cyrenaica (9) Milton, Ontario | July 15, 2007| Updated July 6, 2009
Probably my favourite place to have a quiet beer. This is a bar that is the ’basement’ of a house in Toronto’s Entertainment district. It consists of a bar, 2 tables, a ledge with barstools, and some outside tables. The selection is fabulous with a claimed 150+ brands on hand from 20+ different countries. The atmosphere is very bar like with the main menu being nothing more than a set of stapled 8.5x11 pages with the beer list on it. (I like that apsect) The service was amazing, I was greeted at the door with the ’menu’ and after 5 minutes or so was asked for my choice. The prices were very decent in my opinion given the selection and another place I will be visiting soon
This was my first place to go. Rather small , located in the basement. Old Joe had his now famous cellar with rare brews. The oysters I heard were solid but I was happy with beers/. Their bottle selection was good too. Its sad to see it gone.
Finally managed to check this place out and I gotta say this place is cool. The ambiance was unique - low ceiling basement feel - long and narrow , beer-orientated forsure. A decent selection of Ontario beers on draught, with a subpar bottle selection (Great Belgium selection - poor American/Canadian). I highly recommend the Oysters. Good to see a spot like this is in the Entertainment district. Will be back!
Good spot if you are in the area. A bit pricey, and I found the beer bottle menu to be rather bland (most were foreign pale lagers). Great chilled atmosphere, excellent service, a solid tap list, and a great selection of trappist beers. One of Toronto’s best bars for sure.
You might walk by if you don’t look down, but you would do yourself a diservice. Walk down and enjoy a decent selection of brews. The selection isn’t quite as good as Volo and Beer Bistro.. but they make up for it with great mussels, a good relaxed atmosphere. A true haven in the entertaintment district.
Visited on a busy Friday night in February, and have been here on several occasions before then as well, this little pub is in a great location for the entertainment district goers. On this stop we ate a delicious bowl of chowder and shared a hot brownie. Selection is variable, though the popular choices are usually fresh and their Belgian selection is quite decent: this night we tried a couple dubbels, one of which we happily found is retired on the site. Service is typical bartender-esque for the city: not too interested in chatting as they’re usually a little busy but happy to serve you and your friends a beer. Atmosphere is deceiving at first (dingy) but then you realize it’s mostly clean (if dark) and welcoming in general. Certainly worth visiting in you’re in the area.
great little basement bar. super tiny but very welcoming. considering the size the selection is quite good. local and imports on tap and tons of bottle to choose from. prices are the highest ive ever seen so i only had one brew. id happily return.
A tiny bar that makes me think more of someone converting their basement to a bar than a traditional bar. Counted about 20 seats, and could envision another 10-20 people packed in there before fire codes start being violated. Tap list was a bit small, but with an emphasis on locals. No flights or pours smaller than 12 ounces offered, and 12.65 (with taxes) for two 12oz beers seemed a bit steep, so we left after those two. Service however was good and the bartender was friendly and welcoming.
Visited summer 2008. Little cozy bar well located downtown Toronto. Rather small. I’d say it sits no more than 50 inside and maybe a dozen on the very small patio. Not particularly attractive place but I kind of like those small basement bar. Most will however find it too much of a basement bar. Six taps when I was there. The selection was so-so. You’d think that with so few tap lines they would carefully handpick the beers they put on tap. Not when I was there, six bland Ontario brews. I visited Volo on the same day and the selection of Ontario micro was far superior. Long bottle list that consists mainly of best selling beer from various countries. Either you’ve had them all or you don’t want the ones you didn’t have on that list. I didn’t eat there but they have food (small menu). I liked the cosy unpretentious basement ambience and I’ll assume that I caught them on a bad beer day. I know they rotate the tap lines regularly. Not a must-visit but because of its proximity to the busy downtown/touristy Toronto you may want to add it to your itinerary.
I can see why some folks don’t like it. I personally loved it. It’s a bit small and it got really crowded by the time I left. Beer selection was good too. I would recommend it if your are looking for something unusual.
keithk (12) brooklyn, New York | January 22, 2009| Updated June 2, 2011
This place is great, but not for the obvious reasons. The tap selection is not that inspiring, but you are not going to do much better in Toronto. The bottle list is pretty good (despite the paucity of USA beers). But it’s the single most homey, friendly place I know. It’s my home base when in Toronto. Seldom crowded, always comfortable. Staff is over-the-top helpful. And the menu is small but the food is *shockingly* good - usually a couple of soups/stews, freshly shucked oysters, and a pasta or two. Everything homemade. Not a broad selection but made with care. Good music (usually old time jazz) on the PA system, one small tv.