Toronto is a top-tier city, so it’s only natural that it’s filled with some of the best bars and restaurants around. Being a diverse city, we have restaurants, bars and clubs from all different cultural backgrounds and genres. King St West, in particular, is the mecca of most of these establishments as they line the street from side to side. Some popular venues on King St are the previously featured Bier Markt, Wrvst, Early Mercy and many others.
What makes these venues great is that they all have a little something about them that makes them different from one another. For example, Bier Markt and Early Mercy are two very different crowds with very different music but under certain circumstances can still make for an incredible night out. One place in particular that really stands out and encompasses many of the aspects that make for one of the top Toronto bars/ restaurants is Regulars at the corner of King and Bathurst.
Regulars is a well-rounded establishment located in the entertainment district of Toronto. This venue covers all corners making a great spot for casual drinks, lunch, dinner, watching the game or a night out. The theme of Regulars is that of old-time Hollywood, exemplified in the theatre entrance signs lining the bar. With opulent chandeliers and walls decorated with pop-culture mashups, this venue really is one of the coolest bars in Toronto.
The menu at Regulars consists of a wide variety of items from breakfast to dinner. This bar is a great lunch or dinner spot, or even to just have a drink and a snack. This wide range of dining options makes it one of the most accommodating restaurants in downtown Toronto.
Some stand out menu items at Regulars include:
Nova Scotia Lobster Nachos – $21 Blue Corn Chips, White Cheddar Mornay, Sweet Corn and Jalapeno Salsa, Avocado Crema
Candied Bacon Caesar – $9 Romaine Hearts, Black Pepper Croutons, Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Vinaigrette
Sandwiches and Wraps
Chicken And Waffle – $16 Panko Crusted Chicken Breast, Maple Waffle, Creamy Slaw, Smoked Jalapeno Aioli
All Day Breakfast – $15 Local Artisan Sausage, Crisp Bacon, Seasonal Hash, Smoked Tomato Ketchup, Sunny Side Egg, Sourdough Toast
Mac N Cheese Lasagna – $16 Black Truffle Béchamel, Fresh Herb and Lemon Ricotta, Wilted Spinach, Crisp Crumbs
PB & J Eggrolls – $8
Although the cost for some of these items on the menu can seem a bit pricey, it is important to know that this is in the heart of the entertainment district in one of the biggest cities in the country. In contrast to other places in the city, these are still quite reasonable.
The peak hours at Regulars are similar to other bars and restaurants in the city. Fridays and Saturdays are always busy here. Dinner hours and nights are also busy throughout the week. Thursday at 4 pm and onwards generally seems to be the busiest. 4 pm to 7 pm is “social hour” (typically known as Happy Hour). The social hour at Regulars consists of $5 snacks $5 Jameson and $5 house red and white $5 Budweiser
The crowd at Regulars is very diverse with people from different races, social groups, and ages all lining the bar at the same time. With people from all different walks of life all at the same place, Regulars makes for an interesting setting with its well-rounded cast of characters. This establishment really does cater towards everyone making it one of the best bars in Toronto.
The vibe at Regulars is incredibly welcoming. When I walked in there despite being very busy, the staff still found time to answer any questions I had and provided me with all the information I needed. The setting in Regulars strangely comes off as casual and ritzy all at the same time which is a tough setting to pull off. The intention of Regulars was to be the cheers of King St with a local, homey, friendly, laid-back vibe to it.
Despite it’s casual, relaxed setting, Regulars also has a party scene with the restaurant setting transforming to bar as the night goes on, making a great environment for Toronto nightlife.
The Drink Selection
The theme of the cocktail list based on the underground prohibition era. The drink menu covers everything from wine, beer, shooters, and cocktails. It also includes many different types of drinks with 18 different wines, 15 types of beer, 3 types of shooters, and 8 types of cocktails.
Here are the prices for the different drinks on the menu:
Wine ($15 5oz / $60 bottle):
William Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015, California, USA
Châteaux Haute Vallée, 2014, Bordeaux, France
Valle Secreto “Key” Cabernet Sauvignon / Carmenere, 2015, Cachapoal Valley, Chile
Mill Street Organic $8
Lost Craft Revival $8
Archibald Chipie $8
Goose Island IPA $8
Stella Artois $9
Shooters: (1oz – $6 / 5oz – $25):
Five Card Charlie – Crème de Violette, Ciroc Original, passion fruit
Stardust – White Crème de Cacao, Cassis, bubbly
Godfather’s Son – Scotch, hazelnut liqueur
The Maiden Of Macau – 2 oz Citrus vodka, lychee liqueur, elderflower, lemon, orange bitters, straight cash
Bullish Behaviour – 1.5oz Ciroc Pineapple, Ciroc Berry, mango, passion fruit, Red Bull
The Flamingo – 2oz Jalapeno-infused tequila, Ancho Reyes, Crème de Violette, passion fruit, egg white
One of the most popular drinks on the menu according to the staff is the Big Red, which contains bourbon, blood orange vanilla cinnamon, and egg white lemon.
The music at Regulars contains a mix of everything that is on trend. The playlist is a mixture of hip-hop, old RB rock n roll, pop, once again proving that Regulars goes out of their way to cater to all.
For those looking to get the most out of Toronto nightlife, the prime hours are Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday (industry night).
We were lucky to speak with the Service Operations Manager, Jessica to get her perspective on working at Regulars. Here’s what she shared with us:
Cuban Connection – it’s spirit forward and has a stronger taste. It’s coconut infused, sweet vermouth, a take on a Negroni.
Favourite thing on the menu?
Sourdough BLAT (Bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato)
What makes Regulars unique?
The people, everybody loves working here, the staff will chat for hours with clients really generating that homey environment. Also, the bar food is good quality which can be uncommon for many bars.
What do you like most about this Regulars?
The atmosphere, it’s always a great time. Everyone remembers you, and it always feels like home.
How do you describe the culture?
Everyone is a family, there are no issues. Teamwork is really important between us and everyone supports one another. The people enjoy working here and it is evident, you know you’re doing a good job when the staff comes here on their days off!
What does this bar strive to be?
We want to be a place where everyone is welcome, and people tell their friends about.
What do you want people to know about your establishment?
All are welcome!