Toronto’s best licensed cafés right now
514 King St. E., 647-350-6346, odinhus.tumblr.com
Thor Espresso’s little brother in the east end stays up late and likes to drink. There’s coffee from local roastery Pilot, but there’s also draft beer, including some from Leslieville’s own Left Field, and a selection of Niagara and P.E.C. wines and classic cocktails, too. Foodbenders and the Empanada Company supply the more solid menu items.
1208 Yonge St., 416-792-5873; 4 Boulton Ave., 647-344-4530, boxcarsocial.ca
Boxcar Social keeps Summerhill and Riverside residents both caffeinated and tipsy with flights of coffee or whiskey (or flights of coffee and whiskey). A small snack menu includes sandwiches and charcuterie boards, and the Riverside location serves a decent selection of draft beer.
607 College St., 647-352-5520, thewalton607.com
This cute-as-a-button room in Little Italy is equally perfect for clacking on a laptop during the day and canoodling over cocktails—like the Algonquin, made with rye, dry vermouth and pineapple—at night. For snacking, there are Swedish bites like skagenröra—toast topped with a Nordic spread of chopped baby shrimp, crème fraîche, red onion, mayo, lemon and dill.
1190 Bloor St. W., 647-925-3310, greytiger.ca
Vegans head to this Bloordale hybrid for its meat- and dairy-free menu, which includes fancy toast (topped with things like organic peanut butter, banana slices and coconut “bacon”), mushroom pâté and decadent, you-won’t-believe-they’re-vegan cakes, as well as the crafted cocktails, including the Snakes on a Paper Plane, made with bourbon, Amaro Nonino, Aperol, lemon and Burlesque bitters.
First Canadian Place, 100 King St. W., mezzanine level, 416-216-6767, mamantoronto.com
This piece of Paris downtown is the second of two locations for Maman (the first one was in SoHo, N.Y.C.). The pretty place wears many hats—bakery, café, bar—and provides nine-to-fivers in the business district with their daily dose of caffeine, house-made croissants or savoury tartinettes, and post-work cocktails (including one made with foie gras) and glasses of bubbly, of course.