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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Toronto Pub Crawl - Leaside

Part 5 - Leaside (Bayview/Eglinton/Davisville):

This pub crawl involves walking and a TTC day pass, so I suggest starting in the early afternoon in order to get around to each place I recommend.

The Leaside area isn't known for good beer establishments, other than the Granite Brewery, a Toronto landmark, but things are slowly starting to evolve - just enough that a pub crawl could happen in this part of town.

The first stop of the Leaside pub crawl would be Cam's Place up at 2655 Yonge Street.  Take the subway to either Lawrence and walk south from the station or get off at the Eglinton subway station and walk north.  Cam's Place is new to the Toronto pub scene and offers a number of local beer on draught along with a number of imports that can be enjoyed at their comforting bar on the first floor.

Back to the TTC and head to the Davisville station for the second stop on the crawl - The Twisted Kilt, just north of the station and situated in the same building as the now defunct Bow & Arrow pub that served as a craft beer haven for years (until going downhill in recent years).  The Kilt opened back in October of '09 with has done a pretty decent job of keeping beer drinkers happy with their selections, which include a number of Ontario produced beers, Unibroue beers (including a rotating Unibroue tap line) and a number of imports like Fuller's, Marston's, and Warsteiner.

Get back out to Yonge Street and head north to Belsize Drive.  Walk for 0.8 kms east on Belsize to Mt. Pleasant and you'll find the third stop on the crawl - The Longest Yard.  This addition to the list may surprise some of you, what with the lack of beer from small local producers, but the Longest Yard offers a good spot for a pint after walking from The Twisted Kilt.  There is Guinness, Leffe, Steam Whistle, and Creemore on tap, so that should tie you over until the fourth location.

The Granite Brewery is the fourth stop on the list and the one place you may not wish to leave after downing a pint of Ron Keefe's Best Bitter Special (BBS) on cask.  Simply delicious.  So is his Hopping Mad and Peculiar.  In fact, all of Keefe's beers are terrific.  The Granite has been a hotspot for beer lovers since 1996 and 19 years later its still going strong.  To get there from The Longest Yard walk north on Mt. Pleasant for 0.7 km to Eglinton Ave.  The Granite is right there on the corner.

If you can tear yourself away from the Granite to head to the final stop on the Leaside crawl, you won't be disappointed once you get there.  The final stop - Highway 61 Southern Barbeque on Bayview Avenue.  Grab a bus from the Granite and head east on Eglinton till you hit Bayview.  Get off and walk south on Bayview and Highway 61 will be found on the west side of the road.  If in doubt, let your nose lead you to the front door as the smell of BBQ fills the air around the newer establishment.  You will only find beers produced by members of the Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB) on tap and the food is very good (imo).

*Cam's Place - 2655 Yonge St
*Twisted Kilt - 1954 Yonge St
*The Longest Yard - 535 Mount Pleasant Road
*Granite Brewery - 245 Eglinton Avenue E
*Highway 61 - 1620 Bayview Avenue

Tomorrow -  Subway Crawl


Steve said...

Not a bad list. The Longest Yard could definitely do better with their beer menu. I love the Granite!

Troy Burtch said...

Steve - can't argue with you there.

Theo said...

Tried a shortened version of the pub crawl yesterday, was impressed with the choice. Interesting to see what Toronto pubs have to offer from a Londoners perspective!

Made it to:

Cam's Place
Twisted Kilt
Kramer's Bar & Grill (Upstairs patio area)
Longest Yard

All great places, great beer selection and friendly staff. Certainly noted the European beer selection was a recurring theme in all the places. We tried all the local beers on tap.

Hopefully will check out the last couple on the route soon.


Troy Burtch said...

Theo - that is great! Glad to hear that you enjoyed the list. said...

Those all look like wicked pubs! I've been meaning to go to Cam's since moving to the area, twisted kilt as well. Highway 61, however, is an amazing place, don't skip it just because it's a bit further out, you'll not be the least bit disappointed. The OCB beers are always great, there's a rotating guest tap or two and always a beer and food special. The best part of Highway 61 is the BBQ and the blues, both top notch. there's live entertainment 5 nights/wk, but the food man, the foood is sooo goood, all slowly cooked with care for the ingredients and process, it's all very flavourful, I have on many occasions walked an hour to get their BBQ, it's honestly good food. said...

Also great in the Leaside area, may be a better option than the Longest Yard is Rocky Raccoon's Bar on Yonge a block or two north of Orchard View Blvd.

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