There were a lot of things that I was looking forward to on my upcoming trip to Toronto, but high on the list was the Lockhart Cocktail Bar. This Harry Potter-inspired bar is like all of my childhood dreams come true. It serves butterbeer, there are pictures of Dobby on the wall, and you can talk loudly about how you find Remus Lupin oddly attractive and nobody gives you a weird look (No? Just me?). It's basically Canadian Hogwarts, but with alcohol.


This bar is owned by two mega fans of the series, Matt Rocks (right) and Paris Xerx (left). The self-proclaimed Hufflepuffs opened the small venue in Toronto almost two years ago, and a second bar has popped up in Montreal earlier this year. J.K. Rowling has never paid a visit to either location, but Rocks is keen for her to hear about the bar, and I can only imagine the chaos that would ensue upon her arrival. A photo of Rowling posing in front of the bar's iconic stag's head might just blow up the internet.

The Atmosphere

On a Saturday, this bar is more hopping than The Three Broomsticks. The crowd ranges from local uni students to older fans, although the decor is so subtle that even the occasional oblivious muggle wanders in. However, seasoned fans will recognize the neon sign on the wall that reads "all is well" as the last three words of the series, and the "enemies of the heir beware" on the bathroom mirror as a cheeky reference to the second book. Just make sure to get there early - this small bar fills up quickly, and the wait time to get in can be up to 2 hours.

The Drinks

The butterbeer - affectionately known as "better beer" for copyright purposes - is a sweet, gingery concoction that comes with a torched marshmallow on top. You can also indulge in a citrus-y Gin Weasley or a flaming Befuddlement Draught. Just beware the Dementor's Kiss; a waitress explained that this shot of tequila is soaked in 13 ghost peppers, which is less peppers than they used to put in (patrons were complaining that the drink was a little too lethal). If you do brave the Kiss, make sure to split it with a friend. It burns like hell going down.

The Food

The Lockhart's food is pretty darn magical. You can order several sharing plates to accompany your alcoholic potions, including a "fantastic beets salad" and "not-every-flavour jellybeans." If you want to avoid the evening crowds, then their brunch is the way to go. We ordered the caramel-apple bread pudding french toast, and I would 10/10 recommend it. The toffee flavor and whipped mascarpone are my Amortentia potion; I couldn't get enough of it. 

The Lockhart cocktail bar should be on the bucket list of any Harry Potter fan. The sly references to the series are fun to pick out, and the themed food is tasty. Most of the cocktails are upwards of $10, which is a bit pricey for the average college kid that spends less than $5 on dinner. Still, it's worth it to grab one drink and sip on it while soaking up the atmosphere. You deserve a break from your studies at Hogwarts, anyways.