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Eat & Drink

The top 10 coffee shops that serve booze in Toronto

Posted by Erinn Beth Langille / February 14, 2014

Licensed cafes torontoCoffee shops that serve booze in Toronto are good for everybody. The businesses work with better profit margins and the customer can switch to beer when 5pm 3pm rolls around. While coffee profits are relatively hefty too, you need a lot of those little cups to add up. As specialty coffee production and booze mixology reach dizzying heights in Toronto, it's no wonder some cafes are trying to corner both markets. Besides, it has a certain joie de vivre.

Not everybody wants to go to a thumping club, a fancy restaurant or a pub, they just want good coffee and the option of a nice glass of wine. The French and Italians have been enjoying this kind of cafe culture for decades, of course. So if you've been hoping for a sophisticated place peddling a mix of mild uppers and downers, look no further.

Here are the top 10 coffee shops that serve booze in Toronto.

Cafe Pamenar
Cafe Pamenar, on Augusta in Kensington Market, was designed with a long bar running down the middle, which by day is mainly filled with people drinking cups of their delicious coffee. They actually serve alcohol (wine, beer and lovely cocktails) from 11am onward, but by night time people have caught on, and you'll find Pamenar in full swing as a bar. Keep on the lookout for events there too, like oyster nights, where you can sip and slurp happiness in tandem.

Belljar Cafe
Just before the bend in the road, where Dundas meets Howard Park, be aware of Belljar Cafe. They have great coffee during the day, and in the evenings transition seamlessly into serving classic cocktails. No matter the libation, customers can wax poetic in the spacious room or beautiful patio.

Tequila Bookworm
The name says it all, really-Tequila Bookworm. This Queen West institution specializes in Ontario craft beers, cider, and wine and the list is impressive, the coffee a little less so. But drop a shot of Bailey's in that latte and you'll barely notice, lean back in the stuffed chair and have a pint of something, and you won't notice at all.

Drake Cafe
Even after all these years the Drake cafe hasn't quite lost its shine. The people watching patio has always helped, but the real clincher has been the fact that you can do work on you computer with a coffee while the next table over enjoys their business lunch, complete cocktails, beer and burgers. The starving artist prices on wine actually keeps starving artists coming, when other aspects of The Drake might have pushed them away.

Holy Oak
Holy Oak on Bloor is a quaint little cafe-friendly staff, mismatched furniture and art-that can have a mild ruckus of dancing and music come night time. Throughout it all, you can get coffee and delicious snacks and sandwiches, or take it up a notch with their fine selection of beer, wine and chalkboard of great cocktails.

Lazy Daisy's Cafe
Family cafe Lazy Daisy on Gerrard has a full food, coffee and booze menu. Usually closed by 5:30pm, they stay open late on Saturdays and host a family happy hour from 6-8pm- kids get free apple juice while parents can enjoy wine and beer. You don't have to wait till then though, a weekday afternoon is just fine to meet up with girlfriends and their children, and find yourself sweetly saying, "Honey, you drink your hot chocolate while Mommy here finishes her adult juice."

The Common
The Common second location on Bloor moves from cool-as-cucumber cafe in the day to cool-as-cucumber bar in the night time. A narrow selection of hard alcohol grace the shelves, but it should be wine or beer you're after, as it in exceptionally well-priced, making The Common a wonderful place to share a bottle and a plate of simple meat and cheese.

Northwood isn't just a great cafe that seems to carry a little liquor, it has a fancy cocktail menu to delight self-ascribing mixology lovers, an arsenal of straight up booze and a long list of beer and cider for those who prefer a something a tad more wobbly than there eponymous cold brew coffee.

Baka Gallery Cafe
In Bloor West Village if you want to divide your time between sensible coffee and a moderation amount of drinking, you head to Baka Gallery Cafe. Stay downstairs for the speciality coffees and teas, sandwiches and pastries, while upstairs you'll find the event space, with gallery and fully functioning bar.

Voodoo Child
Voodoo Child started with serious coffee, grew with a fabulous brunch, and now they've been honing in on their cocktail menu as well. Or try their combo of all three- at brunch, order a Bear Vs. Shark- an espresso based cocktail of bourbon, Cointreau, plum bitters, vanilla syrup and a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate dusts.

Lead photo of Northwood



Mika / February 14, 2014 at 11:34 am
The Only on Danforth at Donlands. Totally underrated as a coffee shop, but well-known as a great bar (with an amazing patio in the summer)
jerks / February 14, 2014 at 11:52 am
Was it bad blogging, or did you leave F'Coffee out on purpose?
Robert / February 14, 2014 at 12:06 pm
Does the Bloor Common serve booze? I thought it was only College location. And does anyone know what days / hours they are open?
Mimico Resident / February 14, 2014 at 02:35 pm
Looks like top 10 hipster hangouts. I'll most definitely pass!
Danforth Drunkard / February 14, 2014 at 02:37 pm
The lovely people at Red Rocket Danforth have spiked my coffee with hooch on more than one occasion.
pz / February 14, 2014 at 03:03 pm
glad to see Northwood made the list!
EastENDER / February 14, 2014 at 03:06 pm
RED ROCKET! and the Only, f'coffee! Eastenders know whats up
Agile Offices / February 14, 2014 at 04:40 pm
Why work from the coffee shop when Agile Offices give you the chance to work from a professional quiet office environment. Located n top of Eaton Centre, 250 Yonge Street, Toronto. For $5/hour with free Coffee/Tea/Water and High Speed Internet you can sit in a professional quiet space to work out from. Printer/Scanner/Shredder also available.

Check us out @:
Tel: 416-901-5999
Virtual tour:
wellknown / February 14, 2014 at 05:22 pm
Surely by now everyone knows BlogTO doesn't exist east of Yonge Street or North of Bloor. The Only should have been included on this list for sure.

Once again this is another annex-junction list of hipster hangouts. Try something new BlogTO, get out there to new neighbourhoods. You've turned down countless people for jobs there because they don't live in your annex/downtown bubble or eat brunch (can't believe that's actually an interview question), I know this because I know those people.

It's time to branch out your experiences, who knows it might spawn some more interesting articles and "lists". Or at the very least hire some competent staff with a writing background beyond whipping out the ibook at the coffee shop at Bloor and Bathurst.
fmd / February 14, 2014 at 06:22 pm
How many times does blogto have to inform it's readers that these lists are voted on by them?

Also can we please retire the word hipster as a catch all for anyone that's different from yourself. It's boring and meaningless.
Casal / February 15, 2014 at 07:26 am
We've been looking for just a well-lit, quieter hang out for a beer during the day... doesn't really seem to exist except for this list, I guess. Why is the sale of alcohol limited to a certain time of day(Voodoo Child does this, during the day it's coffees, then at a magic hour, the cocktails come out). When I want to enjoy a beer, it doesn't have to be a life-event for me with the loud music and dim lights and only after a certain hour. We should learn a thing or two from the Europeans, they have socializing down to an Art - just not sure why we're treated like children in Canada.
Non downtowner / February 15, 2014 at 08:25 am
Fuck hipsters
dyee276750 / February 15, 2014 at 12:07 pm
Saving Gigi located at 859 Bloor St W. is a great place to have coffee and booze and on some weekends they feature live lo fi music.
Jim / February 15, 2014 at 03:48 pm
Nice list. Northwood is quite good. El Cafecito is coming up. Becoming a more bona-fide hipster joint.
grammar / February 15, 2014 at 04:17 pm
"than there eponymous cold brew coffee"

really? "eponymous" is in the wheelhouse but there/their/they're isn't?
david / February 16, 2014 at 03:44 pm
I can never take BlogTp serious . Yes Tp as in ass wipe. A lot of sorry ass starving writers
convulsing us with their best of bests. All the cafes mentioned are actually very good , but who cares to know. I've found all of them amongst others by myself or word of mouth. I don't even own a computer. I 'm using the libraries to comment on this….which by the way was left on this page…….Ha!
Beef Witch / February 18, 2014 at 06:48 pm
I'm proud of my babies. Each and every one of them wants to serve you better with BIG TEETH and BIGGER HEARTS. The most important thing is that you >>play with it
Nat / March 26, 2014 at 05:36 pm

Neon Cafe/ Neon Bar and Starving Artist
stephan / July 28, 2014 at 08:22 pm
Sally / July 28, 2014 at 09:02 pm
You forgot Boxcar Social.
Dick / July 31, 2014 at 05:01 pm
I pull five espresso shots from my driver's hand and add my own hooch to it when nobody's looking.
tzjac / August 16, 2014 at 09:23 pm
You forgot Boxcar Social. They're coffee is crazy good.
Natalie / August 17, 2014 at 10:32 pm
Boxcar Social needs to be on this list. $5 mimosa Sundays with fresh OJ from Greenhouse Juice
Matt C. / October 23, 2014 at 04:59 pm
I love Tequila Bookworm but as far as I know their espresso machine has been busted for the last few months. Just fyi.
Grace / October 23, 2014 at 05:02 pm
belljar cafe is the best!!!
Jurenda / March 2, 2015 at 09:22 am
Boxcar Social also has a great selection of craft beers! I would highly recommend this place!! :)
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