Cold Tea Code for Beer?

Cold Tea Code for Beer?I just read a comment on Reddit that suggests if you order "cold tea" after the 2am cut-off for selling alcohol in bars and clubs in Toronto, they'll serve you an unmarked teapot with cold beer in it.

I had never heard this before. Toronto, I must know....

Is this true? Have you ever experienced it first hand?

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most late night chinese restaurants on Spadina have been serving "cold tea" until 4 or 5 even 6 am

August 14, 2012 @ 11:17 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

So it's a Spadina thing...

Good to know. I love Toronto protips like this.

August 14, 2012 @ 11:18 AM


I love that this is enforced except when there's a festival or something in town, when you can pay a ~$400 "fee" to the city to serve until 4am.

August 14, 2012 @ 11:37 AM


Not only is this a thing, it's been going on for decades.  I've experienced it firsthand probably 10-12 years ago with my brother-in-law, who is Chinese, and has been in the cooking industry since the 70's when he first came to Canada.  Back then it was more restricted to fellow Asians, but word slowly spread to us "Gwai Lo".  Now there's even a bar in Kensington called "Cold Tea".  I expect with the word spread out so widely now, thanks to sites like Reddit, you'll see a crackdown on this practice.

August 14, 2012 @ 11:47 AM


I'm shocked that this is a "Spadina" thing. Ordinarily, establishments in that area are always above board, by-the-book type of places who would never (ever) break the law.

Now, I know.

(sarcasm is now 'off')

August 14, 2012 @ 12:55 PM


God I miss Toronto.

August 14, 2012 @ 1:20 PM


How disappointing you don't know this. I've experienced this first hand many times.

August 14, 2012 @ 1:46 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Two things...

1. I'm not a big drinker.

2. I'm sleepy by 2am.

August 14, 2012 @ 4:41 PM


Used to live in Richmond Hill and enjoyed cold tea at a chinese restuarant across from Fantasia the strip bar. He also sold illegal smokes. The girls from the club would come in and either get into fights with each other or kiss.

Awesome times

August 14, 2012 @ 6:27 PM


@Mike - you're supposed to know everything. We've discovered a second flaw in your armour. First? Your blog sucks.

August 14, 2012 @ 8:19 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Have you been talking to my brother again?

August 14, 2012 @ 8:52 PM

Mississauga Phil

I know all about the cold tea. After a night of drinking in Mississauga, we'd head to Tremendous (a local 24 hour chinese place) for a pot of "cold tea".....mmmm cold tea

August 14, 2012 @ 9:29 PM


by 2am I've generally spent far too much and its time to get home somehow and sleep it off

August 15, 2012 @ 3:34 PM

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