From the makers of your favourite Toronto spots, like Belfast Love, Death & Taxes and The Walrus Pub – comes a ping-pong bar that will surely become a city-wide staple: Pong Bar.
Located at 187 Bay Street, Pong Bar is more discreet than its surrounding competitors. Tucked away in the bottom of The Walrus Pub, Pong Bar is only for those in the know (and that includes you.) The space is a self-described beer-hall with a long list of options, from India Pale Ales, sours, pilsners, lagers and more. For those who aren’t big beer fans – worry not. Pong Bar has an extensive – and adventurous – cocktail list from your classics like aperol spritz, negronis and dacquiris to some original concoctions. When we stepped in to check out the space, I sampled a Diablo, one of their ‘forgotten tequila classics,’ a perfect mix of tequila, lime, cassis, and ginger beer.
I personally believe I play ping-pong better after a drink or too, but maybe that’s just the tequila talking. In any case, we tore up the ping-pong tables for an hour straight, without having to worry about hourly fees. Unlike other ping-pong bars in the city, Pong Bar doesn’t charge by the hour or by the table for you to play, which is a HUGE game changer. Because of this policy, people tend to reserve tables in advance for certain blocks of time in order to play uninterrupted (you can make your own here).
While you’re drinking and playing, you’re most likely going to want and need some food to make sure you’re serving pong-balls like Serena Williams. Luckily, Pong Bar has an excellent menu full of table eats and shareables to feed your party, no matter who’s dining with you. There’s an array of sandwiches, salads, bowls, mains and sides. The mains are all meant for sharing, meaning that there are several pieces of each dish to pass around.We tried out their hot fried chicken, which is brined for 24hrs, marinated in buttermilk for 12hrs, and double fried for extra crispiness. Paired with their fresh house coleslaws and pickles, this was a great bite for any chicken-lover. We also tried out their chips and crab dip, which was just as rich and gooey as you’d want a dip to be. The tortilla chips gave the perfect crunch to compliment the crab dip’s texture, making this dish a winner in our books. We also grabbed some healthier options (because #balance) and were super impressed by their Albacore tuna bowl – packed with kimchi, black rice, seaweed and ginger, as well as their sweet potato and beets salad – mixed with arugula, pecan pesto, and diced apples.
If you’re looking for anything off menu, you can explore one of the many restaurants packed into The Walrus Pub like LoveJoy Cafe for coffee and tea, as it’s 5 steps away from Pong Bar. Pong Bar also has Barber and Co as a neighbour, a trendy barb or head upstairs to The Walrus Pub for a drink or two on the patio.
For more info on Pong Bar and to book your reservation now, click here.