Toronto’s Top Indie Coffee Shops pt. 2

The most beloved neighbourhood cafés in Toronto.

We had an overwhelming response when we wrote our first edition of Toronto’s Best Indie Coffee Shops. After a year’s time, lots of suggestions, and countless sampling, we figured it was time to update the list.

The local coffee shop is more than just a place to grab a cup and go. It’s a spot where you can relax, get some work done, catch-up with a friend, or get to know your neighbours. This list of Toronto’s best cafes proves that coffee is just the beginning.

Let us know your favourite neighbourhood café in the comments at the bottom.

MERCURY ESPRESSO BAR
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(Photo by: Tyrone Warner via Flickr)

Nearing their nine-year anniversary, Mercury Espresso Bar has become a neighbourhood institution in Leslieville. They’ve built their loyal following by prepping tasty Americanos alongside inventive espresso drinks in an eclectic interior.

EZRA’S POUND
ezra

(Photo by: Hidden Houses via Flickr)

Ezra’s Pound is serious about two things: the environment, and coffee culture. Their Annex location on Dupont produces just one bag of garbage a week. They were the first in the city to use biodegradable coffee cup lids. They’ve also founded The Espresso Institute of North America to help train professional and amateur baristas.

FULL OF BEANS COFFEE HOUSE & ROASTERY
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(Photo by: Stephen Chanasyk via Flickr)

Full Of Beans roasts and blends all their coffees in-house at their Dundas and Dovercourt location. Top-quality beans from around the world are roasted in their century-old antique coffee roaster. The shop also percolates with activity hosting comedy, poetry, music and literature events throughout the month.

THE COMMON
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(Photo by: Jen Kim via Flickr)

There’s no website, no menu, and usually no seats available. The Common at College and Dufferin lures you in with tasty espresso drinks served in a quiet yet stimulating environment. Get some work done with your headphones in, laptop open, and hands warmed by delicious coffee.

SAVING GIGI
gigi

(Photo by: Saving Gigi via Facebook)

Gigi combines great tunes with great coffee. The turntable is always spinning something from their awesome vinyl collection and the owners organize the annual Bloor-Ossington folk-festival. Evenings regularly feature live music served with local Ontario micro-brews, and the food menu features locally-sourced, ethical organic meats and eggs.

CAFE OLYA
olya

(Photo by: Café Olya via Facebook)

This Cabbagetown gem takes pride in keeping things simple. Top-quality beans are sourced and served sans-gimmicks. The delicious baked-goods are prepared by the eponymous Olyana every morning from scratch and offered until they sell out.

SENSE APPEAL

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Their tiny shop at King and Spadina bustles during the week serving “experimental” house-roasted blends to busy advertiser-types. Stop by their Etobicoke location on Lakeshore West to experience a more relaxed, sit-down atmosphere where you can enjoy cold brew, aeropress, siphon, and pour-over coffees.

THE CANNONBALL COFFEE & BAR
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Formerly known as F’Coffee, the name was changed to reflect its evolution beyond a café. The Cannonball is beloved by Queen East locals for their breakfast sandwiches, tasty baked goods, back patio and excellent choice in music. They also serve beer – just not in the morning.

JIMMY’S
jimmy

(Photo by: Chris Barker via Flickr)

Jimmy’s is a great, no-nonsense coffee house with three locations serving central downtown and the west-end. Their recipe for success is a simple: strong coffee prepared with care, friendly staff, and delicious sweet and savoury treats.