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16 of the best bottle shops in Toronto

Skip the lineups at the LCBO and head to one of these bottle shops in Toronto where you'll find rare wines, beer and cider, along with pantry items and more. 

The best bottle shops in Toronto | Inside Peter Pan Bistro, now called Peter Pantry

Remember when alcohol could only be sold at designated, government-controlled stores? (Circa 2019.) It almost feels like we were living in the dark ages prior to the pandemic. Now that we've caught up with modern times, bottle shops in Toronto are popping up on every corner as a side hustle for some of our favourite spots. Amidst the lockdown, bars and restaurants have dipped into their wine cellars and brought out their best stuff, for sale by the bottle. 

Now, when you order takeout and delivery, you can easily add on wine, beer, cider and spirits. And if you're missing the city's cocktail culture, there are more than a few places offering pre-made bottled drinks and cocktail kits for takeout and delivery. But if you're after an easy night of wine drinking, perhaps paired with charcuterie or a ready-to-heat meal kit, skip on down to one of these bottle shops in Toronto.

Local, natural and rare wines that you'll never find at the LCBO are all on the menu. Plus, many of these bottle shops have a grocery component where you can get pantry items like fresh made pasta, cheese boards, delicious dips and made-in-house fire-baked bread. Date night, sorted.

16 Bottle shops in Toronto to shop at instead of the LCBO

Marben

88 Wellington St. W.

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This seasonally inspired restaurant has been all about farm-to-table fare since before it was cool, so it’s no surprise that everything at their new Marben Market is made in-house or sourced from trusted farmers and producers. Along with a curated collection of wine and beer, you’ll find dinner kits, cocktail kits, frozen meals (smoked bacon mac and cheese, anyone?) and grocery items, like smoked trout, seasonal soups and local cheese.

market.marben.ca

Peter Pan Bistro

373 Queen St. W.

Under the new moniker Peter Pantry, this French/British bistro has transformed into a wine and grocery shop. The list of vino varieties stretches on for days, with bottles hailing from all over. Rare finds like skin-contact wines, sparkling reds and vermouth also make an appearance. While you’re here, pick up some pantry staples — they’ve got pickles, preserves and an assortment of truffle-infused condiments — or heck, throw in a whole meal kit and pair your wine with a three-course dinner for two.

peterpanbistro.ca

Grape Glass

1247 Dundas St. W.

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Pioneering wine duo the Grape Witches now have a permanent H.Q. for their natural wine agency: Grape Glass on Dundas West. Natural wine started in Europe, so it's no surprise that things tend to skew international, with many exciting and exclusive imports on their roster, with orange wine high on the agenda. However, Grape Glass is keen to represent Canada and its harder-to-get expressions.

Bottles are available, but Grape Glass has created delectable packs if you're looking for a great gift. Choose from the likes of Off the Beaten Bubbles, or Cozy Sweater Reds, which will change your whole lockdown perspective.

Since wine-to-go must be sold with a food item, Grape Glass might offer snacks from Korean restaurant Uncle Mikey's, fish from Portugal — or just chips for those who want to reserve all their money for wine.

grapewitches.com

Hot Black Coffee

245 Queen St. W.

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It’s all in the name at this coffee shop, known for serving some of the best straight-up java in the city. Now, the front window is lined with bottles from local wineries, along with locally sourced pantry items. Stop by to grab your wake-up juice and your wind-down juice.

hotblack-coffee.com

Midfield Wine Bar

1434 Dundas St. W.

Since the before times, Midfield has been our go-to spot for low-intervention wines sourced from all over the world. Their bottle shop selection includes plenty of pét-nats and orange wines, along with seasonal favourites, plus they’ve dipped into their cellar for some really special bottles.

midfieldwine.com

La Palette

492 Queen St. W.

Since the pandemic, French restaurant La Palette has transformed into a wine shop, European bakery and a bistro with ready-to-eat and heat-at-home meals. They’ve got a long list of rare, old-world wines that pair perfectly with their assortment of cheese, charcuterie and an indulgent duck liver pâté.

lapalettequeenwest.ca

Salt Wine Bar

225 Ossington Ave.

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For a wine shopping experience that will make you feel like you've teleported to the Iberian Peninsula, run, don't walk, to Salt Wine Bar. With a wide assortment of imported Portuguese and Spanish wines and delectable provisions like jamón ibérico and bags of truffle chips, you'll be skipping through the mercado. 

saltrestaurant.ca

Downtown Winery

30 Ossington Ave.

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This has been a revolutionary year for wine and now you don't even have to leave the city to get that full winery experience. Downtown Winery on Ossington, just north of Queen, has all the wine-country fixings, minus the vines — but we’d rather sip on grapes than stare at them, anyway.

Downtown Winery’s bottle shop has over 28 styles of wine. They specialize in Old World wines from Europe but with a New World technique — storing, ageing and blending right here in Toronto. Downtown Winery also sells convenient and cute cans of wine. There’s also a small food market.

downtownwineryto.com

Fresh City

Multiple locations

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Fresh City Farms is Toronto's organic grocery store and delivery service, offering everything from local produce to meals in a jar. You might not make it to a midweek farmers’ market or have the bandwidth to pore over the labels in the produce aisle, but Fresh City Farms has founded their business on the guiding principles of 100 per cent organic produce, local-whenever-possible products, certified organic and 100 per cent Grassfed meat, and sustainable seafood. They've also got a variety of wine and beer for sale.

freshcityfarms.com

Wynona

819 Gerrard St. E.

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Everything is made in house at this Italian wine bar near Gerrard and Carlaw, from fresh sausages to an assortment of different pastas. In their bottle shop, you can buy their weekly-made fresh pastas to cook at home along with your vino.

wynonatoronto.com

La Flaca

920 Queen St. W.

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Spanish tapas was supposed to be the name of the game at this quaint little spot on Queen West, until COVID got in the way, that is. Currently they're operating as a coffee shop and bodega with bottles of wine and beer available, and an online shop with delivery in the works.

laflaca.ca

Azhar

96 Ossington Ave.

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Gusto 54, the restaurant group behind Kiin, Pai, Chubby's and Gusto 101, has expanded their empire with a new foray into Middle Eastern fare. Open as of January on the Ossington strip, Azhar is starting out as a marketplace peddling made-in-house dips, spreads, seasoned cheese and fire-baked bread, along with plenty of wine and beer.

azhartoronto.com

Enigma

23 St. Thomas St.

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There's a new option for fine dining in Yorkville ­— and this one serves French afternoon tea. Head chef Quinton Bennett and pastry chef Calvin Wat each worked in Michelin-starred restaurants around the world before opening Enigma. For dinner, the modern European restaurant serves a seasonal tasting menu — pre-order for takeout while indoor dining remains in flux. They've also turned their restaurant into a boulangerie where you can find sweet and savoury pastries and snacks, wine by the bottle and beer.

enigmafinedining.com

Ascari Enoteca

1111 Queen St. E.

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A neighbourhood favourite, Ascari Enoteca offers simple Italian dishes paired with excellent wine — which, thanks to the lockdown, you can now tack onto your takeout or delivery order along with beer from local breweries like Avling and Burdock. In their bottle shop, you'll also find grab-and-go items like meal kits, pantry staples, freshly-made sandwiches, soups and coffee.

ascari.ca

Grand Cru Deli

304 Richmond St. W.

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Look no further than Grand Cru Deli & Sips Toronto Wine Store for a partner in wine. This entertainment district deli has everything for your entertaining needs. They've got a long list of curated, "soul touching" (seriously, they say that) vino that you can't find at the LCBO. Even better, they have cheese and charcuterie boards to go.

sipstoronto.com

Civil Liberties

878 Bloor St. W.

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This Bloorcourt Village bar has kept its creative juices flowing throughout the pandemic with their bottle shop and cocktail kits, and now they have a lineup of fantastic cocktails to-go.

civillibertiesbar.com

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