I have to admit, I don't know a lot about coffee - but I do know a lot about ambience . Here are some of my go-to spots around Toronto for an unpretentious dose of caffeine .
SAM JAMES COFFEE BAR
297 Harbord St | 150 King St W (PATH) | 15 Toronto St | 917 Queen St W | 241 Spadina Ave
Sam James are for days where you REALLY just need your coffee and don't want anything less or anything more . Your barista won't start talking to you about your weekend, while they pour your cup . Each of the SJCB locations have a tasteful minimal interior with minimal seating, but enough spots to sit down and chat . If you're lucky enough Sam James himself will pour your morning flat white . (Sam James Park @ Trinity Bellwoods is @yungpugmilo approved, equipped with an outdoor bench for him to wait while i fetch him his soy americano .)
238 Dupont S
I wish fresh pastries and baked goods were as easy to grab as they were in Europe . That's why I love a spot where I can also get a sweet with my coffee . Ezra's Pound is like what your grandmother would describe a coffee shop to be like; high ceilings, natural sunlight, lots of wood furniture, and just extremely wholesome (and no laptops allowed) . Hang out and read a book here !
17 Gristmill Lane
When you do feel like having a chat with your barista head over to Arvo . This quaint little spot is hidden inside The Distillery District, away from all the selfies and the Christmas Market . These people care about you and your coffee and are genuinely happy to pour you your perfect cup . You can plug in your computer and work away - or join them for their music nights or master classes !
160 Baldwin St
This "French inspired Japanese cafe" is a little cute but very refined . They have very delicate desserts and pastries and very cool minimal posters inside the cafe . But head there early to grab a treat - they run out fast ! This mini cafe is not ideal for coffee dates but perfect for a little me time and a light and airy dessert with a solid cup of coffee . Word on the street is they'll be opening a larger shop right next to 160 Baldwin very soon - so keep an eye out for that !
PHOTOS & WRITTEN BY MANDY