Since 2010, the Indie Coffee Passport has been helping me explore Toronto and all the independent cafe’s within it. I’ve found places I keep visiting, I’ve found places I never wanted to go again, but the important thing was that I got to check them out, and see parts of the city that I might not have ever ventured out to otherwise.
The Indie Coffee Passport in Toronto is doing something different this year, and I think it’s a great change. This round started on October 1st, and is going on until April 2014, and they’re highlighting coffee shops in the city that have only been open for 3 years or less.
I have fond memories of doing the Indie Coffee Passport by myself in the first few months of living in Toronto by myself, with new pals, and then later with JC in the early days of our dating life. It’s a lovely opportunity to explore the city, check out new places and neighbourhoods you may never have visited before, while also enjoying a delicious cup of coffee or tea. (Also, by the way, the Indie Coffee Passport makes a great gift!)
Here are the participating coffee shops arranged by soy tax, or no soy tax. I’m going to define soytax as an extra fee for any dairy milk alternative. I’m not sure yet what kind of non-dairy milks these locations have, but I will designate the ones where you’ll have to pay extra for your non-dairy latte/fancy coffee/tea – this is based on the information on the passport website, but I’ll update it if I find anything different.
Why does this soy tax thing bother me? It just does. I don’t like paying more for things because I’m getting them made vegan, and it seems a little bizarre in a place like Toronto where there is enough demand for non-dairy milks that it doesn’t seem like such a “specialty product” (plus – soy and almond milks both have a pretty incredible shelf-life.) I’m sure the businesses that charge extra for it have their reasons, but I usually just prefer not to visit them when I have so many other options.
No Soy/Almond Tax.
- The Arrow Cafe *
- The Brockton Haunt
- CSI Coffee Pub
- I Deal Coffee on Sorauren
- I Deal Coffee on Yonge Street.
- Lazy Daisy’s Cafe
- Cafe Neon
- Café Olya
- Redfish Bluefish Creative Cafe
- Amani Earls Coffee & Tea Bar
- Bicerin Coffee
- Bloor Barista
- Cabin Fever Collective
- Fika Cafe *
- Noir Coffee & Tea
- Playful Grounds *
- Cafe Unwind
- The Grind House *
Soy/Almond Milk Tax.
- The Abbott – 0.50 soytax
- Cafe M – 0.50 soytax
Anything with an asterix (*) beside it means review pending.
As you can see, most of these new coffee shops have opted not to charge anything extra, which is nice to see.
I’m looking forward to checking them all out sometime soon, and sharing a few thoughts about the experience. Hopefully JC and I wont start everything last minute March and then spend the weekends in a perpetual state of caffeination and heart palpitations.
One thing I enjoy with the indie coffee passport is planning to visit 1-3 coffee passport locations in the same day, but something we noticed the last time was doing a burst of coffee runs and then wondering… where should we eat? Is there anywhere interesting? Let me help us both out.
I’ve made a map of Indie Coffee Passports and a nearby vegan food restaurant or snack place. Some of these coffee shops have real vegan food available, some just have baked goods, your mileage may vary.
And of course, this map and information contained in it is not endorsed by the Indie Coffee Passport folks, if you want to know which Cafes are participating, please reference the Indie Coffee Passport website. I made this map because I found it helpful to visualize everything this way. Not all restaurants listed are entirely vegan. Assume this is an imperfect & an evolving resource, errors and omissions will occur.