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The Golden Pigeon has arrived in the east end, and it's transporting Torontonians to a Munich-style beer hall! Toronto's newest beer hall has games (both arcade and board game varieties), spectacularly elevated Toronto/German fusion pub grub and plenty of gorgeous beers on draught.
The owners, Matias Ludevid and Julian Altrows, also the proprietors of The Black Pony Café and Snack Bar, worked with Black Pony chef Chris Mentier to create the amazing menu. After the Tilted Dog closed down, they walked into the space and immediately felt "beer hall" in their bones. Inspired by communal family-style beer halls in Germany, places that provide easy social interaction over hearty food and drinks, they wanted to create that same atmosphere of bringing strangers and friends together in a multi-purpose space.
The concept of having games at a bar is not the norm in the east end, so it's a nice change to have arcade-style entertainment like Miss Pacman, skee ball, shuffleboard, a darts nook and even a shelf of board games.
The interiors of The Golden Pigeon are cozy and rustic, strung with flags and 90 per cent of their furniture and décor are sourced secondhand and refurbished. The vision came from Julian, and Elyse, the wife of one of the owners, made it come to life.
The incredible food and beverage offering is worth noting; chef Chris poured a lot of time into developing the menu, and everything that is served is cooked in-house and made-to-order. The menu is made up of sharing plates and beer hall classics inspired from vintage German recipes. The Braised Beef Cheeks with buttered spaetzle is currently their most popular dish, and it pairs perfectly with the Golden Pigeon Lager (made by Common Good). Another great beer they have is the Grand Kru by Rodenbach, a complex old-world sour that is hard to come by on draught anywhere else in Toronto. It pairs nicely with their Meatballs on Toast (Ikea-sized Swedish meatballs covered in caper sauce on chef Chris' homemade rye bread, and the Baked Spaetzle Mac'n'Cheese).
For something lighter (and vegan), their pretzels (by Spent Goods) are a great snack and can be served with honey-mustard or their drinkable beer-cheese sauce. The pretzel goes great with their natural, biodynamic wine list, and especially with the Morasini (their house orange wine).
Other benefits of having a German beer hall in the east end, fans of the impending Oktoberfest don't have to travel to Kitchener to have a taste of the Munich tradition. The events are still secret, but you can follow The Golden Pigeon Instagram for updates.
The Golden Pigeon is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 12 p.m. until late.