Let me preface this blog by saying yes, this is an art website where I share my creations with the world. But it’s also MY art website, and I love eating and drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate.
Therefore, I find it completely valid to write about independent cafes across the GTA that I love.
Also, isn’t there something about artists spending lots of time at cafes anyway?
So here we go – the top 6 independent cafes across the GTA that I’d recommend.
Additionally, I’ll be listing any gluten-free* or vegan options available at the corresponding cafes, because we love an inclusive coffee shop that everyone can enjoy!
I love me some empanadas, and I also love hot chocolate, which Segovia Coffee carries both of. My heart is full.
Segovia Coffee is located in the heart of downtown Brampton and is a Nicaraguan cafe. From their amazing pulled pork sandwiches to their churro lattes, they have a range of delicious Central American food and unique drinks.
On top of all of this, they have amazing art in their cafe, supporting artists from Mexico and Ecuador. They also have live salsa music in the summer, host paint nights, and all their coffee beans come from an ethical Nicaraguan coffee farm.
Honestly, what’s not to love?
While you enjoy your empanada and horchata, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful abstract art pieces and unmatched vibes. An amazing space to chill with friends or write some blogs for your art website.
Gluten-free: Gluten-free peanut butter cookie seems to be the only option for food, and then drinks
Vegan: Drinks, with plant milks including oat and macadamia (I love this one), as well as vegan cupcakes and other treats, though quite limited
A coffee with a side of social justice?
I’ll take one to go.
Ok, that was a bit cheesy, but I stand by it.
Studio89 is a non-profit cafe in Mississauga, located right across from Erin Mills Town Centre. It’s a community-centred cafe that screams Instagram-picture-ready and helps support non-profit projects, such as bringing awareness to human trafficking and modern-day slavery.
At Studio89, you’ll find lots of greenery, comfy couches, and a chill vibe with various events you can attend throughout the month. It’s truly a community-focused gem, and I love how much it brings everyone together.
I give this cafe a 5/5 for the vibes, price, mission, and inclusivity of its menu (and the taste!).
Gluten-free: Variety of GF options across drinks, mains, and desserts
Vegan: Everything is plant-based!
Yellow Cup Cafe
As someone raised in Etobicoke, I’ve seen the Yellow Cup Cafe forever but have never actually tried it until this year. It’s located right across from Cloverdale Mall, and it’s quite charming inside with a bit of a European influence.
The Yellow Cup Cafe has a wide range of food, from crepes to sandwiches to hand-dipped ice cream. There are also a lot of fun drinks to choose from, including a Snickers lattes (one of my favourites there) and pina coladas.
Gluten-free: Gluten-free bread/buns, opening up a lot of the menu
Vegan: You’ll find a few vegan options across drinks and smoothies, and there’s a veggie sandwich or two to choose from
Silvercreek Coffee House
Ok… this one may be just a tad outside of the GTA in Georgetown BUT I added it as my husband and I love going here so much.
The Silvercreek Coffee House has a ton of options to choose from and quite a large variety of gluten-free/vegan options, which is a huge score.
Silvercreek Coffee House is located in the heart of downtown Georgetown, and they have a huge menu overflowing with tasty food. Though it can get quite busy, it’s a nice place to go with friends or family. It’s also a nice place to stop in at if you’re there in the summer enjoying the Georgetown Farmers Market.
Gluten-free: Gluten-free bagels, breads, and a lot of desserts to choose from.
Vegan: Vegan sandwiches, soups, drinks, and treats
My Overall Thoughts
Though a Timmies, Starbucks, or Second Cup are all valid and great coffee shops to stop in at, you’ll never get the same experience as you would at an independent cafe. Independent cafes are filled with beautiful art and typically support the community and host events you can participate in.
Plus, you’re supporting a small business, which is always a win.
For the best food, I’d say Segovia Coffee and Silvercreek Social House are at the top.
For best vibes, it’s a tie between Studio89 and Segovia Coffee, as they both have unique atmospheres and support amazing causes.
For the most unique menu, I’d go with Yellow Cup Cafe, as they have such a variety of food and drinks to choose from.
And for the most inclusive menu, I’d say Studio89 (as everything is plant-based), quickly followed by Silvercreek Social House (as they have such a wide variety of options).
I hope you’ll go out and try one of these lovely cafes soon! If you’d like to see what other cafes I visit or what I’m up to, feel free to follow me on Instagram. Or, if you’d like to support a local artist (shameless plug right here), you can find my latest paintings here.
*I don’t think any of these places have a dedicated gluten-free kitchen. That being said, these options are most likely better for those with gluten sensitivities, rather than those who have celiac disease.