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Best of Toronto

The Best New Cafes in Toronto, 2012

Posted by Robyn Urback / January 7, 2013

toronto best new cafes 2012The best new cafes in Toronto in 2012 are evidence that we haven't reached our espresso quota just yet. While there are, indeed, plenty of places to get a cup of something caffeinated around the city, these new cafes have emerged to try to deliver a pull that presents just a little bit better. Meanwhile, some existing mini-cafe empires chose 2012 to open some new spots, not the least of which include the new Balzac's at Ryerson, Sam James on the PATH, Dark Horse on John, The Common in Bloorcourt and the rebranded Black Canary. But this list focuses on the new cafes that are all on their own.

Here is the list of the best new cafes in Toronto in 2012.

See also:

The Best New Cafes in Toronto, 2011
The Best New Cafes in Toronto, 2010
The Best New Cafes in Toronto, 2009
The Best New Cafes in Toronto, 2008

Voodoo Child

Voodoo Child

With an emphasis on classic, superior espresso drinks, Voodoo Child landed on College in October of 2012. Backed by some of the team behind the former Liberty Belle Bistro, Voodoo Child started with a chalkboard menu of basic coffees, and grew to incorporate weekend brunch, ramen pop-ups, weekly cocktail nights, and daily lunch. Too bad the song gets stuck in your head every time you read the sign. More »

The Arrow

The Arrow

How can you not love a café that also happens to serve buffalo milk ice cream? Just ignore that pesky minus-five-degree weather. The Arrow landed on Dundas West right in the middle of summer, offering its small selection of Mapleton’s Organics and Monforte Dairy ice creams, along with coffee made from Hockley Valley roasted beans. The café now has sandwiches, too, to help see you through winter. More »

Academy Cafe

Academy Cafe

Small but mighty, Academy Café offers espresso pulled by pros. A model café for students of the adjacent Canadian Barista Academy (albeit, only on weekends), this café lets its instructors call (pull?) the shots, featuring different daily roasts and a small assortment of snacks. A few seats for lingerers, but this place is mostly grab-and-go. More »

CSI Coffee Pub

CSI Coffee Pub

The Centre for Social Innovation in the Annex unveiled its own (independent) creation at the end of spring 2012. Brewing, blending, and cooking up snacks for both members and the community alike, CSI Coffee Pub arrived to save workers from the same old drip sitting on the counter. Fuel also became available in the form of hot sandwiches and soups. More »

Rise Espresso

Rise Espresso

Speaking of remedy, Rise Espresso cropped up just in time for the new 2012 Ryerson crowd to grab a cup between classes. Whereas Tim Hortons was once the only on or right-by-campus option, Rise arrived to offer Dark City espresso drinks and a couple of light bites to keep students going through classes. There are a few spots for people-watching, but Rise really caters to the student on the move. More »

Cafe Con Leche

Cafe Con Leche

Dupont and where? Okay, so, it may have seemed a little funny for the owners of CocoaLatte to open a new café on the underwhelming stretch of Dupont west of Lansdowne, but Café Con Leche has certainly made it its home. Immediately winning over area locals after opening, Café Con Leche arrived in October and set to work pulling espressos and serving hot café con leche. An area catalyst, perhaps? We’ll see. More »

Le Neuf Cafe

Le Neuf Cafe

Le Neuf Café brought a little bit of Paris to the busy downtown neighbourhood of King West, of all places. Cozy and quaint in a little townhome on Clarence Square, this petite café and patisserie graced guests with croissants, tartelettes, crepes, and more as they sipped their latte and enjoyed the (relative) quiet. Something tells me this patio will be a big hit come spring. More »

The Sovereign

The Sovereign

From Liberal MP office to some mighty fine cappuccino. When the NDP won the riding for this area by Dufferin and Davenport, the landlord handed the space over to the men behind this café. John and Ross transformed the space with a little Rufino espresso and homemade torrone. You can still talk politics here if you like, but the apple caramel crumble muffin is a much better talking point. More »

Intergalactic Travel Authority

Intergalactic Travel Authority

If there was an award for best nerdy sci-fi space, Intergalactic Travel Authority would win. This café and space-themed store is the storefront space for Story Planet, a social enterprise geared toward helping kids develop writing and communication skills. The menu here includes Mars Americanos and Black Hole drip, with “matter mixers” available for blending in milk and sugar. More »

Discussion

48 Comments

amy t / January 7, 2013 at 01:01 pm
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How did Fahrenheit not make the list?
evan / January 7, 2013 at 01:19 pm
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See last years list for Fahrenheit. Congrats to Voodoo Child! Totally deserving, keep up the good work guys!
Jibbly / January 7, 2013 at 02:45 pm
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No Black Canary?
For shame...
Coffe Shop Guru / January 7, 2013 at 02:45 pm
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Had Voodoo Child the other day. Personally I thought the coffee was a little bit bitter... Personally I prefer a double double from Tim Hortons
Steve / January 7, 2013 at 02:46 pm
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I wouldn't be so down on Cafe Con Leche's choice of Dupont. With Farmhouse Tavern and El Amacen also open, and the slew of new spots opening at Bloor & Lansdowne, this hood is rife to be the new Ossington
bikeroo / January 7, 2013 at 04:24 pm
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Congrats to the awesome staff at Voodoo Child!
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Troll Trollolol Jr. / January 7, 2013 at 04:36 pm
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Audio Blood / January 7, 2013 at 04:46 pm
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Glad you mentioned the rebranding of Black Canary. Their Nutellacino is such a tasty drink. Toronto has some great cafes. Can't wait to try some of these new ones out!
Sir Trolls Alot / January 7, 2013 at 11:04 pm
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TALK DIRTY TO ME TROLLS... TALK DIRTY TO ME
Trolling Is My Middle Name replying to a comment from bikeroo / January 7, 2013 at 11:06 pm
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Really you thought the staff was good? The best coffee and service I have ever had was a Starbucks on Queen West. Highly recommend you try it out!!
Hipster McFly / January 8, 2013 at 12:58 am
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The best coffee I ever had was at a Tim Hortons in Etobicoke. Mmmm.
So Hip It Hurts / January 8, 2013 at 09:44 am
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A little worried that coffee time on Queen St West is not on the list. BlogTO hardley gets anythign wrong but this time they did.
Mike Trollfield replying to a comment from bikeroo / January 8, 2013 at 09:57 am
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Really?? Looking at the other comments people didnt really like Voodoo Child... I mean I'm sure its better then Tim Hortons but the fact that someone even compared Voodoo Child to Tim Hortons means it cant be that great.

Anyways the best coffee shop in TO is not even on the list. Highly recomend everyone checks out "Under the Bridge" on Queen East.
evan / January 8, 2013 at 11:10 am
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I definitely agree with bikeroo, I've had nothing but good experiences with staff at Voodoo Child
CaligulaJones / January 8, 2013 at 02:19 pm
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Thanks for, once again, not making it over the Don and ruining any of the great new cafes here in the Other Toronto.
Andrea replying to a comment from Steve / January 8, 2013 at 03:26 pm
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Agreed. The area is going to transform. The owners saw a need rather than enter a saturated market.
Elizabeth replying to a comment from CaligulaJones / January 8, 2013 at 03:28 pm
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Exactly what I was going to say! Shhhh...don't let them know how cool it is over here.
Ian / January 8, 2013 at 03:30 pm
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Anyone walking through Bloordale should really try Haven out. It's on Brock jussssst north of Bloor. Seriously good coffee and great folks.
bikeroo replying to a comment from Mike Trollfield / January 8, 2013 at 06:31 pm
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Bro, do you even lift?
Mike Trollfield replying to a comment from bikeroo / January 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm
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Bro, how does that even make sense.. evan and I are having a convo about how good, or in my opinon how NOT good voodoo child is and you ask such a stupid question. Go drink your coffee at voodoo child and myself and other people of taste and class will drink our double doubles somewhere else
at-roll / January 9, 2013 at 11:45 am
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its so easy just to agree with someones list. This is all stupid. I prefer to chew on coffee beans.
Mike Trollfield / January 9, 2013 at 11:49 am
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Frankly I have had enough of Blog TO and their censorship... Im starting my on website called Blog TO 2.0, consider this my warning...
Mr. East / January 10, 2013 at 02:47 pm
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West end bias much?
kristen / January 10, 2013 at 03:25 pm
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Congrats to Voodoo Child! Fantastic service and great cappuccinos. Well deserved.
Mr. West replying to a comment from Mr. East / January 10, 2013 at 04:38 pm
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Cant really call it a bias as the west is cleary better... take your ass back to regent park..
Mike Trollfield replying to a comment from kristen / January 10, 2013 at 05:07 pm
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Kristen -
I think your palate might be damaged from drinking that bitter, and often times, much too hot coffee
AlphaBetty / January 10, 2013 at 11:27 pm
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So glad to see Cafe Con Leche received a nod. I absolutely love those guys and their coffee, namely the Nutella Latte is incredible!
Nick / January 11, 2013 at 11:37 am
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I would put Yorkville Espresso on this list. They serve high quality coffee, and amazing snacks made from quality organic ingredients and with a whole lot of love!
opensource1111 / January 15, 2013 at 10:14 am
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Nothing to do with troll or evan or whatever inane babble they are spouting, but on the issue of censorship, you can tell right away that comments have been deleted here as there are "gaps" in the the discussion. Funny how this site seems to do this on a regular basis at the begining stages of a conversation, then lose interest and allow any and all comments.
Tro replying to a comment from opensource1111 / January 15, 2013 at 01:54 pm
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Bro, do you even lift?
Mike Trollfield replying to a comment from opensource1111 / January 15, 2013 at 01:55 pm
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Glad someone agrees with me. I am starting a better Blog called Blog TO 2.0... I would be glad to have you apart of my team. Perhaps even an advisory role if you cannot committee full time... I have 2 two kids two support but I am confident that Blog TO 2.0 will take off... People are tired of this IRON CURTAIN.
evan replying to a comment from bikeroo / January 15, 2013 at 02:12 pm
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Bro… I lift, bro.
Mike Trollfield replying to a comment from evan / January 16, 2013 at 03:30 pm
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Bro show us then... We dont trust you... You type like your skinny
Phil / February 11, 2013 at 02:56 pm
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The SOVEREIGN kills everyone on this list big time!
torontocoffee replying to a comment from Phil / February 17, 2013 at 12:24 am
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Are you kidding me?. Have you been to any of the other cafes on this list?. The Sovereign is a joke by comparison. The owner made the WORST cappuccino i've ever had in Toronto. He had next to no knowledge on his product nor did he seem enthusiastic about having customers in his cafe.
Lim Jeffrey / March 13, 2013 at 02:02 am
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Wow, thanks for updating me about the best cafes in Toronto. I would choose The Arrow, ice creams, buffalo milk ice creams, iced coffee and espresso are pretty affordable. One of my friends lives there, I shall visit him soon and will enjoy at The Arrow.
Bobby Benson / March 13, 2013 at 02:04 am
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nice post
Jack Burger / March 22, 2013 at 02:25 pm
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You should definitely put C House Lounge Cafe in Yorkville for the first place

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