Coffee Shops for All Toronto Caffeine Enthusiasts

best cafes in toronto
best cafes in toronto
Reading Time: 3 minutes

In January of this year, I decided to give up caffeine for one month. I was trying to prove to myself that I could. In the six days that this lasted, my brain decided to peacefully protest, fighting for its fuel. My body went on a vacation, refusing to move from a sedentary position. It was not just my energy that was zapped, it was my ability to socialize. For me, coffee equates to day-time mixing and mingling. It is my beverage of choice when it’s too early for a glass of Merlot. Unfortunately, I just did not get the same excitement ordering a steeped tea or cold pressed juice. It felt like I was cheating on my beloved beans.

I accepted defeat; I needed coffee and I needed good coffee. My body and brain decided to perk up to help me hunt for the best places in Toronto to find it.

Bar Buca, 75 Portland Street, Toronto

There is a line up outside Bar Buca. Of course. Their coffee has a following and not even torrential rain will deter them. In addition to their regular espresso-based selection, Bar Buca offers a menu of specialties with flavors ranging from ginger and cinnamon to dolce de leche. After pondering their selection, and frustrating the growing line up behind me, I select their most popular choice, the ‘caffé con zabaglione’, an espresso sweetened with Italian custard. I unapologetically devour it in a few gulps. The coffee is rich, the flavors are decadent, and it is most definitely worth the wait. It would be rude not to sample a second drink, so I leave happily with a buffalo milk latte in hand. No guesses, it is delicious.


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Box Car Social, 235 Queens Quay W, Toronto

This coffee haunt is minimal and contemporary, a place where yummy mummies, trending bloggers and first date hopefuls co-exist to get their caffeine fix. I am torn between their signature drip coffee and an almond milk flat white, but the barista decides for me. ‘The Cortado is our best seller, you will love it!’ He was self-assured, and one sip down I understood why. Originating in Spain, a Cortado is an espresso and steamed milk in equal parts, no foam or froth included. Every sip I take of Box Car Social’s version is deliciously moreish. The milk pacifies the intensity of the coffee but allows the flavor of it to come through. The coffee has depth yet is delicate on the palette. I sporadically hold up my coffee glass to spectate, hoping I am far from the end.


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Una publicación compartida de B O X C A R S O C I A L (@boxcar_social) el

Jimmy’s Coffee, 100 Portland Street

There is something about Jimmy’s coffee house that feels vintage. The interior is rustic and rural which surprises me for a coffee spot located in the heart of downtown Toronto. The aromas of coffee capture me as I walk up to the counter to place my order. The Barista is friendly and confesses she is exceedingly caffeinated. It must be good. Bleary-eyed, I receive my americano in their signature yellow mug and curl up in the corner with my novel to escape reality for an hour. I get distracted by the distinct flavors of the coffee. Smooth yet complex, different from anything I have had before but I love it. It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new bean for me… and I’m feeling good.


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Una publicación compartida de Jimmy’s Coffee (@jimmys_coffee) el

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Written by Anika Mehta

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