by The Urban Grocer in New Food and Packaging on Saturday 28 August 2010

There is something irresistible about a beautifully designed coffee shop. And Balzac’s Coffee in Toronto’s Distillery District is just such a place. Located in an antiquated warehouse, the ambience exudes an industrial-chic meets French bistro aesthetic with its worn brick walls, pressed tin coffee bar, checkerboard tiled flooring, and 20ft ceiling adorned with exposed pipes.

Considered by some to be the most spectacular coffee shop in all of Canada, an enormous old-fashioned chandelier dominates the centre of the space, while vintage coffee posters line the walls and a quiet loft rests above the café doubling as an art gallery for local talent.

And as if all that doesn’t already beg for you to idle for hours on end, the coffee is supreme too. It is carefully sourced and micro-roasted nearby for deep, rich cups of indulgence. It is a place where Honoré de Balzac himself, the café’s namesake, would fit right in.