Not Your Typical Caramel Macchiato

Not Your Typical Caramel Macchiato

The top three local coffee shops in Toronto


Photo: Life at U of T

Students worldwide turn to coffee and tea in times of stress, exhaustion, relaxation, and as a social activity. A hot coffee is like a warm hug — there for you in the middle of midterms when you need one more than anything. Typically, coffee shops are the best place to write papers, study, or in my case, write articles. Because of this, I have carefully curated a list of the three best local coffee shops to get your daily dose of caffeine.

The third best coffee shop, found at Bloor and St. George, serves a variety of hot beverages, pastries, and brunch-style grub. L’Espresso Bar Mercurio makes my heart melt and my taste buds tingle. Decorated like a true European café, sitting in the restaurant whisks you away to a relaxing state.

The second best coffee shop, located at Bay and Wellesley, has a large menu filled with baked goods, lattes, and coffee. Known for having coffee beans from across the world, Coffee Island can make you an espresso using coffee beans of your choice.

The absolute best coffee shop, hidden in the Junior Common Room (JCR) at University College, has a more intimate feel than the aforementioned coffee shops. Playing indie music and making delicious drinks, the baristas truly know how to brighten anyone’s mood. In the middle of midterm season, being served by fellow students who know the struggle and can relate makes all the difference. The beverages and pastries are genuine — tea lattes made with tea bags instead of powder, baked goods like your grandma would make. They offer Fair Trade coffee and have vegan, vegetarian, and organic options. Diabolos Coffee Bar makes me want to spend all day in the comfortable JCR, chatting with the baristas and sipping on fairly priced cappuccinos.

Supporting local coffee shops helps fulfill dreams of those who run them. Competing with the big names such as the Starbucks and Tim Hortons of the world is no walk in the park. However, the above coffee shops definitely give chains a run for their money. The valiant efforts given by L’Espresso Bar Mercurio, Coffee Island, and Diabolos Coffee Bar to keep up with the big names should be rewarded and celebrated. Even though they may not be on every corner, a short walk out of the way can open up a new and better study spot. The money spent not only aids the small business owners, but definitely tastes and feels better.

L’Espresso Bar Mercurio, Coffee Island, and Diabolos Coffee Bar are all well worth trying. All within five minutes from campus, you can enjoy any of these top three coffee shops!