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Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
488 College St
, M6G 1A4
phone: (416) 966-5050
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 40 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Wow, what a neat place. Small and cozy with a wee bit of a patio out front. Great selection of beers on display and on the menu board, four rotating taps, some great local beers to hand. Friendly, approachable staff.
Short menu. Mussels, fresh oysters, some Italian, a lot of simple things reflecting a limited kitchen space. Tasty, though. Food was real slow the night we were there, but the silver lining was that it just meant more time to sample various brews. Dirt cheap mussels Tuesday nights, other specials on some weeknights.
Had a thoroughly enjoyable visit and look forward to going again. Make sure you drop in.
09-19-2005 14:16:22 |
More by TerryW
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Quite a small and cozy downstairs establishment, almost hidden from the street. There's a small seating area outside the front door, partially underneath the stairs. Inside it's quite long and narrow, with the bar running most of the length of one wall. Foldaway tables line the opposite wall and can be pulled out when things get busy and more places to set beer is needed. Service is quite quick and I've been somewhat impressed with the staff's beer knowledge. Although there are only a few beers on tap, they do keep a beer engine running most of the time and there is an extensive bottle list, at least for a bar in Ontario. Bottles include the best of that offered by the local LCBO plus a rotating line-up of US and foreign imports brought in through other importers. These are normally listed on the chalkboard and can disappear quickly. The menu consists of a selection of simple sandwiches and appetizers, as well as a focus on mussels, etc. Definitely a great place to grab a beer.
07-10-2005 00:32:47 |
More by DrJay
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Smokeless Joes seems rather antiquated in Toronto now in at least name: as far as we could see, most everywhere was smoke free and the places that did have divided smoking rooms really advertised it. That said, having such a progressive attitude against the inhalation of carcinogens in light years ahead of anything Im used to in Bum-Fuck, er, Indiana so I was pleased.
This establishment is slightly hidden from the street, located in the bottom part of a converted old house. The place is cozy, or darned small depending on how you look at it. The bar and tables are gorgeous green and brown, with random bric-a-brac adorning the walls. A large beer menu screams out to you with new selections from Belgium. I found these Belgian beers to be a bit disappointing, more of the pedestrian ones you could get anywhere and no trappists. The prices seemed a bit high especially when you consider that those Belgians are the well-distributed ones, for the most part. Plus, why have the whole Koeningshoeven line and not have St. Bernardus Abt 12? We decided to go with the draft offerings from Durham County, which I have to say sucked.
The food and service were both very good. I had a sandwich which was reasonably priced and very tasty and the wifey had a nice salad that was also good and modestly priced. The atmosphere in this place was really where it shined.
I have to say Smokeless Joes was a bit of a disappointment as well talked up as it was.
07-01-2005 18:48:03 |
More by GreenWBush
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Stopped in recently while in Toronto on business. Small place, kinda dank, some people call that character. Limited number of taps - 4 and 2 were out, as was the one cask. But the list of bottled beers available was impressive. I gather that the list changed often, the current was heavy on Beligian, which aren't my personal favorite. The bartender was friendly and knowledgable, he recomended a couple of decent local brews. He even told me I should head up to Cafe Volo since my tastes ran to the hoppy. I enjoyed my lunch - the house specialty - a B.L.A.S.T sandwich - bacon, lettuce, avacado, salsa & tomato.
06-14-2005 15:45:08 |
More by Reginleif
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
NEW PLACE REVIEWED: Now a better than average bar in a city with a lot of bars getting into craft bar. Rebuilding his bottle menu. Main feature is the Sunday at 5 pm opening cask, a few veteran bartenders that know their beer and whose policy is to be very friendly, and a good location for me not too long a drive. Even a smaller main bar, with overflow welcome upstairs or on the outside patio. Decent though not exceptional tap list, I anticipate this will also change for the better. QUiet after work, this is a late hours club now. Appropriate glassware.
OLD PLACE NOTES:
For a long while, this was my place to go until Volo stepped it up a notch. Volo is also closer. Joe was getting in top beers in the world, and here it was to try them, at a price to make a profit. Opens only about 5 pm, small and gets crowded quickly. Staff spotty. Well known for its great chili. Had some great times here and waiting for a revival. Still one of the top 3 and essential on a visit to Toronto.
06-12-2005 18:41:08 |
More by Sammy
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I headed to Smokeless Joe's on a Thursday afternoon, just after it opened for the day (4 pm), so I happened to be the first customer of the day. The first thing I was handed when I walked in the door was a 10-page handout of all the beers on hand. Now, I'm not that big a fan of the Belgium beers that abound at Smokeless Joe's, but I can't fault that kind of dedication to selection.
The service was very good (as it should be when there are only one or two people in the joint!), and guy behind the bar seemed to know what he was talking about. I had him give me two recommendations based on a set of criteria I gave him, and both selections were tasty. Most of the beer seemed priced about the same as everywhere else around Toronto, though you could easily drop $10 -15 if you went for the higher-alcohol or premium selections.
The day I was in there, they were having all sorts of trouble with the taps. Apparently, when they were last changed, they'd been changed incorrectly, so the pilsner tap was pouring ESB, the ESB tap was pouring wheat, etc. Luckily, there are only six taps and over 100 bottles, so it wasn't a big deal, and we even ended up with some free samples while they tried to figure out which tap was pouring which beer.
Overall, it was a very friendly, pleasant experience.
04-22-2005 18:43:16 |
More by smcdowell
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
Arrived here on a Friday afternoon just as offices were emptying out. It was jam packed when we got there and were about to leave when it was suggested we stay as we would probably get some space soon. Literally had to stand there with the beer menu and drink beer on your feet like at a club. That wasn't so great but after about 15 minutes we were able to get a couple stools. The place is tiny, room for about 20 to 30 people or so. A regular bar and a counter against the wall opposite the bar and a couple benches near the entrance.
We just had a couple salads since we would be eating later but my wife raved about hers and mine was fine too.
The staff were very friendly and helpful. I had my first ever Rochefort 10 - it was ok i guess - not really my thing. Had a Dennison's Wheat which was quite good with a top notch aroma and a some kind of porter I wasn't too crazy about.
02-28-2005 21:47:57 |
More by SaunaKing
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$$
I love this place, I often come here after a hard day of work and I can always count on great beer and great service. The menu is ever-changing, so there aways seems to be stuff I haven't tried. Proper glassware as well, you order Orval, you get it in an Orval chalice, etc.. Many great Belgian beers are the focus, and lots of stuff that isn't on the menu, so be sure to ask. The mussels are great too, several unique recipes that really compliment the beer. It isn't cheap though, but it is well worth it.
Oh yeah, it is rather small, so be sure to get there early.
12-10-2004 00:41:02 |
More by tatterdash
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
I really like this place. Tatterdash and I go here whenever we're not both broke.
They're an oyster bar, so if you like seafood, that's great. I don't. Can't stand the stuff. In fact, I can't even walk into most seafood restaurants without being gagged out by the smell. But I have no problems with this place at all. I'm assuming that this is because they take cleanliness seriously.
They also take beer very seriously as is proven not just by the menu, but by the encyclopedic knowledge of beer that their servers have. I'm told that if you ask for a Bud, they'll say "We don't have that, but we've got something that tastes just like it" while they pour a glass of water. You gotta like that.
12-07-2004 16:35:16 |
More by chunkylover53
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
This bar has the largest selection of beers in Ontario, with 200+ bottled beers and 10 taps. It is located in the basement of an old style townhouse in Toronto's entertainment district, Theres also a very small patio on street level. There are no tables on the patio, only high bars with about ten chairs. The indoor part is tiny, with only a modest sized L shape bar for sitting at (and maybe one table). The hardwood floors, multi colored brick walls and well worn bar give this place a really cozy atmosphere. Oysters on ice sit in between beer displays behind the bar, nice touch.
The menu is expansive with a lot of hard to find Belgian and English beers. I settled on a Storm King Stout and a Prima Pils which were both incredible, fresh and in the proper glassware. The Service was excellent. The bartender really knows his beers and was more than willing to give out samples. We only ordered Bruschetta to share and it was very tasty.
This is one amazing bar with a totally natural and simple atmosphere that lacks any hint of pretention. One small complaint is that the beers were a little pricey, not a rip off like biermarkt but not as reasonable as Cafe Volo.
09-26-2004 23:31:41 |
More by CAMRAhardliner
Smokeless Joe in Toronto, ON, Canada
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