West Queen West
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.
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.
883 Queen St. W, West Queen West
Type Books is an adorable independent bookstore stocking titles across every category—from fiction and small-press works to art, design, and young adult. Parents and caregivers take note: There’s a wonderful section for littles out the back with kid-size mushroom-shaped stools to perch on while looking at shelves stacked with picture books and puzzles. The owners have successfully turned their business into a real community hub and regularly host evening talks with authors, giving locals the chance to engage with the literature and with one another.
1319 Dundas St. W, West Queen West
Soop Soop was born out of the owner's frustration at not being able to find the publications he was looking for in Toronto. Aside from stocking an incredible selection of over eighty international magazines and art-house publications—including Tank, Love, i-D, and Self Service—Soop Soop has also expanded its offerings to include low- to high-end streetwear, bags, and hats.
198 Walnut Ave., West Queen West
Horses Atelier was founded in 2012 by two best friends, Claudia Dey and Heidi Sopinka, who wanted to make clothes that were beautiful, utilitarian, and durable—the kind of trusted pieces that serve the backbone of your wardrobe, again and again. Sustainability is paramount to both founders, and everything is made with natural fabrics sourced from family-owned mills in Italy and Japan and sewn a mile from their Toronto studio. The pieces themselves are impossible not to love—soft turtlenecks, cool utilitarian jumpsuits in block colors, pretty silk dresses in loose shapes, and cocoon-shaped outerwear in the softest wool.
2800 Dundas St., West Queen West
This super casual spot is usually crowded for brunch but not so crowded that you’ll be waiting for a table forever, especially when the weather’s nice and you can take advantage of the outdoor seating. The menu covers everything from poached-egg dishes and shakshuka to reliably delicious fresh baked goods (think double-chocolate banana muffins), with an emphasis on fresh, organic fare.
The Drake Hotel
1150 W. Queen St., West Queen West
You barely have to leave the hotel bar to feel like you've had a night out on the town at this nineteen-room boutique hotel, which seems to absorb the neighborhood's buzzy vibe. Mid-century modern furnishings, a rose-petal turndown service, and, yes, even a pleasure menu put the Drake firmly in the cool category as far as hotels go. While the Drake is primarily a hotel, it operates as a type of community gathering place with its own concert venue, an extremely popular rooftop bar, an omakase-based sushi joint, and a rotating roster of art exhibits.