It’s 5 pm the day before your essay is due — do you know where you’re getting that sweet dose of caffeine to get you through the night? There’s a certain science to finding coffee shops on or around campus, but once you find one that suits you, it becomes as much a part of you as your body, mind, or cellular device. Here’s our guide to getting your fix.
53 Bloor St. East
Students on the east side of campus have fairly limited coffee choices unless they want to wander all the way to Cabbagetown. Fortunately, one of the three Crema locations sits hidden just east of the Bloor-Yonge intersection within a Freshii restaurant. Excellent coffee, great staff, and amazing food (taking into consideration the awesome local food available at Freshii) make this a top choice for St. Mike’s and Vic students.
73 Queen’s Park East
Another east end venue, Caffiends is a café space run by student volunteers within Victoria College. While that means it comes with some rough edges, the socially-responsible student enthusiasm that drives this fair trade space is infectious. Come here for good coffee and good eats, but just remember that if students are busy, Caffiends could be closed.
60 Cecil St.
Don’t let its dive-y, colourful exterior fool you. The coffee here is good, but as one of the few cafés to serve craft beer as well as the usual café fare, Sonic has a little something for everyone. Bonus points: the owner is an avid supporter of the cycling community, and makes tools and space available for biking customers who might need a tune up.
15 King’s College Cres.
Diabolos is a small, student-run space within University College’s Junior Common Room that offers excellent food, decent fair trade coffee, and an awesome location. While it can’t compete with some of the premium shops in the city, its value and vibe make it a solid place to get your java on.
426 College St.
It’s hard to top Manic, and it’s not just because of the award-winning coffee or the excellent variety of gelato. It’s the fact that the venue lends itself to students — the front is an ideal social space with views of the busy Bathurst/College scene, while the back is isolated and work focused. Get past the sometimes frigid staff, and this is easily the best shop on this list.
Also, check out our guide to the best cheap eats around campus.