Toronto has most certainly become a cocktail city rife with fierce competition for the tastiest tipples in town. I've been blown away by the mixology on display at the best bars in Toronto and new Toronto restaurants, but there's something to be said for the creativity that's now required to even get people through the door.

Take Casa Madera's enthralling performances and cocktails pyrotechnics, for example, or the late-night dance vibes at Soluna; a wave of bars and restaurants are soaring to new heights in an effort to make your night even more special. I recently discovered Offworld bar, a new space-themed cocktail bar on Queen West, might just be one of the most unique spots to emerge from the trend.

Offworld: What’s the vibe?

“Greetings!” exclaims a hostess as soon as we summit the staircase up to Offworld bar. She’s sporting what appears to be an alien costume from Spirit Halloween. When she bobs her head, two springy antennae attached to her headband fly about recklessly. It's a welcome that's both whimsical and endearing.

As we hand in our jackets for complimentary coat check, she delivers a spiel rife with nods to the bar’s extraterrestrial theme. We’re even given the option to scan a QR code and complete a xeno infection self diagnosis which, I’m dismayed to report, came back positive for conditions such as "yipyip thrombosis," "elevated xenomorphine" and "oculacusis." I grin at the cheeky diagnosis as we head to our table.

Offworld bar | The dining room and red alien head emerging from the wall at Offworld bar

Despite my initial expectations of mingling aliens and wall-to-wall sci-fi memorabilia, Offworld bar is less Mos Eisley cantina and more discotheque planetarium. Brilliant blue and purple LEDs line the walls, and flat-screen TVs display dazzling interstellar vistas in an effort to make you feel like you’re among the stars.

A few real-life holograms are scattered around the bar, a red rancor head emerges from the wall (a nod to the larger versions at Storm Crow Manor) and laser blasters lean against liquor bottles behind the bar, but the decor isn’t overdone. Even though Offworld bar makes sure you’re immersed in the space theme, this is still a pretty swanky spot.

Offworld bar | The bar and purple shelves with liquor at Offworld bar on Queen West

Offworld: What’s on the menu?

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Small bites and shareable snacks dominate Offworld bar’s “Nourishment” menu, and include plenty of excellent plant-based options. I tried the Beyond Meat nanoburgers, which were basically tasty little sliders that arrived in sets of three, moisturized with a few dollops of vegan sriracha aioli. Not a fake-meat fan? Sink your teeth into spicy, tender jackfruit and two chunky buns in their other vegan nanoburger variation. There’s also the considerably lighter spectral noodle salad, with fresh, crispy veggies and mouth-watering peanut sauce.

Even in outer space, omnivores have more options. Non-vegan nanoburgers arrive decked out in BBQ pulled pork or pesto chicken; the fluffy Hyperlight pretzel was born to be dipped in their house made beer dip; and things get creamy in the steak tartare with egg yolk vinaigrette, Grana Padano cheese and gherkins.

Offworld bar has a limited beer and wine list that, to be honest, I largely ignored in favour of their jaw-dropping cocktails. I was excited to sip the pleasantly sweet Hivemind, a vibrant green concoction that billowed smoke as it was poured into my glass like some kind of wacky science experiment.

Offworld bar | Pouring green liquid into the Hivemind cocktail at Offworld bar on Queen West

Mesosphere is a mezcal-drowned drink with blueberry-mint syrup and No Tribble — a huge glassful of cotton candy and tequila — is pure space-carnival fun. It’s not quite to my taste, but if you’re looking for a different kind of thrill, the gin-based Xenophauna comes garnished with a gigantic edible Thailand grasshopper.

Finally, new to the menu is a cocktail with an added layer of experiential immersion: Black Hole. The dark grey drink is a creamy blend of creme de cacao, espresso ice cream and aged rum. It’s also paired with a ball of dense double chocolate chip cookie dough, sunk to the bottom of the glass, and a cozy pair of noise canceling headphones that play the real, somewhat terrifying sounds of a black hole as captured by NASA.

Offworld bar | The Black Hole cocktail with noise cancelling headphones at Offworld bar

Offworld: What else?

Offworld bar is by the same team behind Church-Wellesley Village’s gloriously nerdy bar Storm Crow Manor, but I’d venture to say it offers an entirely different experience. Bites and drinks are creative and elevated (and, subsequently so are the prices). However, in true Storm Crow fashion, Offworld bar still never takes itself too seriously. The staff seem to have a blast with the theme, and their enjoyment rubs off on you.

Between the ample spectacle on the drink menu and the cheeky nods to sci-fi culture, this is a great place to bring your friends for a night out. Offworld bar hosts a lot of events, too, like The Mandalorian episode viewings, sexy nerd parties and burlesque shows. Check their Instagram page for updated event information.

Snacks and drinks for two: around $100 before tax and tip.

Offworld, 739 Queen St. W., 2nd Floor;