The Playpen
The Playpen
Reviews Coming Soon

The Playpen

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.theplaypen.ca/
  • Phone: 4169079761
  • Hours of Operation:
    Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 12:00am, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 1:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Continental, Fusion / Eclectic, International
  • Executive Chef: Laura Prentice
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Private Room, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: The Playpen is an ideal venue for your upcoming special event. From our intimate private dining room for 12 to our retro styled lounge which seats 40, The Playpen casual upscale atmosphere, friendly staff and celebrated menu ensures your event's success. Our dining room seats 80.
  • Entertainment: Weekend Dj's
    Occasional dancers and surprise celebrity vocalists.
  • Special Events: Weekly 3 course Prix Fixe Menu. $25 per person.

    Your Valentine's Weekend starts on Thursday 14th in the Lover's Lounge, HOT LOVE on Friday and 'After Glow" on Saturday featuring Big City Cuisine and TO's best Djs.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Carlaw
  • Public Transit: College streetcar (east west) and Pape #72 bus going north/south adjacent to the restaurant.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: 20 car corner lot with adjacent street & large supermarket parking across the street.
A word from The Playpen
The Playpen Restaurant & Full Service Lounge is conveniently located between Riverdale, the Beach & Leslieville offering casual upscale dining. From the team who brought you Lolita’s Lust, Pan on The Danforth, Gus on Bay and Johnny K. Cool retro styling with an 80 seat dining room and a 40 seat carpeted lounge & bar. Big City Cuisine, low lighting, pro service and a soulful soundtrack. A perfect evening out.
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The Playpen reviews from OpenTable diners
  • Underwhelming
    HPS58VIP
    Dined on 8/23/2013
    Great cocktail. Location is questionable. It was a very slow night.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I expected more from the beet
    macoba
    Dined on 8/21/2013
    I expected more from the beet salad, Salt? Stronger vinegar taste? I don't know but the salad fell a bit flat. The duck was delicious but I thought the fat could have been rendered a little more. I loved the coconut dessert. The coconut macaroon cup was amazing. The service was outstanding and very accommodating.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very cool ambience, Retro
    hilarious
    Dined on 8/17/2013
    Very cool ambience, Retro 70's vibe , fun Food was super salty but over all cool menu, worth trying again, Must try the Beet juice martini so fun
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Would highly recommend!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 7/31/2013
    It was our second time at The Playpen. I highly recommend it. Both the food and service were outstanding. Each dish has its own flavour - plenty to choose from.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A bit of a disappointment
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/31/2013
    We had three starters. The lobster ball was absolutely superb. I enjoyed the creme brulee, but my companions found it rather uninteresting. A beet salad had four beets only--the rest was greens. I had osso bucco. It was very flavourful and delicious, but the meat should have been falling off the bone, and it wasn't. One of our party had the seafood hotpot and found it bland. Another person had salmon and found it overcooked--didn't even finish it. One person ordered the apple crumble for dessert--lots of crumble, not much apple, and the ice cream was nothing special. Overall, a bit disappointing, especially since I had heard good things about this restaurant. With all the choices in the neighbourhood, I doubt I'd visit this one again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Confusing.
    MG23
    Dined on 7/26/2013
    Figured we try this place after reading other reviews on OpenTable. Not sure what to say about this place now other than that it was a very confusing experience. It seemed like somebody had a good idea/concept for this place, but it got in translation. Food was both overly complicated and generic at the same time. Nothing really stood out taste wise. The interior, tableware and presentation felt somewhat borrowed, scattered and all over the place to say the least. The only proper thing was the waiting staff - very effective and good. The lady behind the bar looked like a million $ and very well put together. Too bad such talent gets wasted on what otherwise can be only described as 'Meh.' Sorry - was not impressed!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loved it!
    MyrtleAv
    Dined on 7/20/2013
    The food is solid and tasty and the ambience is quirky and fun...and the staff are also lot of fun - no pretense and very helpful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Can't tell a book by its cover
    Mangiamo
    Dined on 7/14/2013
    Once you get past the uninviting exterior, you're in for a great evening. The service was excellent...attentive yet relaxed. We all enjoyed each delicious bite of each course. Will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent in every way
    Oceanichail
    Dined on 7/13/2013
    The service, ambience and food were all top notch. Must try the flourless chocolate cake if you love chocolate. It's heavenly!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Over and above customer service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/13/2013
    From the moment we arrived, the customer service was friendly and attentive (without being too attentive). Most notable however, was when we received the bill, we found that we were (deliberately) charged the price of our (lower priced) first choice of wine - which was not in stock (until later in the evening when more bottles were delivered). Not only that, when the owner decided that one of the desserts we ordered was not up to standards to serve, we were offered a second choice, 'on the house'. Wow!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Summerlicious
    Fivefoot
    Dined on 7/12/2013
    This was on Summerlicious. It is close to home. The menu looked good. I had steak & it was delicious. I will be recommending this place to my friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Summerlicious Sunday
    greentaraVIP
    Dined on 7/7/2013
    It was a quiet night at Playpen as it isn't normally open on Sundays but for summerlicious it is. One of us enjoyed the hen (summerlicious offering), the other the Veal Osso Bucco. Both were good. My favourite of the evening though was the duck proscuitto appetizer. I love their duck dishes. We paired that with a basil tomato and cheese offering and left the evening very satiated. The lounge seats are wonderfully comfortable and the music fun, lending a light and playful tone to the evening. The staff, Jackson and Sean, wonderful. Thanks again for a great evening out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service. Excellent food.
    LesT
    Dined on 7/6/2013
    We had a table for four. Waiter was fun; witty, cute and made sure we go everything we needed. The Tempura Shrimp appetizer was insanely delicious. We also had Thai Collins. The shrimp and Collins together was a delicious combo. We all got different Main Dishes and all were pleased. Short-Ribs, Halibut, Steak, Scallops. The music selection was awesome! 1970s, 1980s, 1990s soul and funk. Towards the end of the meal, other tables were starting to get up and dance. All this...and so close to home. Weirdest location and yet much needed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Absolutely amazing!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/28/2013
    Retro-1960's decor, incredible food, fantastic service. I had walked by the place dozens of times before giving it a try and was surprised beyond belief. The food was so good and our server was helpful and friendly. My go-to place in the east-end from now on.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Thoroughly enjoyed our meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 6/22/2013
    Thoroughly enjoyed our meal - was a quiet Saturday night but we ate early at 7:30 so not crowded at all. Food was great, wide ranging menu, the staff and owners were very friendly and very helpful. Very nice spot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hidden gem
    NicoVIP
    Dined on 6/4/2013
    A hidden gem in the neighborhood! Looking at the sign outside I would never think of going in but once you're in, the good is excellent!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was excellent but
    Foodie
    Dined on 6/1/2013
    Extremely loud. The food was excellent but it became very noisy as the tables around us became occupied.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find in neighborhood
    Eatout
    Dined on 5/25/2013
    Wonderful to find such a good restaurant in Carlaw Gerrard area Great food and service and a really relaxing enjoyable atmosphere
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best kept secret!
    SammyMacVIP
    Dined on 5/25/2013
    Manny and Lolita treated us like royalty. Service was fantastic! Great pick for date night. Pomegranate martini, chicken liver appetizer and scallops with risotto is my new favourite meal followed by key lime pie and an amazing cup of coffee. We will definitely bring our friends to our new little find.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great girls night out!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 5/21/2013
    We spent three hours eating our way through almost all the starters, yum several sides and the hot pot. All were lovely. A request for a lychee martini (not on the menu) was easily accomodated and the wine recommended by our server, Jackson, was spot on. Key lime pie and flour less chocolate cake with lattes finished everything off perfectly. Just looking for any excuse to return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very surprised in what we
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/18/2013
    Very surprised in what we found. the information, including pictures does not match the restaurant at all. It is in not so nice part of town, in a small strip mall, with peeling wall paper. The friends I had booked to come with me, were not even comforatable going into the restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • always consistent, good, creative
    RHONA
    Dined on 4/13/2013
    always consistent, good, creative fare. love going there and have been a frequent diner since it opened. a little noisy for my liking, however i overlook the noise level and enjoy the wonderful food and excellent servers.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great "secret" place with
    JCLx
    Dined on 3/22/2013
    Great "secret" place with a bizarre exterior - not sure from passing by I would have ever tried it had it not been recommended by a friend! But it was fantastic -- great food, incredible selection, good friendly service, prompt and efficient. Strangely quiet for a Friday night... maybe the secret should be let out :)
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food and service were excellent.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/9/2013
    Food and service were excellent. Would definately go back again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A nice local restaurant in
    bigbamboo52VIP
    Dined on 3/2/2013
    A nice local restaurant in the Gerrard and Carlaw area. Good menu with a variety of dishes. Excellent service. Not over priced. All entrees priced about the same. Portions not huge but enough to satisfy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Playpen is a mix of very good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/21/2013
    Playpen is a mix of very good food in a somewhat odd place. Over the many years, I've enjoyed the food / restarants of Johnny K, from his self named place in The Beaches in the early '80s, right up to his more recent Tommy Kro. Between the 4 of us, we sampled the lobster maki balls, beet salad apps., steak frites, seafood hot pot, scallops & risotto and short rib. Overall generous servings and good sized flavours; very good value. The odd part is the mish mash decor of nice chairs and lighting among somewhat kitch art and cheap ceiling / wall treatment. Mostly '80s music, a little loud, for the quiet night we were there. Still, the food is certainly worthwhile and recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The Playpen's doesn't play
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/15/2013
    The Playpen's doesn't play around with their food. Tomato soup, perfect. Beet and chèvre salad, a delight. Salmon perfectly prepared, served with delicate frites. Still dreaming about the flourless chocolate cake...
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • first time there, will go
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/14/2013
    first time there, will go back. everything about the place was really great...next time we'll start in the lounge.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always great food and the
    Apvl
    Dined on 2/5/2013
    Always great food and the service has been impeccable whenever I have been there (only twice so far).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It was the server's first
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/1/2013
    It was the server's first night and the service was some of the worse I've ever experience. He didn't know the menu, what items includes, how to place the order so the meal was timed appropriately (everyone's food arrived at different times), the bill took 40min to come etc etc.. He received very little support from the staff there and was often looking for someone to help him. We arrive at 7:40 and ate at 9:15.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • you won't be disappointed.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 1/29/2013
    One of my favourite places for dinner with friends. just about everything on the menu is to my taste and i have yet to be disappointed by quality, portion or presentation. friendly staff, and great decor to boot. i just wish they were busier.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • WHAT A FUN EVENING!!
    RHONA
    Dined on 1/19/2013
    what fun!!! wonderful vibe. we felt the energy as soon as we entered the restaurant. greeted warmly at the door and escorted to our table. server was attentive, cheerful and very knowledgable. interesting menu. food was creative and delicious!! all 4 of us were thrilled with our meals. PLUS an unexpected surprise when we were all entertained by two of the staff who picked up a microphone and started to sing - just a wonderful evening ..... i would recommend The Playpen highly.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love the restaurant. We have
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 1/19/2013
    Love the restaurant. We have been there before and recommended two other couples join us. They thought the food was fantastic, but very loud. One couple would come back in a heartbeat, and the other would not come back because they though it was just too loud. Personally, I love it!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The service was excellent,
    DAB80
    Dined on 1/18/2013
    The service was excellent, the food delicious (!!) and the flourless chocolate cake was incredible!!! had a great time and will be back soon :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Playpen is the Place!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 1/10/2013
    This place is one of my absolute favourites in Toronto. The retro decor is lush and the food is phenomenal. The wait staff are friendly, attentive, and very good at what they do.. Johnny K and Laura are great hosts. You will not regret a night pout at the Playpen!!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Playpen delivered an exceptional
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 12/14/2012
    Playpen delivered an exceptional group dining experience. Our group of 16 was masterfully managed and tended to, which, along with great food and wine, made for a great evening. As the organizer, I received thanks and compliments from all for choosing such a great spot, which is reflective of the great service, food and ambience found at Playpen.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We have been to The Playpen
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 12/8/2012
    We have been to The Playpen several times now and are always pleased. Great food, great service, and good, good value for the money.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Surprised On Gerard on Carlaw
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 12/7/2012
    A surprise find at Gerard and Carlaw. Not the usual mains, sides and appetizers. Loved the brussel sprout side, the hickory smoked salmon and key lime pie. Service that was helpful and everyone was well taken care of
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 12/7/2012
    Exceptional food in a unique setting. Don't be put off by the location - it's very well soundproofed. Excellent food and strong service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very cool restaurant! Great
    BabsVIP
    Dined on 11/24/2012
    Very cool restaurant! Great food, hip vibe, and amazing music!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic