For a Cup of Coffee or Two

Because it's so much more than just caffeine

You know what’s more important than dessert? Coffee. My criteria for a good coffee shop would include having a respect for the beans, having various methods of preparing well-brewed coffees and espresso beverages, having a good tea selection, having excellent snacks and light meals, and all at a reasonable price point. These are the best Toronto coffee shops in town. Average price between $5-10 per person.

Tried and True:

  1. Boxcar Social: This place epitomizes Toronto and its strong coffee scene. With locations in Rosedale, Temperance Street and Harbourfront, they upgrade every space they take over. Fully licensed with a fun menu as well.
  2. Neo Coffee Bar: This Japanese coffee shop is so beautiful and so slick, it’s a great place to go to read your Monocle or Walrus magazine in your raw silk pants and fancy glasses. 
  3. Fahrenheit Coffee: The staff here are so friendly, you might think that there’s something in the coffee. But as you’ll soon learn, it’s just a really happy place with really great beans.
  4. De Mello Palheta: This is the place I usually stop in when I’m in the Yonge/Eg quadrant. They also have umbrellas all over the ceiling, so there’s that.
  5. Rooster Coffee House: This place is one of the best to hit up when you’re East of Yonge and looking for a fun, laid-back place to read a book.
  6. Sam James Coffee Bar: There are multiple locations, but they manage their brand well. I tend to end up at the one in the PATH, just like so many in the Financial District.
  7. Te Aro (Pilot Coffee Roasters): You can find Pilot Coffee in various locations, but Te Aro in Leslieville is still the heart of the operation.
  8. Dineen Coffee Co: It’s often too crowded with suits, but this is still the best thing to happen to Queen and Temperance (and now in Commerce Court as well).
  9. Dark Horse Espresso Bar: The Queen Street location is dark to study, but not too dark to have a nice little afternoon pick me up with a few friends. The Spadina location is my favourite.
  10. Jimmy’s Coffee: If you can handle the overly friendly vibes, you’re going to like it here.
  11. R2 (Rsquared) Coffee: Notwithstanding the annoyance of never being able to tell who is staff and who is a patron, this place makes one of my favourite cappuccinos. 
  12. The Common: This coffee shop (there are two locations now) is so unpretentious and so casual, you might think that they’re putting on an act, but I’m (pretty) sure they’re not. Cash only.
  13. Manic Coffee: No wifi, but better for it.
  14. Balzac’s Coffee: The only reason they’re lower on this list is that they’re moving from independent to quasi-chain status, but they’re still great. 
  15. Early Bird Coffee and Kitchen: This place is great…unless you’re afraid of Millenials in large groups. There’s also a new location in the PATH at Brookfield Place.
  16. Versus Coffee: This fairly new coffee shop has a great patio and a fun vibe near the Financial District.

Last updated: August 2018