9 Best coffee shops in Toronto

Photo by  Nathan Dumlao  on  Unsplash

Forget what you may have heard about Canadians only drinking Tim Horton’s coffee (though we have to admit, there’s something so distinctly nostalgic about that taste!). When you head to Toronto, it’s all about the independent roasters and neighbourhood joints.

In the winter, nothing beats warming up over a hot cup after the frosty walk to get your morning caffeine fix. Come summer, corner cafés become gathering spots for friends to meet and grab an iced latte before a day at the park or the island.

Coffee culture is strong in Toronto, and every Torontonian has a local favourite. Here we narrow down our top nine picks (with some honourable mentions) in the east, west and central parts of the city.

West End

Cherry Bomb

WiFi-free and with minimal seating, Cherry Bomb is a no-frills café that focuses on serving incredible coffee with fresh, homebaked goods. They roast all their beans in nearby Prince Edward County and have bags for sale in the shop. Their talented baristas pull the perfect shot every time.

79 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R 2K6, Canada

photo by cherrybombcoffee.ca

photo by cherrybombcoffee.ca

Propeller Coffee

Propeller offers a bright and airy space in Toronto’s west end. You’ll often spot digital nomads typing away on their laptops here, but that doesn’t take away from its laid-back vibe. They source quality coffee from around the globe and roast their beans in small batches.

50 Wade Ave, Toronto, ON M6H 2Z3, Canada

photo by propellercoffee.com

photo by propellercoffee.com

Sam James Coffee Bar

Sam James opened his first coffee shop in 2009. His goal was to create a place where people from the community would want to spend time while drinking a quality cup of coffee — we’d say his mission was successful. Sam James now has five outposts across the city, but you’ll find the original spot in Little Italy on Harbour Street.

297 Harbour St, Toronto, ON M6G 1G7, Canada



Sud Forno

This downtown eatery is the younger sibling of Terroni, one of the city’s favourite spots for Italian fare. Sud Forno is well-suited for the business lunch crowd, with a mouthwatering array of salads, sandwiches and pizza by the slice. You can also pop in for a quick coffee and if you do, be sure to pair it with one of their signature mini doughnuts.

132 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5C 1X3, Canada

photo by terroni.com

photo by terroni.com

Dineen Coffee Co.

Dineen is practically a landmark of Toronto’s Yonge Street. It occupies a gorgeous 19th-century building in the downtown core, with a polished interior of red banquet seats and floor-to-ceiling windows. You can expect to see a full cast of Toronto characters here, from the suits of the Financial District having quick meetings to the creative-types scribbling way in their notebooks.

140 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5C 1X6, Canada

photo by dineen.com

photo by dineen.com

Hot Black Coffee

Rest assured that you can expect one of the best cups of joe in town at Hot Black Coffee, with Momi, a top barista at the national level, at its helm. A high-tech, reverse osmosis water system provides a clean base for meticulously measured and incredibly smooth espresso shots. Add to that a super sleek atmosphere and fresh-made food using seasonal ingredients, and you’ll likely end up hanging around Hot Black for a while.

245 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1Z4, Canada

photo by hotblack-coffee.com

photo by hotblack-coffee.com

East End

Te Aro

Te Aro is one branch of the Pilot Coffee Roaster empire, who have six locations through the city. We love Te Aro for it’s chilled out and industrial vibe in the heart of trendy Leslieville. The best time to visit? In the summer, when you can snag a spot on their sunny and spacious streetside patio.

983 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1K2, Canada

photo by pilotcoffeeroasters.com

photo by pilotcoffeeroasters.com

Rooster Coffee House

The atmosphere at Rooster Coffee House is warm and welcoming, with its original Broadview Avenue location (they’ve expanded to two more spots on King Street and Jarvis Street) dressed in wooden furnishings, leather seats and exposed brick. Along with a cup of their specialty roast coffee, you can nosh on a daily selection of gourmet sandwiches or organic vegan salad bowls.

479 Broadview Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 2N4, Canada

photo by roostercoffeehouse.com

photo by roostercoffeehouse.com

Tandem Coffee

Find Tandem Coffee in a narrow century home in Toronto’s historic Corktown district. You’ll see the owners, Michie Yamamoto and Eugene Fung, behind the counter daily (except Sunday, when they’re closed) pulling espresso shots from a rotating list of local roasters. Unique fresh-baked goods accompany their java, which ranges from healthy (think vegan coconut energy bars) to indulgent (ginger cookies with black pepper). No debit cards here — cash only!

368 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A 1K9, Canada

photo by blogto.com

photo by blogto.com

Honourable mentions

Early Bird

613 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2B7, Canada

Fika Café

28 Kensington Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2J9, Canada

Jimmy’s Coffee

Six locations throughout Toronto

84 Gerrard St W, Toronto, ON M5G 1Z4, Canada

191 Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T 1M1, Canada

166 McCaul St, Toronto, ON M5T 1W4, Canada

15 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 2Y8, Canada

735 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G1, Canada

100 Portland St, Toronto, ON M5V 2N2, Canada

Grab your coffee to go and bring it with you on one of our guided walks of the city. Our expert guides will show you Toronto from a local's perspective, taking you to spots that are difficult to