The Best Holiday Pop-up Bars in Toronto


If you’re a little too old to find Santa at a mall for a festive picture, and regular egg nog at home isn’t quite cutting it, then you probably have been enjoying the resurgence of holiday-themed pop-up bars opening across the city!

In 2018, Toronto saw some new additions to the winter streets with Miracle Toronto and Sippin’ Santa (by Miracle Pop-up) making a debut and introducing themed drinks, outrageous decor, and the perfect spot for those ultra-Instagrammable festive photos to the people in and around the city.

Now, we’re happy to have a month full of festive options that don’t require being outside in the cold (unless you want to be), and we can’t wait for more to be created!

These are the four holiday pop-ups that you can drink and eat at this season:

The Thirsty Elf

at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel

We absolutely loved checking out this decked-out holiday pop-up that feels like you’re walking into a candy cane wonderland!

Plan your visit: Reservations got all booked up pretty quickly, but don’t hesitate to walk-in and snag a table. We recommend going on off hours or early to get your spot.

How to find it: The Thirsty Elf is located on the Avenues level of the hotel, which may be a bit hidden for some. When you walk into the hotel, take the stairs or elevator downstairs and walk through the hallway of shops until you see the sign and entrance, once you’re there you can’t miss it!

What to order: We tried a little bit of everything and were so impressed at the drinks and food. This is one holiday pop-up that you want to go to hungry, because the Abominable Fire Monster chicken bites and Charlie Brown Christmas Pretzel and huge and delicious. As for drinks, they truly have something for everyone and our favourites were the Polar Punch and Christmoose Vacation.

Hours: The Thirsty Elf is open Thursday through Sundays until December 18th, 4pm-11pm

Gigglewater Christmas

at Project Gigglewater, 1369 Dundas St West

This cocktail bar has been wrapped up like a present with a holiday upgrade and you’ll be obsessed.

Plan your visit: No reservations at this pop-up, to avoid long waits and lines we recommend early on weeknights or in the afternoon on weekends!

What to order: With fun festive cocktails and food items like the Candy Cane Cutie, Dinner Bomb Croquettes, St. Nicks Warmer Upper, and Strawberry Cheesecake dip, it’s no wonder this spot is filled up every evening!

Hours: This Christmas pop up is only here until December 26th and is open Mon-Fri 5pm – 2am, and weekend from 2pm – 2am.

Aloha Christmas Bar

at Miss Things Hawaiian, 1279 Queen St West

Give your Christmas a Hawaiian twist with Aloha Christmas Bar that’s back again at Miss Thing’s restaurant.

Plan your visit: You can make reservations online or walk-in to this Queen West spot.

What to order: Little Snowflake is a drink that looks almost too cool to drink. Featuring Whitley Neill Rhubarb & Ginger gin, St Germaine elderflower and berry citric cordial, it tastes delicious and is the ultimate Instagrammable cocktail with a marshmallow snowman in the middle making it look like a snowglobe in a glass.

Hours: Open from 5-pm until late every Wednesday to Sunday

Miracle on Bloor Street

at 875 Bloor St West, second floor

Miracle Toronto is like what you wish your family Christmas party looked like every year. The most over-the-top decor fills every square inch of this venue, including the tables being completely gift wrapped. Need a hug? There’s a giant electronic teddy bear in the corner that’s giving them out for free.

Plan your visit: While this small spot doesn’t accept reservations, you can join the waitlist before arriving so you have a clear idea of how long the wait for a table will be – just make sure you’re nearby when they call your name!

What to order: Miracle has an iconic and well-known menu of drinks like their Bad Santa and Yippie Ki Yay, Mother F****r; but this year we especially loved trying out the On Dasher, topped with a marshmallow, and the Elfing Around which is a delicious mix of mulled wine, prosecco, caradmom, and other cozy flavours.

While the food menu isn’y as extensive at this spot, you will find Gingerbread and Candy Cane cookies, as well as Party Mix to munch on.

Hours: Miracle on Bloor St is open every single day until December 26th, 5pm-2am

They also have locations in Calgary, Montreal, Quebec City, Red Deer, and Whitehorse!

Sippin’ Santa

at 866 Bloor St West, Toronto and Maipai Tiki, Hamilton

Sippin’ Santa offers a different kind of Christmas vibe. If you’re heading here, ditch the festive sweaters and egg nog and explore what it’s like to be on vacation during the holidays without leaving Toronto!

Plan your visit: While this small spot doesn’t accept reservations, you can join the waitlist before arriving so you have a clear idea of how long the wait for a table will be – just make sure you’re nearby when they call your name!

What to order: Sippin’ Santa’s drinks take on more of a tiki vibes. Think of cocktails you can find on a beach resort, like the Kris Kringle Colada, Christmas Eve of Destruction, and Azul Navidad.

Hours: Sippin’ Santa is open every single day until December 26th, 5pm-2am

They also have locations in Ottawa and Calgary!

Java Jingle

at Little Sister Food Bar, 102 Portland St. 2nd floor

Toronto’s one & only Dutch-Indo restaurant has transformed their bar into a full-on holiday experience for the holiday season. The second floor has the cutest holiday drinks and a full food menu you won’t want to miss!

Plan your visit: The bar takes reservations which is highly recommended for this popular spot!

What to order: On this menu is 15 different holiday cocktails and three themed holiday shots! The drinks are something you need to get too like their Feliz Navi Zaddy, Hot Girl Winter, and Resting Grinch Face (how on-brand for Toronto is that).

Hours: This pop up is on until New Year’s Eve and is open Tuesday-Saturdays from 5pm-late!

Sweaters n’ Snowflakes

at 164 Bathurst St West, outdoor venue

This pop-up comes back every season and is always jam-packed of fun and thought-out festive things to do. This year you can find a wood fired menu, a bar menu of sweet holiday themed cocktails, and activities!

Interested in wine tastings and ugly sweater cookie paint nights? If you’re looking for an easy holiday date idea, you got it.

How to find it: You’ll see the lights shining through an open area between two buildings at the southwest corner of Richmond and Bathurst.

What to order: The food menu is nothing short of inventive. Try out the holiday dinner poutine, turkey legs, soup, holiday wreath pizza, and desserts like churros! You’ll also have to try out the hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and candy cane bits.

Hours: Sweaters n Snowflakes opens December 3rd and runs Monday – Thursday, 6pm-9pm, and Friday – Sunday 5pm-10pm all the way until December 26th!

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