Dineen Coffee. The dreamy coffee escape from adulting.
Dineen coffee is an elegant and beautifully designed space to grab a coffee and a sandwich. Located right smack-dab in the middle of one of Toronto's busiest streets, it is no surprise that it is home to a constant flood of tourists and locals alike. From the colourful hand painted tile floor to the mesmerizing round chandelier, every design element ties perfectly together. The shiny marble countertops and tables give this coffee shop a sophisticated New York feel. The gigantic floor-to-ceiling windows make it the perfect place to people-watch or enjoy a cappuccino in the middle of a snowstorm (I found shelter here on the first storm of this winter). The red leather banquette adds the coziness of an actual diner. Exposed brick walls and golden detailing complete the image. This 120 year old building was once the headquarters of W. & D. Dineen, an upscale fur and hat company. After the building underwent renovations in 2011, the coffee shop opened its doors in 2013. They're really made an effort to combine a classic 30's style with modern architecture, an homage to the heritage of the building itself. It was and continues to be just the caffeine stop that this neighbourhood needed.
Sometimes I wonder what it's like to have a 9-5 job. A job where wearing suits, dresses and heels is the norm and behaving like a real adult is expected. Even imagining it is exhausting, its no wonder that coffee is the best part of adulting! One of my favourite books of all time is 'The Little Prince'. Since the first time I read it (and every time since then) I've agreed completely with Saint-Exupery. The adult world is ridiculous and overwhelming and PS it's all a hoax. Even though I've been a legal adult for quite some time (10 years, people!), I have somehow managed to keep myself removed from this adult world. You see, as a professional ballet dancer- demanding athleticism, technique and artistry aside- sometimes it feels as if you get paid to lay on the floor. Dancing with your friends and becoming the occasional princess or swan onstage hasn't changed that much since I was 10. Normal jobs and ballet jobs aside, some things seem clearly very adult no matter what you do for a living. Due to the fact that I am very recently engaged, I now feel like I have to be more adult than ever. I've spent the last couple of days running around the city meeting with jewelers, lawyers, vendors and all kind of grown ups, mainly in Toronto's financial district. Luckily, I found a very dreamy (and also very loud) coffee shop to escape to between all those errands.
I decided to indulge in one of their cappuccinos. After the last one I had (see Jules Cafe post) I couldn't help but crave another. It was a special blend of Mexican and Brazilian beans (cheesily enough) from Social Coffee Roasters called Temperance. Along with this signature blend, their featured Peruvian coffee is also for sale in store. This time I happened to be coffee-ing with friends so I got to taste more than just my drink. The one the stood out the most was the delicious Chai Latte. This is a very complex type of tea and it is tricky to find authentic flavourful chai teas. Often they end up tasting like bland, sweet milk. Dineen has succeeded in this for sure and is, dare I say, one of the best in town.
This has got to be one of Toronto's trendiest coffee shops, which of course makes it very instagramable. You can have a nice cup of coffee and enjoy some beautiful interior design. There is no doubt that, unless you are among them, you will find yourself staring at all the beautifully dressed people who fill the shop at lunchtime. Come here to grab a bite or enjoy a beverage while you meet with a client, business partner or just friends. While it was a bit loud for me to actually get any work done on my computer, this place will make you feel like an adult for sure. Funny thing, I felt like every adult in there was also trying to find an escape from the busy city life. Dineen coffee is a place that speaks for itself. It's a you-have-to-be-there kinda place. Just steps south from Eaton Centre, don't forget to check it out next you are in need of an escape from shopping or work. Until next week everyone!