coffee shops

The 5 smallest coffee shops in Toronto

Small coffee shops have a certain cozy appeal to them that's hard to explain. There are dozens of indie coffee joints in this city fuelling caffeine fiends in every neighbourhood, so much so that it becomes hard to differentiate. Apart from quality cups of coffee and expertly pulled shots, what sets these cafes apart from the pack is their strong neighbourhood vibes.

Here's a round-up of some of the smallest coffee shops in Toronto.

Haven Espresso Bar
This Bloordale espresso counter is a hot-spot for local coffee fiends looking for a fix. They craft a standard list of caffeinated concoctions punctuated by a few flavoured options out of Rufino beans. Look forward to smooth, mellow lattes or try a quirky iced Canadiano in the summer when they open up outdoor seating. They serve a rotating selection of baked goods from neighbourhood spots.

Oakwood Espresso
Oakwood is a one man show operating out of a bright, but small space. The pièce de résistance is a magnificent carved wood and marble desk that now serves as the bar. The owner likes Rufino beans and uses an Elektra machine to pull decadent, nutty espresso reminiscent of an Italian cafe. Due to space restrictions, customers bag their own baked goods.

Sam James Coffee Pocket
The Pocket is a cash only coffee stop where you can expect to grab a cup representative of the excellent quality Sam James is known for. The menu is short and to the point offering the standard espressos, americanos, cappuccinos and lattés pulled from a La Marzzoco using his own Cut Coffee beans. The service is quick and efficient, but don't plan to linger. This is grab and go only.

Tucana Coffee
Tucana is precisely the opposite of corporate coffee chains. It attempts to be a social space where you stop by for a coffee, chat for a few minutes and then get on your way rather than attaching yourself to your laptop for hours. The small space forces interaction. Pilot coffee beans are used exclusively and espresso shots are pulled from a trusty La Marzocco.

Wibke's Espresso Bar
This tiny, cash only spot in Bloor West Village is the type of neighbourhood joint where regulars are greeted by name. You can choose from a selection of espresso based staples, rotating specialty brews or loose leaf teas. The two tables at the front of the shop are prime real estate, but you have to be lucky to snag one.

Did I miss any? Tell me about your favourite hole-in-the-wall coffee spot in the comments. Photo of Oakwood Espresso.

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