It’s true. Coffee aficionados know good coffee from bad coffee, and they know a great coffee shop when they see one. Here are some of the best coffee shops in Mimico.
The Big Guy’s Little Coffee Shop
Cozy. Non fussy. A neighborhood hangout original. The Big Guy’s Little Coffee Shop has been a friendly favorite of coffee lovers since Steve Turner (“the big guy”) opened it in 2010. Espresso, drip coffee and tea are features, along with pastries and sandwiches. The owner commissioned his extra-dark roast from Planet Bean in Guelph and it is legendary. The coffee shop has become a “home away from home” for many loyal customers who always bring their out of town (and out of country) visitors—and those visitors who often manage to make their own return visit. Be sure to check out The Big Guy’s Little Coffee Shop’s Facebook page. One post reported, “We have decided to turn the coffee shop into a confessional for the day. So come along and get the 1,000-lb weight off your shoulder.”
The Victorian Garden Tea Room
And now, for a completely different kind of coffee and tea experience, there’s the Victorian Garden Tea Room in the heart of Etobicoke. Its lush and relaxing garden room is the perfect setting for a luxurious afternoon high tea or a light lunch. Their specialty is warm, freshly baked scones with cream and fruit jam. The traditional tiered presentation platter features tasty finger sandwiches and decadent little desserts. You can choose from a varied selection of loose-leaf teas for your fresh-brewed pot. The Victorian also offers a children’s tea in the garden, with the children’s choice of finger sandwiches, a baked treat surprise, and a pot of tea (maybe “Bubblegum Blast”) or hot chocolate. When you’re there, be sure to browse their gift shop. It’s filled with unique collectibles and items for the tea-lover.
Fair Grounds Café and Roastery
The phrase “fresh roasted coffee” takes on new dimensions when you order it at Fair Grounds Café and Roastery in the Lake Shore West community of Long Branch. Dedicated to providing fresh Certified Fair Trade coffee and organic products, Fair Grounds takes fresh a step farther by roasting those beans right on the premises. With the roastery’s maximum control over the flavour profiles, you will be sure to find a roast that suits your tastes. And Fair Grounds guarantees that the same care that goes in to roasting their coffee beans also goes into making a perfectly crafted cup of coffee or espresso. Each barista is well educated about each coffee roast, starting from the cooperatives where they are grown, to the finest in-house preparation. By choosing fair trade products, Fair Grounds makes the choice to help producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions and promote sustainability. All Fair Grounds products are organic—grown without any synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. It’s a small coffee shop, but it makes a big difference to the growers it buys from, and to the neighborhood of Lake Shore West.
Birds & Beans
Birds & Beans has been a beloved neighborhood coffee spot in Mimico for over fifteen years. Set on the shores of Lake Ontario, Birds & Beans has seen Mimico move through the hard times of losing its industrial base through the era of big box stores and on to the new energy and vision of the ever-growing Mimico waterfront and new storefronts. Birds & Beans is so much a part of the neighborhood they’ve just introduced a coffee blend in the neighborhood’s honor. It’s called Mimico Joe and the roasters say it’s “approachable, unpretentious, authentic, solid, and full of interest… just like Mimico.” The coffee shop itself is approachable and unpretentious, too. Set on the waterfront, you can enjoy views of the lake. Out back you can drink your coffee by the lake with the dog walkers. A perfectly poured latté or a cup of Mimico Joe goes well with one of Birds & Beans’ home baked chocolate chunk cookie. Birds & Beans concern for the neighborhood extends beyond Mimico. All their coffees are either certified Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance, so their growers receive premium prices and are well treated. Good coffee, harvested well, roasted beautifully and served in a friendly natural setting—Birds & Beans is truly a neighborhood treasure.