If you haven’t tasted the doughnuts at Dominion Square Tavern, then you just. Haven’t. Tasted. Doughnuts. With an extra side of toffee, it is heaven in your mouth. So make sure to ask for some! Combine this with the old-fashioned décor and atmosphere as well as its vibrant history, you have more than enough reasons to visit this restaurant.
Situated in the heart of the Golden Square Mile, it started out as a hotel-restaurant in the Roaring Twenties. It barely survived the Great Depression, when a raging fire destroyed the hotel but left the restaurant and a few rooms intact. In the 1970s, it became the first gay bar in the city, only allowing men entrance until a law passed in 1988 revoking exclusive access to taverns in the province.
For a meal or an early night drink, this place will cater to any taste. To stick with the vintage theme, the menu offers a variety of English tavern and French bistro plates. Chef Eric Dupuis offers such great meals: the Salmon gravlax appetizer is exquisite, the Braised Beef Top Blade melts on your tongue, and the Bangers and Mash (homemade sausages with mashed potatoes and cheddar) disappear from your plate in a heartbeat. Must we go on? Oh, and as for dessert, apart from the heavenly doughnuts and sour cream that you MUST have with toffee, you should probably try their Sticky Toffee Pudding, a sweet tooth favourite.
As for drinks, why not stay vintage (and truly feel like you’re in a 20s speakeasy) and take a Rye and Ginger Ale (with homemade ginger ale!) or even a glass of absinthe. If you’re not feeling adventurous, you can always sip on a Tom Collins or a Royal Gin Fizz.
Dominion Square Tavern is open Monday to Friday from 11:30am to midnight and on weekends from 4:30pm to midnight, with a “Sunday Roast” on Sundays. Nothing forbids you, though, from sipping your prohibition era drinks with your friends past midnight. They will stay open until a little later to accommodate patrons.