Looking for a new and exciting way to spend an evening in Toronto? Then a superb jazz bar should definitely be at the top of your list. Fortunately, The Rex, located at Queen and University, fits the bill perfectly. Its retro decor and casual feel make it the perfect place for a relaxed date night or fun outing with friends.
The atmosphere is quieter during lunch time, when there's no live music, so it's perfect for a quick meeting or to catch up with friends. They have fresh, daily specials to choose from, so there's always something new to try. And because the place isn't too packed, the service is quick and efficient. They have all the usual bar foods you would expect, such as nachos, wings, and burgers. And their open-faced portabello and goat cheese sandwich is particularly delicious. Their burgers and sandwiches can be paired with whichever side you prefer, so you can get your lunch just the way you want. Or for a sweet treat, try their White Chocolate Raspberry Brulée Cheesecake. Plus, everything is very decently priced, so you won't have to worry about breaking the bank for a quick lunch.
When the music starts is when The Rex really comes to life. Monday to Friday, there are at least two shows per evening, and there are musicians playing all day and night on the weekends. Sometimes they are Juno Award winners, sometimes they're professional touring artists, and sometimes they're up-and-coming students. No matter which group is on deck, you're sure to be treated to music the likes of which you've never heard before. And there isn't even a cover charge! The musicians simply circulate during the show, and you are welcome to contribute if you choose — which, given the incredible performances they provide, you are bound to want to do.
The Rex Hotel and Blues
Bar by ActiveSteve
Above the restaurant and bar is a quaint boutique-style hotel. The rooms are on the small side, but with such a central location, it isn't likely you'll be staying cooped up in your room for too long. It's located just minutes from the Eaton's Centre and the shops along Queen Street West. Just a few steps will get you to Osgoode Station, from which you can get wherever you need to go in no time. And at just $110 a night, or less when you make reservations for three or more nights, you'll have plenty left over to get in some quality sightseeing.
So whether you're just visiting, or are happy to call Toronto your home, pay The Rex a visit for some good food, a lively atmosphere, and incredible tunes!