Toronto’s best coffee shops


in Geek stuff, Toronto

I am working on identifying the coffee shops in Toronto that offer the tastiest brews and the best environments for socializing, reading, and working. Here are a few I have identified, sorted by neighbourhood.

If you know of other places, please suggest them.

The Annex:

1) Green Beanery – 565 Bloor Street West (across from Honest Ed’s)

Very good drip coffee and espresso, coupled with reasonably late hours. They are open until 10pm every day except Sunday, when they are open until 9pm.

There is no WiFi, but that is more of a feature than a bug. It improves a person’s odds of actually reading, rather than just wasting away hours online.

They also sell a beautiful assortment of coffee paraphernalia: coffee machines, French presses, grinders, roasters, etc.

Apparently, the Green Beanery is run by climate change delayers.

The Junction:

1) Crema – 3079 Dundas St W (a few blocks north of the High Park metro stop)

Good coffee and pastries, nice art on the walls. Open until 8pm every day, with WiFi you can steal from the Starbucks across the street.

College Street:

1) Manic Coffee – 426 College Street

Though they close shamefully early (7pm weekdays, 8pm weekends), Manic does have a fair bit of space, good coffee, and a good general environment.

Kensington Market:

1) Ideal Coffee – 84 Nassau St.

Better than you would guess, based on their rudimentary website.


People make fun of my degree of fondness for Roncesvalles Avenue, but it definitely has a real feeling of community and some excellent shops. As far as coffee goes, ‘Alternative Grounds’ at 333 Roncesvalles is the best I’ve found so far. It can easily be reached by the College St streetcar.

It’s also close to ‘A Good Read’ – perhaps Toronto’s best used bookshop.

Last updated: 5 February 2012

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Tristan December 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Kensington Market: Ideal Coffee, Moonbeam and Sublime are all excellent

. December 10, 2011 at 9:14 pm

“Carbon Credit Watch
For 30 years we have monitored the threat of global warming. Over that time, we have never once thought it justified, as many others have, to raise the alert to a “code red” – a threat to our planet that requires extreme and immediate measures. We still don’t think it should be.

Why? Because of our experience with unaccountable global institutions, we didn’t trust the UN Kyoto process and the donor agencies that put the world on red alert; we saw how global concern would undermine local concerns about substantive issues like deforestation, air, and water pollution.

Thanks to the groundbreaking book The Deniers, published by our sister organization Energy Probe, we learned that the science is not settled on man-made global warming, we realized the models are not reliable and that bigger climatic forces may be at play.”

. December 10, 2011 at 9:15 pm

“Green Beanery is a Canadian non-profit company, created and staffed by environmentalists at Probe International and its sister organizations. We not only strive to bring you extraordinary coffees and coffee-making products from around the world, we also work to right failings in the world-wide coffee industry. ”

Tristan December 10, 2011 at 9:16 pm

It sure looks to me like shopping at the Green Beanery funds climate denial.

Milan December 10, 2011 at 11:10 pm

That’s a shame. They have rather good coffee.

I wonder if it would be possible to change their thinking…

Milan December 10, 2011 at 11:24 pm

I am curious what connection (if any) there is between the Green Beanery and Lawrence Solomon (author of this book). redirects to Probe International.

Milan December 10, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Apparently, Solomon is the founder of the Green Beanery. That definitely seems like a significant reason to avoid buying things from them.

. December 10, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Key Quotes

“The short version: It’s CO2 to the rescue. The more of it in the atmosphere, the better the Amazon’s chance of survival.”

Source: “Lawrence Solomon: Are High CO2 Levels Once Again Saving the Amazon Rainforest?” The National Post. May 18, 2011.

“In other words, more violent tornadoes would, if anything, be a sign of ‘global cooling’, not ‘global warming’.”

Source: “Lawrence Solomon: Tornados could be an omen of global cooling.” The National Post. May 1, 2011.

“Several renowned scientists have been predicting for some time that the world could enter a period of cooling right around now, with consequences that could be dire.”

Source: “The Deniers: Our spotless sun.” National Post. May 31, 2008.

“Coal used to be a very dirty fuel but coal has become cleaner and cleaner over the decades. Clean coal now is quite clean. Clean coal now has the same emissions profile as natural gas. Clean coal can become cleaner still. We can take even more of the pollutants out of coal and I believe we should. Clean coal, I think, is the immediate answer to Canada’s energy needs and the world’s energy needs. There are hundreds of years available of coal supplies. We shouldn’t be squandering that resource. We should be using it prudently.”

Source: “Conversations from the Frontier Center for Public Policy.” July 4, 2008.

. December 10, 2011 at 11:32 pm

FP’s Lawrence Solomon: Harper’s next stand

Lawrence Solomon Oct 8, 2011 – 12:21 AM ET

Prime Minister Harper, it’s time to stand up for Alberta and for Canada. You and your government are allowing Canada’s oil sands to be tarred as an evil at home and abroad when they should, in fact, be seen as one of our greatest assets.

And that’s why, Mr. Harper, your defence of the oil sands requires you to lead on climate change, too, by bringing your fellow G8 leaders up to date on global warming science. As I am confident you already know, no compelling evidence whatsoever indicates that carbon dioxide — a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas necessary for plant growth — poses a danger to the planet. The only “evidence” has come from myriad computer models, all of which subsequently failed to work.

klem December 15, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I’m so glad you have listed the Green Beanery as a climate denialist coffee shop, and then scratched it off your list of Torontos best coffeee places. I assume that the other coffee shops you list are climate alarmist coffee shops, so I’ll be sure never to go to those places for coffee. Thanks


Jane February 5, 2012 at 1:37 pm

It’s really a shame that more and more of the so-called “green” Cafes are discovered to be just frauds, using the environmental message only to boost their sales and not really implementing it into their processes. It’s very unfair towards the customer, who does not always have the resources to check upon the cafe’s status but to trust what they say about them. This is quite a good case study on the effects that the coffee export creates when speaking about the environmental dilemma.

On a slightly lighter note, as far as your list goes, I would definitely suggest adding the Dark Horse Espresso Bar , which is one of my most favourite spots in the city to get some delicious coffee, friendly staff and cozy atmosphere.

Donyo Elson March 13, 2013 at 2:41 am

When I was in Toronto for the first time it was winter time and I was freezing like anything. I wanted to drink or eat something hot, then a local suggested to me a cafe shop, which was just at walking distance. I felt quite warm over there. Probably it was one of the best cafes in Toronto. Sorry I can’t remember its name, its too long back. It was near some market place.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: