Today I began day one of my quest to find a coffee shop that could offer me all the amenities and attention to detail a blonde, bronzed, twentysomething looks for in a place to sit, sip and stone cold blog. Firstly, I need wifi. Hey – i’m not one of those ‘let me sit in a coffee shop corner to refresh my Facebook homepage (on repeat)’ kind of girls. I have the privacy of my own home to do that – though I must admit the amusement in watching others do that in a full frontal kind of way is pure entertainment to the nines. But no, I’m just a ‘Babes in Toyland’ type blogger that solely likes to refresh her scenery while her fingers do the talking.
Secondly, I need a place relatively close by. As much as I love to venture out and try new things, there is a comfort in knowing I’m close to home. And there is something ridiculously fulfilling about finding that golden coffee shop in a store nearest you. Lastly, I quench a great atmosphere. Sure it’s nice too to have a great sencha green tea out of a ‘Really? That’s a mug?’ kind of hipster cup, but the entire atmosphere (music, feng shui, fellow golden coffee shop questers, lighting, etc.) create a mood that makes me either write my heart out or makes me want to never, ever go back.
I am a girl who likes to be kept on her toes. So even if I find the most perfect place, I only savour it for but a few days, then I allow myself to move on and move forward and go on to the next coffee shop of choice. The quest must go on. But for a blogger who hits her blog almost daily, I can’t help but find myself often leeching back to Starbucks – the place where it all begun – a place that is so anti-this curious quest I am on.
So the question that begs to be asked is, how do I stick to the scavenger, gem ridden roots I value so? Readers – here’s your chance to express that voice of yours; Where is your cafe of choice? What makes you go back for more?
Here are my top three (for now) favourite coffee shops, discovered during my quest:
3) Sam James (296 Harbord St.)
Though this cafe is the size of a woman’s washroom stall, there is something so simple that it is almost irresistible. Perhaps its the allure of the challenge and wanting what we can’t have – since the place has no WiFi. But you can – at times – get a connection to the laundry mat across the street. And if you do just that you’re golden. Expect: Straight to the point drinks and seeing a few people who want nothing more than to enjoy a coffee on the go.
2) Linux Cafe (326 Harbord St.)
If you’ve seen the movie ‘Stranger than Fiction’, then this place will be like walking on set. With a quirky but sweet server behind the counter who definitely has a story, to the unique drink and vegan baked good creations they switch up each day, this place will have you in a setting you can’t help but cling to. Expect: Hippy-types and intellectuals with their laptops drinking beverages such as ‘pickled tea’.
1) Dark Horse Espresso (215 Spadina Ave)
Picture a large open space with wooden dining-room-like tables. The teas are made with fresh leaves and the people that surround you vary from student to professor, from trendy chick to poetic emo guy. This is a place where people get down to business and everyone comes clad in their laptops. Expect: No place to park your luxury vehicle, but shockingly the most unique ‘i’m-typing-in-my-dining-room’ like experience.
– Jenny Jen