The Pilot


It was brutal out there on the streets last Friday night. There were crowds. Angry patrons. Overheated bodies. Dehydration. Begging was rampant; bribes weren’t far off. The smug few who won the battle cooled their heels in comfort, ignoring the defeated stares of passers by.

I’m talking of course, about the quest to get a seat on a patio in this city. My recent experience in the entertainment district was enough to swear me off trying ever again.

Then I heard about The Pilot. A rooftop patio, you say? Well, surely I can make an exception…

Luckily, at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon, The Pilot’s ‘Flight Deck’ had plenty of seats. We relaxed on the large deck, complete with an outdoor bar, and lapped up the sun.

The Pilot patio

The Pilot has a decent beer list, although it’s a little slim on craft or rare brews. Still, there’s a good handful (Weihenstephaner, Red Stripe, St Ambroise, Cracked Canoe), as well as a reasonably priced wine list.

D got a St Ambroise Pale Ale (around $7) and I had a glass of the Pinot Grigio (around $9). We also munched on an order of sweet potato fries ($7.95), which were super crispy and addicting. They came with a tasty chipotle mayo which gave just a little bit of spice.

Service was very friendly while we were on the Flight Deck, although a little off at times (we were charged for two serves of fries; we had to ask for water a couple of times before actually getting it). To be fair, as soon as we sat down a massive function arrived, and the waitstaff were run off their feet.

While the view on The Flight Deck isn’t the best – it’s only a few flights up after all – it’s such a lovely, relaxing space. The open air bar makes me feel like I’m on holiday in Mexico, which is greatly helped with the absence of eye-level street traffic. There’s a tonne of seating and a fair bit of shade available too (thanks to some umbrellas).

So, forget the crowds down on Queen West and try something a little different the next time you’re seeking a patio. Save your sanity; check out The Pilot.

The Pilot

22 Cumberland St (Bloor and Yonge)

P: 416-923-5716

The Pilot Tavern on Urbanspoon

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