The coffee culture in Toronto is huge, with new shops popping up regularly throughout the city. There are countless indie cafés with specialty brews, well-designed coffee hangouts and hole in the wall espresso bars. Explore Toronto's local spots and you'll never want to step into another Tim Hortons, Starbucks or McCafé again.
Here are nine Toronto coffee shops that are so beautiful you'll feel like you're in Europe.
La Bohème Café
Address: 2481 Yonge St.
This Parisian-style café and patisserie serves up artisanal coffee with freshly baked breads and pastries. From almond croissants to fruit-covered tarts, baguettes and brioches, this Yonge and Eglinton spot has the fix for your cravings. Oh, and it has a cute patio to top it off!
Address: 736 St. Clair Ave. W.
Pain Perdu is a French café you’d do well to find. Nestled in the heart of Hillcrest Village, the shop could be easy to miss, even with its brightly painted blue and yellow facade. This spot serves classics like the perfect flaky croissant and savoury croque monsieur — the French take on a breakfast sandwich.
Address: 35 Tank House Lane
This bistro-meets-bakery bursting with European flare is found in Toronto’s iconic distillery district. The lavish entrance, complete with intricate tiled floors and ornate wooden doors, brings you straight to Paris. And if you’re looking to turn that afternoon coffee into cocktail hour, Cluny has you covered with a floor-to-ceiling wine collection. Beyond the bistro lies a beautiful patio lined with hundreds of fairy lights.
Address: 152 Spadina Ave.
Styled off the streets of Europe, this café is a cozy cove in Toronto’s bustling downtown core. Open for over 10 years, it’s a place that keeps people coming back. Tucked off of the frequented Graffiti Alley, Le Gourmand makes for the perfect stop after a busy day of shopping and sightseeing. They even claim to have a world-famous chocolate chip cookie.
Address: 983 Dovercourt Rd.
Don’t be fooled by this café’s modest exterior — it’s the real deal. Another family-run business, the wide variety of pastries and breads are made fresh in-house every morning. When you walk in, you’re welcomed by a whistling espresso machine and the smell of ground coffee beans. Want to know if this place is authentic? Just ask the Portuguese and Italian expats that flock to the café’s terrace.
Tango Palace Coffee Company
Address: 1156 Queen St. E.This Euro-inspired café in Leslieville makes you feel like you’re sipping café con leché in Seville. From the copper-tiled ceiling to the warm wall sconces, this place is dripping in character. It doubles as an art gallery, with paintings for sale lining the walls. The interior is so scenic it’s even been used as a film set!
Dineen Coffee Co.
Address: 140 Yonge St.
Dineen Coffee Co. revamped one of the city’s oldest structures into this upscale café. Complete with brass rails and a vintage chandelier, the shop has held on to its location’s history. They have an extensive coffee menu, with everything from iced americanos to cortados. This downtown favourite is even listed as a Toronto Heritage Property!
Reunion Island Coffee Roasters
Address: 385 Roncesvalles Ave.
This minimalist café is the neighbourhood go-to for morning coffee. This family-owned business is eco-conscious with organic, fair trade and Rainforest Alliance certified varieties and they run on renewable energy! With clean lines and plenty of plants, this shop is done in Scandinavian style — and no, the furniture is not all from IKEA.
Dark Horse Espresso Bar
Address: 215 Spadina Ave.
This café’s rustic interior with exposed brick and high ceilings invites you in. There’s plenty of space to sit down and enjoy your drink while taking in the vintage-meets-industrial setting. Large wood communal tables offer a space to co-work or set up shop for the day. The lively atmosphere is reminiscent of Italian coffee bars where locals linger for hours.
This article has been updated since it was originally published on August 29, 2016.