The Best Cafes on the East Side of Toronto
The best cafes in Toronto on the east side offer a bit of everything: some source and roast their own beans, while others make their own baked goods from scratch. However, the common denominator for all of them is that they have mastered the craft of serving up great coffee.
Here are the best cafes in Toronto, east of Yonge St.
This beloved Leslieville staple earns its top spot because it manages to do everything well: source and roast its own Pilot Coffee beans (shipped over from the flagship tasting bar nearby); pull a delicious espresso shot (plus make sweet latte art); whip up freshly baked goods on site; and provide patrons with a welcoming space that includes a patio.
Found near St. Lawrence Market, this chic and modern cafe features a rotating roster of local and international roasters for its espresso, drip and pour-over coffees, with a custom house roast from De Mello Palheta. Pastries here are house-made, and Japanese-style roll cakes and cream puffs are just some of the delectable specialties.
Named after an 18th-century Portuguese coffee purveyor, this well-respected, industrial-chic coffee shop roasts its own seasonal single-origin beans and blends in house, and supplies custom blends to other cafes around town too. All its sweet treats are scratch-made, and with a dearth of indie cafe options in this area, de Mello is a shining beacon for caffeine lovers near Yonge and Eglinton.
Its outposts in the Canary District and Riverside are just two lovely examples of this Toronto-based brand's mini empire of cafes. Beans come from JJ Bean, and baked goods are made at its own bakery on Geary Ave. One of the city's first indie coffee chains, Dark Horse has come a long way since it first opened on Queen East.
With all three of its locations east of Yonge, Rooster remains loyal to the east side, and the feeling is definitely mutual. Homey, charming decor is accompanied by friendly service and expertly made coffee in these shops, with beans supplied by Pilot. Those of you who live or work near any of these cafes should consider yourselves extremely lucky.
Many discerning coffee lovers swear by this tiny cafe's offerings, with its knowledgeable baristas pulling and pouring perfect espresso-based beverages using a rotating selection of beans from Pilot Coffee Roasters. While it may now have a second location on the west side, this one by Richmond & Jarvis is where it all started.
Named after Aussie slang for “afternoon,” this Distillery District cafe and flower shop serves up seasonal, single-origin global brews from top-notch Canadian roasters that include Phil & Sebastian (Calgary), Transcend (Edmonton) and Anchored (Dartmouth, N.S.). It also makes some mean artisanal toasts with organic sourdough from Blackbird Baking Co.
Jesse Milns at Dark Horse on Queen
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