My first order of business, whenever I re-locate to (or merely visit) a new city, is to find all the good places for a cup of joe. This has been my mission since my barista, coffee connoisseur, and coffee shop owner cousin temporarily lived with us when I was in high school. I started drinking coffee at a young age (16?) and can now not begin my day without that liquid gold. So, without further ado, I introduce you to my favourite local haunts to grab anything from an espresso to a frothy cappuccino.

1. Dark Horse Espresso Bar
Large, wooden communal tables and lots of light. Need I say more? One of Dark Horse’s owners came across the communal table idea in Europe (it’s also a popular trend in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa…) and decided Toronto residents could use a little more encouragement to talk to strangers in an intimate setting. This place has the ambience down to an art and their cappuccinos are likely the best I’ve had in Toronto. I love that there are four locations yet each still retains it own sense of identity. As an English major, I also love the name.

2. Fahrenheit Coffee
Perhaps the friendliest service I’ve received thus far in Toronto. Extra points because it’s a two-minute walk from my office, and even more points because they make a four-shot cappuccino and have called it the “Henry” after an old regular. I absolutely love this drink on Monday mornings. I’m also a big fan of their aeropress coffee. It’s like french press, only better!

3. Little Nicky’s
One bite of their mini donuts and you’ll know what I’m on about! They are some of the best in the city! Their location on Peter Street is also about a two minute walk from my apartment.

4. Bulldog Coffee
Can’t decide on your order? They have a coffee entitled, “bulldog” that’s half latte and half cappuccino.

5. Black Canary Espresso Bar
With two downtown locations, this coffee shop is full of personality. Their full-bodied coffees are superb, but what they’re truly known for are their Nutella lattes. Nick is impartial to their cortados. I’ve been to both locations (one is close to work, the other close to the Eaton Centre) and they both give off entirely different vibes. Definitely worth a visit!

Those are my top five cafés thus far, but I’m hoping to visit the following ones in the upcoming weeks:

6. Crema Coffee

7. Sam James Coffee Bar

8. The Aro
Named after a Wellington suburb, how could I resist?

9. Manic Coffee
I’ve walked a few times and it looks like my scene. I’ve heard only good things.

10. Voodoo Child
Their weekend brunch is supposedly one of the best in the city.

Now, to find a decent cappuccino at the YYZ…

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