Elephants flying once seemed like a more likely proposition than the Toronto Maple Leafs getting out of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. But haters be damned, they’ve gone and done it, leaving us to ponder, where are the best sports bars in Toronto to watch a game?

Whether you’re in the mood for Toronto's best pizza on game day, or just looking to grab a cheap and cheerful bite, there’s a sports bar in Toronto for you. From Toronto sports bar institutions like The Dog & Bear Pub to drinking dens that just so happen to have some well-positioned screens, we've got a winning list of Toronto's best sports bars for playoff season, baby!

Too nervous to watch? Sidestep the stress with attractions (and distractions) in the form of arcade games, housemade wings or signature cocktails that could rival libations at the best bars in Toronto. Toast to your victories (or commiserate those tough Ls) at these awesome sports bars in Toronto.

The best sports bars in Toronto

1. Real Sports

15 York St.

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Tucked behind Scotiabank Arena on York Street, Real Sports promises a front row seat to the action in front of one of its many TV screens. Snack on Triple Play Corn Dogs, or double down on their selection of pizzas, nachos and chicken wings while keeping your eyes on the prize. On the drinks side of things, you'll find plenty of local tall cans, pints and schooners — plus there's a sizeable cocktail and shots list, if there's something to celebrate (not that we're jinxing it or anything). 


2. The Dog & Bear

1100 Queen St. W.

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For a rowdy ambience to go with your pounding heart, The Dog and Bear on West Queen West is the primo option on game day. This popular Toronto sports bar, decorated with international flags, offers British pub grub and live sports at all times of the day. Catch international soccer (cough, FOOTBALL) in the early hours, plus Raptors and Leafs playoff games across the bar's many screens. It's first come, first served and big game days will see large lineups, but the electric atmosphere is well worth the wait. 


3. The Aviary

484 A Front St. E.

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No more angrily shaking your fist at the bartender to change the channel — at The Aviary, games on their mounted TVs are scheduled months in advance on their website's calendar. The Corkville brewpub shares a space with Longslice Brewery; enjoy cold Longslice beers in cans or bottles, or go all-out with a flight of four that will surely get you through the first period. Wings come doused with finger-licking-good dressings like tonawanda fire, honey garlic or jerk. The industrial-style bar area has plenty of standing room — perfect for cheering and chest-bumping pals when your team scores.


4. The Pint Public House

277 Front St. W.

You can't get much closer to the action than at The Pint Public House, which could basically serve as target practice for dingers flying out of The Rogers Centre. Grab caesars, local brews and some delish housemade wings at one of the most conveniently located sports bars in Toronto, then head upstairs for a party at The Upper Deck. Win, lose or draw, you can still hit the dancefloor or play pool, air hockey and pinball in the kitchy space upstairs. 


5. Rec Room

255 Bremner Blvd.

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This sprawling arcade bar just west of Scotiabank Arena is the perfect place to go if you can’t make it to a live game. Calm game-day nerves with burgers, poutine, pizza, and Canadian fare at The Shed or Three10. Alternatively, head to the arcade floor to show the pros how it’s done: Shoot hoops, get in the driving seat on a race car simulator or shoot pool and play shuffleboard.


6. The Queen’s Head Pub

Multiple locations

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The Queen’s Head Pub supplies eastenders with watering holes and TVs aplenty — choose from their Leslieville or Scarborough locations for your next sporting event. Whether you’re looking for a sports bar to catch UFC, hockey or the playoffs, this British-ish pub has a seat for you. The cuisine skews from Thai to Indian, but you can still grab wings and snackier bites if you just need something to do with your hands during a nail-bitter.


7. King Taps

100 King St. W.

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With a casually sophisticated ambiance and an impressive tap list, this Toronto sports bar fits seamlessly into its Financial District setting at First Canadian Place. As the name suggests, beer is a big focus here, but signature cocktails are also in supply. Grab a brewski and perch in front of its many flat-screen TVs. Snack on pizza, truffle fries and tacos while you root, root, root for the home team. 


8. The Dock Ellis 

1280 Dundas St. W.

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There is something so comforting about this no-fuss, slightly sticky Dundas West sports bar with sneaky good food. You can always count on the Dock for late night bites (they're open to 2 a.m. every day), craft beer, cocktails and prime sports viewing. Wednesday is wing night, where you can get a pound of their housemade wings (spicy maple soy sauce is our new fave) and a half pint for less than 15 bucks. Psst, they take reservations. Winning!