Fortunately for Leslieville and Riverside locals, it's pretty easy to find good coffee on Toronto's east side. But perhaps because of the city's long winter, outdoor sipping can sometimes be at a premium for those that prefer to be outside for a shot of Vitamin D and caffeine at once. Here are five local cafes that combine open-air space with top-notch coffee. Laptop loiterers welcome.
When the weather is grand, coffee purists, freelancers and moms with babies and dogs all converge on the curbside patio at Te Aro, which is one of the biggest in the 'hood. It's a prime spot to take in Queen Street and enjoy some morning sun with your caffeine. When you need a top up, the rolled-back garage door welcomes you right inside the cafe for some of the tastiest coffee in the city.
983 Queen St. E
DUNDAS AND CARLAW
Part daytime cafe, part evening bar (or, if you'd like, the other way around), the corner patio space of Dundas and Carlaw that sits back on the southwest corner of its namesake intersection draws heavily from the crowd living in nearby condos. The atmosphere here evolves as the day goes on — from quiet morning solitude to an upbeat vibe (thanks in part to its impressive beer, wine and cocktail menu).
1173 Dundas Street E.
ROOSTER COFFEE HOUSE
Up on Broadview overlooking Riverdale Park, the patio of Rooster Coffee House offers a stellar vantage point to sip lattes while taking in unobstructed views of the downtown core and surrounding skyline. The mellow vibe of this cafe make it popular all day long among local residents to kick back and gaze out over the city.
479 Broadview Ave.
A neighbourhood mainstay for nearly a decade, Mercury's sidewalk terrace may be little, but what it lacks in stature it more than makes up for in patio prowess with its morning light sweet spot. Head in for one of the most finely crafted pours in the city and then plant yourself outside to take in some solo time or catch up with neighbours of all stripes.
915 Queen St. E
Initially it might feel a bit cagey with its high chain-linked fence, but the foliage and flowers growing on it give the back patio at Tango Palace a garden-like feel. Backing onto Leslie Grove Park, it's nothing but you, your coffee and green space. If people-watching is more your thing, post up in one of the popular Muskoka chairs in front of the café.
1156 Queen St. E
Grinder's side patio is as cute as it gets for sipping coffee or chilling off with an Italian soda. The west-facing outdoor space gets plenty of sun and its brick wall features a mural mapping out the neighbourhood's streets.
1021 Gerrard St. E
The Cannonball is one of the most low-key, under-the-radar gems on the east side, and it's got a secluded and leafy back patio. Go in for a coffee, stay for a beer and check out the bands playing live music outside.
641 Queen St. E