DINNER & LATE NIGHT Spots for the Sounds of Leslieville & Riverside

The Beaches Int’l Jazz Festival is back in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood with The Sounds of Leslieville & Riverside on July 6-8th, this year with an amazing new BLOCK PARTY!!! Have dinner and enjoy the night while you take in the festivities. 

With so many great places to eat in Toronto’s Riverside, along historic Queen Street East between DVP and Degrassi Street, it’s hard to pick just one. Here are some excellent picks, among the MANY MORE in Riverside, for dinner and drinks:

HI LO BAR – 753 Queen St E

Vintage concert posters adorn the walls and reclaimed wood tables and arcade games give the room a throwback feel. Come for drinks before dinner or light snacks and cocktails afterward. It’s a great place with great vibe. If you want to drink where the locals drink, this is the place!


This is real authentic Vietnamese food. The restaurant brings you back to old Hanoi with its French architecture and hand carved furniture. The menu is inspired by dishes and recipes from owner Lan’s husband Denny and his family in Northern Vietnam. The PHO, pronounced “FUH” is a dish that originate in the northern city of Hanoi and is served in true northern style without lime, bean sprouts or the usual Thai basil or cilantro. It is delicious.

THE COMRADE – 758 Queen St E

Every ‘hood needs a good brown liquor bar and the Comrade does a great job of living up to that. Cocktails are the order of the day in this old world inspired lounge. Whether you’re a cocktail aficionado or don’t know a bitter from a cordial, you will feel right at home as you sip on the bartender’s latest creations.

Enjoy your drink while sitting in a cool space decorated with Chinese lanterns and propaganda posters. As odd as this may seem, this room works and the friendly vibe from the staff set the tone for a relaxing time. The kitchen is open till 1:00 AM and the menu is definitely focused on small plate sharables.

TABULE – 810 Queen St E

If you love Middle Eastern cuisine you are going to fall in love with Tabule! To get started you will need to order a platter of the COLD MEZZE to share and a HABBIBI Cocktail. If you’re Gluten Free, Vegetarian or Vegan there are lots of options for you to try including the FALAFEL, the FLASH FRIED CAULIFLOWER, the EGGPLANT. If you eat meat, the LEBANESE SPICY SAUSAGE and the CHICKEN KABOB are delicious as is the GRILLED LAMB and the RED SNAPPER. It is all so good!


A bar owned by two sisters with a dollar and a dream, it’s a great place for you to check out for drinks and nibbles after Jazzfest or any other time for that matter. The menu is small but offers some great choices. The baked SPINACH & ARTICHOKE DIP, the FLAT BREADS and the MAC & CHEESE get particularly high praise. While one sister is in the kitchen, the other is tending the bar and this sister mixes up a wicked cocktail! They also offer craft beers, ciders and a good selection of wines by the glass.


This casual neighborhood spot has been around since 2009 serving classic Japanese dishes, including sushi, tempura, udon, teriyaki & bento boxes. The SUSHI is very fresh and flavorful with quick service.


With all these great options (and more!) available during The Sounds of Leslieville & Riverside, it’s definitely hard to pick just one, but not to worry, you’re always welcome back for more! Be sure to snap and share a picture of your experience in any of our neighbourhood spots with hashtag #‎RiversideTO.


Check out more handy blogs as part of the Riverside Eats & Shops series – your handy guide to some of Riverside’s best during The Sounds of Leslieville & Riverside Block Party (and everyday!), including:

Big thanks to Beaches International Jazz Festival for bringing the awesome Sounds of Leslieville & Riverside BLOCK PARTY to Riverside!