Get your caffeine buzz at these top Toronto coffee shops brewing up organic, fair trade and socially responsible coffee.
From cute family-owned cafés to trendy third-wave coffee houses, Toronto is the place to be for sustainable, organic and environmentally friendly coffee. Here are 25 places to enjoy a better cup of joe in the 6ix.
1. Good Earth Coffeehouse
Canadian coffee chain Good Earth Coffeehouse is committed to environmental and social responsibility with its Rainforest Alliance Certified, ethically traded and organic coffee. Sip your Americano with a vegan coconut beetroot muffin at their bright and sunny Yonge and Wellesley café.
2. Moonbean Coffee Company
Moonbean Coffee Company is a homey Kensington Market café roasting fair trade, certified organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified beans in-house. Enjoy your iced latte on the shady back patio with a fresh pastry.
3. Remarkable Bean
4. Forest Café
Forest Café in North York is passionate about coffee culture and community, and they believe in celebrating diversity. Relax among plants and enjoy a specialty drink with beans from De Mello, a roastery that works with sustainable coffee producers.
5. Alternative Grounds
Toronto’s original fair trade coffee roaster since 1995, The Junction neighbourhood’s Alternative Grounds Coffeehouse & Roastery is a relaxed, family-friendly spot for an espresso pulled from organic blends and single-origin beans that pay a fair wage to farmers.
6. Pilot Coffee Roasters
Pilot Coffee Roasters is a full-service roastery, wholesaler and café with several bright and airy locations across town, including in the South Core and Ossington Village. They source ethical, direct-trade beans, and you’ll find their coffee served at many Toronto cafes and restaurants.
7. Hot Black Coffee
Hot Black Coffee has multiple locations, including bustling Church-Wellesley Village and sedate Bloor West Village. Serving locally roasted coffee by Detour Coffee Roasters, the chain also donates to local charities like Sick Kids Foundation.
8. Coffee Tree Roastery
Bloor West Village’s Coffee Tree will appeal to coffee snobs looking to pick up a new AeroPress or Hario drip brewer. Order an Americano and bring home a bag of their Mexico Chiapas beans, made in partnership with the farmer cooperative CESMACH Co-op through Café Feminino, a program that empowers female growers around the world.
9. White Squirrel Coffee Shop
Located across the street from popular Trinity Bellwoods Park—known for its white squirrel population—Queen West’s cozy White Squirrel Coffee Shop boasts fair trade and organic coffee and dairy. Take your flat white across the street to see if you can spot any of its namesake animals.
10. Everyday Gourmet Coffee Roasters
This dynamic kiosk in Old Town’s St. Lawrence Market (a foodie haven worth a tour in its own right) serves coffee to go. Its beans are roasted onsite, with an array of fair trade, organic blends at astonishingly low prices.
12. Reunion Coffee Roasters
There are a lot of cool restaurants in Toronto, but this café literally helps cool the planet. Reunion Coffee Roasters have planted one million trees through their partnership with Trees For The Future.
13. Istanbul Café & Espresso Bar
You may forget you’re at busy Yonge and Eglinton the moment you step into Istanbul Café & Espresso Bar, an oasis of fancy Turkish decorations and rustic decor in a warm and cozy atmosphere. Espresso and drip coffees are locally roasted by Social Coffee and Tea Company, a socially conscious Ontario company.
14. Woolshed Coffee Company
Downtown’s Woolshed Coffee Company is a quaint, industrial-chic spot to recharge in. Hanging around town for a while? If you buy Woolshed’s small-batch roasted house beans, you can return the package for recycling. So far, they’ve diverted 800 kg of packaging from landfill.
15. Birds & Beans Café
Birds & Beans Café serves organic, sustainable and Bird Friendly Certified coffee that supports bird habitat, conservation and small farmers. Their friendly café in the west side’s Etobicoke has a colourful mural out front that’s perfect for photo ops.
16. La Bohème Café
La Bohème, in the heart of Yonge and Eglinton, serves responsibly sourced beans from Pilot Coffee Roasters in their delightful café. Relax with a cappuccino and delicious vegan pastry.
17. Balzac’s Coffee Roasters
Another local success, Balzac’s has multiple Toronto coffee shops, including their Distillery District location, a circa-1895 pumphouse that was converted into a two-storey grand Parisian-style café complete with a massive chandelier. Their bean lineup includes fair trade and organic options.
18. The Mad Bean
The Mad Bean is a fun, family-friendly café in North Toronto’s Forest Hill neighbourhood, that serves up ethically sourced coffee and enticing specialty drinks. Beans are from Velvet Sunrise, a company that works directly with farms and co-ops to help improve growing communities.
19. Rooster Coffee House
Rooster Coffee House has three stylish cafés around town, including an adorable (and Instagrammable!) patio overlooking beautiful Riverdale Park East, home to one of the city’s most iconic downtown skyline views. Enjoy your direct-trade Pilot Coffee with a vegan treat from Tori’s Bake Shop.
20. Rachel’s Coffee House
Rachel’s Coffee House, an independent café in Midtown founded by long-time Toronto coffee veterans, serves locally roasted, fair trade and organic coffee. (Not a coffee fan? Sip an organic tea in their roomy indoor space or on the cute patio instead.)
21. Jimmy’s Coffee
While Jimmy’s Coffee now has multiple Toronto coffeeshops, the original on Portland in the trendy King West neighbourhood is a must-visit. The chain serves up Classic Coffee, a fair-trade certified roaster that aims to improve the social and environmental conditions of coffee farming communities.
22. I deal Coffee
I deal Coffee supports sustainable farming and trading practices. Their Arabica beans are grown organically and are Rainforest Alliance Certified. The chill Ossington location is a great place to grab an iced latte along with charcuterie and baked goods for a picnic at nearby Trinity Bellwoods Park.
23. Fair Grounds Café
Fair Grounds’ coffee is organic, fair trade and uses eco-friendly packaging. Their house-roasted coffee is served at restaurants and cafés across the city. If you’re in the west end, stop by their comfortable and bright Lake Shore Boulevard location in Etobicoke.
Goldstruck, steps away from Bay subway station in luxe Yorkville, is a cute café to enjoy a handcrafted signature espresso. Organic beans are selected from small farms and cooperatives, fair trade certified and bird-friendly, and never sit around for more than 72 hours.
25. Jacked Up Coffee
Jacked up Coffee has several locations, including an Instagram-worthy blue coffee truck on King Street West and an airy café on Adelaide Street West. They support women in coffee with their Republica Brazil beans which come from a collection of female producers.