dark horse queen east toronto

Dark Horse Espresso on Queen East

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Dark Horse Espresso on Queen East is currently open but their offerings and services may be affected due to the pandemic. Please contact the business directly for more information about any changes. Is this your business? Please contact us if you would like to update this message.

Dark Horse Espresso has a brand-new Queen East location, just a stone's throw away from the original location (now closed). The new digs replace the first spot, and the similarities and differences between the humble beginnings and this expansive new joint tell a lot about what's been happening with the company over the last eight years.

Owners Deanna Zunde and Ed Lynds have created quite the coffee empire with Dark Horse, from their massive space on Spadina , the tiny nook on John , and the hopping location on West Queen West .

dark horse queen east toronto

The Queen East spot adds to the prestige of the mini-chain. Taking over the corner ground level of a newly developed condo building, they made use of the vaulted ceilings and industrial features, but combined those with some natural or vintage elements to humanize the concrete.

dark horse queen east toronto

At the original Dark Horse, they installed a communal table, which caused a stir at the time. Now communal tables are part and parcel of the Dark Horse enterprise, familiar and welcoming, and there is one massive one (brought over from the old location) in the front window, outfitted with bolted diner stools all around, and light by a massive Tom Dixon Studio PunchBall pendant that is both arty and illuminating.

dark horse queen east toronto

Another long communal wooden bar runs the length of the long room, intersected by concrete columns. At the back, there are soft chairs for lounging, another counter bar to seat at, and numerous other benches and such to grab a quick seat. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide beautiful natural light, and showcase the handful of paintings that line the few walls. While the space is new and visually dynamic, there are design echoes from all the other past and present locations, further solidifying the brand.

dark horse queen east toronto

The coffee and baked goods are relatively the same. They used a Kees Van Der Westen Mirage Veloce machine, 49th Parallel and Detour beans, and sell Chemex, pour over, Buono coffee drip kettles and other fancy coffee machines. I had an Americano ($3.15), and it had the characteristic caramel-ly crema and smooth finish Dark Horse is known for. As for snacks, they bake most of them in-house, with a few others coming in from three different bakeries.

dark horse queen east toronto

Part of the coffee counter is outfitted with a panini grill and ovens, so expect quick lunch options coming soon, similar to the Spadina and John locations. All in all, the new space is a welcome addition for coffee drinkers - and more proof Dark Horse is a front-runner in Toronto cafĂŠ culture.

dark horse queen east toronto

Photos by Jesse Milns.


Dark Horse Espresso on Queen East

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