We get it, the 10-block radius surrounding the Rogers Centre and Scotiabank Arena can get busy leading up to game time. Massive crowds of Raptors fans flock to Jurassic Park and the ever-popular Real Sports Bar is always full to the brim. Finding a good restaurant in the area can be tricky, so we’ve outlined some of the best, lesser-known spots for tourists and out-of-town visitors. Why not make a day or two out of your trip into the city to check out some of the other great attractions Toronto has to offer?
Grab a bite to eat and a pint to drink
It’s no secret that there are plenty of sports bars, breweries, and great restaurants in the core area surrounding the Scotiabank Arena and Rogers Centre. Real Sports Bar is a popular choice for those looking for an authentic sports bar environment, but we also suggest trying out the more low-key Bier Markt, or the Amsterdam and Steamwhistle breweries. Heading north for lunch or dinner will also help you avoid massive crowds. PAI is great for Thai food, the Assembly Chef’s Hall serves up every cuisine imaginable, Miku is arguably one of the city’s best spots for sushi, and Old Town’s St. Lawrence Market is guaranteed to satisfy every culinary preference and craving.
Explore the waterfront (indoors and outdoors!)
Don’t brush off a visit to Toronto’s waterfront during the winter! When the cooler temperatures hit, you’ll find weekly festivals and events, a skating rink, and indoor activities for all. The Power Plant Art Gallery, Boxcar Social, Harbourfront Centre, and the previously mentioned Amsterdam Brewhouse are also all within a short walking distance.
Play some games of your own
Toronto can’t seem to get enough of video game bars, old-school arcades, and board game cafes! There are a couple of options in close proximity to the sports arenas, perfect for kids and adults alike. SPiN is a 12,000 square-foot ping pong space, serving bites to eat and creative cocktails. Located next to the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium, Rec Room is the place to try virtual reality, play some pool and indulge in some poutine.
Hit up Toronto tourist classics
Some of the city’s best tourist attractions are conveniently close to the Rogers Centre and Scotiabank Arena. If your going to the Rogers Centre, you’ll find Ripley’s Aquarium and the CN Tower right next to each other, and the King West Entertainment District (TIFF, the Film Reference Library, sketch comedy at Second City Toronto) is a short walk away. If you are catching a game at the Scotiabank Arena, we suggest heading east to explore Old Town Toronto and the Distillery District.
Channel your inner hockey star
There are a number of skating rinks in the downtown core where you can show off your skills! When visiting Toronto during the holiday season, check out Nathan Phillips Square for a Christmas Market, Winter Carnival and fully-lit skating rink. Over the holidays, the Bentway path also transforms into a 220-metre skate trail complete with festive snacks and drinks. The Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink is open all season long. No need to bring your own skates, each of these venues offers skate rentals for adults and children.
These attractions can be easily accessed via the City Sightseeing Toronto double-decker bus tour. Visit the details page on our website for more information about tour stops.