Bear & Kilt Freehouse Pub – Stephen Avenue

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Craft Beer, Pub Food, Cheap Prices

The Bear & Kilt Freehouse has been a long time staple on Stephen Avenue downtown as a great place for food and drinks, though you might miss it if you didn’t know it was there. The Bear & Kilt is somewhat of a hidden gem, located down a set of stairs, behind a couple plain wooden doors, even though it’s been in the same spot since 1993. It’s dark, a little dank, clean, and fun. Many fancy Stephen Avenue restaurants and upscale bars have come and gone in the Bear & Kilts time. Their longevity speaks for itself. They occasionally host events and come out with a new monthly feature menu, and there’s free WiFi. Highly recommend a visit if you haven’t been.

Note: because they’re downstairs, the Bear & Kilt is not wheelchair accessible.

Bear & Kilt entrance On Stephen Avenue

Bear & Kilt Stairs going to basement

The Atmosphere 

The Bear & Kilt kind of has a dive bar feeling to it, very comfy and welcoming at the same time. There’s pool, darts and Golden Tee, but you’re more than welcome to bring your own games as well. The staff are super friendly, service is usually fast, and you shouldn’t have an issue finding a place to sit. Don’t think I’ve ever seen it packed inside, though that said it can get pretty busy on weekends. I have not been there after a hockey game. The entire place is filled wall to wall with beer and sports memorabilia, and they always dress it up for holidays. There’s a few TVs around the bar too, which usually have sports on them.

Bear & Kilt main room

Bear & Kilt games tables

It’s a good place to go on a date night, lots of 2 person tables. Plus, there are some larger tables and booths for groups, which are all very comfortable.

Bear & Kilt pool tables

I’m the worst pool player of all time so I cannot speak to the quality of their tables, but they’re well lit and there’s lots of room around them.

The Food Menu

Bear & Kilt Freehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Bear & Kilt menu is pretty decent with lots of variety. There’s traditional pub fare like fish & chips, chicken pot pie, perogies, shepards pie and stuffed yorkshire pudding (seen below), but they also have a nice selection of pizzas, sandwiches, soups & salads, burgers, and of course pub grub style appetizers. Try thei Bear Bangers – Flour tortillas stuffed with chicken, cheese, salsa, and fried golden brown. Comes with salsa and sour cream.

In addition to their regular menu, they also come out with a new feature menu each month.

Daily Happy Hour 4 – 8 pm

Each day the Bear & Kilt offers up a food happy hour special which includes a different food item (pizza, nachos, wings, steak sandwich, fried pickles, burgers) + drink for $12. For example, my favourite, on Saturdays it’s a burger and a domestic pint for $12 – a really good deal. You won’t find anything else this cheap on Stephan Avenue.

Bear & Kilt stuffed yorkies yorkshire pudding

Pictured above are their stuffed yorkies. Yorkshire puddings stuff with shaved roast beef, served with a side of mashes potatoes and topped with gravy. It also comes with real horseradish sauce on the side, which packs quite a punch – use sparingly! The food portions are also pretty big.

Bear & Kilt burger and poutine fries

Bear & Kilt taco skins monthly feature

Conclusion

While Stephen Avenue does have a pretty big selection of restaurants and bars to choose from, the Bear & Kilt is often at the top of my list to visit, and to bring people to. The service, quality of food, the craft beer selection and cheap prices keep bringing me back. Hope they never change.

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