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15 Indie Cafes Where You Can Keep Warm This Fall

Oh the weather outside is (getting) frightful! But warm coffee is so delightful (I am a lyricist). Who doesn’t love putting on an oversized cardigan and cozying up to a warm bevvy during the fall and winter months? Throw on a pashmina and head to any one of these awesome coffee shops to chill out and warm up. Leave the pumpkin spice BS at the door and have an Americano like a goddamn human.

Saving Gigi—859 Bloor Street W.
With a diverse, vegan-friendly menu and a full range of hot, cold, and alcoholic drinks, this place is perfect for working or eavesdropping on conversations between a freelance Buddhist and their masseuse girlfriend about “where things are going, feelings-wise, for us.” Open late with snacks and booze flowing freely, the record selection is as great as the vibe, which is to say, very great. Live music every Wednesday, the best cheese scone in the city daily.

Super Jet—346 Dupont Avenue
Located in the Annex, this cafe is home to a host of specialty drinks, as well as a tasty selection of gelato in the summer months. It’s pretty quiet, so its definitely recommended for intimate conversations or when you really need to get some writing done (if you can get a table!).

Marvel Coffee—6 Donlands Avenue
This cafe is fairly new to the Donlands/Danforth neighbourhood, but its friendly service and unique selection of baked goodies makes it a great addition for locals. Its proximity to Donlands station makes it a great stop on your way in or out of the subway – especially on those colder days.

Sam James Coffee Bar—297 Harbord Street
The seating is limited but the coffee is fiiiiiiine. Buy some beans and scurry home or wait it out for a prime seat by the window to people watch and warm up.

The Common—1071 College Street W.
They’ve got two locations, but my heart belongs to the cosy College street space. The food selection is minimal but the array of non-dairy milks is off the chain. Get an Americano with chocolate almond milk and fog up the windows with your breath while the arty crowd around you works on their respective screenplays. At night, this place sometimes hosts live music and friendly comedy shows.

Oscar Coffee and Espresso Bar—2377 Queen Street East
The Beach doesn’t disappear with the summer, you know. With the windchill coming off the lake at this time of year you’ll need an extra sweater and probably a hot chocolate or five. Oscar is a local favourite, with a stellar coffee selection and a killer location.

Jet Fuel Coffee—519 Parliament Street
Writing an essay and looking for inspiration? This Cabbagetown classic is a great little spot to hide away from the world and get that work finished! Be warned that there is no discernible menu available, but don’t get nervous, they can make anything you’d like (if you know what you’d like).

Bulldog Coffee—89 Granby Street
This is one of the smallest cafes I’ve ever been in, but boy is the coffee worth it. The employees here know their stuff, and the owner is not afraid to let you know about it. I wouldn’t come here expecting to get much work done, as it’s pretty cramped and there’s no wifi, but it’s a great intimate spot for a catch up with a pal.

Balzac’s Coffee (Distillery)—1 Trinity Street  
Balzac’s has a few locations throughout Toronto, but my personal favourite is located in the Distillery district. This is a great, warm place to hang out in the winter months, as the cafe has been built inside a beautiful historical building with some really lovely architecture. For those of us who romanticize the consumption of our warm drinks in cold weather, this spot is a delightful escape from reality.

Novecentro—1228 Saint Clair Avenue W.
Located at Dufferin and St Clair, this cafe is slightly out of the way for downtown-dwellers. However, for those of us who know what a lovely neighbourhood Corso Italia is, this spot is a great example of a delightfully old-world European spot. The service, coffee, and fare are of a high quality, and the homey feel of this cafe is sure to make you feel cozy.

The Abbott—99 Spencer Avenue
Frequenters of Parkdale should make a point to stop in at The Abbott. The interior of this adorable homespun coffee shop is soooo inviting. Come for a healthy snack, lunch, or just a quick tea. This cafe also houses a communal table, which is a great way to progress from “flirty eye contact over cups of foam” to “want to share this biscotti, handsome stranger?”

Roncy’s Bean—385 Roncesvalles Avenue
We’re just in love with Roncy, and now its beans are on our list too. This place is known for their paninis, so stop in when you’re hungry for a toasted sammie with your latte.

The Tampered Press256 Crawford St. (facing Dundas)
Across the street from Trinity Bellwoods, Tampered Press boasts plenty of outlets and space to work, delicious fresh-baked goods, and a cozy community vibe.

Ella’s Uncle—916 Dundas St. W. and 899 Bloor St. W.
Vietnamese. Latte.

Ezra’s Pound—238 Dupont St.
Great service and a great space. Perfect if you like a little buzz around you while you work.

Fall weather feels best with a warm drink in your hand, and winter weather feels best when you’re experiencing it from a rustic, indoor, indie cafe with a scone and a freshly brewed, high quality coffee. It’s not all bad. Cosy up in one of these lovely spots and remember how great scarves are. (Very great.)

Got a fave coffeeshop to work, chat or read in? Let us know in the comments! We live for your suggestions. Now get out there and drink some coffee while supporting independent businesses!

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