There has been a trend in some coffee shops towards mass production. The food is made in a factory and shipped out to the various locations. Because the sandwiches and baked goods have to last longer, they are pumped with additives to extend their shelf lives and are then left to sit in a refrigerator for days on end. But Dark Horse Espresso Bar is a different breed of coffee shop entirely. They favour all that is natural, and it shows in the taste and value of everything you can purchase from them.
There are several locations you can visit in Toronto. Two of them are along Queen Street, and the third is just North of Queen, on Spadina, in Chinatown.
Dark Horse Espresso Bar
Interior by Matt MacGillivray
There is no plastic or artificial feel when it comes to Dark Horse. For example, the Chinatown location features exposed brick, wooden pillars, and natural-looking tables and chairs. All this is complemented by elegant chandeliers that hang from the ceiling and bouquets of flowers that adorn the room. And instead of the dark dinginess and florescent lighting you find in many chain cafes, this particular location has an entire wall of windows that lets the natural light shine in. The cafe has two floors. The larger of the two features long tables that allow you to spread out and get work done or strike up a conversation with someone new who happens to be sitting beside you. The second floor is a smaller, more intimate space with individual tables that allow for catching up with an old friend or a quiet business meeting.
They have some delicious food options to choose from, such as whole grain muffins or fresh-pressed panini. They also offer yoghurt parfaits, a soup of the day, and several inventive baked goods. In addition, they cater to different food needs, so they even have some vegan options available.
When it comes to beverages, nothing else compares. Many of the people who work here are trained in latte art, so your beverage will likely be adorned with a delicate flower or inspirational heart. And they don't load the drinks up with chemicals as they do in other coffee shops, but rather invite you to sweeten your coffee with a more natural option such as honey or brown sugar.
You can certainly order your drink and food to go if you are in a hurry, but if you have the time, I would definitely recommend sitting down with a warm beverage in a real mug and soaking in the relaxing atmosphere. Dark Horse Espresso Bar is truly a unique coffee experience!
684 Queen Street West, Toronto, 647 352 3512
682 Queen Street East, Toronto, 647 436 3460
215 Spadina Ave Suite 102 Toronto, 416 979 1200
Queen Street West: Mon-Fri: 7am - 7pm, Sat-Sun: 8am - 7pm
Queen Street East: Mon-Sun: 7am - 7pm
Spadina Ave: Mon-Fri: 7am - 7pm, Sat-Sun: 8am - 7pm