If you’re dealing with the tragic fatigue that accompanies Daylight Saving Time (DST), we’ve got five spots in King West guaranteed to give you the caffeine kick you need to get you through your day. It’s not just a plain ole cup of Joe though, we found “who does what” best!
Thor Espresso Bar
35 Bathurst St
Thor Espresso Bar is Odin Hus’s counterpart in King West, and they’re known for the focus on their beans, lattes and cappuccinos. As much as I wanted everything on the menu, I stuck with a traditional latte. Although it wasn’t overwhelmingly strong, it was surprisingly smooth and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Scandinavian inspired cafe is a bright and minimal space, complete with magazines and snacking options. Thor is, in my opinion, best for Sunday lunch or coffee with a friend. It’s a place you’ll want to spend some time, whether it’s reading a book or catching up on work. Regardless of your intent, their coffee will help you to attack the day like a Viking.
Atlas Espresso Bar
550 Front St W
Just around the corner from Thor is Atlas Espresso bar. I felt like I was walking into my best friend’s kitchen as I walked in the front door. I indulged in a Mocha and my tastebuds were stimulated with sweetness. If you have a sweet tooth, this should be on your shortlist of drinks to sample. If you’re looking for a java fix, their americano is definitely worth sampling. If you really need to get going, snag their chocolate covered coffee beans on the way out. They’ll keep you moving all day long. You’ll never get bored with their lunch menu as it changes on a weekly basis. Keep up to date with their ‘happenings’ by following their Facebook page.
Looking for your hipster fix? They have organic soaps, body scrubs, candles, and lotions made from coffee beans. As an added bonus, they’re pup-friendly and have dog treats. You and your canine companion can each nibble on your own treats.
587 King St W
This little coffee shop right at the corner of King and Portland has served dutifully as my favourite place to hide from the cold while waiting for the 504 streetcar. If you’re lactose intolerant or vegan, Portland Variety has an amazing almond milk latte. As an avid fan of almond milk, I’m probably a little biased, but it provides a warm nutty flavour to the coffee and it much more filling than a typical latte. An absolute “MUST HAVE” is their double-stacked chocolate chip cookie. Crunchy on the outside… chewy on the inside… and chocolatey all over. Couple this will an espresso or flat white and we’re in coffee/chocolate chip cookie heaven.
107 Portland St
Jimmy’s Coffee believes that a well-made cup of coffee packs a punch, and if you’re a coffee lover, you need to check this place out. They were named runner-up for NOW! Magazine’s “Best Coffeehouse”, but they’re well known for their americano and cortado. While waiting for Paul to create (yes, ‘create’) my cortado, he educated me about the art of coffee. Paul described the cortado as a strong, small, rich latte, made with equal part espresso and a slightly fattier milk to help cut the strength of the beans. Frankly, the cortado kicked my butt. If you need a quick pick-me-up (or a serious wake-me-up) this is definitely your drink of choice. But fair warning, this drink is strong and if that isn’t what you desire, they have other great brews that will definitely tickle your fancy.
75 Portland St
Bar Buca features what the “caffe con zenzero.” While it sounds intimidating, it is probably one of the most refreshing cups of coffee in the city. You’re probably thinking, “Coffee isn’t meant to be refreshing, it’s meant to be energizing!”. What makes the “zenzero” unique is the freshly pressed ginger juice and cinnamon garnish that gives it a warm and fresh taste that is difficult to find. It take you less than a minute to guzzle, but you’ll want to nurse your coffee confection just a little longer to hang out with the incredibly friendly staff that go above and beyond to help you get your morning (or afternoon, we don’t judge) going.