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8 Coffee Shops with Stunning Interiors in Toronto

Where coffee is only part of the deal.

By Elena Senechal-Becker and Julia Landolfi

If there’s one thing Toronto isn’t lacking, it’s coffee shops. The café culture in the city is booming, and even in the wake of the pandemic, third-wave spots are still popping up on every corner. And although crafting that perfect cup of joe is still the name of the game, we’re seeing some exquisitely designed shop interiors, too — as the worlds of coffee and design merge (even bags of beans have become an exercise in branding for some roasters). So, in the name of all that is local, we’ve scoured the city for some of the best-designed cafés around — here are some of our top picks.

Sonndr interiors - best coffee shops in Toronto

Sonndr

A true hidden gem, Sonndr is tucked into what used to be known as Dovercourt House — a former dance studio now occupied by a variety of disparate tenants (you’ll even find a small barber shop upstairs). The expansive space, animated by stained glass windows and soaring high ceilings, houses a small coffee bar and ample spaces to sip, read or study — from cozy couches to tufted benches and trendy stools.

 

San James coffee Bar - best coffee shops in Toronto

Sam James Coffee Bar

Minimalism is the name of the game at Sam James — the function-first café prides itself on its industrial, back-to-basics look. At the shop’s Ossington location, the only furniture is a circular bench along the storefront window. Sharing the space with a Thai BBQ restaurant, the space had to remain understated, but it’s still instantly recognizable, as wallpaper art by Jeremy Jansen — a mainstay in all Sam James locations — brings the space to life.

Brodflour - best coffee shops in Toronto

Brodflour

This bakery-turned-café-turned-pizzeria might be one of Liberty Village’s best kept secrets. Located in a tiny unit with a garage door, Brodflour mills their own flour in a stone mill and uses all of it within 24 hours for optimal freshness. With interior design by Studio Markanda, in collaboration with furniture maker Raelen Storey, the space may be small, but it’s worth visiting — especially for bread lovers.

Hamers

Hamers

Dundas West’s Hamer’s Coffee epitomizes laidback-cool design. With interiors and furniture designed by Toronto’s own Company Company Studio — of Grape Witches and 100% Silk, two other standout retail destinations — the coffee shop’s neon accents and boxy shapes looks pleasantly haphazard, but it all comes together in a remarkably harmonious way. Playful dried floral arrangements by Gunnar add another level of whimsy to the space.

Hale Coffee

Hale Coffee

The first Hale Coffee location started out in the West End —now, the roasters have expanded their reach to downtown, with a new outpost at Church and Bloor. To maintain their brand across locations, they hired local firm Sansa Interiors to carry over their signature earthy style.The studio opted for prefab millwork and a natural colour palette—featuring finishes such as unstained red oak — finished off with a striking peacock mural design to make this latest space as welcoming as could be.

Ethica Coffee Roasters

Ethica Coffee Roasters

With their retail shop located in the very same building as Azure and Designlines’ HQ, it’s safe to say that our daily operations wouldn’t be possible without fuel from our talented downstairs neighbours. Aside from delicious and ethically made caffeinated drinks, Ethica sells beans for at home brews, custom art, handmade cards and even music boxes. Whether you’re in need of a quick pick-me-up or looking for a quiet space to do some work, Ethica holds a special place in our hearts.

Fika café

Fika Café

Settle down, have a coffee, enjoy a treat –  these are all terms that roughly translate to the Swedish term “Fika.” The hard-to-miss café is located right in the heart of Kensington, and features an elegant Scandinavian interior. Our favourite detail is the hidden back wall layered with hundreds of old books for your viewing (or reading) pleasure. There’s no better way to finish off a long day of thrifting in Kensington market than a visit to Fika.

Milky interiors - best coffee shops in Toronto

Milky’s

Nothing hits the spot quite like an ice cold summer beverage from Milky’s, located just a short drive from the Lake Shore Scenic path. Coming in at a mere 336 square feet, the small space designed by Relative Space and Batay-Csorba Architects packs a big punch with their geometric wooden interior and shelf full of small trinkets by Anony, one of our favourite local designers. Choose to “dine in,” and you’ll find your coffee and snacks served in porcelain Japanese dishes inspired by age-old designs.


Categories: Eat Here

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