With tickets sold out for the Toronto Blue Jays home opener Monday, this doesn’t mean there is a shortage of great places to enjoy seeing the Jays in action. Here are some of the best venues in the city to watch the game, if you aren’t able to make it into the Rogers Centre
Scroll to the bottom of the page for a map of the locations
Dog & Bear
The Dog and Bear acts as the local sports bar for many Queen Street West hipsters and yuppies. The bar, located at 1100 Queen St. W. just east of Dufferin Street, offers sports fans a relaxed, moderately unpretentious drinking/dining experience. The bar is filled with a combination of blue-collar die-hard Jays fans with a splash of Queen Street yuppiness. The bar mirrors a standard English style pub, with the traditional accoutrements such as exposed brick and u-shaped booths. The restaurant offers eight TVs as well as an impressive 70” projector. The bar offers 20 beers on tap, with several bottle options. The price points on the menu are very reasonable, ranging from $12-$16 with standard pub fare such as wings, burgers, club sandwiches, etc.
The Real Sports Bar
This massive 24,000 square foot restaurant and bar has developed the reputation as being one of the best sports bars in the world. In 2010, ESPN crowned Real Sports as “North America’s Best Sports Bar.” You can catch the games on one of 199 HDTVs situated throughout the bar, not to mention the 39 foot HD big screen. The bar also has an impressive beer selection – offering over 40 types of brews. The menu provides sports fans with typical food options, like wings, burgers, fish and chips – with price points ranging from $15-$20 dollars. The restaurant is situated right beside the Air Canada Centre, just a few steps from the Rogers Centre.
This bar/restaurant, located beside Second City at Mercer Street and Blue Jays Way, offers an upscale dining experience while checking out the Jays. Conversely, Gretzky’s also provides the energy of a typical sports bar with an impressive 40 HDTVs scattered throughout. The restaurant also offers a rooftop patio called Oasis, which gives guests an incredible view of the Toronto skyline. The restaurant also offers a wide variety of food including standard pub fare, to more pricier appetizing options. Price points on the menu range from $15-$20 including options from a standard margherita pizza to a 10 oz. AAA New York strip loin priced at $27.
The Dock Ellis
The bar, named after the eccentric baseball player, offers Jays fans an opportunity to enjoy the game in a more social, upscale atmosphere. The bar offers dining and drinking options to diehard Jays fans, as well as downtown yuppies. The restaurant’s dining options typically consist of snacks and sandwiches. The price points for snacks range from $5-$10, offering obscure, but delicious dining options such as Chorizo pigs in a blanket, wonton nachos and chickpea fries. Dock Ellis also offers customers with a variety of sandwiches served on sesame milk buns priced at $10. The bar offers drinks and cocktails, including several local draughts on tap, such as the Nickel Brook Le Paysan Saison from Burlington, Ontario and the Wellington Rotating Tap from Guelph, Ontario. Televisions are located directly across the bar with pool and foosball tables in the back, for less enthusiastic sports fans.
This restaurant/bar, located conveniently across from the Rogers Centre provides fans with an incredible open space to enjoy a bite to eat before the game. The restaurant, which fits up 800 guests, is located at 146 Front St. W. The restaurant is also located directly beneath the sister bar Antler which provides live music and drinks to fans not big on baseball. The bar offers a variety of cocktails and beers, including over 30 varieties of bottled beer, 20 beers on tap, as well as over 30 craft beers. The Loose Moose also offers reasonably priced dining options incorporating standard pub fare with a splash of Tex Mex. The price points on the menu range from $13-18 and include quesadillas, burgers and ribs.
The Ballroom, which has also been called an “Interactive Entertainment Centre”, provides more options than your typical sports bar. The bar/restaurant/entertainment center hybrid offers guests a variety of options throughout the two-floor restaurant that can host up to 900 people. Guests can enjoy a variety of activities such as the ten pin-bowling lane, the Xbox corner, ping pong/foosball tables, as well as a bubble hockey table. For Jays fans, the restaurant offers 60 LED TVs throughout four bars, a rooftop patio as well as a street side patio. The Ballroom offers standard restaurant/pub fare such as flat breads, poutine, burgers, etc., with entrée items ranging from the $13 sundried tomato pasta to the $27 striploin steak. The restaurant is located at 145 John St., just south of Queen.
Click on the button in the top-left corner to view the legend.
(Map by Ben Rappaport/Toronto Observer)