There is no shortage of entertainment for Toronto film festival goers, but I know you need coffee. Here are a few ideas of how to find a delicious cup in the city.
Yorkville & Summerhill
1. The “Breakfast Meeting” at 7 Grams Espresso Bar
A respite from the hustle and bustle of Yorkville, this coffee shop has ample seating inside and out to accommodate your important (but not private) breakfast meeting. They pull shots of Pilot coffee, a prominent local roaster, while serving up lots of healthy, vegan and gluten free breakfast snacks. Including my all time favorite carrot breakfast cookie (pictured here) #omgitssogood. 7 Grams is also a good place to go if you are flying solo and would like to read the newspaper and hang out at their communal table.
2. The “Walk & Talk” at Crema
Crema's Yonge & Bloor location is a little coffee nook that shares space with local healthy fast food chain, Freshi. What this Crema location lacks in ambiance, is made up for with convenience, freshly roasted Propellor Coffee, a Clover brewing system (aka. indie shop unicorn sighting!), and latte art. This is the perfect place to grab a cup if you are on the go, or need walk and talk and are looking to get your hands on a solid cup of joe in Yorkville.
3. The “Impress Your Clients” at Boxcar Social
If you want to be in the know, or are in the know and want to be cool or are cool, you should probably make a short trek to Summerhill's Boxcar Social. These guys do ambiance, service & coffee preparation right. The second best part is, this shop also specializes in wine, beer, bourbon and scotch and is often open late. They are a multi roaster so they are always bringing in new beans. Boxcar is currently serving George Howell Coffee, Ritual Coffee Roasters and Phil & Sebastian Coffee.
Downtown (King & Queen West)
4. The “Caffeinated Lunch” at Portland Variety
When you first walk into this cafe/restaurant you will probably notice their fancy modbar espresso machine. Portland Variety is pulling shots of Las Chicas coffee (roasted in Ontario) and pouring them into gorgeous ceramic cups for your sensory enjoyment. This shop also has a full lunch menu so if you are busy with screenings and meetings, you can kill two birds with one stone and enjoy a caffeinated lunch, if you catch my drift.
5. The “Torontonian in Winter” at Sam James Coffee Bar
This shop is only open on the weekdays, 7-4pm, and is underground. Toronto has about 30km or about 19 miles of underground shopping (which is how Torontonians are able to survive in the winter). Sam James Coffee Bar features freshly roasted and beautifully prepared Cut Coffee in this underground oasis, complete with sunlight lamps and plants. SJCB is a great place to get a quick cup of coffee underground, near the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Sam James Also has a few other locations around the city, Bloor West, Ossington & Harbord St.
6. The "Getaway" at Early Bird Espresso Bar
Early Bird is a great place to grab a pour over and check and respond to your client emails before you have to get back to the next screening. It's a short cab ride (or 15 min walk) from the TIFF Bell Lightbox and promises to deliver a solid cup of coffee in a chill environment. Early Bird is a multi roaster cafe, often bringing in beans roasted by top talent like Tim Wendelboe of Norway.