Until public-transit officials make our dream of commuting to work by rollycoaster a reality, we'll have to settle for the adrenaline rush of traditional pick-me-ups. Percolate perkiness with today's Groupon: for $5, you get $10 worth of café fare and drinks at Joe Black Coffee Bar on Portage Avenue.
A purveyor of rich espressos and organic teas, Joe Black Coffee Bar rejuvenates regulars with locally roasted bean beverages while they marinate in fireside meditation. The java den flexes its mocha muscles with three in-house blends, including a Colombian roast, a dark perk from Brazil, and a decaf brew for recovering jitterbugs. Patrons partial to the straw can sip on cooler concoctions as they flaunt their immunity to ice-cream headaches, and caffeine enthusiasts can purchase coffee by the pound to help stimulate lifeless conference rooms or fill backyard croquet divots. A team of café chemists also nurtures cauldrons simmering with homemade soups ($2.75–$3.95), which customers can ladle alongside a chicken-cheddar melt ($8.25) or a sprouts-and-hummus wrap ($6.95) before sinking bicuspids into a European delicacy from Chocolate Zen Bakery.
Patrons in search of midweek recreation can savour specialty coffee beverages on Wednesday evenings while they indulge their weary ears with the live music of Tom Dunlop, a local guitar guru who complements the eatery's cozy vibe. Joe's also hosts Story Time for kids on Thursdays at 10 a.m., soiling the fingers of miniature family members with free hot chocolate and cookies while parents discuss politics and furniture lamination over tea.
Joe Black Coffee Bar
Visitors to Joe Black Coffee Bar can cuddle up with a shot of espresso or a cup of freshly brewed fair-trade coffee, paired with gluten-free pastries, sandwiches, and desserts. Diners sip Brazilian dark-roast javas in the morning, or sip wine at dinner as they sink their teeth into flatbread pizzas and toasty paninis.