Toronto’s coffee game is strong. We take our caffeine seriously. Just within the last decade alone, there’s been an explosion of independent cafés popping up all over the city serving high-quality coffee. Just ask any local where to grab a cup of joe and you’ll be met with enthusiastic responses.
From the outset, it may not seem like many cafés offer patio dining, but many have secret patios tucked away in the back or high up on rooftops. In the spirit of sharing is caring, we’re rounding up 5 hidden café patios for your next caffeine fix below.
Located in the heart of West Queen West, Cafe23 has been opened since 2019 and has quickly become a local favourite. Just a stones-throw away from Trinity Bellwoods Park, Cafe23 is reflective of its eclectic neighbourhood and supports local businesses wherever possible from their pastries to the art adorning their walls, fresh and dried flower bouquets for sale to the ethically sourced coffee.
The interior gives off some major Parisian vibes and that carries through to their back patio where you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a secret garden. The patio is filled with plants and natural-wood elements, with some two-person bistro tables scattered throughout. There’s also a second-level deck with additional seating, more plants and cute decor throughout. There’s decent shade during the day and twinkle lights strung through the maple tree for those cute evening ambience vibes.
I’d recommend the lavender vanilla latte and the cardamom cinnamon latte, two stand-outs from their seasonal drink menu.
Bohemian vibes, minimalist decor. 135 Ossington is a cozy coffee shop, serving up your usual espresso-based drinks, along with pour-over coffees, teas, and some unique specialty drinks including a Tokyo Fog—think London Fog but replace the earl grey tea with jasmine tea. I found it surprisingly delicious.
You have to walk through the small café space to enjoy their back patio. It’s simple but a welcomed reprieve from the busy nature that can take over Ossington Avenue at times. A garden lines one side of the patio, along with bench seating. On the other side, you’ll find a couple of bistro tables and chairs plus a large, brightly coloured mural painted on the neighbouring building. Makes for a great backdrop for photos!
Named after a neighbourhood in Tehran, Iran, Café Pamenar opened in 2011. The interior space is long and narrow, featuring polished concrete, reclaimed wood and local art adorning the walls. Their beans are sourced from Discovery Coffee Roasters in Victoria, B.C. and they boast one of the longest lists of gins in the city. Rows upon rows of gin bottles are on full display behind the bar, making this a nice option for a nightcap or afternoon libation. The large back patio space has picnic and bistro tables, lots of umbrellas and pop up tents for shade, and a number of fruit trees. Edison bulb lights are strung through the trees and there’s even a fire pit for the cooler evenings.
Jimmy’s Coffee – Kensington Market
This beloved coffee chain started in 2009 and has 8 locations across Toronto. Made with locally-roasted coffee beans, you’ll easily spot coffee lovers toting a cup of joe around town with Jimmy’s Coffee’s iconic yellow-coloured lids.
Only 2 of their locations have back patios, and the one located in Kensington Market is the perfect oasis from the bustling market (the other back patio can be found at their original location). The expansive back patio deck features bistro tables, a wooden trellis, a vintage scooter and a mural running one side of the patio featuring local street artist Uber5000’s infamous yellow chicken birds. Come for the coffee, stay for the tranquillity.
Tango Palace Coffee Company
A neighbourhood staple for close to 30 years. Tango Palace Coffee Company is a local fave in the Leslieville area. The interior feels like your great-aunt’s comfy living room, with exposed brick, stain-glassed lamps and tin-pressed ceiling tiles. The hardest choice might actually be what to order. There’s a wide selection of drinks and baked goodies, but you can’t go wrong either way.
The spacious back patio feels like you’re sitting in a garden. Large trees tower overhead, providing ample shade. There’s a wooden pergola with hanging flower baskets and twinkle lights to add a warm ambience in the evenings.