When it comes to coffee, we absolutely stand on the shoulders of giants. Not long ago, your choices were limited when ordering a cup of coffee to basically just milk or sugar. Coffee was fairly basic, but definitely still did the trick. Over the years, we swung a little too far in the other direction; spoiled with choice, people started ordering complicated concoctions that with some combination of sugar-free, iced, or soy-based, etc..
Now, we find ourselves somewhere in the middle. This is a sweet spot not only with quality options but also choices that have evolved beyond taste, moving into something much grander with beautiful and interesting designs.
Formally, though still delicious, a café latté often appeared rather mundane in it's mug. Now, our cup runneth over with cute and creative designs by talented baristas around Toronto. It’s common to find a heart, swan, or flower swirled into the foam of you latté, which is a lovely treat in and of itself.
These shops we highlight below go above and beyond to create intricate and unique designs to livin up your morning coffee order and brighten your day.
1. Versus Coffee
Photo Credit: @versuscoffee
This downtown hot-spot is known for brightening up your day, literally with their colourful latté designs. They have a great selection including detox tea lattés and turmeric tea lattés among their other cheerful selections. See for yourself on Instagram or, better yet, sip for yourself at Versus Coffee, 70 Adelaide St E, Toronto.
2. Himalayan Coffee House
Photo Credit: @himalayancoffeehouse
This cute little uptown cafe has made latté art their specialty--they even take requests! You can see photos of the creations of their baristas on the front windows of the cafe and on their Instagram account, but we recommend you go and see for yourself at Himalayan Coffee House, 2552 Yonge St, Toronto, Canada.
3. San Remo Bakery
Photo Credit: @sanremobakery
It is impossible to leave San Remo in a bad mood. This Etobicoke shop not only will print you a custom piece of art on your latté but they are also a full service Italian bakery so on any given day, you can walk out of their with a shirtless photo of Ryan Gosling and a dozen authentic Sicilian cannoli's. Hey Girl, indeed :D. You can get a sneak peek on Instagram, but we highly recommend you visit in person at San Remo Bakery, 374 Royal York Road Toronto.
4. Tokyo Smoke
Photo Credit: @baristabrian
This list would not be complete without mentioning the ultra-trendy original home of Barista Brian. This espresso bar/smoke shop is located inside a beautifully designed shipping container located in between two converted warehouses. Very cool location! And, origin spot of the latté legend Barista Brian, named Toronto's Best Latté Artist in 2015. Since then, he and his art have made many appearances in the media, famously getting shoutouts from John Legend, Rashida Jones, and Peter Dinklage among many celebrities. See his amazing body of work on Instagram or swing by the shop at Tokyo Smoke, 850B Adelaide Street West, Toronto, ON.
5. Mercury Espresso Bar
Photo Credit: @mercuryespresso
This Leslieville coffee house is known for its hot coffee and cool designs, running the gamut from your standard heart or flower designs all the way to an Alf portraits, medusa head or phoenix. Don't forget to sample the baking as well! Visit them on Instagram or at Mercury Espresso Bar, 915 Queen St East, Toronto.
6. Page One Cafe
Photo Credit: @pageone_cafeServing colourful creations that are almost too pretty to drink! Visit this very cool downtown cafe for some beautifully designed java and a delicious snack (try the cheeseboard). They are located near Ryerson at Page One Cafe, 106 Mutual St. Unit 8, Toronto and on Instagram.
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