The crema the crop: Toronto's 9 best coffee shops for a first date
Ah, the coffee date. It's easy to see why it is such an enduring classic of a date idea: a coffee shop is the perfect place to linger a while and bond with your date while also being low-key enough to let you avoid too much first-date pressure. It's the ideal combination!
Of course, if you'd like your date to last longer than a couple of hastily chugged espressos, you must pick the right coffee shop. You want someplace where the coffee is delicious, the food tasty, and the ambience welcoming. A place where, if the date is going well, you can happily order that second round of lattes. Luckily Toronto is full of such delights - and we've found 9 of the best. Click through our slideshow to find Toronto's 9 best coffee shops for a first date.
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The 9 best coffee shops in Toronto
Toronto's 9 most date-worthy coffee shops
The picturesque one: Rooster Coffee House (479 Broadview Ave)
Photo: provided by Rooster Coffee House
Like drinking coffee with a view? Then you must try Rooster Coffee's Broadview location - they're right across the street from Riverdale Park, which means your coffee comes served in front of a gorgeous vista that stretches all the way from the park to the skyline of Downtown Toronto. Coffee date views don't get much better than that!
It's not just the location that makes this one of Toronto's best coffee shops for a first date. As co-owner Shawn Andrews told EliteSingles, ''we [Rooster] have always made "love" our number one value'' - and that mantra is apparent from the moment you walk in the door. The delicious coffee, sunny service, and tasty food contribute to the kind of date that starts as coffee and becomes lunch, then a walk in the park, and, swiftly, into making plans for a second meeting.
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The sustainable one: Reunion Island Coffee (385 Roncevalles Ave)
Photo: provided by Reunion Island Coffee
Want a coffee date with style? Then try the Reunion Island Coffee Bar in Roncevalles. The flagship location of Reunion Island Coffee Roasters, this cafe is famous for its sleek styling, beautiful plants, and, most of all, one of Toronto's most Instagrammed floors (spelling out 'COFFEE' in big letters, it leaves you in no doubt about this cafe's priorities!).
Yet, Reunion Island serves up more than just style. Thanks to their sustainable beliefs, they're also a great pick for dates with eco-friendly coffee lovers: from a carbon-neutral coffee roasting operation, to ethically sourced beans, to the fact that they plant trees for every pound of their Sierra Verde coffee sold, this is the green way to enjoy a brew. If that wasn't enough, their drinks are delicious, with the coffee bar acting as a creative outpost of the roastery. Perfect!
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The charming one: FIKA Cafe (28 Kensington Ave)
Photo: provided by FIKA Cafe
In North America, coffee breaks are often rushed affairs that are more about fueling up than slowing down. The Swedish version of the coffee break, also known as fika, is very different - it's all about pausing to appreciate the moment (often with cake or a pastry in addition to coffee). It's a cozy time to share with friends, to take stock, and to simply enjoy life.
Now, Sweden is a little far from Toronto to be a viable first date pick. But, for those who still want a fika fix, there is FIKA in Kensington Market, a Nordic cafe where coziness and calm reign. With cute surroundings (a wall of books inside, and a pretty patio outside), gorgeous coffee and sweet treats like cinnamon buns, this is the perfect place to simply relax and get to know your date. You don't have to be Swedish to know that sounds divine.
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The summery one: White Squirrel Coffee Shop (907 Queen St W)
Photo: provided by White Squirrel Coffee Shop
If you or your date have a sweet tooth, then White Squirrel should definitely be on your list of the best coffee shops in Toronto. Their tasty muffins and pastries are made in-house and are ideal for warming up cool winter days, while their delicious gelato is just the thing for a date on a summer's day. Plus, whatever the weather, the coffee is fantastic.
When a cafe is this good, it gets popular, and it's true that in the summer White Squirrel can be busy. But, luckily, they're just over the street from Trinity Bellwoods Park, meaning that you can easily take your coffee and gelato to go, and head out on a romantic stroll. Who knows, you may even catch a glimpse of a so-called 'Toronto unicorn' aka one of the white squirrels the cafe is named for (it seems rumours of their death are greatly exaggerated!),
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The antipodean one: Te Aro (983 Queen St E)
Photo: iStockToronto's coffee culture is fantastic, but it's a drop in the cup compared with the coffee love in Wellington, New Zealand (where great brews can be found at every turn - even the airport coffee cart has single-origin beans!). Thanks to Te Aro, though, you don't have to go all the way to Wellington to sample Kiwi coffee. You just have to head to Leslieville.Named after a Wellington suburb, Te Aro is one of the coffee shop outposts of Pilot Coffee Roasters, an operation that focuses on small-batch roasts of ethically sourced, high quality beans. Yet, even with this dedication to craft coffee, Te Aro only ever feels welcoming, never pretentious. Bring your date, grab coffees and some of their truly epic sandwiches, and spend a few hours on their spacious patio. It's first-date coffee shop bliss.Want a great date? Try our 10 first date tips (that are actually useful)!
The hip one: Louie Craft Coffee (1187 King St W)
If you're planning a romantic meet up in Liberty Village, then you have to make plans to hit up one of Toronto's best coffee shops - the hip and cheerful Louie Craft Coffee. Founded by a pair of sisters, and named after the family dog, Louie is the kind of place that combines laid-back minimalism with true friendliness, making it ideal for a low-key yet trendy first date.
Louie's coffee also stands out: they brew an in-house special blend that's roasted for them by the Toronto-famous Social Coffee Co. It's the base for a great variety of drinks, from standard espresso pours to a really tasty cold brew (so refreshing in the hotter months)! Come and linger with your date, and make sure to split one of Louie's delicious cookies - they're about the size of your hand, so ideal for sharing. Now that's romance!
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The gorgeous one: Dineen Coffee Co. (140 Yonge Street)
When you're planning a really romantic first date in Toronto, your mind might not immediately go to a coffee shop. But that would be a shame, as it would mean overlooking the gorgeous Dineen Coffee Co., an opulent, romantic cafe that serves wonderful food and drinks in a setting that feels more like Europe than the inner GTA.
Housed on the ground floor of the historic Dineen building, Dineen Coffee Co. combines heritage elements like Corinthian columns, chandeliers, and beautiful tiling with modern pops like bright yellow coffee machines. The result is a coffee shop that feels fresh and fun yet also timeless and really romantic - it's simply ideal for a date. Pro tip: try their almond croissant. It's dreamy.
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The quirky one: Hula Girl Espresso (456 Ossington Ave.)
Want a coffee date in Toronto that has a quirky flair? Hula Girl Espresso needs to be on your list. The Ossington branch of the Dundas original, Hula Girl is full of interesting decor. From the huge, Lichtenstein-inspired mural by Toronto artist Denial, to the light-up circus letters that say, 'Butter Coffee', this is one place where you'll never be short of conversation starters.
The quirkiness isn't just about decor though - Hula Girl's menu is also one-of-a-kind. Highlights include their homemade 'crowbars' (chocolate bars baked inside a croissant), and the aforementioned butter coffee (a special blend of beans, combined with coconut oil, and actual butter). Diet friendly? Perhaps not. But, when it's this delicious, you can forget the diet for one day - especially if you have a date to split the treats with.
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The artistic one: Early Bird Coffee & Kitchen (613 Queen St W)
Think that healthy coffee shops are by necessity earnest and dull? Early Bird Coffee & Kitchen on Queen St West will make you think again. From their range of coffees and colourful hot drinks, to their visually stunning brunches (the avocado toast must be seen to be believed!), everything here is bright, fresh, and delicious.
What makes Early Bird one of Toronto's most date-worthy coffee shops is that it's simply a wonderfully romantic place to bring a date. The brunch plates come bedecked with flowers, the latte art often takes the form of an intricate heart and, the whole space feels open and charming. For summer lovers, there's even a secret upstairs patio. As Toronto date ideas go, Early Bird is a true winner.From coffee dates to date nights, here are Canada's best date ideas
A map of Toronto's 9 best coffee shops for a date