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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The top 30 cafes in Toronto by neighbourhood

cafes torontoToronto is home to a flourishing landscape of independent cafes -- more likely than not, there's a really great cup of coffee in close proximity to your own home. Locally roasted beans, skilled baristas, and cozy aesthetics are just some of he perks, and whether you're looking for a quick caffeine fix or somewhere to hunker down with free Wi-fi, you'll find an abundance of options in every neighbourhood.

Here are my picks for the top 30 cafes in Toronto by neighbourhood.


Bud's Coffee Bar is bastion of good brew in The Beaches. The espresso bar pulls double shots of Cut Coffee and stocks baked goods from Desmond & Beatrice and Queen B Pastry.


Jet Fuel is a red-painted neighbourhood fixture where Americanos are served in a pint glass and classic riffs blare over the stereo.


Dark Horse on Spadina is a spacious and sunny central location that's furnished with communal tables and outfitted with enough outlets to let the espresso-sipping crowd relax and recharge (and let the freelancers get stuff done).


Filling the void of indie espresso bars on this stretch of the Danforth, Crema Coffee's eastern location is a fresh, sunny spot to enjoy espressos and pour-overs along with panini and muffins.


Swathed in natural light, The Tampered Press is a cozy spot to perk yourself up with hot cups of coffee and house-baked goods.

sense appealETOBICOKE

Sense Appeal makes its Lake Shore address the home base for all its operations, including roasting beans and baking breads on the premises. Aside from the usual espresso-based favourites, you'll find unique drinks like the Turkish latte, sweetened and spiced with cardamom and cinnamon.


Dineen Coffee Co. occupies a sweeping space at the corner of Yonge and Temperance in the historic building which is its namesake. It's a magnet for business meetings and coffee breaks, not just because it serves delectable espressos, but also thanks to efficient service and ample patio seating.


Found atop High Park station, Cafe Novo thrives, thanks to commuters and parkgoers looking to take steaming Americanos and fresh-baked pastries en route.


Wallace Espresso occupies a tiny nook, and while seating is extremely limited, the locals don't mind, and have become accustomed to taking that daily caffeine fix to go.


There's no shortage of coffee shops in The Market, but Cafe Pamenar, found at the northern tip of Augusta, stands out thanks to its cozy interior and massive back patio.

rooster coffeeKING EAST

The second location of Rooster Coffee House is a welcoming space that radiates charm. The espresso bar pulls custom blends from Pilot while serving a simple menu of pastries, sandwiches and salads.


At Jimmy's Coffee, beverages aren't priced by size, but rather sold a single or double shot at a time. Occupying a row house on Portland, this cafe is the original location for what's spawned multiple locations.


Wisey's Pies and Bakehouse might be best known for its outstanding roster of savoury and sweet pies, but the cafe is also outfitted with a La Marzocco machine and offers the usual line-up of espresso based drinks made with Pilot Coffee beans.


Te Aro is home base for Pilot Coffee Roasters, purveyors of full-bodied roasts like Big Bro, a blend that boasts notes of nuts and toffee and tastes like pure bliss in a latte.


Louie Craft Coffee is the go-to for a caffeine fix in this hood. They pull lovely Americanos on a beautiful Strada La Marzocco machine, and serve ready-made sandwiches and fresh baked goods.


Lazy Daisy's Cafe offers a robust menu for a cafe that includes everything from breakfast sandwiches to hearty bowls of chili. Coffee is still at the core of the business, and there's both drip and espressos on offer.

empire espressoLITTLE ITALY

Embellished with a Moroccan pattern, the La Marzocco espresso machine is the star of the show at Empire Espresso on College. The charming cafe spins a rotating selection of local roasts into velvety lattes spiked with a double shot.


Infusing new life into the neighbourhood, SuperCoffee debuted last summer and has since amassed a local following. The drinks list offers a standard roster of espresso-based beverages while the pastry case is stocked with fresh goodies from Circles and Squares and OMG Baked Goodness.


Istanbul Cafe is a Turkish coffee house on Eglinton where finely-ground beans are brewed in traditional cezve for rich, strong cups of coffee. Espressos and flat whites are on the menu too, featuring a house blend made by Social Coffee Co.


Sam James operates out of a tiny nook just north of Queen, and is my coffee bar of choice so long as I have the cash in pocket (FYI, they don't take debit).


Capital Espresso Bar occupies a sunny corner lot on Queen West and is home to your usual line-up of espresso-based beverages, as well as a pastry case stocked with fresh-baked muffins.


Early Bird Espresso is a relaxed brew bar on Queen where the La Marzocco machine produces frothy, creamy lattes made of Pilot beans.


Merchants of Green began as a business sourcing and selling fair-trade coffees, and has since evolved into a lovely espresso bar and cafe that has become a neighbourhood institution.


Lit Espresso Bar pours delightful espresso from its own brand of beans made by Pig Iron Coffee Roasters. Classic beverages are where they excel -- opt for the fruity cold brew in summer months, and foamy lattes or cappuccinos in the winter.

boxcar socialROSEDALE

Boxcar Social carefully crafts each include espressos and Americanos ($2.86), macchiatos and cortados ($3.50), cappuccinos ($3.75), and lattes ($4.00).


The Black Canary is an oasis for indie coffee enthusiasts in a neighbourhood where corporate chains rule. The house uses Rufino espresso for milk-based espresso drinks and while shots and Americanos are pulled with Detour beans.


De Melho Palheta isn't just a cafe, but also roasts its beans in-house, serving up blends and single origin options. The cafe has carved out a nice little niche in a neighbourhood where independent cafes are scarce.


I Deal Coffee on Yonge north of Lawrence isn't just a carbon-copy of its Kensington and Ossington locations. Catering to an uptown clientele, the cafe has an individual character that radiates warmth and seduces with its own house blends.


The perfect cup awaits you at 9 Bars, where they're pulling Sam James' Cut Coffee and pouring espressos on finely tuned La Marzocco.


Seven Grams offers more than just the usual espresso and drop varieties. Their roster of drinks includes cold brews, pour overs, and Bunn Trifecta-brewed coffees similar to the Clover at Crema.

What did I miss? Disagree with my selections in the comments.

by Liora Ipsum via blogTO

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