Sake in the City: The Best Sake Bars in Toronto

March 12th, 2015

One of our favourite weekend things to do is go for some really good Japanese food. We can’t get enough of sushi and sashimi, and find ourselves checking out every single spot in and around our favourite neighbourhoods. And no sushi meal is complete without a good bottle of sake.

Sake is an alcoholic beverage from Japan that’s made from fermented rice. It’s made from a brewing process not unlike that of beer, but contains a much higher percentage of alcohol than both beer and wine (undiluted sake contains 18%-20% alcohol).

Here are some sake-serving bars in Toronto that we’ve grown quite fond of:

JaBistro

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Just a few years old, fusion restaurant JaBistro on Richmond St. West has an impressive sake menu.The often featured sake, Izumi Shiboritate is actually made right here in Toronto’s Distillery District, so definitely give it a shot. Their sushi and fusion dishes are also pretty good, but a little on the pricey side. If you’re going anytime soon, don’t forget to try the signature JaBistroll – our personal favourite.

Luckee

Susur Lee’s Luckee on Wellington Street opened up a few years ago and has been the talk of the town since. The food is always a 10 out of 10 and it’s not surprising since Susur Lee is praised as one of the “Ten Chefs of the Millenium” which is a pretty impressive title, don’t you think? Not a wide variety of sake here but the sake they do carry goes well with pretty much everything on the menu.

Don Don Izakaya

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You may have heard the word “Izakaya” thrown around quite a bit in Toronto lately when referring to Japanese restaurants. Izakaya is more than just a place to go grab a bite to eat, but rather a place for both food and drink. Consider it to be more of a tapas bar, rather than a dine-in full-course serving restaurant. Don Don Izakaya is a top contender for good Japanese tapas in the city – and a great selection of sake. If you’re just starting to get into sake, then Don Don might be a good place to check out. Their staff can tell you all about their selection and which you might prefer over another.

Nikai

Nikai is a bar and lounge located on the second floor of Toronto’s Momofoku and offers a wide array of alcoholic beverages including sake. Unlike some of the other places on this list, Nikai is exclusively a bar, but with Momofoku downstairs, it makes the perfect before/after-dinner spot. Or even just a great place to grab drinks after work, since it’s within walking distance of the Financial District.

Did we miss any?