By Tas Fraser
This summer in Canada has been a different one than most, with limited things to do and places to go. Luckily I was able to spend some time exploring Ontario’s cider scene, especially since so many had patios open.
Stage 3 allowed indoor dining, however, I found there was no point, especially with the nice summer weather.
One of the hottest spots this summer is located in the heart of Toronto: Her Father’s Cider Bar. It is easy to find, however, not easy to park near. The closest intersection to this spot is Harbord and Spadina (Harbord Village) right beside the University of Toronto St. George Campus. You can get street parking if there is some, otherwise you have to find a parking lot and walk a bit. I did my undergraduate degree at U of T, so I definitely felt the nostalgia creeping in walking those streets.
I visited Her Father’s twice this summer, once I had to dine indoors due to the rain, but on my second visit I received the sweet treat of being able to sit on the patio. Note: Masks must be worn when walking through the restaurant and using the washroom.
Her Father’s is a nice quaint establishment with seating inside, a bar area and glass fridges where you can see the mass amounts of cider. On the wall they have a chalkboard listing the cider selections they have, which changes often so you’d be able to try new ones every time. Their selection showcases both Canadian and international ciders and you never know which will be on tap when you show up! Their outdoor seating is also cosy with many tables set up, best for small groups or couples. One warning though: make sure to keep your drinks covered because there were quite a few wasps buzzing around. Hopefully with the weather changing into fall, this will be less of an issue (you can hope).
If you want to try out a few ciders, I’d recommend getting a flight, which is (3) 4 oz glasses for $11.99. In my opinion it is the best way to try more than one on their list! On my two visits I tried the following ciders: Wagner’s Raspberry, Her Father’s Peach, Twin Pines Cider, West Avenue Blueberry Juicebox, KW Cider’s Canadian Shield and Shiny Apple Cider’s Bootleg (whisky + cider mix). I went on Sunday both times during brunch so they also had a special on “Cidermosas.”
You can also order ciders individually if you know what one you’d like to sip on (I can never make a choice so a flight, pictured above, is always a safe bet). I tried the peach on both visits because I couldn’t get enough after the first one. Usually I pick a couple I think I’d like then I ask staff for their recommendations and play a little cider roulette. Cider tasting is so much more fun that way! My latest favourite is definitely Shiny Apple Cider’s Bootleg. I am a huge fan of the combination of cider and whisky and those are exactly the flavour notes you get from this drink.
Aside from cider, they also have a wonderful food menu. To access the menu customers are asked to go here to look so they can keep things touchless. As I went during brunch (10:30 am to 3 pm) both times, I was able to try some great dishes. Note: they do have vegetarian options (which works for me as this is how I eat), however, it is a little more difficult if you are vegan so make sure you check what options you have with staff! On my first visit I tried their Brioche French toast topped with whipped cream, walnuts and blueberries. The second time I had their classic Benedict, pictured below, and subbed the bacon for some fresh avocado. Both items were carefully crafted and extremely tasty! I kind of wanted to try everything on the menu as I was impressed by the quality both times I ate there. Guess I’ll have to return during different hours so I can try more of the food.
If you’re planning to check it out in the near future, I recommend making a reservation online here. It is the easiest way to reserve your spot. You can also give them a call at 647-347-7747. They are open every day of the week: Monday & Tuesday (5 pm to 10 pm), Wednesday (12 pm to 10 pm), Thursday (12 pm to 11 pm), Friday (12 pm-12 am), Saturday (10:30 am to 12 am) and Sunday (10:30 am to 10 pm).
With this open schedule there is no excuse not to head down to the city and check out this place with a friend (or two). Fun fact: their patio will continue to stay open during the colder months as they just got some heating installed! This place is a definite must visit as it is a nice way to safely socialize, sip some ciders and enjoy flavourful food.
Right around the corner (about a 10 minute walk) you can also venture into the infamous Kensington Market to check out more food and drinks and vendors selling some unique items. On one of my visits I grabbed some gelato and had a nice walk exploring the city.