Toronto Specialty

Establishment neighborhood
Dineen Coffee
140 Yonge St., Old Toronto
The Dineen Building is an 1897 Renaissance Revival beauty that now houses the flagship outpost of this popular independent café. Dineen makes a solid matcha latte and macchiato, but really it’s the building itself that’s worth a visit. Double-height ceilings, mosaic-tiled floors, and plenty of natural light and seating means that a quick cortado can turn into a few hours reading and soaking in the warmth next to one of the floor-to-ceiling windows.
St. Lawrence Market
93 Front St. E, Old Toronto
Over 120 food vendors selling artisan cheeses, exotic fruits and vegetables, Canadian wines (yes, they exist), just-caught fish, spices, and prepared grab-and-go goods call this gigantic redbrick building next to Toronto’s Inner Harbor home. Aside from all the edible items, there are also stalls selling handmade crafts and jewelry, and it’s as much a place to shop as a community hub—check the website for the program of cooking classes, workshops, and lectures throughout the year.
Tucana Coffee
1413 Dundas St. W, West Queen West
Tucana Coffee is the passion project of Tenille Clark, who spent years prior perfecting her coffee craft. A tiny space with a pretty, blush interior and cool, Cuban-inspired tropical wallpaper, Tucana is a spot to grab a seat on one of the stools, enjoy a cortado and catch up with a friend, not the place to set up shop with your laptop all day. The selection of regular and vegan baked goods encourage a second cup of carefully crafted coffee, usually brewed by Clark herself.
Sam James Coffee
917 Queen St. W, West Queen West
Founder Sam James is an award-winning barista, so it's natural you'd expect that the coffee here is nothing short of sensational. However, the real draw of this tiny, minimalist space remains the grown-up versions of throwback sweet treats like Pop Tarts and Twinkies, all made in the back by pastry chef Lindsey Gazel of LindseyBakes. Instead of tables and chairs, a long wall-side bench envelopes the space, encouraging conversation and a sense of community between drinkers, though lingering all day with a laptop is politely discouraged.
Greenhouse Juice
740 Queen St. W, West Queen West
Greenhouse Juice is a bit of a well-kept secret, but for those in the know, this wellness mecca merits a daily drop-in for smoothies and cold-pressed juice. With as many of the ingredients as possible sourced from local farms (with a particular demand for the misshapen but no less nutritious veggies typically rejected by food markets), the leftover pulp from the cold press is used as compost, and all drinks come in recycled glass bottles. Drop in for probiotic tonics, chia-seed-boosted hydrators, homemade nut milks, and a selection of cleanse options.
28 Kensington Ave., Kensington Market
This beautiful, Scandinavian-style café centers around the Swedish tradition of fika—which essentially means taking a break through the day for a coffee and ideally sweet snack. The interior is an oasis of Scandi calm—all bleached wood and greenery. (There's even a sweet nook lined with old books.) The menu is a healthy but deeply delicious mix of Nordic granola with stewed fruit, banana on toast, and signature Swedish treats like cinnamon and cardamom buns, alongside inventive riffs on classics, like lavender-infused brownies and chamomile cookies.