Toronto has some great cafes. Like, really great. So great that I was spoiled for three weeks, and missed them once I was back in Edmonton.
I don’t mean to say Edmonton doesn’t have any good cafes, because it does. A few of my favourites are Credo, Transcend, Remedy, da Capo, and Elm. But to my mind, none of them manage to combine great coffee and wonderful atmosphere (not to mention GF baked goods!) like several of the cafes in Toronto.
It was so wonderful to have such an extended visit with my sister Claire. Especially since we both have little babies at the same time. Claire and Alex’s son Cash is just seven weeks younger than Lucie. What could be more fun?? The four of us (sadly, Alex and Jacques were both working) spent a lot of time in various Toronto cafes, one of our favourite activities. We relaxed, nursed our babies and our lattes, and enjoyed the good life of mat leave together. Claire and Cash, Lucie and I miss our cafe times!
Crema – 3079 Dundas St. W (also other locations)
I visited Crema a handful of times during my visit. It is Claire and Alex’s neighbourhood coffee shop, located just a few blocks away from their apartment in the Junction. It also has some of the best coffee in the city. The baristas here were always friendly, there were plentiful GF baked goods, and when Jacques arrived in town he really enjoyed the panini. What’s not to like? Well, I guess my one quibble is the decor and atmosphere are a bit stark … but I’d still happily go there all the time if I lived in the neighbourhood.
Te Aro – 983 Queen Street E.
We went to Te Aro on one of my best days in the city. Claire and I took the long trek on public transit out to Leslieville, a great neighbourhood in the east of Toronto. We started our day at this hip cafe, which roasts its own beans. The lattes were truly delicious and the atmosphere on the outdoor patio was perfect (the first shot above of Claire nursing Cash is also at Te Aro). Lucie slept in the stroller throughout this whole coffee date, allowing me to drink my latte before it got cold. What a treat!
Rooster – 489 Broadview Avenue
We truly visited cafes all over the city! Rooster is an amazing place tucked away even further east, in Claire and Alex’s old neighbourhood near the Danforth. We managed to make it here on one of my last days in Toronto, and I’m so glad we did. Site of the epic “two babies on one lap” photo shoot (see above), Rooster has cozy, eclectic neighbourhood charm in abundance. The clientele is wonderfully diverse – we chatted with an older woman, and I observed a few families with elementary-age kids dropping by after school for a pick-me-up. Rooster gets its beans from Te Aro, so you know the coffee is good. And again, GF baked goods! There is one baker in Toronto who peddles his or her GF muffins all across town, and I was happy to run into them almost everywhere I went, especially the orange and fleur-de-sel variety.
Writing this is making me miss these great cafes even more. For now, I will rely on Edmonton’s best cafes and our own home espresso machine with delicious Transcend beans. Maybe that’s not so bad after all.