasty cocktails with real tequila and mescal, plus serves the spirits with a delicious side of sangrita. [Reposado/Yelp]

7. 416 Snack Bar

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181 Bathurst St, Toronto
ON, Canada
(416) 364-9320
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Casual eatery and bar at Queen and Bathurst that's always busy. Great tapas-style snacks and on-spot cocktails. [416 Snack Bar/Yelp]

8. The Huntsman Tavern

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890 College St., Toronto
Ontario, Canada
Retro gastropub that was popular before it was even officially open. Comforting food and playful cocktails like the Scotchy Scotch Scotch. [Huntsman Tavern/Yelp]

9. Ursa

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924 Queen St W, Toronto
ON, Canada
This is an attractive bistro on Queen West at Shaw. With fancy cocktails, elk tartare and a seasonal ever-changing menu, Ursa is a delight. [Ursa/Yelp]

10. Spirithouse

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487 Adelaide St., Toronto
ON, Canada
A downtown den of decadent manliness. Should be the headquarters for any Movember cocktail parties. Creative drinks and old timey bartenders ... but downtown, which is rare. [SpiritHouse/Yelp]

1. Churchill

1212 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON, Canada
Casual, comfortable and quality cocktails. Open on Sundays and Mondays. Hands down the fave. [Churchill/Yelp]
1212 Dundas St. W., Toronto
ON, Canada

2. Toronto Temperance Society

577a College St., Toronto, ON, Canada
Private members club where everyone loves booze. Extensive cocktails and food offerings. Old timey feel. Non-members can go as guests of a member only. [Photo: TTS]
577a College St., Toronto
ON, Canada

3. Harbord Room

89 Harbord St., Toronto, ON M5S 1G4, Canada
Named enRoute Magazine's 3rd best restaurant in Canada in 2008. Consistently named as a favourite ever since. Check out their sister, THR&Co. too. [Harbord Room/Yelp]
89 Harbord St., Toronto
ON M5S 1G4, Canada

4. Cocktail Bar

923 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1W3, Canada
Blink and you'll miss it. Not much to look at on the outside but oh so charming inside. Cocktail Bar started as a holding pen for Black Hoof spillover but holds its own in the drinks scene. [Cocktail Bar/Yelp]
923 Dundas St W, Toronto
ON M6J 1W3, Canada

5. Samuel J Moore

1087 Queen St. W., Toronto, ON, Canada
A stylish bistro attached to casual concert venue The Great Hall, SJM attracts locals and visitors alike to West Queen West. Quality cocktails. [Samuel J Moore/Yelp]
1087 Queen St. W., Toronto
ON, Canada

6. Reposado

136 Ossington Ave., Toronto, ON M6J 2Z5, Canada
This is not your university-days tequila. Reposado makes tasty cocktails with real tequila and mescal, plus serves the spirits with a delicious side of sangrita. [Reposado/Yelp]
136 Ossington Ave., Toronto
ON M6J 2Z5, Canada

7. 416 Snack Bar

181 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON, Canada
Casual eatery and bar at Queen and Bathurst that's always busy. Great tapas-style snacks and on-spot cocktails. [416 Snack Bar/Yelp]
181 Bathurst St, Toronto
ON, Canada

8. The Huntsman Tavern

890 College St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Retro gastropub that was popular before it was even officially open. Comforting food and playful cocktails like the Scotchy Scotch Scotch. [Huntsman Tavern/Yelp]
890 College St., Toronto
Ontario, Canada

9. Ursa

924 Queen St W, Toronto, ON, Canada
This is an attractive bistro on Queen West at Shaw. With fancy cocktails, elk tartare and a seasonal ever-changing menu, Ursa is a delight. [Ursa/Yelp]
924 Queen St W, Toronto
ON, Canada

10. Spirithouse

487 Adelaide St., Toronto, ON, Canada
A downtown den of decadent manliness. Should be the headquarters for any Movember cocktail parties. Creative drinks and old timey bartenders ... but downtown, which is rare. [SpiritHouse/Yelp]
487 Adelaide St., Toronto
ON, Canada