On days when you don’t feel like committing to a long lunch, meeting over coffee is a great way to catch up with a friend or colleague — but meeting over really good coffee is even better. Luckily, for Bay Streeters, sit-down coffee shops in the Financial District serve up some awesome joe. Here are my three favourite joints.
Dineen Coffee Co.
Whenever I introduce someone to this Yonge and Temperance café, they always marvel at its beauty. With floor-to-ceiling windows, patterned tile floors, red leather benches and gorgeous accents (including a chandelier that used to hang in the Royal York), the space is stunning. But don’t judge Dineen by the cover alone: the coffee, brewed using beans from local roasters, is the main draw. I’m partial to the light-roast drip coffee, which uses single origin Colombian beans. Finding a table at Dineen midday can be tricky, as it’s become a go-to coffee spot. So you’ll have to be agile and quick to score a table, especially one by the window.
140 Yonge Street
M Square Coffee Co.
If you want a quieter coffee shop than Dineen, with tables that are always up for grabs, try M Square. Because it’s located in the Sheraton Centre in the PATH, you don’t have to brave the elements on rainy or snowy days to get your caffeine fix. M Square uses multiple roasters but its staple roaster is Phil & Sebastian out of Calgary. M Square was also the first café in Toronto to use Transcend Coffee beans, another Canadian company based out of Edmonton. My drink of choice is its Americano, which is strong enough to get me over any midday slump. I also like its Clever Coffee Drip, which takes two to four minutes to steep, but is worth the wait.
123 Queen Street West
Maman opened its first Canadian location this past July in the mezzanine of First Canadian Place. It’s a combination bakery, café and restaurant that serves up French-inspired cuisine and excellent coffee, using beans from Brooklyn-based Toby’s Estate. Maman’s décor, inspired by a French country kitchen, features custom-made furniture crafted by a carpenter in the South of France. The shop’s name is fitting: the seating at communal tables is reminiscent of eating at your mother’s table. Maman is famous for its chocolate-chip cookie, but what will really get your day off to a great start is a shot of espresso with a financier, and an almond-based pastry served in Paris.
100 King Street West
Closed on Sunday
Iman Abokor is an insurance defence lawyer at Lawson LLP and Precedent’s coffee columnist.