Pilot is one of Toronto’s leading indie coffee roasters and cafe brands, launched in 2009 by Andy Wilkins, originally from Wellington, New Zealand. The space on Ossington Avenue feels very open with natural light flooding in the large front windows. The most striking design feature is the geometric ceiling accents. Try single origin coffees or espresso via Pilot’s unique Modbar espresso machine.
Neo Coffee Bar is considered by many locals to be the best cafe in Toronto, serving local and international roasters, including Toronto’s own De Mello Palheta or Onibus Coffee of Tokyo. The coffee is great, but so are the handmade cakes, pastries, and sandwiches, all are prepared from scratch in-house with locally sourced ingredients.
Sam James Coffee serves great coffee, with a sense of style and culture that fits Toronto as a city. Owner Sam James comes from the skateboarding industry, and has built his cafe into a beautiful fusion of coffee and street culture with subtle, minimalist design. Visit here for espresso and delicious brewed coffee.
Boxcar Social is a multi-roaster, meaning you have your pick of coffees from roasters around the world, including Phil and Sebastian, Lüna, The Barn, Monogram, Sey, and Transcend, to name a few. Their coffee bars are well-thought-out and beautifully executed examples of modern cafe design.
The Library owner Jeffrey Ji learned the coffee trade in Melbourne, and he’s created a coffee bar that uniquely expresses both Australian and Japanese influences. Education and quality are the top priority here, and that extends to Ji’s own in-house coffee roasting program.
The Coffee Lab has a tiny footprint of only 52 square feet and finds itself wedged between a used bookstore and a vape shop in Toronto’s Annex neighborhood. Despite its meager dimensions, The Coffee Lab is outfitted with professional coffee equipment from brands like La Marzocco and Mazzer, and their signature drink is The Drop, a condensed shot of espresso over cold milk served in a medical beaker.