starbucks toronto

10 neighbourhoods in Toronto that still don't have a Starbucks

Neighbourhoods in Toronto that still don’t have a Starbucks are examples of coffee communities that thrive without the presence of the chain. Why spend way too much on a passion iced tea or clamber for a unicorn frapp when you could get a totally original, great-tasting beverage made with love at one of these indie cafes? 

Here are the neighbourhoods in Toronto that still don’t have a Starbucks. 

Kensington

A local hotbed of independent businesses, one of Toronto’s most colourful neighbourhoods with iconic cafes like Cafe Pamenar, I Deal Coffee, Jimmy’s and Moonbean will have you saying “who bucks?”

Baldwin Village

No one needs their coffee more than art students, and thankfully this OCAD-adjacent neighbourhood has lots of it with a familiar standby in a local Jimmy’s outpost as well as more out-there options like Aussie cafe Library and Asian spot Light Cafe.

Chinatown

The Toronto bakery that might have inspired Starbucks' unicorn latte is in this neighbourhood. It’s also home to countless Asian tea joints like Icha Tea, Ten Ren, Crimson and many more. It’s also home to stalwarts like Sam James, Dark Horse, and Sonic

Junction Triangle 

Locals who call this eccentric little slice of Toronto home know it’s where to seek out some hidden gems in our city’s cafe scene, like coffee pockets Alcove and Wallace as well as Hula Girl, Cafe Neon, Noble and popular roaster Hale

Bloordale Village

You’ll never find hot cakes or avo toast like at Baddies within the confines of a Starbucks, and Daily Grind may be simple but has way more heart than any big brand. Don’t forget to stop by some of this neighbourhoods excellent bakeries like Home Baking Co. or TBC for a sweet treat to go along with your joe in this area along the Bloor line.

Weston-Mount Dennis

Though there’s no Starbucks in this area, an easy ride to union on the up Express and more affordable rent means java drinkers are increasing in this tucked-away area. Try a peppermint mocha from Supercoffee instead of one a Starbucks holiday monstrosity. 

Riverside

Locations of three of Toronto’s most popular cafes (Dark Horse, Boxcar Social, and Tokyo Smoke) in this neighbourhood mean there’s no need to turn to chains for coffee. Plus, one of those options is also a bar, and the other is also a head shop—and Starbucks still can’t say that. 

Canary District

A Dark Horse has taken up residence here too, in one of Toronto’s newest neighbourhoods. Hopefully no chains will be infiltrating this burgeoning area anytime soon. 

Distillery District

Seeing as this is one of Toronto’s most historic neighbourhoods, putting in a Starbucks would just feel wrong. Instead, the revitalized area has been smartly populated with cafes like Arvo and Balzac’s.

Corktown

Old Town Bodega and Henrietta Lane in this old Toronto neighborhood both have a cafe bar vibe, the latter actually serving alcohol, though it doesn’t take booze to forget all about Starbucks in this charming area. 

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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