The best cafés in Toronto’s midtown neighbourhood

Chock full of latte lovers and cortado connoisseurs, midtown Toronto has seen a huge influx of coffee shops and cafés, each on an aesthetic playing field all their own. For a caffeine boost and a dose of decorative perfection, we’ve got the goods on some of the most unique spots the area offers. [Feature image: Istanbul Café and Espresso Bar]

Istanbul Cafe And Espresso Bar

1
174 Eglinton Ave E, Toronto, ON M4P 1A6

Located a few minutes from Yonge and Eglinton, Istanbul Café is stunningly decorated with photos of Istanbul and handmade art from Turkey. The sweet spot serves espresso-based drinks, and also makes an unparalleled flat white, but their specialty is of course a traditional Turkish coffee that you can then pair with artfully crafted Turkish pastries. Hot tip: Istanbul Café is also open late for a night-time pick-me-up!

De Mello Palheta

2
2489 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P 2H6

Named after the Portuguese coffee purveyor Francisco de Melo Palheta, this spot is quite possibly one of the coolest cafés in the city, let alone in midtown Toronto. The coffee is great, but what makes the café stand out is the graffiti-style art and decor, which lends an aura of urban ruggedness to the space.

Thobors Boulangerie Patisserie Café

3
627 Mount Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S 2M9

When you walk into Thobors, you may just feel as though you’ve walked into a Parisian café. The authenticity of the French pastries – and there’s a lot of them – will make you want to order everything. From baguettes and croissants to macarons and quiches, this little café cannot be missed! Be sure to try their French-style donuts.

Himalayan Java Coffee

4
2552 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P 2J2

Himalayan Java stands out for its promotion of Nepali coffee, an immediate must-try if you’ve yet to sample the stuff. The high ceilings and the soft amber lighting create an atmosphere of instant relaxation, and if you’re peckish, there’s plenty of food on the menu in the way of gourmet sandwiches and omelettes. Sweet-minded? The chocolate almond croissant is a must-try.

The Espresso Bar

5
107-29 Bellair St, Toronto, ON M5R 2C8

Zaza has a few locations in Toronto, and their new midtown location is nothing short of spectacular. The coffee beans are imported from Italy, making the overall experience truly authentic. It’s the perfect place for a morning espresso, or if you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, a scoop of gelato (the Bacio variety is simply put, famed).

The Mad Bean

6
519 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M5N 1B1

Voted the best Indie coffee shop in 2015, The Mad Bean is a crowd favourite for its fair trade, organic coffee and oh-so fresh bagels. The café displays the work of two artists each month, and allows musicians the chance to play for free. Enjoy an Americano and soak in the creative atmosphere of this cozy spot, where bookshelves line the walls and chandeliers juxtapose the wood-clad coffee bar and exposed brick, providing the perfect rustic-chic vibes.

9Bars

7
46 St Clair Ave E, Toronto, ON M4T 1M9

There are a lot of great things about 9 Bars, but of course it comes down to their high quality coffee drinks. The bright, modern spot hosts white brick walls and plush seating at communal tables, perfect for an oh-so aesthetic afternoon work session (their outdoor patio is also a great spot for an afternoon date with a pal. Their coffee has definitely made them a standout spot in the hood, but the menu’s hot chocolate and London Fog should not be underestimated.

Crosstown Coffee Bar

8
187 Highbourne Rd, Toronto, ON M5P 2J8

Crosstown is a charming little café just a hop-skip from the Highbourne and Eglinton intersection. The entire café, including the bar, tables and lightbulb fixtures, were designed and made by the owners. Though the menu offers a wide range of drinks, served hot and cold, Crosstown is best known for their superior lattes and mouthwatering ice cream sandwiches.

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