Toronto is a great city for many reasons: it's the home to people from a myriad of cultures resulting in incredible diversity, it's safe and perhaps most important—its food and beverage game is strong. If there is one thing that Toronto does really well in this category in particular, it’s coffee.
And in the world of commerce, the city is thriving. With lower expenses than other world cities such as New York and London, more companies are beginning to invest in the Great White North. Its proximity to major eastern American cities and direct flights to its convenient downtown city airport could mean your work will have you visiting.
An important thing to know about Toronto is that it's a city of neighborhoods and can be tough to visit without some tips from a local. Toronto's Financial District in particular can appear lackluster and result in settling for more obvious and familiar choices of the franchise variety. But even the seemingly soulless Downtown has solid spots, if you know where to find them. Say no to the overrated, corporate coffee shops and yes to awesome local java with character by heading to one of these cafes with your coworkers on your next visit.
Maman is found in the city's underground pedestrian pathway. It's genuinely French in both product and aesthetic (one of the founders is a Michelin starred chef from the south of France) and is a refreshing change amongst the standard fast-food chains found in this part of the city. Either take a seat at their gorgeous bar or their large communal tables, or get your coffee to-go in a toile-patterned cup and stroll to the nearby Cloud Gardens: an indoor conservatory with exotic plants and ferns to offer some green to your city stay.
Address: 100 King Street West, in the First Canadian Place building.
Hours: Monday - Friday 7 am - 6 pm, Saturday & Sunday Closed.
One of the newest additions to downtown Toronto is Sud Forno, which serves authentic and delicious Italian coffee and pastries. They also offer quality, home-baked food items such as pizzas and panini. Lunch can get busy, so if you're looking for a quiet spot head there in the afternoon. If you're visiting on a Tuesday, work all the way to Happy Hour starting at 4:00 PM and get free snacks (not a bowl of bar nuts—think a mini plate of focaccia, cured meat and olives) with your aperitivo. This is only spot on this list sans-wifi, so use it as spot to connect by disconnecting and brainstorm with your colleagues.
Address: 132 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5C, Canada
Hours: Monday - Friday 7am - 10 pm, Saturday & Sunday 8 am to 10 pm.
Quantum serves up quality roasted, single-origin beans. It was founded in conjunction with BrainStation: a digital skills training company offering courses, training and workshops for businesses and professionals. Its minimalist aesthetic with exposed red brick walls and simple accents of black, white and gold makes for less distraction and more work. Airy and open with ample seating, it's a perfect spot to get ideas flowing.
Address: 460 King Street W, Toronto, ON M5V 1L7, Canada
Hours: Monday - Friday 7am - 7pm, Saturday & Sunday 8am - 7pm
Dineen Coffee Co.
Dineen is a downtown landmark located in an imposing heritage building from 1897, making it one of the oldest properties in Toronto. Comfy and classic red-leather banquet seating and floor-to-ceiling windows invite you to settle in. During the summer, their large patio on a quiet side street offers a chance to get some sunshine. One of the most popular addresses on this list, you’ll feel right at home amongst the fellow suits armed with americanos.
Address: 140 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M5C 1X6, Canada
Hours: Monday - Friday 6:30am - 7pm, Saturday & Sunday 8am - 6pm
You'll find Boxcar Social on the city's newly revamped waterfront. It's all business during the day and a party at night. They not only boast coffee beans for the most discerning of consumers (featuring roasters from across Canada and beyond) but also stock an impressive list of whiskies. Inside, rustic wood finishes and plants dotted throughout make for a warm environment. If you're lucky enough to visit Toronto in the summer, opt to take your lattes and laptops on their patio, with a view overlooking Lake Ontario.
Address: 235 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8, Canada
Hours: Monday 9 am - 5 pm, Tuesday - Thursday 9 am - 5 pm, Friday & Saturday 9 am - 2 am, Sunday 9 am - 8 pm.
Christine works in the travel industry and it's the only career she knows (or ever wants to). Prior to this, she completed a degree in French studies which was mostly just an excuse to live in France. When not traveling, you can find her on the balcony of her Toronto apartment with a book and a glass of wine. You can find her on Instagram and LinkedIn.