Sunday, June 14, 2015

#PayPalitTO Series | Eating & Drinking For Free in Toronto [Using PayPal] - Episode 3: All The Jimmy's Coffees

Apologies for the lack of posting. This month has kept me relatively busy but I'm trying to make an effort now to post about all the places I've been to that were part of the #PayPalitTO series (click the link to see what I'm talking about).
I discovered this café (kind of sounds pretentious..hipster joint? Sounds via Paypal from their past vouchers and for me, this place is up there when it comes to not only good coffee and lattes (& delectable croissants!), but convenience, work environment/space and overall atmosphere (a sub-section of the space as that includes people too) The last point does vary depending on which location, but all great nonetheless.

Jimmy's Coffee (not founded by a Jimmy by the way) was established in 2007, its first location being the one by Portland & Adelaide. It was more about selling good coffee but having a community to host it in, which is definitely the feel I get, though as a ranking of "community-feel" I'd put the Kensington location first, this location second, and lastly, the Bay & Gerrard location.
As mentioned, the founder Phil Morrison (maybe an indirect homage to Jim Morrison), expanded Jimmy's into a local franchise and all locations seem pretty successful and boast great drinks.

I'll start with its founding location on Portland.

Jimmy's on Portland/Fashion District(?)

The closest Jimmy's location to me is the one on Bay and Gerrard, and the first one I usually go to one my PayPal trip (the very first Jimmy's I've been to was in Kensington Market). That being said, going to this location felt very cozy, but almost a bit too cozy..
(Side note: I didn't take as many photos as I thought I did. Ewps)
To me, this location seems the most out of place in terms of its convenience on how to get here. It's a bit off Queen St and as a pro, you don't get many tourists here. You do seem to get more of the work crowd, which isn't bad per se..
Space does get tight, so I would not recommend working with your laptop here unless you happen to find a space.
It does however, have a great patio space. I'm personally not a huge fan of the mural. I feel like a pompous artist for saying so, but it's "aiight". Nevertheless, a great place to get some space from the crowd indoors. It's peaceful, and I thoroughly enjoy that.
I went here once and got one of their top three summer drinks. I forget the name (except that it starts with a "J") but it's an iced coffee with some caramel drizzle.
I went on a day when there was a crazy storm and thankfully (for the most part anyway) the awning protected me while I was outside sipping on my summer drink.

✎-------------------------------------------------------------------Overall Verdict--------------------------------------------------------------------

- Great coffee/iced coffee
- Great patio
- Good after work-spot

- A little cramped/usually crowded
- Few outlets to work with your laptops

Jimmy's on Baldwin (Kensington Market)

This location has a different crowd ("No shit" -every Torontonian reading this) and not only is bigger than its predecessor, but a great patio to sit in. I find this patio gets more crowded the minute it's above 0º C, but in terms of getting work done/bringing a laptop here, it's best to bring it here.
This location also gets a bit too crowded. Well, every location of Jimmy's does), but I find this spot easier to find a place to sit, instead of being forced to getting your order to go.
Since I actually remembered to take photos this time, here's some visual description of the place.

I forgot to mention a bit more about the ambience of this place, especially when it comes to music. This ranges from classics, to what would be under the tags of "indie" and "chill" on a Spotify playlist.
My opinion of this: I've used Shazam the most at this place.
Most indefinitely likely since I attend OCAD, I notice more people that go here, or friends of friends. This establishment seems to have the most eclectic and diverse type of people. I've brought my laptop here a couple times before, but I find it the best location when having a coffee with someone (or someones).

Some context here: the cashier who was pretty stoned not paying attention to my order got my order mixed up and made me a large latte instead of a lavender lemonade (which is what I've ordered the most here to be honest..). That being said, I find my experience with the baristas here usually the most, O-K.
Both were delicious, but since the latte was too much for me, I ended up giving it to a friend of a friend.
✎-------------------------------------------------------------------Overall Verdict--------------------------------------------------------------------

- Great coffee/iced coffee
- Great patio
- Good place to come by in the morning/off-hours
- Enough space
- Some outlets

- Usually crowded
- Sometimes an "eh" ordering experience

Last but not least...

Jimmy's on Portland

Differences between the others?
This is their biggest location.
Biggest location = more space. It's 3 freaking stories!
Not only that, this one has the most amount of outlets. Plus, their third floor can be rented out for meetings.
Love the staff here too. This is also diverse in terms of the types of people that come here. No hipsters/"youths" (pronounced by Schmidt on New Girl). They all congregate at the Baldwin location (I'm 99% sure).
I love working with my laptop here the most. I've never sat down with someone here, but according to my bias, the convenience, the space, and the amount of work I can get done here with my laptop, this place is great!
Their "weak spot" is their patio, which exists at least. However, compared to the other two locations, this one is small with few tables and chairs.
Aesthetic-wise, Jimmy's on Baldwin wins (in my opinion) & music-wise too.
 Bookshelves/"The Library Aesthetic" are a huge thing for them.

Lavender lemonade. Again.
+ an almond chocolate croissant. The first time I experienced this was at Clafouti and this tasted exactly like Clafouti's.

✎-------------------------------------------------------------------Overall Verdict--------------------------------------------------------------------

ProsLots of spaceConference/meeting room available for reservationGreat drinks + food as always
ConsSmall patio 

Apologies for the lacklustre of a post, but overall, I highly recommend checking out any or all (or  even 2/3) Jimmy's Coffee locations. They're great to work at (especially the one on Gerrard and Baldwin) and chilling at the patio (especially the one on Baldwin and Portland).
I guess the one on Baldwin (if placed on a venn diagram) wins for well-roundedness.
I guess it really boils down to convenience at the end of it all. 

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