Ten all-day cafés that serve booze
Toronto cafés—possibly tired of playing second fiddle to licensed establishments—are making the transition from morning pit stops to all-day affairs, where muffins and lattes share chalkboard space with charcuterie boards and whisky flights. (Even at a few Starbucks locations, guests can show I.D. for some of the new “evening menu” drinks.) Here, 10 hybrid spots that are all business in the morning and all party at night.
This piece of Paris in the Path is the second of two locations for NYC’s Maman. It provides nine-to-fivers in the Business District with their daily dose of caffeine, as well as post-work cocktails.
Eats: Sandwiches, house-made crossaints and tartinettes topped with things like Brillat-Savarin cheese and caramelized onions.
Drinks: Coffee from Toby’s Estate in Brooklyn; cocktails, including one made with foie gras; beer; wine; and champers, of course.
First Canadian Place, 100 King St. W., Mezzanine Level, 416-216-6767, mamantoronto.com
Boxcar Social keeps Summerhill and Riverside residents both caffeinated and tipsy (but not necessarily at the same time).
Eats: Sandwiches and charcuterie boards.
Drinks: Flights of coffee (or the “Whiskey Tango” flight that comes with two espressos and two bourbons); local and international wines, most available by the glass; bottles and cans of beer (there’s draught at the Riverside location), and a whole lotta liquor.
1208 Yonge St., 416-792-5873; 4 Boulton Ave., 647-344-4530, boxcarsocial.ca
This cute-as-a-button room in Little Italy is equally perfect for clacking on a laptop during the day, and canoodling over cocktails at night.
Eats: Cheese and meat boards, pies from the Pie Commission and Swedish snacks like skagenröra—toast topped with a Nordic spread of chopped baby shrimp, crème fraîche, red onion, mayo, lemon and dill.
Drinks: Ruffino espresso; Sloane teas; Ontario beer on tap, as well as some large-format bottles; and a bunch of signature cocktails, like the Algonquin made with Rittenhouse rye, Dolin dry vermouth and pineapple.
607 College St., 647-352-5520, thewalton607.com
Vegans head to this Bloordale hybrid for its meat-and-dairy-free menu, as well as the crafted cocktails.
Eats: Baked goods, including decadent cakes; fancy toast; and charcuterie boards topped with nut cheese, mushroom paté and pickle veggies.
Drinks: Loose-leaf tea and twists on classic cocktails, like Snakes on a Paper Plane (pictured above) made with bourbon, amaro nonino, Aperol, lemon and Burlesque bitters.
1190 Bloor St. W., 647-925-3310, @greytigerTO
Ryerson students have a new place to study (or procrastinate). Decorative vintage typewriters and lattes inspire studious behaviour. Flaming cocktails do not.
Eats: Salads, wraps, guac and chips and cheese plates.
Drinks: Coffee, plus four beers on tap, some cider and house cocktails like the Catching Fire (pictured above) made with gin, house-made cinnamon syrup, mint and a lime on fire.
106 Mutual St., 416-663-4920, pageonecafe.com
Thor Espresso’s little brother in the east end stays up late and likes to drink.
Eats: House-baked goods, and a rotating selection of savoury snacks and light meals.
Drinks: Coffee from Pilot; draught beer, including some from Leslieville’s own Left Field; a selection of Niagara and PEC wines by the glass and bottle; and classic cocktails, too.
514 King St. E., 647-350-6346, odinhus.tumblr.com
Black Cat Espresso Bar
Drinks of all kinds are served at this College café from 7 a.m. (lattes, cortados, pour-overs) until 2 a.m. (craft beer, manhattans, old fashioneds) Tuesday to Saturday.
Eats: Sandwiches, like bacon-and-egg breakfast ones, and deep-dish chocolate-chip cookies.
Drinks: Pour-over coffee; tallboys and large-format bottles of beer, including some from Bellwoods; cocktails; wine; and a small selection of scotch and bourbon.
1104 College St., 647-385-9929, @Blackcattoronto
This laid-back spot in Little Portugal (the offshoot of nearby bar Unloveable) is open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. every single day. That’s some serious commitment. It also has a great patio.
Eats: There’s no kitchen here, but there is a case of Jamaican patties. And last summer, Loveless hosted guest chefs like Basilio Pesce and Brandon Olsen who barbecued stuff.
Drinks: Beans from Cut Coffee, beer (a rotating selection of tallboys, large-format bottles and a couple taps) and cocktails.
1430 Dundas St. W., 647-346-2402, @thelovelesscafe
Northern Belle is the second location for cozy Christie Pits watering hole Northwood, and has an equally long list of both caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, as well as a Trinity Bellwoods–adjacent patio.
Eats: Sandwiches (five-spice pork, barbecue chicken and Swiss) and snacks (cheese trays, chicken liver and peppercorn paté).
Drinks: A rotating list of single-origin coffees; cold brew coffee made in-house; wine; lots of beer, most of it from Ontario and Québec; a couple of ciders; and a bunch of signature cocktails, like the El Amour (pictured above) made with Tio Pepe sherry, house tiki rhum, lime, bergamot and honey. Bonus: All beer is $2 off every day between 5 and 7 p.m.
913 Dundas St. W., 416-823-8969, northernbelle.ca
Starbucks launched a new evening menu in three Toronto locations, serving high-octane bevies and small plates. In this case “evening” means any time after 2 p.m.
Eats: Parmesan-crusted chicken skewers, truffle mac and cheese (pictured above) and bacon-wrapped balsamic dates, to name a few.
Drinks: A selection of Canadian and international wines by the glass, beer from Amsterdam and Muskoka breweries and Pommies cider.
3079 Bloor St. W., 416-231-6116; 446 Spadina Rd., 416-932-0895; 1740 Avenue Rd., 416-780-1380, starbucks.ca