The best café patios in Toronto

There’s nothing that beats hunkering down with a hot cup of joe at one of Toronto’s many quirky cafés. But when the weather’s warm, switch that steaming mug for a latte on ice, and find a seat at one of the city’s café patios, for a perfect, caffeinated day in the sun. [Image credit: Ammentorp Lund]

Boxcar Social

1208 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4T 1W1

Boxcar Social is certainly a midtown gem (bonus sans-patio location in Riverside). All year long, the café churns out everything from killer Rwandan espresso to craft beer, whisky and charcuterie. Given its two-floor expanse, you might miss the patio located at the rear. With twosome wooden tables, a cement bar, and an oak tree providing some much-needed shade, this patio is like the backyard study party you never had. That’s if you’re lucky enough to nab a spot.

Te Aro Coffee Inc

983 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1K2

Leslieville’s most-loved café from local legends Pilot Coffee Roasters has a very unassuming front patio that’s an extension of the café inside (after all, the front of the place opens up just like a car garage.) It’s very Manhattan, but also an ode to the trendiness of Toronto’s east end. Spend an hour there, and you’re guaranteed to see a person from every walk of life pass by –the mother with her baby, the freelancer, the international folks.

Bar Buca

75 Portland St, Toronto, ON M5V 2M9

Bar Buca hails one of the best cups of coffee in the entire city. Their secret? Aside from the handsome baristas, it’s the cremina – sugar stirred with espresso froth. Put a spoonful in your coffee and you’re instantly in love. The whole experience gets even better when you sit outside on their pristinely white front patio facing Portland street, which is usually surrounded by well-dressed millennials.

Dundas & Carlaw

1173 Dundas St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1S1

For an after-dinner coffee, Dundas and Carlaw’s sizeable side patio cannot be beat. East end quiet through and through, you won’t ever hear the ear-splitting shrieks of sirens or an overzealous crowd at this neighbourhood café-bar. Locals come here to sit outside in the moonlight and chat over a nighttime espresso, or tuck in for a pint with pals.

Thor Espresso Bar

35 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M5V 2P2

Thor Espresso’s benched patio might just be the most serene café patio in the city (there’s not been more than four people spotted on there at one time). If you’re looking for workday quiet, this is the one for you. It helps that the WiFi is super speedy, there’s a stack of indie magazines for anyone to read, and the baristas make sure their matcha green tea lattes are always on point.

Early Bird Espresso And Brew Bar

613 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2B7

On Queen West, an area densely packed with cafés, Early Bird stands out from the rest – not just because of its exposed brick and hipster aesthetic, but because its patio can hold up to 20 people. The seating includes a picnic bench and more intimate, two-to-three person tables. All you need is some nibbles, cappuccinos and few friends, and you’re in business.

Nothing beats biting into the perfect macaron. The delicate, palm-sized Parisian treat has a delicate crunch on the outside, and by the time you get to the ganache, you’ve been transported to a café on the Champs-Élysées. Sea salt and caramel, blackcurrant, or roasted pistachio – the varieties are endless. And in Toronto, here’s where they do it best.
Whether you’re hosting an intimate birthday bash with close friends, a celebratory dinner party with family, or a large-scale business meeting, TO is well equipped with envy-inspiring private rooms catering to those with a penchant for top grub. These local spots will hook you and your crew up with stress-free atmospheres and prix-fixe or family-style dining options. [Photo by @hypebelly; courtesy of Hopgood's Foodliner]
Mediterranean cuisine hails some of the tastiest dishes on the planet. A breakfast shakshouka, warm pita dipped in labneh, iskander, Turkish tea…the list goes on and on. Thank the heavens that Hogtown has jumped on the bandwagon, giving birth to a number of establishments to satisfy our cravings. And for those who have traveled and tasted the goods firsthand, I’m sure you’ll agree that Toronto does Mediterranean food justice.
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