As both cooler weather and final exams approach, the bedroom desk often becomes a daunting and depressing place for students. Rather than slave away in the library, try cozying up at one of the many charming and unique coffee shops that Toronto has to offer. Whether you’re looking to be get some artistic inspiration or merely need a distraction-free spot to finish your term paper, there is sure to be a café that meets your studying needs. We’ve rounded up the top coffee shops to treat yourself, grab a coffee and ease the pain of the impending end of term season.
Photo: sorrycoffeco on Instagram
Considering Sorry Coffee is located at the back of a Kit and Ace store, the décor is just as minimalist and chic as you would expect. Adorned with white marble counters and black tile walls, every aspect of this coffee shop is Instagram worthy. The name is not an ode to Justin Bieber’s 2015 hit song but instead a playful take on the Canadian tendency to over-apologize. They offer a collection of locally sourced coffee and teas, as well as baked goods from bakery La Bamboche. All of the cups used at Sorry Coffee are designed by a different artist every month in order to allow emerging typographers and designers a platform to showcase their work. Take a window seat overlooking Yorkville that will get your creative juices flowing while also providing ample opportunity for people watching during your well-deserved study breaks.
Photo: _toripuras on Instagram
The Riverdale Perk
This tucked away café is a hidden gem of Riverdale. Though the Perk is far from the bustling Danforth, the café is packed every day of the week, a testament to the love that the area has for its neighbourhood spot. Unlike most coffee shops, the Riverdale Perk has an extensive food menu including sandwiches, salads, soups and bowls. The décor is homey, with a purple couch reminiscent of one in their fictional namesake, the Central Perk of Friends fame. Grab a seat at the booth at the back of the restaurant, one of their beloved tea lattes, and hunker down for a study session, breaking only to try one of the many sandwich options at your disposal.
Photo: kentsujimoto on Instagram
The bright, cheery atmosphere of R Squared will help you feel at ease and at home right away. The walls are decorated with motivational quotes that are sure to provide a pick-me-up should you find yourself with writer’s block. The coffee shop was founded by two Iranian coffee lovers named Reza and Reza, hence the name R Squared. Traces of Iranian culture are present throughout the shop, with Iranian film posters and books decorating the shop. When it comes down to it, R Squared is known for its delicious coffee, which is somewhat surprisingly unusual in a Toronto coffee scene that tends to focus on aesthetics rather than taste. R Squared’s well-lit, airy space is perfect for those looking to stay awake and stay motivated during a gruelling study session.
Photo: dineandfash on Instagram
Having opened five locations across Toronto in a mere 2 years, the popularity of Boxcar Social is indisputable. Their Summerhill location is where it all began, and remains the most charming of the various locations. Said charm might be due to the fact that the coffee shop is housed in a former dry cleaner’s, accented with rugged décor like black hardwood floors and a counter featuring mismatched wooden slabs. This quirky spot boasts a unique selection of coffee blends from Victoria, BC to Rwanda and more. Boxcar Social offers tasting flights of their weekly selection of coffee so that you can enjoy a taste of all of the beans on offer. Take a seat on one of the upholstered leather banquettes and make use of the generous portion of electric outlets that many coffee shops are lacking in. A bonus is that this spot also serves alcohol, because let’s be honest, who hasn’t needed a drink after finishing a 20 page paper?