The Best Cafes in Toronto (East Side)
The best cafes in Toronto on the east side offer a bit of everything; some source and roast their own beans, while others also serve booze. Still more make their own baked goods in-house from scratch, but the common denominator for all of them is that they have mastered the craft of making great coffee.
Here are the best cafes in Toronto east of Yonge St.
This beloved Leslieville staple gets top spot because it impressively manages to do everything well. They source and roast their own Pilot Coffee beans (shipped over from the flagship tasting bar nearby), pull a delicious espresso shot (plus make sweet latte art), whip up fresh baked goods on site and provide patrons with a welcoming space that includes a patio.
Found near St. Lawrence Market, this chic and modern cafe features a rotating roster of local and international roasters for its espresso, drip and pour-over coffees, with a custom house roast from De Mello Palheta. Pastries here are house-made, and Japanese-style roll cakes and cream puffs are just some of the delectable specialties.
With all three of its locations east of Yonge, Rooster remains loyal to the east side, and the feeling is definitely mutual. Homey, charming decor is accompanied by friendly service and expertly made coffee in these shops, with beans supplied by Pilot. Those of you who live or work near any of these cafes should consider yourselves extremely lucky.
For its second location (the original is in Summerhill), the boys of Boxcar have brought their high-quality brand of cafe and bar to a beautiful space in Riverside. Its coffee program aims to highlight third-wave roasters from outside of Toronto, and a daytime slow bar offers patrons the chance to indulge in tasting flights and meticulously made pour-overs.
Named after an 18th-century Portuguese coffee purveyor, this well-respected, industrial-chic coffee shop roasts its own seasonal single-origin beans and blends in house, and supplies custom blends to other cafes around town too. All its sweet treats are scratch-made, and with a dearth of indie cafe options in this area, De Mello is a shining beacon for caffeine lovers near Yonge and Eglinton.
This Riverside outpost is just one of this Toronto-based brand's mini empire of cafes. Beans come from both Detour and 49th Parallel, and baked goods are made at its own bakery on Geary Ave. One of the city's first indie coffee chains, Dark Horse has come a long way since it originally opened a few doors down from here.
Located on the ground floor of a condo in Corktown, this sibling cafe to Thor Espresso Bar on Bathurst clearly has a Nordic influence in its striking minimalist design. Along with well-made coffee from local roaster Pilot, local microbrews and Ontario wines are also served. Eats-wise, the menu includes baked-in-house pastries plus empanadas and sandwiches.
Pretty much a Cabbagetown coffee institution, Jet Fuel has a rock-star attitude and a no-nonsense approach to what it does, which is make good espresso-based drinks at affordable prices along with fresh-squeezed lemonade and house-made pastries that disappear quickly. They're also big cycling enthusiasts.
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