Coffee shops that we visited in Toronto in 2015

dineen coffee toronto

Dineen Coffee Co

I missed Dineen coffee the last time around, but was close enough this time for it to be my first stop.   The warm Bay Area weather made being outside in Toronto a bit of a challenge.  But I layered up on three jackets and borrowed a hat and felt alright.

Dineen stands out a bit unlike some of the understated coffee shops that one may be used to.  They’ve got a classy exterior in a historic building on Yonge Street, downtown.

dineen coffee toronto

You’re greeted by a busy floor,  large brass chandeliers, and elegant columns.  This place looks like a classic hotel lobby from the 1920s.

dineen coffee toronto

It was busy in there, with nearly all of the tables full.

They had a selection of pastries and parfaits and sandwiches, and also a nice wall of syrups, coffees and teas available for purchase.

dineen coffee toronto

The espresso tasted classic, much like the vibe of the cafe.  The baristas were especially friendly here, and while I was taking photos reminded me to tag them if I put mine up on Instagram.  And I did!

 dineen coffee toronto

Milano Espresso Bar

Milano Espresso Bar just opened about a week ago.  They have a neat space on Adelaide St that felt.. springlike.  I wouldn’t have known it existed if I hadn’t seen their A-frame sign out on the sidewalk.

cafe milano toronto coffee

Christian walked us through the blends that they had available.  We opted to try both La Futurra and .. the other one.  I can’t remember the name now.  Both shots were well-balanced with a more traditional Italian roast profile.  We had missed them while on our trip in Vancouver, where Milano Espresso had originated.

cafe milano toronto coffee

Sense Appeal Coffee Roasters

I visited Sense Appeal on Spadina last time.  The place was undergoing some renovations and didn’t quite have the same charm as last time.  I’ll be back though.

sense appeal toronto coffee

Early Bird Espresso

My favorite spot of the trip was Early Bird Espresso on Queen Street West.  I was excited to see that they had espresso from Pilot (a place that I definitely need to see next time) and it was the best I had all trip.  It was fairly bright, with a citrusy fruity punch.  The wooden serving plate and demitasse were a really nice touch as well.  It was quite crowded in there but we were still able to find a table to sit for a few minutes.

espresso at early birdNice neon sign.

early bird espresso queen street west

Cafe St Viateur at Frank and Oak

I wish I’d known about this place earlier.  It’s a little cafe at the entrance to the Frank and Oak store on Queen Street West.  I saw people doing a cupping through the window and had to stop in out of curiousity.  They do cuppings ever Sunday morning.  They serve Stumptown but I also saw that they were cupping some 49th Parallel beans.  Beautiful aesthetics in there and friendly folks.

st viateur cafe toronto at Frank & Oak

There was bike stuff too.

There were a lot of people on their bikes despite the weather, which apparently did not go above freezing for the entirety of February.  This bike looks pretty stuck:

khs bike stuck in the snow in toronto

Here we are along the waterfront trail, heading to the condo-crazy Ebichoke.  It was cold, but I felt fine with two pairs of gloves on and my three jackets.

snowy bike ride toronto along lake ontario

Here’s a chunk of ice from Lake Ontario.  According to NOAA, about 50% of the lake is covered in ice right now.  (If you’re curious, here’s a map with the rest of the lakes as well.)

ice chunk lake ontario toronto