Cafes in Toronto

Some cool cafes of Toronto.

By Tamires Gomes



It’s a fact that the life of a student isn’t easy, but it is possible to make it more enjoyable! Exchange students who come to Toronto to improve their English do have to study, but the study location can vary and this can make the long hours of study much easier. That’s where the numerous cafes scattered throughout Toronto and their delicious coffees come in.

Drinking coffee in North America is different than in Brazil. The coffee is watered down and ready to be taken anywhere in disposable cups. Our famous Brazilian espresso isn’t here, but to make up for it, Toronto has great coffee made from select coffee beans, many of which are Brazilian, with high quality processing. Generally, the coffee shops are pleasant and relaxed environments with free Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, in some places the prices are not quite so affordable, but it can be worth it if we look at the cost-benefit analysis!

You’ll meet new people, who might be native or fluent in English, save energy and internet at home, take refuge from the cold winter, indulge in different flavours, enjoy cozy sofas and chairs, and a variety of newspapers and magazines are available for reading. Not to mention that you’ll discover different places around the city! It’s worth it to change up your study location, creating a more enjoyable and delicious routine! Studying can’t be easier when you’re in an inviting place, with drinks, savoury snacks and a warm fireplace!

If you like the “North American tradition,” the recommended coffee shops are: Tim Hortons, Starbucks, Second Cup and Timothy’s, all of which are good options as they have fixed price lists and free Wi-Fi. There is not much to expect in terms of novelties, which can also have its qualities when you are seeking stability for an afternoon of studying. Additionally, there is a definite bonus in that some of these locations are open until midnight and some are even open 24 hours!

For those of you looking for different, personalized and much more charming options, here is a list!

Kensington’s Espresso Bar

Quality coffee, great atmosphere and free internet access. A great place to study on week nights. Located in Kensington Market, super close to downtown Toronto. A menu pleasing to students’ pockets and definitely a place to get some productive study hours in.

Moonbean Cafe

Also located in Kensington Market, this cafe serves one of the most delicious lattes in Toronto. This place is recommended for group meetings because it doesn’t have free internet access and is a bit noisy, thus making it a perfect space to discuss group presentations and ideas.

Coffee Zone

Located in the heart of Toronto (across from College Station), this cafe is a perfect place to study! With plenty of tables and free internet access, an attractive menu with lots of coffee beverages and goodies, this cafe is a great spot to bring your books and spend hours studying!

Manic Coffee

The coffee at this place is really delicious, with loads of tables and plenty of magazines to read. Located at 426 College Street, it is a great place for the weekend and organizing ideas with one of these coffees is a delight!

Bulldog Coffee

The cafe lattes and cappuccinos are served with a touch of art, which can be a great reward after long hours of studying. And the place offers (almost) everything a good coffee shop should offer. Well worth the visit! 89 Granby Street, close to Church and Carlton St.

Exchange Coffee

This cafe is located in a food court on Dundas Street. The price is super affordable and it offers a multitude of different coffees, such as Swiss chocolate flavour, vanilla and more! It’s like tasting candy but actually, you are drinking black coffee! A real delight! The cool thing is that this place opens early, around 7 am, which can be a great choice for those who need to have a good dose of caffeine to start studying!

Dark Horse Espresso Bar (Kensington Market & Chinatown)

This coffee shop has higher prices, but the service is top-notch. The coffee is made with an added touch and every cup is a real work of art, not to mention the fact that the ambience is super alternative: a great space to find creative people!

Aroma Espresso

This cafe follows the same pattern as that of Starbucks, Second Cup and Timothy’s, so quality service is guaranteed. All stores offer free internet and comfortable tables near fireplaces. This place usually fills up fast because of the affordable prices and superior quality. The trick is to arrive early to ensure your study place.