There are two kinds of coffee in this world: the kind that costs $1.68 from Tim Hortons and the $5 kind that comes in a blue ceramic mug from a hip coffee shop. If you’re one of the people who scoffs at the $5 kind of coffee, I understand you. In fact, for the vast majority of my life I was one of you. I religiously drank cheap coffee and asked myself why someone would pay five bucks for a latte when they could have three double doubles for the same price?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still faithful to my daily double double (Tims forever), but I’ve come to understand those who see the $5 latte as a kind of investment. You see, when you think long and hard about it, the $5 latte is actually kind of a bargain too. I know, I know, paying that much for what is essentially 375 mL of milk and a double shot of espresso seems like the kind of frivolous behaviour akin to summering in the south of France, taking a family portrait with your dachshund, getting featured on @richkidsofinstagram and using “summering” as an adverb, but in reality you’re not really paying for the coffee itself. What you’re paying for is the white walls, chandeliers, hardwood floors and barista staff that have perfectly groomed beards, and being able to sit with free wifi for an unlimited amount of time. In the cases where coffee is just code for “needing to sit somewhere and study for five hours” or “meeting a tinder date in a public place to make sure he isn’t a serial killer,” paying $5 to avoid Tim Hortons’ yellow and red colour scheme and halogen lighting might be worth it.
So if you’ve decided to fork out the extra four bucks for your caffeine fix, you might as well, for lack of a better word, milk it. We’ve narrowed down some of Toronto’s most beautiful cafes to help you make sure you’re getting the bang for your buck (I questioned the origins of that saying as soon as I wrote it¦) These cafes have some interiors so stunning that they make us wonder if the term café© is even apt at all. Go forth and Instagram, my friends.
Balzac’s Coffee, Distillery District
This Balzac’s Coffee is a multi level architectural piece d’art, and in case you were worried because being in the Distillery and having gorgeous brick walls weren’t fancy enough, they hung a massive chandelier in the middle. Cool.