King Taps is epic in every way – the space (450 seats including a two-story patio for 140), beer (72 craft and int’l brews on tap), fab fun food (pizza + ice cream!) and vibe (loud, vibrant, bustlin’, hustling, with live music and ’80s videos in the background). All with outstanding service. Seriously. In a big space like this.
Told you it was epic.
From enticing starters including Bang Bang Shrimp ($14) and Minimacks ($14) to salads ($12-$18 +proteins), tacos ($14-$16), airy, chewy ’za ($16-$19, add $2 for g/f), bowls ($16-$18) and mains ($26-$43), you can nibble or have a full, blown-out, can’t-move kinda meal. But you’re still gonna get ice cream ($3.25-$8), right?
You don’t have to be a craft brew nut to get excited about the beer here, curated by Nick Hugh. In fact, after only a visit or two, you might just become one. From the 72 taps (16 rotating) to lagers, pilsners, wheat beers, saisons, IPAs, porters, fruits, strong, ciders, ales, stouts, flights, cellar shareable beers, and cans and bottles, you can make each visit a veritable study session.
And wine lovers unite! You're in the best hands with award-winning Sommelier Sebastien Le Goff (Cactus Club Café, db bistro modern in Singapore) at the helm.
Cocktails too, are swoon-worthy. A popular pick this summer? Refreshing Cucumber Mule ($9.50) boasting Smirnoff, Fever Tree Ginger Beer, cucumber and fresh lime. And since it’s supposed to be 20 degrees-celsius all September, there's still time to load up on Frozen Tropical Negronis ($10 ea.) with Tanqueray, Campari, Lillet and passion fruit.
Fixtures & Fittings
Owner Richard Jaffray – also head of Cactus Club Café – has impeccable taste. His personal art collection includes original works and prints by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mr. Brainwash, Graham Gillmore, Sol Lewitt and Brent Comber.
Here at King Taps, his love of vivid colours and themes continues with works including: local Toronto artist Daniel Mazzone’s “The Second Kiss” 2016 (Level 1) and “Rock ‘n Roll Dreams” 2016 (Level 2). Plus, LA graffiti artist WRDSMTH’s “Dream Bigger” 2017, “Mysterious Date, Neon” 2017 by Anser (one of Toronto’s most secretive and iconic graffiti artists), and custom made for King Taps: “Cloned Blue Bulldog” 2017 by mixed media artist William Sweetlove of Belgium. The Nike sneakers and water bottle are seriously cute (though they’re actually a serious commentary on climate change), and yes, you can touch it.
Off the Menu
Malivoire Ladybug Rosé 2016 (5oz $12, 8oz$19, btl $60) Because rosé all day never gets old.
Frozen Tropical Negroni ($10) I know what you’re thinking: a negroni purist would never touch a frozen version. But Tanqueray, Campari, Lillet and passion fruit coalesce into a magical sipper that still evokes the depth of the classic cocktail. The hint of fruitiness and slushy texture are just a bonus. That, and the unbelievable price. Uttering “Another round” is just a given.
Brussels Sprouts ($11) Hit the road French fries – another contender has arrived and this one’s got serious health benefits on its side. Never have Brussels sprouts been more scrumptious. Crisped until golden, given a hearty squeeze of lemon, and blanketed with Grana Pandano and toasted breadcrumbs, they’re transformed into a habit-forming snack you just can’t get enough of. They’re fabulous on their own, but dip into the extra lemon and truffle aioli, should you want to make it next-level .
Korean Chicken ($13.50) Crunchy bites of tender chicken are coated in a slightly sticky, spicy sauce, finished with sesame seeds, green onion, and cilantro. Spearing them with the accompanying skewers delivers a kind of GOT charge while watching the game.
Ancho Beef Tacos ($15) These soft tacos boast the perfect balance of soft (braised beef, crushed avocado), heat (chipotle mayo) and crunch (pickled red cabbage).
Poke ($16) While the city has been inundated with poké places, no one does it better than King Taps. Layers of line-caught albacore tuna, mango and avocado collapse together in a seductive bite, alongside sesame-ginger vinaigrette and miso atop thin wonton chips. Oomph.
Forager Pizza ($18) I know. Kale on a pizza? Trust me. Together with roasted mushrooms, truffle-ricotta cream, Grana Padano on thick, airy, chewy dough, it becomes a decadent earthy delight. And go ahead and call it healthy. Beyoncé would.
Stinging Bee Pizza ($17) The spicy bite of Soppressata tangles with the sweetness of Calabrian honey and salty Kalamata olives. It’s kind of exhilarating. When’s the last time you said that about pizza?
Steak Frites ($27) How amazing not to have to choose between frites or a Caesar – here you get ’em both, alongside a seven-ounce sirloin cooked to perfection.
Dulce & Peanut Sundae ($8) You know the soft serve ice cream of your youth? This is it, complete with whipped dulce, peanuts and salted brittle. It doesn’t get much better than this.
The dining room accommodates 450 guests over two levels, with room for 140 on the two-storey patio.
Head Honcho: Founder Richard Jaffray
FOH: Ryan Hoyle, Manager of Front of House
Map it: First Canadian Place – 100 King St. W. (between Bay and York)
Sunday to Wednesday – 11 am to 1 am
Thursday to Saturday – 11 am to 1:30 am
Phone it in: 647-361-2025
Check out our Facebook page for more photos.