’80s fanatics, listen up! We know you’ve probably felt as though Toronto was missing that retro element. That’s why we put together a short list of bodacious experiences in the city just for you! Check them out by category:
Immersive experiences & arcades
1. Stranger Things: The Experience
At this exciting journey into the Upside Down, you’ll uncover your own superpowers to save Hawkins from the grips of Vecna. It’s a thrilling adventure through your favorite show, where you’ll live through 1986 Indiana and delight in themed food and drinks, like the ocean of flavor at Scoops Ahoy and Surfer Boy Pizza. Neon lights, Stranger Things-inspired decor and retro activities transport you straight to the ‘80s right here in Toronto!
The experience has made its way in previous cities throughout Europe and the US before coming to the Six, so you don’t want to miss its Canadian debut!
🚨Unlock the secrets of Hawkins with code CANADADAY25 to save 25% on tickets thru 7/3! 🚨
2. Dave & Buster’s
If there’s a spot that gives off ‘80s vibes, it’s most definitely Dave & Buster’s. Kick back with your friends and try beating your best score (only if you dare) at the game room after you enjoy food and signature drinks at the bar. There are so many games and activities to choose from at Dave & Buster’s, from tabletop games and billiards all the way to air hockey and VR!
3. The Rec Room
Far from simply being an arcade, the Rec Room is a 40,000 square feet location featuring delicious food, drinks and entertainment. The arcade section surely transports you to the ‘80s, but you can also see it as your go-to bar to hang with friends since The Rec Room has large TVs that play the latest sports games! Down a few pints as you enjoy the play with your buddies and make your way down to the souvenir shop to bring an ‘80s stuffed toy home with you! They also have fun themed events, so keep an eye out for retro experiences at the venue!
4. Mama Loves You
If you’re looking to replicate those iconic outfits Nancy and Robin wore in the latest season of Stranger Things, Mama Loves You offers a wide selection of vintage pieces — including many ‘80s fits. Visitors pointed out how organized the shop is and how almost every piece is in perfect condition, thanks to the careful curation of the store owner! Plus they have a rad collection of vintage Levi’s and we all know those never go out of style. Bright pink walls, thoughtful clothing displays… Mama Loves You is definitely a vintage spot to check out!
5. Exile Vintage
This shop is completely different from Mama Loves You and is most enjoyable by those thrift fanatics who love to dig for some gems! The decoration is just as eclectic, with a storefront decked in spaceships and stars and a yellow interior with wigs plastered all over the walls, but you won’t just find ‘80s inspired clothes here. Costumes and gowns are spread throughout the vintage shop for all your tailoring or partying needs! Exile Vintage has been a go-to clothing spot in Toronto since the ‘70s so you know you’re in for a treat.
Bars & restaurants
6. Sweaty Betty’s
As one of the most famous bars of Toronto, Sweaty Betty’s has a reputation for its sultry atmosphere. Bop to some great tunes and delight in signature cocktails under the red lights of the bar as you lounge on the unique furniture that makes Sweaty Betty’s the iconic spot it is. In the words of their website bio, it’s “the right mix of attitude, humour, and strong drinks.” Plus, they have a delicious food menu that changes seasonally, so you can check that out too — just make sure you come early since they don’t take reservations.
7. The Painted Lady
The Painted Lady is the spot to be on a Friday night, when you want that fun night out on the town but don’t quite know what that looks like. The exciting spot is a dance hall, saloon and bar all in one, bringing you the latest rock, funk and soul music performances, burlesque, immersive theater, DJs, and of course — delightful food and drinks. They even have open mic nights so you can join in on the fun rather than sitting in the audience. So if you’re looking for a night through the ‘80s, they have so many offerings you could opt for!