Coffee has the uncanny power to make you feel all grown up and sophisticated. The first time you took a sip of coffee, you probably felt like you were finally an adult. Though the bitterness may have initially thrown you off, you still drank it to completion because you knew that it was a crucial rite of passage in growing up.
Now, as you've learned to savour its many heavenly variations, coffee probably serves as your mandatory daily dose of energy. It's also the perfect social drink. Brunches, first dates, and "catch-ups" are often done over a steaming cup of joe or a frothy latte. Luckily for us Torontonians, our city boasts an incredibly vibrant coffee culture.
Here are 12 Toronto coffee shops you need to visit at least once in your life, in no particular order. Which one will become your Central Perk?
1. Fahrenheit Coffee, 120 Lombard St
At Fahrenheit Coffee, Toronto winters have never been cozier. Try their Kenya Weithaga beans, which add a cool red wine flavour to your java. The shop offers three different espresso origins, which rotate seasonally. And their personal fav, the Cortado, will definitely pep you right up.
2. Dineen Coffee Co., 140 Yonge St
Dineen is one of the most beautiful boutique-style coffee shops in the city, with its sleek black pillars and iconic spoke lights. Their signature Temperance blend goes well with their Tuna and Apple Brie sandwich.
3. Jet Fuel Coffee Shop Inc., 519 Parliament St
Jet Fuel Coffee Shop is a Toronto landmark that combines two of the city's booming cultures: coffee and cycling. Stop by for a hot espresso-based beverage (no drip!) to help you face the day. There's no menu here, so just pop in, tell them what you're in the mood for, and be sure to snag one of their fresh-baked goodies before they sell out!
4. Te Aro, 983 Queen St E
The official cool guy on the block. Their delicious coffee and infamous latte art make for a killer combination. The industrial decor and chill vibes aren't half bad, either.
5. Manic Coffee, 426 College St
Manic Coffee offers the perfect ambiance for studying or relaxing with friends. Aside from perfectly filtered coffee (each drip is rotated every 15 minutes!), the shop also serves gelato and sorbet made from natural ingredients.
6. Jimmy’s Coffee, 107 Portland St
Jimmy's Coffee is a cozy, welcoming shop with a great sense of community. Here, you're bound to have a pleasant conversation with one of their baristas or a kind stranger - with a delicious cappuccino or cold brew in hand, of course.
7. Little Nicky’s Coffee, 375 Queen St W
Little Nicky's is where coffee shop meets vintage diner vibes. Most coffee shops boast unique beans or their artistic baristas, but Little Nicky's especially prides itself on its delectable, sugar-coated mini donuts.
8. Cafe Pamenar, 307 Augusta Ave
If you're in the Kensington area, you must stop by Cafe Pamenar. This bustling local hangout combines a natural feel with industrial elements, and serves affordable cappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos, and more.
9. De Mello Palheta Coffee Roasters, 2489 Yonge St
Decorated with paper-smattered glass table tops, umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, colourful graffiti art, and newspaper-machéd walls, this is probably the most eclectic coffee shop you'll hang out at.
10. Boxcar Social, 4 Boulton Ave
Boxcar Social is the ultimate spot for socializing. They serve a great selection of social drink standards, including irresistible coffees, wines, beers, and whiskeys.
11. Balzac’s, 1 Trinity St
Balzac's is essentially an old toy factory converted into an exposed-brick coffee shop. They have a variety of unique coffee blends such as the Atwood blend, which was inspired by Canadian author Margaret Atwood.
12. Early Bird Espresso & Brew Bar, 613 Queen St W
Early Bird is the ideal place to start off your morning. They've got a great selection of specialty blends, including Caballero Geisha & Caballero Java Honduras.