Where to get a cortado in Toronto's west end

Wander into a coffee shop in Toronto and the best kept secret off the menu is probably the cortado. Typically served in a glass tumbler, a cortado is one part espresso and one part velvety steamed milk. These west-end cafés serve up a taste of the Spanish classic, offering quiet, communal spaces for a quick bite and your daily caffeine fix.

Manic Coffee

426 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1T3

Manic Coffee and Gelato is a community staple at College and Bathurst, where Kensington meets Little Italy. Manic is a warm, welcoming space and with its commitment to remaining WiFi free, customers can be caught engaging in conversation over hand-crafted espresso drinks – especially cortados. With freshly baked pastries and a selection of gelato and sorbet, all made fresh and in-house, Manic beckons from its cozy interior to just sit and stay a while.

Sam James Coffee Bar

297 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M6G 1G7

Sam James Coffee Bar entered the coffee scene in 2009 with its flagship Harbord location and has been shaping the way Torontonians take their coffee ever since. The Harbord shop is a stripped down, compact space with a big presence in the neighbourhood. Students, cyclists and neighbours all flock to this outpost to see how Sam James is perfecting coffee, one cortado at a time.

Early Bird Espresso And Brew Bar

613 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2B7

With its exposed brick, high ceilings and rooftop patio in the back, this airy Queen West café has perfected that industrial west-end feel. Early Bird offers all the café staples from lattes to pour-overs, with delicious snacks like avocado toast with tomato and sprouts.

Café Pamenar

307 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2M2

Café by day, Pamenar moonlights as a bar in the evening, serving craft cocktails until midnight. But the coffee is what really shines at this Kensington spot, and Pamenar has developed a loyal following of customers in its sleek Augusta digs (just south of College). With a stylish industrial interior and an oasis of a patio out back, Pamenar soothes the busy city blues with all around good vibes.

Capital Espresso

1349 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6K 1M1

Slanging coffee from some of the world’s most notorious roasteries, Capital Espresso has long considered one of the standout cafés in the West-End. Perched on the corner of Queen and Dunn in the heart of Parkdale, the spot boasts big windows and a space that manages a simultaneous roomy and cozy feel. The menu is delightfully no-nonsense, with all the regulars in attendance: cappuccino, misto, latte and of course, cortado. Bonus: baked treats made in-house daily.

White Squirrel Coffee Shop

907 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G5

White Squirrel Coffee Shop is located just opposite Trinity Bellwoods on Queen West, and is the ideal spot for park-goers looking to fuel up on gourmet offerings and all the café staples. White Squirrel also scoops Greg’s ice cream and is committed to sourcing and serving local. With wood floors, bright walls, and split-back seating, White Squirrel is a much-wanted addition to your Trinity Bellwoods routine.

Outpost Coffee Roasters

1576 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6P 1A4

This rustic-meets-modern café is complete with a solid wood bar and a bright, airy interior, perfect for a quick cortado with a pal. Although expertly rendered espresso drinks are the standout at this Bloor Street spot (just west of Dundas Station), tempting pastries and gourmet sandwiches round out the selections. Outpost also doubles as a small batch roastery, striving to embrace the unique features of every cup.

The Common

1071 College St, Toronto, ON M6H 1B2

College and Dufferin hosts the original location of this beloved west-end café (with a few additional outposts scattered throughout the city). The local chain has made a name for itself with its next-level coffee and signature interior (simple and comfortable, with minimal décor). A menu is notably absent from the wall, but the baristas are passionate and truly skilled at their craft. At the Common, all eyes are on the coffee, and for a good reason.

Crema Coffee

1-3079 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6P 1Z9

Crema is not to be missed on your next visit to the Junction. With a delightfully comfortable interior, Crema is a welcome staple for WiFi-seeking locals and those passing through. Stop by for a cortado and stay awhile for a sample of their fresh-baked, all-natural pastries.

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