In a sea of vegans, make butter chicken. Dare to be different. Toronto’s IST Snack Bar is one of a kind and wants you to know that they (politely) DGAF about doing their own thing.
By definition, Indian Standard Time: five and a half hours offset from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). It is also one of a very small handful of regions on earth that has a time zone offset by the 30-minute mark rather than on the hour. In addition, India also does not observe daylight savings time. Why is this easily Googleable information important? It is a primer for Toronto’s IST Snack Bar. In short, IST = Indian Standard Time.
The dark 32-seat space combines the feel of a speakeasy and pop-up restaurant with a dash of a first class airport lounge: mood lighting from expensive-looking light fixtures, custom designed wallpaper and velvet. Whether it be a jacket, a 3-piece suit, or simply a seat at the bar, It’s tough to pull off velvet, but thankfully IST has the swagger to do so.
The multicultural fabric that makes up Toronto is a hole in the wall pho house, a 24-hour dumpling spot, a proper English pub, a Lebonese kababerie, and most certainly the newest addition to Parkdale: an Indian snack bar.
As you pull up one of those velvet seats at the bar, ask for the bartender’s phone number. Yes, this is a catchy cocktail name. But while other bars may rely solely on a sub-par pun or play on words to entice you, IST puts their money where their mouth is with some killer concoctions that pack a well balanced punch. So take your chances on a Tom Selleck, if you must(ache) or down a Tequila Mockingbird or two without guilt, they’re delish – Scout’s honor (all puns intended: troll as you must, assholes).
Admittedly some stereotypes are true: Torontonians, and Canadians at large, are welcoming, kind, humorous, gracious and curious. The more the merrier, we want you to join the party, know where your from and what your abuela made for dinner last night. With this in mind, IST is more than a snack bar, it is a microcosm of Toronto and Canada. Something that seems different or out of left field on paper, but in actuality is welcomed with open arms. Challenge the norm, be different and show your true colours. The multicultural fabric that makes up Toronto is a hole in the wall pho house, a 24-hour dumpling spot, a proper English pub, a Lebonese kababerie, and most certainly the newest addition to Parkdale: an Indian snack bar.
Stumble in, order a butter chicken vol-au-vent at the bar (if you know, you know), ask for the bartender’s phone number (he’s used to it) and start a hazy night in Toronto’s West End at IST. After a few cocktails just be sure to #hittheconcrete with your Chuck Taylors, and not your face. Cheers.
The hours are 6pm – Late… so get there at six, keep ordering cocktails, and find out how long they’ll let you stay
Don’t call yourself a world traveler, if you haven’t yet been to an Indian Snack Bar…
Don’t think an Indian Snack bar sounds appetizing? Here’s proof how wrong you are
Ask for the Bartenders Number, you won’t be sorry
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