Early Bird Espresso
Early Bird Espresso on Queen West is more than just an indie coffee shop. With exposed brick and industrial bulbs, it's an ideal setting to sit down and stay for a while. There's expertly crafted drinks and plenty to eat including some of the city's prettiest breakfast.
I drop in to visit late in the morning, every fiber of my being reaching for that second coffee of the day. I want calories, too, so I order a latte (made with Pilot beans and a La Marzocco machine) and it's exactly what I was hoping for.
It manages to be both frothy and creamy, with lots of milk. It goes down like a meal, which I appreciate in a latte. And, of course, Pilot provides a mean bean, and the flavour is nutty and calming.
The atmosphere is really relaxed, with Alt-J creepily crooning in the background and a few people engaging pretty seriously with their laptops. There's seating for about 30 inside with more upstairs on the seasonal patio.
Early Bird has perfect food, too. In addition to fresh baked goods they've rolled out a seasonal breakfast menu that is eye-catching to say the least.
You can't go wrong with the chia seed pudding, served with flax seeds, yogurt, coconut and pomegranate.
There's also avocado toast, arranged in the shape of a rose and served with a poached egg.
To drink, there's non-coffee options like the iced tea fizz as well as all the usual espresso based favourites like cortados and matcha lattes.
Morris Lum and Adam Seward