Swing a cat on the streets of Toronto these days and you’re bound to hit a vodka bar. The bars are all the rage among the suited denizens of the financial district and come replete with communist era decor. Vodka bars in other cities tend to be insufferably stuffy and like to pretend that Russia had nothing to do with it. But here in Toronto, we celebrate the struggle, the endurance and the borscht that it took to make vodka the breakfast of champions.
Pravda – provides some of the best ‘value’
This bar is truly dedicated to the enjoyment of vodka. Even if you are not a fan of vodka, you will be once you have had the drinking experience that its uncannily large vodka selection offers. Oh and they make food too. The decor is Stalin chic and it will leave you feeling like an undercover 007 agent deep in enemy territory.
There is a “Gulag” style jail cell for larger groups and for functions, you can order an ice bar with ice shot glasses which is just a brrrrrilliant way to enjoy vodka. Add a side of caviar to that and you’re partying like its 1969.
Rasputin – the hottest spot
Like the great undead clergyman that this bar is named after, Rasputin’s is the vodka bar everyone is dying to go to. A Russian inspired menu offers very creative takes on cold war classics; it’s a great place for an interesting dinner. As the evening progresses, Rasputin’s turns into more of a bar/night club as the team of international DJ’s takes over and the vodka flows freely. The decor serves to create a warm and inviting atmosphere and there are often great drinks specials on offer.
Proof – cocktails, style and fun
This ritzy spot at the Intercontinental Hotel is far less authentic than its cold war counterparts. It’s sophisticated and sleek where the others are gritty and fun. If there were ever a revolution, this vodka bar would be first against the wall. The perfect place to have an after-dinner cocktail with a valued client or to take a date you are trying to impress. They do have a large selection of vodka and some pretty stunning cocktails. The decor is open and bright with lots of space and style.
image via Vvillamon