If you can get away with using the excuse, sorry I haven't had my coffee yet, when you're being (for lack of a better term) an asshole, you know you're in Toronto. Welcome to the city that runs on pride, bandwagon fans, shuttle delays and obviously our favourite- coffee. The coffee culture over the past couple years in Toronto has taken off and it's brought in a wave of artisans, hipsters, and aspiring roasters alike.
I may be bias (and yes I admit I totally am), but I think Toronto really is one of the best places we could be living in right now. So why should we (the north), settle for less than the best? Don't degrade yourself to that sad less than suitable drip coffee, this is your life man! Get out to one of these shops for a true cup of caffiene, because you deserve it.
1. Quantum Coffee // 460 King St. W
This sleek and modern King West cafe is what I'd imagine James Bond's ideal coffee shop to look like. While your gazing at the ultra modern decor, grab baked good (sent in from local bakeries) to go with a cup of coffee that, like this shop, is anything but ordinary.
2. Thor Espresso Bar // 35 Bathurst St.
To be honest we would go even if we weren't coffee drinkers for the atmosphere and kick ass decor alone. (And yes, decor can be kick ass when it's a painting of Thor). The amazing and innovative cafe actually has the only espresso machine of it's kind in Toronto, and it's called the Slayer. If you need more reason to go here, they serve up amazing coffee (and that's only to be expected from a machine named the slayer) to pair with baked goods from Circles and Squares and Desmond and Beatrice.
3. Boxcar Social // 1208 Yonge St.
Yes, it does look and feel as adorable as it sounds. Even better? They don't only serve delicious Americanos and Lattes, they also have a full beer and wine menu for you to mix up your day.
4. White Squirrel Coffee (Rosedale) // 1055 Yonge St.
Stemming out from their roots in West Queen West, this amazing local favourite of the Trinity Bellwood's crowd has made it's way uptown and tucked itself (artfully) into the corner of a Freshii. It's truly quality over quantity at this location, there is all the essential (amazing) coffee blends to pair with a selection of baked goods. It's cute, friendly and has brought some hip vibes that Rosedale was craving.
5. Early Bird Espresso & Brew Bar // 613 Queen St. W
Their amazing coffee would make anyone an early bird. (See what I did there?!) Start off with spacious seating and free wifi, add in some Pilot roasters coffee for the espresso and an amazing selection of baked goods (including gluten free cookies) and you have a winner.
6. Constantinople Bakery And Coffee // 536 Queen St. West
What's better than a cafe? A Cafe that doubles as a bakery without sacrificing taste that's what. For anyone who doesn't know what Old World Turkish coffee tastes like (or thinks they do) this is the place to go.
7. Ezra's Pound // 238 Dupont St.
A cute space that definitely reflects the cool vibe of the community it's located in. Ezra's is known for it's rich beans, that you can also buy separately, and chill atmosphere. You can also get a variety of sandwiches if you want to catch up with a friend or settle down for a long haul of work.
8. Volta Espresso // 866 Bathurst St.
Intimate, and anything but intimidating can describe this cozy Bathurst St. find. It just recently opened but is already a staple for the community. With amazing service and that dark espresso that can suit any need (monday morning to saturday pick me up), we'll definitely be seeing how far this shop goes! And their coffee now is any indication, you'll probably have to sharpen your elbows to snag one of the few seats available.
9. Zaza Espresso Bar // 75 Yorkville Ave.
Fancy a trip to Italy? Same, but if you're like me you probably don't have the funds right now to get there. But no worries, that's where Zaza comes in. This Yorkville staple is THE spot to get an expresso (and why not a gelato while you're at it) and people watch the day away at this open concept Italian haven. Make sure to check out their other locations!
10. Nespresso Botique-Bar // 159 Cumberland Street
Think Nespresso only has single serve capsules? Well do a double take at my luxurious affagatto and think again. This chic boutique (though very pricey) serves up classic and decadent Nespresso based drinks. It's not somewhere you would sit and work for hours, but it's definitely on the bucket list if you want to feel like a diva for an hour or two.
Yonge and Eglinton
11. De Mello Palheta // 2489 Yonge St
This coffee shop always reminded me of that friend you have that seemed really cool and intimidating at first until you found out that their actually the only person you would want to spend time with; long story short? We're obsessed. Delicious blends, handmade desserts and lunch options (matcha cake or fritatta anyone?) and the hip atmosphere attracts everyone in the neighborhood from millennials to book clubs alike.
12. Himalayan Java // 2552 Yonge St
In summary, this place is an overload of good vibes. If that's wrong I just don't want to be right. The staff are always happy to see you and it comes across in the amazing latte art they produce. On top of that they also serve a variety of food options from decadent croissants, a cookie from Bunners, and sandwich options. We're grabbing their loyalty card because we know we'll be back soon.
13. Crema Coffee // 53 Bloor St. E
Hidden inside the Freshii, this coffee shop can truly back up it's quality with rave reviews from any coffee connoisseur heading there. Ranging from an amazing customer experience to serving up a mean Americano (obviously paired with some delicious baked goods; we'd go for the scones) either stop by here as a grab and go or stay amongst the Freshii crowd and take use of the quick (and free!) wifi.
14. Rooster Coffee House // 568 Jarvis St.
More quality and cheaper than other spots close by? Yes please. These guys know the key to a good business, simple things really do make the difference. They've created an amazing atmosphere to hang out (however the wifi is apparently spotty), won't charge extra for almond milk and include the price of taxes on the menu. Seems like minor things but when you are without caffeine and it's 5 minutes to your next meeting sometimes it's the simple things that really make a difference. Check out their other 2 locations on 479 Broadview Ave and 343 King Street East!
15. Dineen Coffee Co. // 140 Yonge St.
If coffee's beauty could take the form of a cafe, then it would have to resemble this Bay and Adelaide haven. Along with an amazing selection of gourmet sandwiches and baked goods, their amazing coffee will have you sipping for hours in the almost Parisian atmosphere they've created. Bonus? There's a patio in the summer.
16. Sam James (PATH) // 150 King St. W
Though it's origins stems far away from what now seems to be THE place to get your morning joe for banker and lawyers alike, since 2012 this location of Sam James hasn't been showing any signs of stopping. They pride themselves on efficiency, but that doesn't mean that their blends are any less delicious (or caffeinated) than what you need. Like any good coffee shop, they have a variety of muffins, cookies and other baked goods that continue to feed the heart of the financial district.
17. Cherry Bomb Coffee // 79 Roncesvalles Ave
In the heart of Roncesvalles this neighborhood favourite is a must hit for anyone looking for a sharp americano to kick off their day. And we all know we want to try one of the cheddar jalapeno scones their serving up along side other goodies like squares and croissants. Make sure you have your bills out though, this location takes cash only.
18. Lit Espresso Bar // 221 Roncesvalles Ave
And just when you thought that the world couldn't through anything else at you, there's a cafe that serves a roast called Pig Iron that may just change your caffeine addiction, in the best way possible. We love this neighborhood favourite, the baristas take time to make sure you're getting the best cup possible, and they have an abundance of baked goods to get you through the day. (Or up till their midtown location for a refuel).
19. Te Aro // 983 Queen St. E
Named after a New Zealand suburb this Leslieville favourite will make you feel at home as you sip one of their delicious coffees that is air roasted in Leslieville. One of the infamous locations of Pilot Coffee Roasters, they also offer the needed baked goods that comes with the comforts of home. Top it off with some amazing sandwiches from Rowe Farm and Fred's Bread and you'll never be able to go back to your average coffee shop.
20. Pilot Coffee Roasters // 50 Wagstaff Drive
Pilot coffee distributes to some of the most popular cafes in Toronto from Te Aro to Crafted, and there's a reason why. These guys know what they are doing. They change their roasts depending on the season, which is probably one of the reasons they won microroastery of the year. But, don't expect to stay here and hang out as this gem is only a tasting bar. Feeling like you want some knowledge on the thing you survive on? Head on in and feel as on point as the coffee tastes.
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