The Best Coffee Shops Along Toronto’s College Street

Time for a cup of coffee
Time for a cup of coffee | © OiMax / Flickr

The indie coffee shop movement is strong in Toronto, with creative little cafés continuing to pop up in many of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods. Whether you’re a freelancer using the café space as an office, a student studying for finals, or just grabbing your coffee to go as you rush to work, here’s a look at some of the best – and most beloved – independent coffee shops along College Street.

1. Hopper Coffee

Cafe, Contemporary, Coffee

A latte
© David Adam Kess

Owned by two coffee-loving artists, Hopper Coffee is a stone’s throw away from Kensington Market. The menu is simple but covers all of your caffeine needs, and baked goods are available from local Toronto bakeries. More of a grab-and-go coffee shop, seating is limited to side benches and high stools. Despite the minimalistic décor, there’s plenty of art to look at – created by the owners themselves, Jibola Fagbamiye and Martina Kusnir. Even their garbage cans are artsy, designed by Toronto graffiti artist Case.

2. The Green Grind

Cafe, Contemporary, Coffee

The Green Grind is an eco-conscious café tucked away in the Little Italy neighborhood, with a mission to make it “as easy as possible to enjoy your urban lifestyle without contributing to environmental destruction.” Not only are their products fair trade and organic, but they are also an award-winning, LEED-certified café. A great place to study, they have a range of soups, salads, and snacks along with the coffee menu.

3. De Frantic Monkey Café Bar

Cafe, Coffee, Asian

Located near Dupont and Ossington, De Frantic Monkey Café Bar is a creative coffee shop in Little Italy. Along with fresh paninis, juices, and organic coffee and tea options, De Frantic has also made a name for itself with its unusual turmeric lattes and smoothies, as well as baked goods and snacks.

4. Manic Coffee

Cafe, Coffee Shop, Contemporary, Coffee

Whether you come to study or to chat with friends, the exposed-brick décor at Manic Coffee offers a comfy and laid-back atmosphere. Beyond coffee and other hot beverages, the shop also serves gelato and sorbets made from natural ingredients, in addition to croissants, danishes, cookies, and muffins. There are plenty of vegan and gluten-free options available, too.

5. Voodoo Child Espresso & Cocktail Bar

Cafe, Contemporary, Coffee

Scotty Daté, Aidan Pascoe, and Bruce Ly, veterans of Toronto’s café scene, started this hybrid café/bar spot in the trendy Harbord Village neighborhood. It offers tasty hot drinks, sandwiches, and pastries – not to mention delicious cocktails. Despite the dark aesthetic, they have a great patio for the warmer months.

6. The Brockton Haunt

Cafe, Coffee

Bright with natural sunlight and a minimalist décor, The Brockton Haunt is a cozy spot in the west end of Toronto. Whether you come for an iced Americano, a s’more cookie, or a chorizo empanada, the Brockton Haunt always delivers on comfort, creativity, and deliciousness. They also host the occasional art show, making the café a hub for local culture.

7. The Common

Cafe, Contemporary, Coffee

The Common has become a beloved feature of the city’s coffee shop culture, and now boasts three locations in the city. The Common has a perfect neighborhood coffee shop vibe, and their College Street spot is no exception. It’s always bustling with people chatting and studying, and the long wooden benches give the café a communal atmosphere. Along with pastries, they also offer beer and wine.

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