Log in or Sign up
Taps: 20 / Bottles: 145
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
18 King St E
, M5C 1C4
phone: (416) 861-8242
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Came here after the Leafs/Senators game on January 3rd. The Beer Bistro is a dazzlingly gorgeous beer bar. In fact, one could be forgiven for mistaking it with a fine dining restaurant or luxury lounge.
Atmosphere: a beautiful and vibrant decor with a mix of tables, booths, and couches and a sizable sit-down bar. The vibe is laid-back, conversational, yet somewhat loud. Jazz, indie rock, and hip-hop play amidst the chatter. The crowd is diverse in age (20s to 60s) and the bar has an exciting ambiance that appeals to beer geeks and non-beer drinkers alike.
Service: our waitress was helpful in describing several beers and mix drinks to us. She knew how to properly pour a beer and brought our drinks to the table promptly. I wouldn't say she was 'friendly' but she definitely knew how to do her job.
Selection: the Beer Bistro has an impressive draught list. As of January 2009, taps were Unibroue Raftman, Hacker Pschorr Edelhell, Neustadt Springs 10w30, Fuller's ESB, and Durham Hop Addict. Bottles included Orval, Weihenstephaner, Harvey's Porter, and a number of Dogfish Head offerings. I tried the DFH Indian Brown Ale, Hop Addict, and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, while my friend had a 10w30, Aventinus, and Sam Adams. The mix drink and wine lists are not as extensive as other beer bars but they're still decent.
Quality/Value/Overall: we did not try any food here but 12 drinks were just under $110. I would say that's reasonable value. We enjoyed a wonderful evening of drinks and conversation with good service and a great atmosphere. This is the type of place that you could bring your girlfriend, family, first date, or anyone you are trying to impress. A fun and classy beer bar.
EDIT: tried the Cheese & Lager Fondue and it was absolutely fantastic. I added my food rating and upped the selection score after sampling the bar's outstanding cellared bottle list (which I didn't catch the first time).
01-10-2009 19:25:38 |
More by cratez
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
This is the upscale beer place to go to in Toronto. Kind of place you could easily take your wife to dinner. Classy on the inside with a proper beer list. Nothing really outstanding on the draught list that night, the usual selections we had seen at other top establishments on the bottle list. They also had a 2005 Pannepot Grande Reserve and Deus which we drank the night before at Smokeless Joe's. The usual trappist beers also appeared. In such a classy place I expected something a bit more exotic on the Belgian beer list. However, the food was very good as was the Belgian beers. Pleasureable experience and recommended.
10-19-2008 16:24:50 |
More by JJFlash
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
This is my personal favourite beer place in Toronoto. Yes, it's a little pricey and your bill will add up quickly if you're not careful. But the service staff, the beer selection, and the food are all top notch. Even though i'm a little peeved that they expanded the Dogfish Head selection at the expense of Bell's, this place makes a phenomenal venue for all sorts of occasions. The bar is casual enough for a night of hockey and beer, while the dining room is elegant enough for a romantic meal. My lady actually suggested this place for our anniversary. A must try place for sure.
Oh and the beerscream out of this world. I bought an icecream maker just to recreate the dragon stout and skor bar.
07-28-2008 06:22:50 |
More by mike24
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Visited on sunny, warm Monday afternoon for lunch. there is a small space between the office towers that provides a welcome outdoor space, without being right on the sidewalk of a busy street.
The draught list is varied, and the sampler (3 tastes of about 2 oz. each for $6 CDN) is a good value. The beer list is extensive, local Ontario and Canadian craft brewers, and a wide variety of European imports. The beer menu is divided by 'character' such a s spicy, warming, etc, rather than by style, but helps select a brew to match the food offerings.
The food is not typical pub fare, but more typical in style and price of the 'bistro' fare. Having said that, it is of ample proportion, high quality, well presented, and very tasty (the Primanti pulled pork is true to its name, as any Pittsburgher can appreciate).
The staff seems well versed in both the food and beer.
Overall, well worth the visit.
06-04-2008 03:51:21 |
More by sphmiel
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
This was the third stop on my Toronto Pub Crawl of 9 May 08. I agree with the other reviewers regarding the decor, service, selection, etc. I did not have a meal, so no reviews on the food. However, when I made a trip to the washroom, I passed the area where the staff was having their meal before the big dinner crowd rush. The aromas coming out of that zone made me stop in my tracks. The food looked as good as it smelled. And the staff was obviously enjoying it. Now I have another reason to return.
About the beers: I was there early enough in the afternoon to have the place pretty much to myself. There was only one other patron at the bar, and it turns out he is also a BA. My main aim of this venture was to have new beers, and the Beerbistro did not disappoint. My first was a Southern Tier IPA. I made the observation to my new drinking buddy that the Lost Abbey bombers were too big and too pricey for me to handle on my own, and would he consider sharing one. He promplty agreed and told me to pick one. So we had a Lost and Found. Mmmmm. Delicious. When it became time for me to move on, and to my pleasant surprise, he graciously picked up the tab. It will be my turn when he next visits Ottawa.
Back to Beerbistro: Highly recommended. Bring money.
05-19-2008 18:16:50 |
More by Conrad
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
this was my first stop on a toronto beer bar tour. when i first walked in - it was not what i was expecting. it was quite a classy looking place. i hit it right at Friday happy hour and the place was packed with a bunch of young corporate folks. i wiggle my way to the bar. the menu was good - but not the biggest i have ever seen. however, what they did have on the menu was quite good. the bartenders knew their stuff, and while the place was packed, they still took the time to talk beer with you. the other cool part was they serve no macro beers. they did serve liquor and wine - but no mass produced beers. well worth the stop - they do a nice job.
04-07-2008 00:20:59 |
More by Hophead101
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
We stopped in to Beerbistro for lunch on a Thursday. The place was pretty crowded, but we were able to grab seats in the bar. I paired an Affligem Blond with the croque monsieur and an order of their Belgian-style frites.
Service was decent, but not stellar we only saw our server three times.
The beer selection was very good with lots of options in each of their pairing categories.
Food was excellent, the croque monsieur was the best ham and cheese sandwiches I've ever had. My fiance had one of their pizzas which was also very tasty.
While the prices were a little high, the quality made Beerbistro an excellent stop, well worth the price.
04-06-2008 18:47:18 |
More by slyke
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
I stopped into Beerbistro before a Raptors game while at a conference in Toronto. The atmosphere isn't exactly my scene but the clientele and bartender were very friendly. Their selection was excellent and varied. I ordered two pints - the exact flavors I can't recall - Hop Addict maybe was one and another from England - Both excellent. The food was fabulous - bacon wrapped shrimp - I'd have to say the best I've had in years. I'd definitely visit again when I pass through town. First time to Toronto - beautiful city.
04-02-2008 19:45:59 |
More by Celt44
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
The beer is taken care of by Steven Beaumont, who is a Canadian authority ob all things beer related, and he's put together a great lineup of rarities not available in the Ontario market, as well as some solid local brews.
Absolutely fantastic food - if only it was cheaper I would go here all the time! The house frites are justifiably popular, and all (or most) of the dishes are made with beers. Servers can recommend what drink pairs well with your meal, which is handy considering the lengthy bottle selection and numerous taps. Very stylish surroundings draw a business crowd of a weekday evening, and a smart-dressed clientèle on the weekend.
01-14-2008 15:47:17 |
More by bobsy
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
I am really, really glad that this has become one of my wife's favourite restaurants (for the food), because it's certainly one of mine (for both the beer and food). I prefer this to, for example, Volo, even though Volo has a more interesting and varied beer selection, simply because I like to sit down and have a nice dinner. The food here is always fantastic, especially the meat main courses (ribs, pork, etc.). The suckling pig on Saturday nights is great. Appetizers seem to change often, and are incredibly creative with surprisingly few 'misses'. Beer selection is usually up-to-date and good for Ontario, with 10 or 12 taps and a good-sized bottle menu. Last time we went, I was blown away that they had Bells, Jolly Pumpkin, New Holland, and Lost-freakin-Abbey beers available in bottles (although at exorbitant prices for the most part, sadly).
So glad to have this place around, and we'll go back many more times.
10-20-2007 21:21:10 |
More by crwills
Beer Bistro in Toronto, ON, Canada