The Daily Grind is an ongoing mini-feature that highlights the best cafés in Toronto for freelance editors looking for a caffeine fix and a temporary office away from home.
By Sara Scharf
Whenever I need a little italianità or crave a superior cappuccino, I head to L’Espresso Bar Mercurio. This family-owned “bar” (in the European sense) is located on the ground floor of Grad House, on the southeast corner of St. George and Bloor streets. It is always buzzing with the convivial chatter of academics, expat Italians, and various literati—Margaret Atwood and Lawrence Hill have been spotted here by my fellow editors. Light meals and pastries are made in-house and include a large selection of traditional Italian, vegan, and gluten-free goodies. I recommend the almond crescents and donut puffs, but the panini with sweet potato fries also has a cult following. Whether you’re working, dropping by for brunch on the weekend, or kicking back on the patio and pretending you’re in Italy, L’Espresso Bar Mercurio is well worth a visit. And all students receive a 20 per cent discount!
Wi-Fi: Available, but ask at the counter for current particulars
Number of tables: 35, plus a private room seating 14
Number of power outlets: Three
321 Bloor St. W., open Mon.–Fri. 7:30 AM–7:30 PM, Sat. and Sun. 9 AM–5 PM
Sara Scharf is a freelance academic editor and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, and she could use a cappuccino right now.
This article was copy edited by Jeny Nussey.