Over the past year I have really starting becoming a homebody. Other than eating out, I felt like I wasn’t really exploring Toronto as much as I used to. So with the inspiration of some friends, I decided I would start visiting new cafes across the city every weekend. Sometimes with a buddy, but often just me, a notebook, or a good book. And I started falling back in love with Toronto. So here are some of my favourite cafes. I judge base on quality of drinks, friendliness of baristas, and of course, the beauty of the space.
I’ve also shared an autumn mix below that I think is the perfect compliment to a cozy cup of something + the autumn breeze. It’s got chill vibes, hopefully to help you slow down a little. Especially in this chaotic time we’re in.
NEO coffee bar (King East): the best matcha latte in the city and also some of the most interesting Japanese pastries and roll cakes. Plus you can’t beat the distinct design.
FIKA cafe (Kensington Market): if you’re anything like me, then you idolize the Scandinavian coffee culture. Fika (the Swedish word for coffee break! Why don’t we have a word for that?) is a lovely cozy spot for a latte and a delicious homemade pastry. Joe particularly loves their cardamom latte. Don’t miss the book wall in the back.
Rooster Espresso Bar (Bloor East): There are multiple locations of this cafe, but I love the location on Jarvis (across from Rogers) for its high ceilings, tile, and excellent drinks.
Boxcar Social (Summerhill & Riverside): This cafe also has multiple locations, all which are great. I love the Summerhill location for their cozy back patio, and the Riverside location for its beautiful interior, including the beautiful owl mural. All locations feature fantastic roasts from all over the world, and amazing baked goods, including cookies and pop tarts from Bake Shoppe)
Early Bird Espresso Bar (Queen West): Best to heed the name and show up early to this place, which gets really busy really quickly. Grab a spot by the window and the lovely fiddle leaf fig tree, and enjoy a great drink and snack.
The Sovereign (Davenport West): This is my neighborhood coffee spot. They have two locations, but I usually frequent the little one on Oakwood. Excellent espresso and scones from St Clair West’s Baker and Scone. No space to sit though at the smaller location, so take this one to go.
Baddies (Bloor West): Toronto’s answer to an Aussie-style cafe, complete with flat whites, amazing avocado toast, and chill vibes. The hot cakes are also amazing, and so this place kind of blurs the line between cafe + brunch spot. Not open on Sunday.
ODIN (King East): By far one of the most unique interiors in the city of Toronto, ODIN is a beauty to behold. The coffee also doesn’t disappoint.
Reunion Island (Roncesvalles): A lovely open space, with one of the best iced lattes in the city. Lots of seating too!
Crafted Coffee (Queen and Ossington): A cozy space that sells Pilot Coffee, one of my favourite Toronto roasters.