Nothing says ‘good morning’ like a cup of coffee from your favourite cafe. The great news is, some of the best coffee shops in Toronto are located in the King West and Queen West neighbourhood, from classic coffee houses to unique retail-bakery hybrids.
The next time you need a caffeine kick, check out one of these coffee shops in King West and Queen West:
1. Oretta Caffé
633 King Street West
A cafe’s aesthetic can make a huge impact on its ambience, and in Oretta’s case, it can practically make you fall in love. You might already know the restaurant for its amazing brunch and dinner options – and the stunning Art Deco design – but hidden in the back, through an alley way entrance is an equally beautiful Oretta Caffé. Not only is its’ airy space with soaring high ceilings an ideal spot to pull out your laptop and work in, it also serves up a mean Italian-style espresso, baked goods, pizzette, and focaccia, all of which are prepared in-house.
2. Simit & Chai Co.
787 King Street West
This Turkish cafe specializes in tea and street-style bagels known as simit, which you can stack with sweet or savoury toppings. The decor has a relaxed modern feel with exposed brick and wood accents, and on the menu, you’ll find everything from Turkish coffee, chai lattés and cheesecake to shakshouka and borek. The cafe itself is a great option if you’re looking for a coffee shop to work in, as it’s quite spacious and offers good strong wi-fi.
3. Jimmy’s Coffee
107 Portland Street
Marked by its iconic yellow accent colour, Jimmy’s Coffee has a cult following with locations across the city. The menu has a bit of everything, from coffee and grab-and-go snacks to their own line of roasts and merch. The original cafe at Queen and Portland is located in a former residential home, giving it a cozy vibe and a small-but-vibrant patio, perfect for people-watching in the summer.
4. Early Bird Coffee & Kitchen
613 Queen Street West
Early Bird is one of the most popular coffee shops in Queen West and was an early adopter of the minimalist style. The white brick walls, wood accents, and plants are perfect if you’re looking for distraction-free coffee shops to study or work in (note though they have a strict laptop-free policy on the weekends). Shopping along Queen West? Pop into the cafe for a cup of joe and a vegan peanut butter cup, or plan a brunch date and enjoy one of their beautiful smoothie bowls or some blueberry ricotta toast.
5. Quantum Coffee
460 King Street West
Charming cottage on the outside, modern coffee shop on the inside. Quantum Coffee sits right at the corner of Queen and Spadina and has its own line of roasts, travel mugs, bottled cold brew, and more. They also serve up a variety of grab-and-go options from other local businesses like Village Juicery and Glory Hole Donuts, so whether you’re looking for a nutrient-packed refreshment or a sweet and doughy treat, you can find it here. And for you hardcore coffee connoisseurs out there – Quantum offers some of the best pour-over coffee in the city.
6. Antikka Cafe & Records
960 Queen Street West
Take one part cafe, one part vinyl shop, and one part event space, and you’ve got Antikka. This Queen Street cafe pairs Armenian coffee with a curated selection of records and merch to create a unique experience for coffee enthusiasts and music lovers alike. To top it all off, they also host Bring Your Own Vinyl Nights and listening parties where you can sip on your favourite drink and enjoy some great music.
7. El Almacen
1078 Queen Street West
What do yerba mate, Mexican brunch, and tango have in common? You can find them all at El Almacen! Yerba mate is a traditional South American tea that has the strength of coffee and a long list of nutritional benefits. At this cafe, you can get a cup alongside a most delicious empanada or a Mexican brunch dish, or take sips between dance moves at one of their Tango Tea events.
8. StrangeLove Coffee
101 Spadina Avenue
StrangeLove Coffee perfectly blends the expected with the unexpected. You can pick up classic cafe menu items like cookies, drip coffees, and breakfast sandwiches, but a true StrangeLove experience isn’t complete without one of their more creative concoctions. In the past, they’ve doled out pumpkin spice lattes served in pumpkins, blue matcha lattes, and loaded hot chocolates piled high with different desserts.
9. Tokyo Smoke
668 Queen Street West
Tokyo Smoke’s flagship Queen Street location is sleek and modern, with a monochromatic design that serves as the perfect backdrop for its combined retail space and cafe. From coffee and snacks to home accessories and cannabis products, this cafe is a one-stop-shop that covers all the bases for modern Torontonians.
10. Sam James Coffee Bar – PARK
917 Queen Street West
Before you take a stroll through Trinity Bellwoods Park, stop in at Sam James across the street. Their PARK location is one of five across the city, with a frequently-Instagrammed bench out front that’s usually packed with regulars (and their dogs). The Sam James menu is simple but it’s full of quality drinks and treats, including homemade “pop tarts” and illustrated cookies that sell out fast.
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