While an in-store barista may not draw hordes of customers into a store, it can certainly encourage shoppers to linger—and provide a jolt of energy to anyone tired from a long changing room session. No wonder Toronto’s cadre of retail-coffee shop hybrids continues to grow. Below, five of our favourite spots to sip and shop.
- The front half of Citizenry, which opened on West Queen West last month, is an atmospheric café selling baked Portuguese treats like egg tarts and pheasant empadas. The clothing boutique in the back is full of upscale, fashion-forward pieces by Portuguese clothing designers Daniela Barros and Story Tailors and accessories brand Artelusa. 982 Queen St. W., 647-458-6672.
- Alongside well-made casual menswear, two-year-old Little Portugal shop Lost and Found stocks fresh chocolate chip pretzel cookies from Bakelab ($1.50), locally-made lemonade and espresso beans from Chicago’s Metropolis Coffee Company. 1255 Dundas St. W., 647-348-2810.
- Zai Rajkotwala, who used to co-own Lost and Found, opened Easy Tiger Goods just down the street in June. The eclectic merchandise ranges from home decor to skin care, and there’s a small café at the back serving free-trade coffee, baked treats and high-end popsicles. 1447 Dundas St. W., 647-748-6161.
- Furniture and decor company Elte just added a 70-seat café to its sprawling North Toronto showroom. The vintage-industrial decor is replete with pendant chandeliers and high top stools designed by Burdifilek, while the menu includes coffee, fresh salads and sandwiches, and pastries from luxe bakery Dufflet. 80 Ronald Ave., 416-785-7885.
- Boho boutique Lavish and Squalor opened an espresso bar on its second level last spring. Depleted Queen West shoppers can buy hot drinks, kale smoothies and baked treats from Two Cookie Girls. Better yet, on Saturday nights, the bar serves free cocktails from 5–7 p.m. 253 Queen St. W., 416-599-4779.