Knowing I’m an absolute caffeine addict, the first thing people tend to ask me when visiting Toronto is ‘Where should I grab a cup of coffee?’ And of course, I’m happy to oblige with a list of shops based on what type of coffee they want, what atmosphere they’re looking for, and whether or not they want to stay a while. And, although there are dozens of shops across Toronto that I love, I do have a few go-to spots. These are the places I drag my husband to, make my friends do mini photoshoots at or stop by when I need to get away from the office for a few minutes. These are the five coffee spots in Toronto that (in my opinion) you’ve gotta try – enjoy!
- Boxcar Social – This is the obvious one for most Torontonians. Boxcar Social is the place to be; with multiple locations across the city, friendly staff, carefully curated coffee, food and – not to mention – booze! Their motto is that every product tells a story. Everything on their menu is chosen because it teaches about the place it came from, and the people who helped along the way. Boxcar Social has an amazing environment to hangout with pals, hold work meetings or even buckle down and get some writing done. The intentionality in their design and menu clearly shows, making it a perfect place to grab a cuppa and stay a while.
- Versus Coffee – When I need to get out of the office, this is the spot I run to. The staff are fantastic and the space is incredible. (The photos for this post were taken there). It’s a perfect spot because it is small and cozy but decorated in a minimalist, modern design, so it doesn’t feel cramped. Versus has delicious breakfast and lunch options (bomb avocado toast – can I get a ‘heck ya’?!), as well as amazing coloured lattes. If you let them know you want to Instagram one, they’ll even take extra time to make it perfect!
- Balzac’s Coffee Roasters – Inspired by 19th century novelist Honore de Balzac’s genuine love for coffee, Balzac’s Founder Diana Olsen brought the Parisian sophisticated celebration of coffee to Canada – thus opening the first Balzac’s coffee shop in Stratford, Ontario. Soon after, over a dozen shops started opening across Ontario. Today, Balzac’s is a pillar in Toronto. With locations in the historic Distillery District and Ryerson University, Balzac’s is a familiar face downtown. Not only are their drinks divine, but they offer Fair Trade coffee, sugar and cocoa as well as locally sourced milk.
- Himalayan Coffee House – Have you ever wanted your latte art to look like a pug? This was something I didn’t know I needed in my life until I had it. Himalayan Coffee House has some of the most spectacular latte art I’ve ever seen. You don’t like pugs? Fine. They’ll make you a Pikachu latte instead. Or Hello Kitty. Or a snowman. Or a flower. Pretty much anything your heart could desire. This shop is humbly tucked away at Yonge and Eglington. I would never have thought to go inside if somebody hadn’t recommended it. But it was SO worth it. Pug lattes, man. Pug. Lattes.
- The Good Neighbour Espresso Bar – I’m partial to this shop because it’s where my husband and I went on our first date. But it truly is an amazing place. They now have two locations in Toronto, but my favourite is their Annette St location – not far from High Park. The Good Neighbour is a cozy spot to stop by for your morning coffee. The shop has lots of natural light and beautiful natural wood floors and tables. Their lattes are incredible and their to-go cups are especially Instagrammable. They also serve amazing baked goods as well as breakfast and lunch options. One of my favourite things to do in the summer is to grab an iced latte to go and then head to High Park.
So there you have it – five coffee shops in Toronto you’ve just gotta try! Have you tried any of these places? Do you have a go-to spot in the city? Let me know in the comments!