Make it a doppio at these coffee shops in Little Italy

It’s no surprise that coffee culture is in full flourish in the heart of Toronto’s Little Italy neighbourhood. You’ll find a wide variety of charming cafes along the College Street strip serving up fresh-pressed espresso drinks and authentic Italian pastries throughout the day. Here are a few local favourites that’ll have you shouting Belissimo!

The Green Grind Cafe

567 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 3W9

Tucked away at College and Clinton, the Green Grind not only has stellar coffee but, as you might have guessed from the name, an eco-conscious mandate that includes minimizing their impact on the environment. The coffee is all fair trade, the food is organic and the lids and cups are biodegradable. What’s more, the quiet, cosy ambiance and delightful treats at this café make it the perfect spot to spend long hours studying, working or just hanging out with friends.

Empire Espresso

668 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B8

Located just east of Beatrice Street on College, Empire Espresso serves delicious coffee made from the award-winning beans at Dark City Roasters and Pig Iron Roasters. The pastries, like the rosemary lemon shortbread and ginger snap cookies, pair perfectly with their specialty drinks, and you can get your drink with soy or almond milk if you prefer. Empire Espresso is the perfect spot for commuters wanting to get their coffee on the run.

Lit Espresso Bar

1517 Bayview Ave, East York, ON M4G 3B5

Lit Espresso Bar is famous in Little Italy for its laid-back atmosphere, masterful baristas and delicious coffee. It’s a great place to work or chat with friends and the subdued background music sets a relaxed mood that feels like home. The baristas roast the finest award-winning beans from Pig Iron Roasters and earn special raves for their Americanos. They also offer a wide range of snacks if you suddenly get hunger pangs


784 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1C6

Paintlounge is one of the best spots to take a date in Little Italy. In addition to serving delicious coffee and treats, Paintlounge gives you the opportunity to try “social painting.” Everyone in the room is assigned a canvas and invited to paint in a casual group setting. They’ll even serve you your drink as you paint—simply choose from one of their expertly-made lattes or Americanos, or from their selection of loose-leaf teas.

Los Cafetaleros

774 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1C6

Opening just last year, Los Cafetaleros is a new and exciting addition to the lineup of cafés in Little Italy. The coffee beans are sourced from a micro-roastery in Woodbridge and snacks include Latin American specialties. You’ll find a wide range of food options including chicken and beef empanadas and La Rocca Creative Cakes, as well as take-home treats like preserves, marinades and cooking oils.

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