Madame Marie’s Coffee Guide: 10 Toronto Coffee Shops You Need to Visit
Toronto has no shortage of coffee shops—from dedicated roasteries to quaint cafés—all of which help keep the people of this city running!
Here are 10 of my favourite independent shops to grab your next espresso-based beverage.
Ethica Coffee Roasters
213 Sterling Road
If you’re a coffee purist, Ethica Coffee Roasters should be high on your list of places to get a caffeinated pick-me-up or a supply of beans. Located on Sterling Road near the Museum of Contemporary Art, this shop is equal parts industrial and artsy – with soaring ceilings, exposed bricks, and local art displayed on its expansive walls. Two origins are usually on offer, and the Ethiopian beans I tried had subtle notes of honey, making it the perfect choice for a frothy latte. The team of baristas are incredibly skilled, pulling good shots and making their patrons smile with small talk and latte art. Peep their shop for beans and other unique merchandise as well. An absolute must-try.
548 Annette Street
Nestled between the Junction and Bloor West Village, The Regular serves up a variety of unique coffee offerings and nostalgic pastries. With a rotating selection of coffee from Canadian and global roasters, such as Vancouver’s Luna, there’s always a good reason to return. If you’re in the neighbourhood, grab a frothy latte or a pour over and explore the ‘hood. Don’t forget to say hi to the owner, Sean!
368 King Street East
From the quirky vibe, to the warm and hospitable owners, to a menu of dazzling coffee beverages, Tandem Coffee is the type of coffee shop that any Torontonian dreams of. Since opening in 2014, owners Michie Yamamoto and her partner Eugene, have created a meeting place for Corktown coffee lovers. Situated in a charming old house, it’s brimming with the character you’d expect from an independent coffee shop. Many décor influences are drawn from Yamamoto’s Japanese heritage and add to the shop’s unique ambiance. Beans sourced from local Ontario suppliers, such as Quietly Coffee, and Detour Coffee, produce artisanal beverages that leave patrons buzzing with happiness. Other than the standard lineup of espresso-based drinks, Tandem Coffee is known for its affogato, vanilla-matcha floats, and a wide selection baked goods that are almost too kawaii to eat.
1028 Shaw Street
If you’re a long-time west end resident, you might not even know about Contra because it’s tucked away in a sleepy residential neighbourhood between Christie Street and Ossington Avenue, just south of Dupont Street. The quaint café is located in a converted corner house and has an open and minimalist vibe with plenty of exposed brick, black accents and marble. In addition to the shop’s stunning design (the owners are architects by trade), the coffee and baked goods are magnificent – especially when they can be enjoyed on the large wrap-around patio. Contra is the definition of fantastic coffee, and it’s the type of shop that you want in your ‘hood.
Run and Gun Coffee
1541 Dundas Street West
Run and Gun makes its home in Brockton Village, and is one of those quirky, under-the-radar shops that’s worth checking out. In addition to serving coffee and tea, it’s also a concept store that curates a collection of unique and local items for its patrons, such as plants, candles, gifts and baby clothes. With something for everyone, it’s easy to walk in and purchase more than a just a coffee! As for the drinks, expect the standard complement of espresso drinks, plus chai and matcha lattes and loose leaf teas. Beans are supplied by Toronto-based De Mello Coffee and baked goods are made locally, too.
The Library Specialty Coffee
917 Queen Street West
This coffee shop, situated just south of Trinity Bellwoods Park, is the outpost’s second Toronto location. Not only is the space beautifully minimalist, but the coffee is done right. Lattes are perfectly frothy and the espresso is the correct ratio of smooth, balanced, and bitter. For your next sunny day park hang, consider skipping the massive lines at Nadege and White Squirrel, and try this newcomer instead. You won’t be disappointed!
Olivia’s Garden Flower Shop and Café
569 Crawford Street
As you enter Olivia’s Garden, you’re met by pleasing scents of lattes and florals. This hybrid bespoke flower shop and multi-roaster coffee bar is definitely a feast for all senses, and its whimsical vibe is so inviting that you might be tempted to move in. Stop in to make your own bouquet of beautiful blooms, or let the shop customize one for you. The café serves an array of sweet and savoury pastries, sandwiches, espresso-based beverages and loose leaf teas. For a floral-inspired beverage, try adding the butterfly pea syrup that’s crafted in-house. It always smells incredible inside the store, and the baristas are some of the cheeriest in the city. With a coffee in one hand and a lush bouquet in the other, Olivia’s Garden is guaranteed to perk up your spirits.
324 College Street
Perhaps my favourite newcomer to a rather sleepy stretch of College Street is Found. When I stumbled upon this adorable shop, it was love at first sight. Both the storefront and atmosphere are equally dreamy, with plenty of lush greenery on the patio and overall vibes that make you feel like you’ve escaped life’s stresses—even for a brief moment. Aside from the warm and relaxing ambiance, the fair trade espresso-based bevvies are expertly crafted. The baristas are friendly, and definitely know their stuff. There’s also a large selection of light bites, including smashed avo toast, berry-topped sourdough, scones, muffins, croissants and stuffed cookies from Courage Cookies.
Omnia Coffee Roasters
1347 Queen Street East
If you think coffee and bikes are a match made in heaven, Omnia Coffee Roasters is a must-visit. This spacious, industrial shop in the city’s east end has plenty of motorcycle paraphernalia – a nod to its neighboring shop, Flying Squirrel. Omnia Coffee Roasters is run by Sameer Mohamed, a talented barista who has made a name for himself in the coffee world. The menu has something for everyone: espressos, Americanos, lattes, cortados, flat whites –and customers get to choose which coffee bean they’d like to try.
37 Baldwin Street
Walking into this coffee shop will put a smile on your face with its inviting colour palette and friendly baristas. Tucked away on Baldwin Street, you’ll feel like you’re enjoying your beverage elsewhere even though you’re in the heart of downtown. The espresso-based beverages are expertly crafted, and the baked goods are only $1 after 3 p.m. Its sister shop, 135 Ossington, is worth checking out as well.