12 Best Spots to Host Your Holiday Party in Toronto
Being in charge of the office holiday party comes with a lot of pressure. After all, it’s the one night you can toast your success (i.e. get drunk) with your work family on your boss’s dime. It also marks a rare occasion to get out and let loose for some coworkers – for example, those with young kids – and is, therefore, something they’re actually looking forward to (even if you’re not). The bottom line is you have to get it right.
Here are 12 Toronto spots to throw your office holiday party.
The Broadview Hotel, formerly the Toronto landmark Jilly’s strip club, is full of talking points (like reclaimed elements of the former venue) to fill any awkward lulls in the conversation. The spot – which opened up shop this past spring – offers a variety of event spaces and adaptable menus to accommodate your party. Once your soiree winds down, you can keep the festivities going at the popular rooftop bar.
While it is more of a trek to get to, the comforting dishes (like some of the dreamiest French onion soup in the city), warm atmosphere and consistently great (refined, yet casual) service make this midtown French spot a solid restaurant for your coworkers to get to know and talk about come Monday morning. The restaurant can accommodate parties of 65 people (standing) in their art deco lounge and also features a private dining room.
If you’re looking for a holiday party with a side of views, you’ll find them at The One Eighty, located on the 51st floor of the Manulife Centre. The 1,500-square-foot restaurant – a decided “special occasion spot” for many – features unobstructed views of both downtown and North Toronto and can accommodate dinners for large groups, featuring a stunning, elegantly designed private dining room for meals and cocktail parties.
Famed Canadian director Ivan Reitman’s sprawling California-inspired spot, Montecito Restaurant, will satisfy the tastes of those co-workers who “only eat local.” The centrally located spot offers private event experiences for groups of all sizes, from an intimate, team dinner party of eight, to a massive affair that can accommodate all company departments (and their plus ones).
Celebrated chef Lynn Crawford’s Queen East restaurant, Ruby Watchco – where the theme is family-style dining and the fresh ingredient-filled menu changes daily – offers memorable event capabilities in their private dining room. For either a cocktail party or a massive feast, the upstairs private dining room can accommodate 12-24 people around two harvest tables and up to 40 people for cocktails and canapés.
Over in the Distillery District, Cluny Bistro makes a solid choice for a quality holiday feast that’s full of comforting goodness. The spacious spot features both a private dining room and function space and can accommodate groups of up to 80 people. As an added bonus, you can bond with buzzed coworkers post-dinner at the Distillery District’s annual Christmas Market.
Conveniently located in a spot that won’t piss off too many coworkers (in the TIFF Bell Lightbox), Luma makes a reliable option when it comes to your holiday parties. To break the ice at the beginning, from 11:30-5:30 pm, groups of eight or more receive Magic Hour pricing, with $5 martinis, Manhattans, sangria and bottles of Grolsch. The spot is also known for its tasty passed Hors d’oeuvres and can accommodate office teams of all sizes.
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Show your co-workers you’re in the know and book the holiday party at the brand-new Northern Maverick brewpub – a spot that has remained consistently busy since it opened its doors late September. In addition to the 150-seat restaurant, Northern Maverick also features a 40-person private dining room. Perks to hosting events here include an assortment of food stations that feature things like house-cured charcuterie and cheese (and, naturally, no shortage of beer).
Those who’ve been to Leslieville’s Gio Rana’s Really, Really Nice Restaurant (also known as “The Nose”) typically become regulars for their totally addictive and comforting Italian food. Perfect for smaller, more casual holiday affairs, the laid-back, eclectic décor-filled spot offers a cozy private dining room (ideal for groups of eight to 10) that used to be a vault in the former gutted bank come restaurant.
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For quality barbeque shared bites and expertly made cocktails, King East’s Carbon Bar makes a reliable option this holiday season. Groups of over eight are required to book off of a family-style menu, which makes for a more interactive meal with your coworkers and, hopefully, unites your team (the best way to bond is over food, right?). Groups of 8 to 12 can also book the coveted Chef’s Table, which is complete with a five-course menu.
Ossington mainstay Boehmer has been a go-to for everything from birthday parties to media events since it opened up in 2010. The spot features a private dining room that can seat up to 20 and is tucked away from the bustle of the wait staff and the clinking glasses toward the back of the restaurant.
The best thing about the Drake Hotel is that it caters to everyone: the foodies, the see-and-be-seen set, the indie music lovers, the hipsters and the more conservative coworkers alike, making for a solid holiday party choice. When it comes to booking an event, you also have many options: a private dining room, the rooftop Sky Yard, the main dining room, the café, the lounge or the Drake Underground.
If your office is full of vegans and vegetarians, you may as well make the whole diet restriction factor easier on your coworkers and book an event at Yorkville’s plant-based restaurant, Planta. If you haven’t been, it dished up creative dishes that even the biggest meat-eaters will enjoy. The innovative spot features both a 10-person private dining room on the second level and a 32-seat private dining room. All menus are customizable and easy for sharing.
Did we miss any great spots to host your holiday party? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image: Instagram/@plantarestaurants
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Erin is a Toronto-based writer, actor and queen of the side hustle. When she’s not writing the day away in a face mask, she’s taking in the city’s vibrant arts scene, doing a red carpet interview or brunching with her leading ladies. Follow me: @erinnicoledavis