The Black Canary Espresso Bar (Yonge Street) – Toronto
Walking through Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square can often feel overwhelming, no matter how many times you’ve been there. Like a living, breathing, heart of the city, it pulses with a hectic energy that’s easy to feel lost in – but when you step into The Black Canary, all of that melts away.
The Black Canary is a small coffee shop located inside of Silver Snail, a much-loved comic book store stacked with collectibles, games, and of course, comics. If there’s anything I love to pair with coffee more than a book, it’s people-watching, and The Black Canary is a prime spot for it. Snag a seat at the window overlooking the busy streets below, and you can people-watch to your heart’s content between coffee sips and book page flips.
While I’m waiting in line to order, the barista greets the customer in front of me and confirms his order before he even has to place it. “Americano, medium?” she says. “Yup, you got it!” he answers. Even in downtown Toronto – a city that’s inhabited and visited by millions of people – The Black Canary doesn’t forget a familiar face (or their order). The barista is also quick to answer my many questions about their unique drink menu, which features superhero-themed drinks with amazing flavour combinations.
Presentation, Quality, and Taste
For a late-afternoon pick-me-up, I get the Crushed Oreo Cookie (a cookie-ception that I wholeheartedly support), the Banana Chocolate Chip Espresso Muffin, and the Starfire latte. It’s a buzzing blend of caffeine and sugar… and caffeine wrapped in sugar… and sugar wrapped in caffeine… and it’s just what I need. The menu is full of sweet treats like cookies, muffins, and croissants, but their drinks are the real stars of the show. The Starfire latte tastes like a liquified Terry’s chocolate orange but with a powerful kick, which the barista tells me is a blend of cinnamon and cayenne. It’s sweet, fruity, and spicy, which may not be for everyone but is definitely worth trying for those who want to mix up their classic winter drink!
The Bottom Line: 4/5 Brookie Stars
I love finding spots like this, where you can watch the action of the city while staying tucked away in peace and quiet. The cherry on top really is their drink selection, which you can tell they put a ton of thought into. If you’re ever in the area, give The Black Canary a visit! Or, check out their location on Sherbourne Street, which has an equally homey vibe and another unique menu.
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Shannon Hodgen is a lifelong writer, DIY enthusiast, and homebody. She satisfies her need to put pen to paper–or, more accurately, fingertips to keyboard–as an agency copywriter, blog contributor, and freelance editor in Toronto.
Favourite Book: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Favourite Brunch Spot: Dirty Food Eatery in The Junction