Crema - This is where it all started for me. When I was laid off and had nothing to do but start a blog I came across this cafe that I literally lived above. I used to sketch everyday at the Bloor location. Fantastic coffee, amazing people! The staff there was amazing and I developed a friendship with a great artist who was working there at the time. If you sit by the window you can watch all sort walking to and from work through the busy Yonge and Bloor intersection. I have since visited their Junction location which is just as charming and better if you like drawing people sitting still for a while and not walking by.
St. Lawrence Market - I cannot even begin. This is one of my favorite places in the world. If you want to observe diversity this is the place to be. I used to work right by here and would go everyday for lunch and sketch sometimes. Truthfully I have not ever had a GREAT coffee here but it well makes up for it with community and sketching. One time while I was walking through the market a girl pulled me aside to say she had seen me perform in an improv show at Second City. In one moment all of my lives combined in one place! Things like that just really made me feel like I was living in a community. I love this place and if you are ever in Toronto (especially on a Saturday morning) GO HERE.
Brooklyn Roasting Company - Ok, if you want the BEST COFFEE OF YOUR LIFE go here. Also the drawing here is amazing. It is located near all of these old buildings that are occupied by fashiony artisty amazing freaky people. This is your rotation of people you get to draw! A tall man in a dress in heels somehow more masculine that the slender man in khakis and a belt that matches his shoes and bag. Girls with half bald heads in jean short and tights. Everyone who frequents this place is freaky wonderful. The staff are amazing and I even got to know the owner Jim a bit. Really great guy with a passion for his business and it shows!
De Luxe - Dear Lord. Best Cortado of my life. I came for the coffee and I stayed for the people. This amazing cafe is owned and run by Andy and Tina, a husband/wife team. These people are quite possibly the most welcoming people in Brooklyn. I started going here after my job in Dumbo ended and I needed a Park Slope cafe to sketch at. I walked into this place and continued to do so for my remaining time in Brooklyn. They would close one day a week and I would try different cafes down the street but none compared. The sketching ability isn't great since its a small place and you have to sneakily draw people in line or else you are stuck usually drawing people walking by. But really if you need to unwind with a coffee and a sketchbook the atmosphere doesn't get better than this. Andy plays a killer soundtrack that completes the experience. If you ever find yourself wandering by, stop in and have a coffee, and say hi to Andy and Tina for me.
Cafe Bica - If you need a place to sketch in the area and you want great coffee at a place with a good vibe then this is your place. A nicely designed interior with reasonably priced Latte's and a good in and outflow of people make this place ideal. The only drawback is that it is a lot of the same type (at least visually) of people that frequent this cafe. Either extremely well dressed or yoga mom. Not a lot of freaky 20 somethings (which are some of the most fun people to draw). I've tried other more notable cafes in the area (49th parallel) but the atmosphere was just not what I wanted. This place meets the criteria for a great soundtrack and a nice place to sit undisturbed if you wish. There is however one unfortunate support column that messes with my ability to see people if I sit in one place in particular.
Great staff, and I've met some interesting people there also. Check it out.
AGRO Cafe - The location on Granville Island was the one I frequented. The coffee was so so and a little overpriced but the seating and variety of people that came in and out made for great drawing. Families and students filled up the large seating area and really it was a good time. The main reason I don't frequent this place as much is that it is a little out of the way for me and the coffee is really....meh.
Caffe Aritigiano - The coffee here is dynamite. They have a great outdoor seating area as well. I haven't been to this place as often as the others but it is on my list if I'm in the area.
Priscilla's Coffee - Ok, this place is where it's at. Great coffee, AMAZING atmosphere, awesome playlist. Amazing hours (7am-11pm) !!!! There is outdoor and indoor seating, great visibility for drawing and a steady turnover of people. Free wifi also! What it lacks in decor it makes up for in every other category. This is the place to be if you are sketching in Burbank. If you sit indoors though avoid the metal chairs and go for the wood ones. GO! HERE! NOW!
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf - Probably the most boring of all the places I have drawn at. But when I was living in burbank it was either this or Starbucks. Coffee Bean had cheaper coffee and a better outdoor sitting seating arrangement so Coffe Bean won. This one was on San Fernando Blvd. in "Downtown Burbank" so there was a lot of pedestrian traffic. If you ever find yourself stranded in Burbank and wanting to draw, check this place out. It won't wow you but it won't disappoint you horribly either.
Coffee Bar - While I was stranded in Burbank Monday to Friday, I was free on the weekends to explore. This cafe in downtown L.A. was my kind of place. Great coffee, great atmosphere, great people coming in and out. LOTS of freaky 20 somethings (my favorite). If you are wandering around L.A. wander into here.