HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Are you making a specialty food? Get great advice

Cute cafe for reading?

zen123 Mar 8, 2009 12:26 PM

Hi all!

Just wondering, any recommendations for a cute, cozy cafe for reading and a little people watching (weekday afternoons)?

Location: As central as possible, but I don't mind venturing anywhere within the GTA.

Atmosphere: I'm trying to avoid one with lots of students doing hardcore studying, laptops everywhere, etc. I would like one where people are either reading (non-textbooks, preferably), chatting, or doing other leisurely or artsy things (writing, for example).

Price is not an issue, Wifi not necessary (in fact, as I mentioned, I'd prefer a cafe where there are little to no laptops).

Do cafes like this exist?

Thank you so much!

  1. z
    zen123 Mar 9, 2009 11:19 AM

    Thanks for all the replies!

    Any other thoughts?
    Also, among all the choices, which one has the best crowd / patrons, or is best for people watching? I plan to spend a lot of time in the next few weeks in the cafe, so may as well make that a criterion too!


    1 Reply
    1. re: zen123
      AzulH Mar 9, 2009 11:40 AM

      Here are forty-odd other thoughts:


    2. Rabbit Mar 9, 2009 04:56 AM

      I'm not sure this will do it for you, but I really like L'Espresso Bar Mercurio.

      It's at Bloor and St. George, so super-central. Coffee is very good and they have nice food options too (including some great Italian pastries). It is close to University of Toronto so it has an academic crowd, but it's generally more professorial than undergrad-y. There are often people working/writing, but it's not that kind of laptop-central place that you're trying to avoid. There are no comfy chairs, only tables, so if you want to sit back in an armchair this isn't your spot. Still, it's very charming, and with a pretty side-garden in summer months. Might be worth a try. And you can always get a glass of wine if you decide coffee isn't doing it for you.


      1. w
        woodsey Mar 8, 2009 04:01 PM

        Along the subway line, there is The Only Cafe (near the Only Bar)--may have the names mixed up, just west of Donlands subway Station. East of Greenwood station there is Niche Cafe.

        On Queen St. E, east of Leslie on the south side there is also a cute cafe I think called Simple or something like that. It's all white on the outside.

        1 Reply
        1. re: woodsey
          MMM Mar 8, 2009 08:10 PM

          Ezra's Pound on Dupont is very charming!


        2. ChalkBoy Mar 8, 2009 12:57 PM

          Upstairs at Balzac's in the Distillery District.

          Show Hidden Posts