Drinking coffee isn't just a means to stay awake, it's a ritual. Toronto, in particular, is home to some of the most amazing coffee shops, which are - to the delight of local Instagrammers - as unique and photo-worthy as their decadent latte art.
As an avid Instagrammer and all-around foodie, I'm always on the hunt for the next best Toronto coffee spots, and would like to share with you my favourite picks for the most Instagrammable and like-worthy coffee shops in Toronto, in no particular order.
1. Sorry Coffee Co. (102 Bloor Street West)
Kit and Ace hit a home run when they created Sorry Coffee Co. Hidden behind the Bloor Street location of the elevated athletic wear store, Sorry Coffee Co. is a glass-encased coffee shop with marble counters, black and white ceilings, and copper-coloured decor. Aside from their delicious pistachio pastries and cool latte art, it's the coffee house's takeout cups that really get Instagrammers buzzing. Every few months, Sorry Coffee Co. partners with different emerging typographers and graphic designers to create new artwork for their cups, making them the perfect option to include in your Instagram feed.
2. Quantum Coffee (460 King Street West)
Located on the street level of King Street West, Quantum Coffee is a bright and airy space that lends itself to some really cool, minimalist designs. If the painted black and white exterior didn't peak your interest, the spacious coffee shop inside, restored from an old backpackers hostel and hotel, sure will with its symmetrical gold lighting, wood-paneled floors, and succulents against a backdrop of white. The coffee shop is also home to an adorable patio open in the summer months, equipped with pretty greenery and white benches.
3. Reunion Island Coffee Bar (385 Roncesvalles Avenue)
Reunion Island Coffee Bar gives life to the hashtag: #IHaveThisThingWithFloors. The focal point of this minimalist and bright coffee bar, located in the heart of the Roncesvalles Village near High Park, is its entrance floor. Upon stepping into the vicinity, Instagrammers and coffee lovers alike are greeted by black and white floor tiles that spell out the word "COFFEE" - clearly the focus here for people wishing to boast their affinity for caffeine.
4. Odin Cafe & Bar (514 King Street East)
Located in Corktown, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Toronto, Odin Cafe & Bar is a true design gem. While this picture doesn't quite do the space justice, the cafe and bar, designed by local firm Phaedrus, features a visually striking arrangement of hanging wooden slats, concrete posts, and a white corian and birch bar. There's also an intriguing black and white mural by Toronto artist Tara Niewiadomski on one of the back walls. Not to mention, the food and drinks are totally Instagram-worthy with options like, matcha green tea lattes, "kitchen sink" cookies , and avocado on toast.
5. Boxcar Social (1208 Yonge Street)
With three locations in Harbourfront, Riverside, and Summer Hill, Boxcar Social is a total coffee-lovers dream. Founded by four dashing young men, the coffee shop's original Summer Hill location (and my personal favourite) is located in a refurbished Victorian home (formerly a dry cleaners), boasting exposed brick walls, a raw wood bar, and black-painted hardwood floors. With standard coffee options, patrons can also order a selection of wine, bourbon, and craft beer, which can be taken to enjoy in the outdoor patio, situated out back.
6. Maman (100 King Street West)
A French restaurant, bakery, and cafe, Maman is a hidden oasis situated on the upper level in the mezzanine of First Canadian Place. Following in the footsteps of its Manhattan sister, created by Benjamin Sormonte, Elisa Marshall, and Michelin star chef Armand Arnal, Maman Toronto aims to re-create the rustic feel of Southern France with painted cabinetry, antique decor, and wooden tables. In addition to their must-try lavender-infused hot chocolate and homemade baguettes, the true gem of Maman is their uniquely designed cups that match their back wall.
7. Early Bird Espresso & Brew Bar (613 Queen Street West)
If you're looking for a coffee spot to fit the Queen West vibe, Early Bird Espresso & Brew Bar is the place to go. Situated in the heart of Queen Street West, this cozy coffee shop features painted white brick, industrial bulbs, and hanging greens. It also boasts a cute outdoor patio with hanging ivy over a hot pink feature wall. The best spot to take a photo indoors is near the front window, where you can pose beside their banana leaf plant and soak up the natural light.
8. Colette Grand Cafe (550 Wellington Street West)
One of the fancier French cafes in the city, Colette Grand Cafe is the total package for an Instagrammer who feeds off bold, white accents, like myself. Operating independently out of the Thompson Hotel, Colette's spacious Parisian-style bakery and cafe, designed by Gianpiero Pugliese, features a sun-soaked eating section, pretty tiled floors, and a summer pavilion draped with white and blue fabrics and palm leaf plants. Totally dreamy, right?
9. Portland Variety (587 King Street West)
Located at the corner of King and Portland, Portland Variety offers a cafe at the front with a seated, more formal dining area in the back. The creation of Le Gourmand owner Milton Nunes, the Portland Variety cafe has many appeals for local Instagrammers with its floor-to-ceiling windows, stunning (and tasty) pastry displays, and wrap-around marble counters. While their takeout cups are great, it's the cafe's unique, blue and white dine-in mugs and saucer plates that will make the experience (and your Instagram feed) truly good.
10. Club Monaco Market (157 Bloor Street West)
While this may not be a coffee shop per se, the summertime Club Monaco Market, located outside of the Club Monaco flagship store on Bloor, has become a widely popular destination for local Instagrammers wishing to get their dose of caffeine and sweet treats at a picturesque location. With the backdrop of the Royal Ontario Museum on one side and the Louis Vuitton on the other, the CM Market offers a farmer's market style of options with choices including The Bake Shoppe, The Pop Stand, and the ever popular Sam James Coffee Bar (SJCB).
Have you found a Toronto coffee shop that you deem Insta-worthy? Tweet me at @thecatswilliams!