August 30, 2017 3 min read
Toronto is increasingly shedding its reputation as a sleepy uninspiring commuter city. As well as being an exciting and vibrant place, it also has incredible spots to eat and drink! With local coffee micro-roasteries such as Pilot working magic with beans and supplying a number of (very cool) coffee shops, the Queen City’s coffee scene is far from dull! Catherine Maisonneuve checked out cafés in the city and decided that the following five spots are more than worth a visit.
When in Toronto you have to stop by for Pilot Coffee at the micro-roaster’s headquarters. Try their top-quality espresso made with in-house-roasted beans. And while you’re in the city where this roaster, now one of the largest in Canada, got its start, take the time to also visit one of their branded cafés; each of which is as gorgeous as the next.
If none of their locations are near where you’re staying, Pilot also supplies many coffee shops in the city (and across the country). So Pilot Coffee is everywhere in Toronto, and you have got to try it!
Another excellent and very cool coffee shop is Coffee Public; a cute local gem on Bay Street. It serves excellent coffee, most of which are organic, and supports local businesses. Enjoy a pastry or something else off its small daily menu in a warm and very laid-back atmosphere.
An interesting fact about it: Coffee Public was formerly called Coffee Pub, and as a nod to that name, your coffee is served in a beer mug!
We are big fans of Dineen Coffee Co.’s audacity and sophisticated style. It has branded itself as a ‘boutique coffee house’, which the owners describe as a place where the surroundings are as important as the product they served. Stop by one of Dineen’s three locations (two right downtown and one further east) for beautiful decor and its delicious mild house blend.
Coffee Island is a favourite of Catherine’s. They mean business over there and are real coffee artisans. It may surprise you to know that this international chain offers only two blends: the house blend, which employees describe with as much fervour as if they were explaining a fine wine, and the guest blend, which was a fruity, environmentally responsible, coffee from El Salvador; on the day that Catherine stopped in.
This classic Toronto coffee shop was the chain’s first location in North America and opened its doors in 2017.
Bar Buca is the coffee bar sister location of the very popular Italian restaurant Buca. Stop by this compact little spot in the very hip Fashion District, for an authentic Italian espresso. Enjoy standing at the counter, and pair your espresso with a cornetto or a bombolone, which is always served pronto! Or come by between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on a weekday for their happy hour and stay late into the evening for all the drinks your heart desires. In all honesty, what does Buca not offer?
The White Squirrel Coffee Shop, in the hipster neighbourhood of Bellwoods, may not look like much, but it serves excellent Fairtrade coffee. All its coffee and milk options are organic, and when it’s hot out, you can even stop by for ice cream! If you’re hungry try one of their delicious breakfast plates, or stop in later in the day for one of their homemade treat, or an empanada!
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