Believe it or not, Tim Horton’s isn’t the only coffee spot that Canadian’s frequent. Although they make a mean double-double, Toronto’s coffee scene has a lot more to offer.
While Torontonians often take their coffee in a paper cup to go, why not stick around and turn some of the city’s coolest cafes into your own personal office? With good vibes, good coffee, and probably a good Instagram opportunity, these places make life seem easy. Craving a cup with atmosphere? We’ve got the round-up of the best-of-the-best coffee spots in Toronto that are definitely worth visiting.
If you’re a fan of a crisp white aesthetic and really good coffee, this is the place for you. At Early Bird on Queen West, you can pretty much get whatever you want, how you want it, hot or iced. If matcha is more to your liking, you can get that, too. We recommend sipping your caffeinated beverage in-house to really enjoy the atmosphere. Oh, and did we mention that they serve avocado toast? That should seal the deal for your next work sesh.
This is your chance to experience Aussie living right at Lansdowne and Bloor. Here, they take their mornings seriously, serving up some of the tastiest coffee that the city has to offer. They even have a small menu to curb your morning hunger. You can order your coffee ‘white’, which is milk-based, or ‘black’, which is espresso-based. But we recommend getting your coffee black — it’s the real deal.
You’ll know you’re in the right place when the word ‘coffee’ is built into the tiled floor. And that’s exactly what you can expect from Reunion Island Coffee Bar. We don’t blame you if you’re tempted to take a picture (you may just win some free coffee for it). But while most may initially visit for the Instagram opportunity, they definitely come back for the coffee. There’s nothing fancy here, just really good brews right in the heart of Roncesvalles — so if you’re looking somewhere a little quieter, this is your spot.
Yes, another Queen West hot spot — this time, HotBlack. This place serves up excellent coffee and plenty of healthy-ish treats, along they have some pretty innovative products. Let’s talk about the coffee popsicle. Yeah, that’s right. If it’s too hot for a hot drink and the thought of ice cubes watering down your fresh brew makes you cringe, a coffee popsicle is the obvious solution. Head to HotBlack for the refreshing, and frozen, pick-me-up.
Instead of the trendy, bright white, and birch-filled coffee shop, Tucana Coffee is more of a tropical destination. With a pink and floral wall, colourful drinks, and a skull logo, this Dundas West spot is probably the most fun Toronto cafe out there. We personally love them for their iced drinks because they tend to serve up unique concoctions like charcoal lemonade. However, their coffee and matcha are delicious, too.
Tandem is a hole-in-the-wall coffee spot on King West with an easy-going vibe and great tasting drinks. It’s the perfect place for when you want to take it slow. Plus, they offer deliciously-roasted coffees, matcha and black sesame lattes (which are a must-try), and a selection of specialty drinks in the summer and winter. Cool off with an affogato made with your choice of vanilla or matcha ice cream, or warm up with a peanutty hot chocolate espresso drink! The couple who own the shop are always behind the counter, and they make all the baked goods, too, so don’t forget to drop them a compliment on your way out!
This place is a Toronto staple. Seriously, everybody loves Sam James. And with a few locations around the city, you’re never too far away from your favourite cup of coffee. Perfect for the busy Torontonian, it’s a simple cafe — a great place to run in and run out all while getting a quality dose of caffeine.
If you’re into innovation and consider yourself to be a bit of a techy, Quantum on King St. West is definitely worth checking out. They brew their coffee with care and are always coming up with new ideas. One of their greatest hits is the Peanut Butter Mocha. Doesn’t that just sound like drinking a warm hug? And if cold brew is more your thing, they’ve got bottles on bottles of it to drink in-house or to take on the road.
Sometimes, shopping gets tiring and you need a little kick to get you going. That’s why Sorry Coffee Co. is conveniently set up at the back of Kit and Ace in the heart of Yorkville. While the coffee is top-notch, most people tend to visit to see what is written on their sign outside the door — it’s different every day, always quirky, and sometimes controversial.
If Hailed Coffee is good at anything (besides having really good coffee, of course), it’s creating the most perfect heart-shaped latte art on the top of each and every drink. This cultural and soulful cafe in Riverdale or College Park has a Scandinavian vibe and serves up Arabic coffee. That means you can count on cardamom being added to the brewing process. No, this coffee isn’t spicy but it will have you saying, “there’s something different about this coffee”, but in a good way.
This is where New York meets Paris and comes to Toronto. This popular Big Apple cafe opened up in T.O. and we’re all really thankful for it. Maman has a food menu that changes daily, they serve amazing French pastries, and, of course, they offer the ideal cup of coffee to have on the side. (Seriously, you can’t have a delicious chocolate croissant and wash it down with a bitter brew; it just doesn’t work like that.) Everything at Maman pairs together perfectly, and if you close your eyes, you might just be able to imagine yourself sitting along the streets of Paris.
If you don’t know Hale, allow us to introduce you: this place is a Toronto-based micro roaster featuring coffees from around the world. They roast a mean bean in the Junction Triangle, where you can visit a CrossFit class and relax with a coffee afterward. And what we truly love about Hale is the fact that the person making the coffee knows of the person who harvested the coffee. It’s all about transparency here, and we back that.
With good coffee, good snacks (with gluten-free options), and multiple locations, Dark Horse fits Toronto like a glove. They pride themselves on top-quality espresso and regulars seem to agree with them — their blends and menu items aren’t complicated, just simple and delicious. They also serve up cold brew and pressed juices, if that suits your morning fix.
It’s pretty much like it sounds: a coffee shop, a bike shop, and gallery all under one roof. You can get your bike repaired and wait with a hot cup of coffee and a snack when you stop by Fix Coffee + Bikes. Really, your coffee might as well be green — they support ethical products and a lifestyle that impacts the Earth as little as possible. If you’re a biker in Toronto, this is definitely the spot for you.
This place serves coffee with a conscious. Their beans are grown organically, without the use of pesticides—in a biodiverse region—and follow Fair Trade practices. In addition to their sustainable brew, they support and encourage using local goods more than anything. Their shops in Sorauren, Ossington, and Kensington Market even have baked goods, milk, honey, and maple syrup for sale from neighborhood businesses.
Serving up some of the best tea and coffee in Toronto, R & G Coffee on Dundas St. West is your family-friendly coffee spot that is still really cool. And the best part is they cater to the seasons with new menu items to try as the weather changes. During the summer, we recommend an affogato — gelato topped with espresso. Who can say no to caffeine and ice cream?
So, they were first acclaimed for their Campfire Latte with toasted marshmallows on top, and now it’s all about the colourful lattes. With one glance at their Instagram feed, you’ll know what we’re talking about. Get ready for foam art and ALL the colours — Versus Coffee makes sipping on a latte fun. Channel your inner unicorn or spice up your life with a zesty turmeric latte. You won’t regret it.
Aiming to serve as “your friend’s living room”, Jimmy’s Coffee keeps it cozy, comfy, and casual. Their original location on Portland St. is a transformed residential home, which fits perfectly with their stay-at-home vibes. Now, with seven spots to choose from, their quality coffee is just a quick walk, bike, or ride away, no matter where you are in the city. Looking to switch up your go-to order? During the summer, trade cold brew for coco brew and sip the heat away — it’s available at all locations.
A local leader in the bean business, Arvo Coffee is a quality-focused cafe in the Distillery District that offers coffee from around the world. A family of taste-testers and mug-movers, who drink together, the team invites you to come in and hang out. From live music and public coffee tastings to seasonal options and a toast bar, what’s not to love? The best part: if you feel like picking up something pretty, they sell succulents and kokedama plants.
When Rooster opened their second location on King St, people were lining up around the block, and for good reason! They’re well known for their coffee, artisanal pastries, and sandwiches, but most of all, their prime locations. Hit up their East End spot and you’ll feel like enjoy your coffee and a beautiful view of the city skyline (CN Tower included)that’s nothing short of mesmerizing. Make sure you don’t miss their other two downtown locations, either, they’ve got same great vibes and coffee all around!
Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or can’t tell a difference between a latte and cappuccino, Strange Love has space for you on Queen St. West, Yonge St., and Spadina Ave. Coffee to these baristas is like cheese to wine-lovers, the two just go hand-in-hand. And although their coffee is exceptional, people can’t seem to keep their hands off their wellness lattes, which are made of matcha and beetroot. But a classic drip will never disappoint, and we hear their pastries are drool-worthy as well.
Carefully-crafted drinks, homemade treats, and a bomb Turkish coffee is what you’ll get at Istanbul Café. This Uptown spot is a favourite among locals due to its cozy atmosphere and work-friendly environment. While they’re constantly adding specialty lattes to the menu, we definitely recommend trying their Turkish Coffee if it’s your first time. And pair it with a Baklava while you’re at it.
Boxcar does more than just coffee — you can sip on wine, beer, and whiskey at their four shops, too. Since the cafe has a rotating menu, they offer customers tastings of upcoming and potential drinks. Stop by once a week at their Summerhill location for a preview of what’s the come (it’s completely free). Wine and Whiskey tastings come with a price, but are a worthwhile experience for anyone who’s an expert or looking to learn a little something.
**Updated by Diana Ghidanac, September 2018