A Local’s Guide to the Best Coffee Shops in Toronto


Toronto is a city that thrives on caffeine. Whether you’re a busy professional needing your morning fix, a student searching for a cozy study spot, or a coffee aficionado on the hunt for the perfect brew, Toronto’s coffee scene has something for everyone. Here’s a local’s guide to the best coffee shops in Toronto, where you can savor not only great coffee but also the unique vibes of each spot.

1. Sam James Coffee Bar

Address: Multiple locations (915 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G5 being one of the most popular)
Vibe: Minimalist and Hip

Sam James Coffee Bar, affectionately known as SJCB, is a staple in Toronto’s coffee community. With several locations across the city, SJCB is known for its minimalist aesthetic and focus on quality coffee. The Queen Street West location is particularly popular, drawing in a hip crowd who appreciate the sleek, no-frills environment. Their espresso is consistently excellent, and the baristas are friendly and knowledgeable.

2. Pilot Coffee Roasters

Address: Multiple locations (117 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 2Z2 is a great starting point)
Vibe: Trendy and Industrial

Pilot Coffee Roasters is a haven for coffee lovers who take their brew seriously. This trendy coffee roaster and café offers a variety of single-origin coffees, all roasted in-house. The industrial-chic decor and spacious seating make it a perfect spot for meeting friends or getting some work done. Don’t miss their cold brew, which is a refreshing treat on a warm day.

3. Rooster Coffee House

Address: Multiple locations (479 Broadview Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 2N4 is a favorite)
Vibe: Cozy and Relaxed

Rooster Coffee House is a cozy retreat with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The Broadview Avenue location offers stunning views of Riverdale Park, making it a serene spot to enjoy your coffee. The interior is charming and rustic, with plenty of seating for those looking to linger. Try their flat white, which pairs perfectly with one of their delicious pastries.

4. Dineen Coffee Co.

Address: 140 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5C 1X6
Vibe: Elegant and Historic

Located in the heart of downtown, Dineen Coffee Co. is housed in a beautiful historic building that exudes elegance and charm. The high ceilings, intricate tile work, and grand chandeliers create a sophisticated atmosphere. It’s a popular spot for professionals and tourists alike. Their lattes are a must-try, beautifully crafted with artful foam designs.

5. Balzac’s Coffee Roasters

Address: Multiple locations (Distillery District, 1 Trinity St, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4 is iconic)
Vibe: Artistic and Inviting

Balzac’s Coffee Roasters, located in the picturesque Distillery District, offers an artistic and inviting ambiance. The café’s decor is inspired by Parisian bistros, with vintage posters and cozy seating. Balzac’s is known for its wide selection of coffees and teas, but their café au lait stands out as a customer favorite. The location itself is worth the visit, with the historic charm of the Distillery District adding to the experience.

6. FIKA Cafe

Address: 28 Kensington Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2J9
Vibe: Scandinavian and Serene

Tucked away in Kensington Market, FIKA Cafe offers a serene escape with a Scandinavian twist. The bright, airy interior is decorated with white walls, wooden accents, and plenty of greenery. It’s a peaceful spot to unwind with a book or catch up with a friend. Their cardamom-spiced latte is a unique and delightful treat that perfectly complements the relaxed atmosphere.

7. Jimmy’s Coffee

Address: Multiple locations (107 Portland St, Toronto, ON M5V 2N3 is a gem)
Vibe: Homey and Eclectic

Jimmy’s Coffee is a beloved Toronto institution with several locations, each offering a unique and eclectic vibe. The Portland Street location, with its cozy seating and local art adorning the walls, feels like a home away from home. Their americano is a standout, rich and smooth, and pairs well with their selection of baked goods.

8. Boxcar Social

Address: Multiple locations (1208 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4T 1W1 is highly recommended)
Vibe: Laid-back and Social

Boxcar Social combines great coffee with a laid-back, social atmosphere. Their Yonge Street location is spacious and inviting, with plenty of seating for both work and play. Boxcar Social is unique in that it also offers an excellent selection of wines and craft beers, making it a perfect spot for both morning coffee and evening drinks. Their pour-over coffee is a must-try for true coffee enthusiasts.

9. De Mello Coffee

Address: 2489 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P 2H6
Vibe: Artistic and Creative

De Mello Coffee is a vibrant spot known for its artistic flair and creative coffee blends. The café’s colorful decor and friendly staff make it a joyful place to visit. De Mello roasts its own beans, ensuring that every cup of coffee is fresh and flavorful. Their signature blends and seasonal specials keep things interesting, and their latte art is always Instagram-worthy.

10. Sorry Coffee Co.

Address: 102 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1M8
Vibe: Chic and Contemporary

Sorry Coffee Co., located within the upscale Yorkville neighborhood, offers a chic and contemporary coffee experience. The minimalist decor and sleek design create a stylish backdrop for enjoying their expertly brewed coffee. Their cortado is particularly popular, balancing rich espresso with smooth, steamed milk.


Toronto’s coffee scene is as diverse and dynamic as the city itself. From minimalist espresso bars to cozy neighborhood cafes, there’s a perfect spot for every coffee lover. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax, work, or catch up with friends, these top 10 coffee shops offer the best brews and unique atmospheres that will make you feel right at home. So grab your favorite book, your laptop, or a friend, and explore the rich coffee culture of Toronto, one cup at a time.

Happy sipping!

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