Let me paint you a picture. You just landed in Toronto, you are exhausted from your flight, you have no clue what to do or what to see, but all you know is that if you don't have a (or multiple) good cup(s) of coffee in your system soon you won't survive the day. If that sounds familiar to you then you have a coffee addiction and you may need to seek medical attention.
I'll be the first to say it, I never understood the hype of Toronto. Being a Vancouverite, you tend to hear from Torontonians that their city is the best, that it's the greatest city in Canada, and all that. I can't say I agree (Vancouver is still the best city in my eyes) but the coffee scene in Toronto is definitely worth checking out. While there I decided to check out some of the hot coffee spots to see what the hype was all about and I was definitely not disappointed.
photo by: @fahrenheitto
This quaint little coffee shop doesn't seem like much when you walk by it, but what the shop lacks for in space it definitely makes up for in jokes, a sense of community, and an overall ambiance of good times. The moment I walked in the barista's were cracking jokes, chatting with the patrons and making you feel like you've known them for years.
I get it, you want to hear about the coffee, but coffee is all about the culture and this place has boat loads of culture. The coffee was phenomenal too, so I would recommend this shop to anyone wanting a good cup of coffee and a fun place to hang out.
Strange Love Coffee
I had heard about Strange Love for months prior to my trip. "You have to go to Strange Love", "Is Strange Love on your list of shops to visit?", "Alfred can you stop messaging me about coffee shops to go check out? Just go to Strange Love and stop bothering me". So I went and was blown away by the immense flavors I had from my americano. A creamy, full bodied americano with strong fruity notes, a mild citrus like acidity, and a milk chocolate finish that was as if I had just bit into a chocolate bar. They have multiple locations to check out but no matter which one you go to you're sure to have a great cup of coffee.
photo by: @dineencoffeeco
Classy. That's the best way to describe it. I've been to some great coffee shops around the world and this shop definitely could hold it's own against some of the classier European coffee shops. It reminded me of a sleek Parisian coffee shop. The coffee was spectacular and the service was just impeccable. The barista's were so friendly and welcoming. Although they had a pretty large space for seating, it was packed and I had no where to sit, which told me that this was a coffee shop worth going to again and again. Go check this place out for sure.
Neo is a more modern coffee shop. A massive location, with a great bar setup. Serving up V60 Pour Overs with an amazing selection of delicious coffees to choose from. All in all this shop was definitely worth visiting and if I had had more time I would have gone again.
A Toronto coffee roaster with several locations to check out. I checked out the location in the Mississauga's Food District. A cool shop to grab an incredible americano, then you can either stay and relax, or walk around and check out all the amazing food around you; kind of a best of both worlds scenario. To say the americano I had gave me life would be an understatement. Add this shop to your list when visiting Toronto.
Little Pebbles Coffee
photo by: @littlepebblesto
In the heart of Kensington Market, this shop had some fairly unique drinks. The one I tried was a Tiramisu Latte, which was literally me drinking a Tiramisu. Not only were the drinks amazing but the staff were super friendly. Worth stopping by and enjoying.
And there you have it. My short (4 days) trip to Toronto provided me with some much needed caffeine fixes, and even better coffee shop experiences. Vancouver still has my heart, but Toronto I like what you're doing in the coffee scene and I will be back to try much more coffee.