By Haley Cullingham
Steamy, milky, frothy, rich. The perfect antidote to the deluge of snow burying the city. We pounded the pavement to find the best mocha in the 416-rating everything from babeliness of baristas to length of frothing time. Behold, the best of.
Sam James (297 Harbord)
The Mocha: Is rich, frothy, and hands-down, our favourite. Not too sweet, the perfect balance of espresso, mocha and milk. Melts in your mouth. To die for.
The Pros: The baristas are chatty, friendly, and sweet. They’ll give you a grin and when things get busy, label your cup with decorative Sharpie scrawl. There’s always some free art papers for the napping, and the music is always good.
The Cons: Not so much with the sitting-any weekend morning will find four shivering hipsters leaning against the window while they wait with the throngs for their cup. But take it from someone who doesn’t wait in line for anything : it’s worth it.
White Squirrel (907 Queen St. W)
The Mocha: Is sweet and delicious, and if you get it to stay, comes with a fetching knitted coozie.
The Pros: Bright, airy atmosphere, with big communal table to stretching out. Good music, and bonus points for the community vibe. The shop is named after the legendary albino squirrel in T-bells, and you can donate a toonie to the park fund and get a button.
The Cons: Not many-although there will be a wrinkle between the brow if you don’t BYOTravel Mug.
Manic Coffee (426 College St.)
The Mocha: Is fan-fucking-tastic.
The Pros: Excellent for hipster watching-this is the place to see and be seen by coffee snobs. The barista are cool, and the knick knacks on the wall are fun to gaze at. Ample seating and a great bench outside for clement weather. Plus, they have The Clover.
The Cons: The process is always a little slow, but it’s worth it. As well, the fogged-up window means you can’t peek inside to make sure you’re not about to walk into a table full of folks you’d rather not see before your morning espresso.
Ella’s Uncle (916 Dundas St. W.)
The Mocha: Frothy, delicious-but get the Ella, espresso, frothed milk, and maple syrup, for a real treat.
The Pros: Extremely friendly service, good cookies, clever blackboard messages.
The Cons: Again, limited seating. Stools only, and often one entire counter is taken over by a stroller.