Top 5 Instagrammable Cocktail Bars

Working in a restaurant, I’ve seen plenty of people take pictures of their drinks and food. Several servers and bartenders agree that a new common question being asked is “what dish looks best on Instagram?” or “which cocktail looks the best in photos?”. So I thought I’d share some places you can check out to get a sick photo (and also enjoy the cocktail you ordered).


5. Rush Lane


During the day, Rush Lane gets a good amount of sunlight for you to take some cool pics! They also have some pretty great graffiti outside of their bar if you were thinking of a group shot with your friends.


4. Clocktower Bar


If you’re looking for a spot that’s also close to a subway stop, Clocktower Bar is your best bet! It’s not even a 2 minute walk from Summerhill station. They’re also right beside Boxcar Social, which is one of the best Instagrammable cafés in the city.


3. Miss Thing’s


Miss Thing’s will make you feel like it’s summer (even if it’s really cold). They have a good selection of cocktails that you can get inside fruit and painted flowers on their walls for a good background!


2. The Lockhart


Even if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, you’ve gotta admit The Lockhart looks pretty cool. From their glassware to their shelf of Potions and Elixirs , you can always find something new to Instagram in there.


1. Bar Raval


Bar Raval is one of the most gorgeous bars in the city, so you can always get a good shot of the decor. Along with their delicious cocktails and snacks, obviously.


What Am I Doing Here?

A few years back, I was at a party talking to this pretentious bartender who was trying to impress me with his cocktail knowledge. I probably couldn’t have even named five cocktails back then, so I was asking a lot of questions. It never occurred to me that a drink could have such a long history, or to make a cocktail properly takes time and skill. Living in a capitalist society, you forget about the production of each item you buy, and the amount of time and labour it took to make that for you.

I decided to do some research and realized there is a growing community of cocktail bartenders all around the world. This is where the anthropologist in me got really excited, so I started researching cocktail bartenders in Toronto. I distinctly remember one of the names popping up was Sarah Parniak, who at the time won a few cocktail competitions. I remember being really excited that there were women at the top of this industry. So I went to a few cocktail bars in Toronto, got to know some pretty cool bartenders in the city, and decided I’d do my final research project on cocktail culture in Toronto.

What I realized? That it’s pretty much impossible to study cocktail culture without talking about the discrimination women face every day in this industry. So I had to change my paper to gender inequalities in cocktail bartending. But the course was for one semester, giving me only one month to do fieldwork and one month to find patterns in my observations and research other literature with the same topics. So I wasn’t really satisfied when I finished, which got me to start this blog.

This blog probably won’t be as anthropological, and I definitely won’t be turning it into an amateur ethnography anytime soon. What I really want to do is show some transparency in this industry. I’m also doing this because I want to hear the voices of all the amazing brave women in this industry and what they have to say about it, because you don’t see it being published very often (unless you follow Jen Agg on Twitter – which I highly recommend).

Hope you enjoy!