HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


Good non-chain coffee in Financial District

  • n

Does it exist? I am sick to death of Timmy's, and I can't afford Starbucks/Second Cup. I am just looking for some no-frills, reasonably priced, good coffee.. The closer to King & York, the better!

Any suggestions?

Jet Fuel is just too far, unfortunately :(

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I used to pick up cheap coffee from Marcello's under Scotia Plaza. $1/cup any size, several different flavours.

    1. There has to be some form of good independant cafe in the largest coffee consuming area of Toronto. Someone needs to open a Caffe Artigiano here :) So far, the closest I can find is at 401 Richmond - The Roastery. That's still 1KM from University and King.

      1. Sorry neuf, it doesn't exist. I've worked in the financial district (Exchange Tower) for over 12 years, and you won't find anything but coffee chains. About 8 years ago, Faema had a store in BCE Place, but it closed. Since then, it's been nothing but the chains you mention.

        There is a Lettieri in the TD Bank food court, but I usually find the espresso there tastes burnt.

        My theory is that the high rent for downtown retail space keeps out the independents. Sad but true.

        Sometimes when I'm craving a really good latte, I'll hop on the streetcar and ride over to Red Rocket at Queen & Broadview.

        3 Replies
        1. re: AverageJo

          Do you mean Dark Horse at Queen and Broadview? Red Rocket's closer to Leslie.

          Since I've been getting used to my weekend/occasional evening latte from Dark Horse/Ezra's Pound/Broadview Espresso/new place across from Withrow Park, I've been lamenting more and more the lack of good coffee options in the financial district. I had a latte from Petit Thuet once that was ok, but which was $5.04. Wasn't as good as the others mentioned and more expensive. I went back once in desparation and it was bitter on top of expensive.

          1. re: pescatarian

            Yes, sorry for the confusion, I meant Dark Horse. For some reason I always mix it up with Red Rocket.

            And ya, I bought a latte at Petite Thuet once and it was really bitter. Great pastries, lousy coffee.

            Petite Thuet
            1 King St W, Toronto, ON M5J, CA

            1. re: AverageJo

              No worries. Just wasn't sure if there was another Red Rocket.

        2. The closest might be B Espresso Bar, Queen just east of Church. Excellent coffee/espresso, but not exactly cheap...

          B Espresso Bar
          111 Queen E, Toronto, ON M5C1S2, CA

          1. A tiny bit of a hike but at King and Portland Jimmy's Coffee is wonderful and way cheaper than the 'bucks.

            Jimmy's Coffee
            107 Portland Street, Toronto, ON M5V2N3, CA

            1. What about Bisogno Espresso Bar on Sherbourne @ Aldelaide? A little far but closer than some of the other suggestions.

              Bisogno Espresso Bar
              61 Sherbourne St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

              1 Reply
              1. re: Hmm

                Well surely outside the area that you're looking at - the cafe in my building has great coffee. We are on the subway though - University and Dundas (almost in another city I know). The cafe is the Avenue Cafe.

                I'm a HUGE fan of the dark roast.

              2. Cafe 260 (www.cafe260.com) at 260 Richmond St. East is not too shabby. They make a nice cappuccino and it's not too far from Bisogno if you're going on a coffee tour after work.

                1. Maybe the newly-opened The Gabardine? I haven't been yet so can't vouch for it, but it sounds promising both as a spot for grab-and-go muffin-and-a-latte and for lunch.

                  The Gabardine
                  372 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5H 3W1, CA

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: myriam5555

                    Goodness, The Gabardine serves solid coffee! I finally made it in for the latte and it was just the right temperature, taste and richness. They serve Rufino espresso beans, which I've never had before. Highly recommended for breakfast or middle-of-the-day break.

                    The Gabardine
                    372 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5H 3W1, CA