Seem like a cool sophisticated person who knows the best spots in the city
You have date on OkCupid or Tinder or Bumble or whatever and you want to impress. Show your date that you’re cool by taking them to one of these super awesome coffee places. And if you’re single, who knows you might meet someone for a casual coffee. Anything is possible. Because coffee isn’t just a drink, it’s an experience of a place.
Here are the top five best coffee places near George Brown College. This list is really curated, not like those other top five lists where people just visit Wikipedia or recycle old BlogTO articles.
519 Parliament St. (near St. James or Waterfront)
Jet Fuel is one of the original Toronto coffee spots that kicked off the indie coffee revolution in this city and it’s still one of the greats. Once upon a time it was a bike courier spot, and they still maintain an irreverent don’t-give-a-shit style that’s not a hipster put-on. You’ll see architects, street-involved people and grad students in the same spot. Order the $3 latte. Their espresso is great but the latte is where it’s really at. This is a must visit spot for anyone visiting or living in Toronto. It really expresses the distinct feel of the city. My good friend took a Tinder date here and they’ve been going out for three months!
First and Last (formerly Super Jet International)
346 Dupont St. (near Casa Loma)
Just south of Casa Loma campus on Dupont is First and Last, which is the former location of the beloved Super Jet international. Owner Sharon Nutzati, was a barista at Super Jet and she bought the cafe, which still has some of its long-time staff who have worked the location for years. Nutzati is obviously in love with the neighbourhood and the cafe, which has upgraded its baked goods while retaining the excellent coffee of its predecessor. If you go to Casa Loma campus and you haven’t checked this place out you are really missing out. Get your prospective date just off of campus and into the real world by taking them on a low-key adventure here.
100-161 Frederick St. (near St. James)
This place is a bit upscale, though the espresso is still only $2.75 so your caffeine for dollar value is still great. The espresso is some of the best in the city, and it has a welcoming neighbourhood vibe in an area not known for that. The modernist wood decor is nonetheless welcoming. Plus they specialize in Japanese-inspired desserts. I got the matcha cheesecake and it was one of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten. Show your date that you can find the hidden bathroom behind a wood panel in the back and you will seem like a cool person who knows the city.
1 Trinity St. (near GBC theatre school)
OK, so Balzac’s is a chain, but it’s so great that it makes it in here. It has great coffee and lots of seating space (and an upstairs gallery!) and the atmosphere is perfect for romantic conversation. It really has that Distillery District post-industrial vibe, but it doesn’t feel pretentious or annoying. Indeed this could be a really great gateway coffee place to the indie coffee world if you’re most used to chains like Starbucks or Aroma. After coffee, you can watch a play at the GBC theatre school which is performing Candide until Feb. 17 and student tickets are just $10. The Distillery District is a byword for gentrification but its also so fun to take someone’s hand and wander around in- but I visited with my brother so that’s was a mood killer.
1359 Davenport Rd. and 3 Oakwood Ave
It’s not on your way to or from anything unless you happen to live in the northwest, but The Sovereign is still the best coffee shop in the city, and a prime spot to take someone. The espresso is the best, but it’s the atmosphere that really makes it for me. It’s a proper local spot where people of all different demographics gather. It’s the best of an old New York-style neighbourhood Toronto but with a new Toronto foodie sensibility. Ask Ross Salvi, the co-owner, at The Sovereign on Oakwood, to tell you about espresso or the neighbourhood and you’ll get a grad school education in coffee.