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Baked Goods

Cozy Cafe & Bakery

Posted by Staff / Posted on December 30, 2010

Cozy Cafe Bakery TorontoCozy Cafe & Bakery at Danforth and Woodbine has potential to grow neighbourhood roots but it really needs to de-emphasize the cafe portion of its name because it's the bake goods that are worth coming here for.

Upon entering, the first thing I note is art by Toronto portrait artist Julie Himel decorating the otherwise bland walls and hand-sewn coffee harvesting bags covering the ceiling. I can see a certain demographic being attracted to this, um, down-to-earth aesthetic, but personally I don't see the cozy here.

Cozy Cafe Bakery TorontoTo Cozy Bakery's benefit, the pastry case is brimming with baking. But to its demise, the potpourri selection of "European" baking is offsetting with everything from baklava and croissants to tiramisu available. Perhaps a clearer focus is advisable.

Cozy Cafe Bakery TorontoAfter consideration, I settle on a drip coffee ($1.50) and spanakopita (sm $3.00/lg $5.00) to start. The coffee is a mild roast with little flavour or body, perhaps a result of too much water filtered through the grinds. To my disappointment, the spanakopita is also lacklustre. The phyllo pastry is greasy and tough with a rubbery quality while the filling is unfortunately still cold despite the pleasant server's initiative to warm the savoury pie.

Although baking is the focus here, there are a number of other hot lunch items available including schnitzel, meat pie, a daily soup/sandwich and more.

Cozy Cafe Bakery TorontoTo appease my sweettooth, I try the cinnamon roll with raisins ($1.00 for one/ $5.00 for six) and am pleased by the bun's light texture, not-too-sweet icing and the perfect heavy handed sprinkle of cinnamon. When I ask for an espresso to accompany my bun, I'm informed the only beverages available are coffee, tea, pop and bottled juice.

The cafe also has a few other bits and pieces including a popular catering service. There are frozen soups and shepherd's pies available in a freezer at the back of the store. And, next to said freezer, is a shelf featuring day-old baking at reduced prices.

Cozy Cafe Bakery TorontoBefore leaving, I buy a loaf of multigrain bread ($3.50) to take home. The loaf has a golden, crunchy crust with an airy interior. A saving grace for a bakery that could still use a bit of refinement.

Cozy Cafe Bakery TorontoCozy Cafe Bakery TorontoCozy Cafe Bakery TorontoWriting by Carl Hienh. Photos by Dennis Marciniak

Discussion

20 Comments

EJR / December 31, 2010 at 09:21 am
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I have always passed by this cafe; as you mention, it looks anything but cozy.
snowy / December 31, 2010 at 09:39 am
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That place has had what seems like a dozen tenants in the last few years. It's a tough corner despite the foot traffic and being close to the subway. I hope they make go of it and will check it out, they don't need any more "for lease" signs around there.
S / December 31, 2010 at 10:43 am
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The cover picture looks like dog turd. They could have at least put some sugar sparkles.
ron / December 31, 2010 at 11:22 am
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I like this cafe a lot... although I agree that noboby would come for the coffee or the decor. The breads are good; the pastries are all made with butter, and the soups and various entrees are fresh and tasty. It certainly fills a need in an area lacking options.
coprophagic replying to a comment from S / December 31, 2010 at 03:32 pm
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I came here to post the same thing. It totally looks like dog poop.
Sarah / January 1, 2011 at 10:39 am
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If the food is good people will return to buy more. I'll try it out next week.
Sara / January 4, 2011 at 08:35 pm
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This bakery has immense potential in terms of decor and ambience, nothing a fresh wall paint, comfortable couches and inviting hardwood flooring can't change. The sisters who run the place are very caring and meticulous with their baked goods and provide only refined material for the neighbourhood families to consume. The breads are fantastic and soft, the croissants exceed expectations and while there isn't much of a typical cafe drink menu (another addition that would be ideal to attract people) the pastries and variety is good. If a little more investment is put into the venue, it could definitely make it.
Sara / January 4, 2011 at 08:37 pm
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This bakery has immense potential in terms of decor and ambience, nothing a fresh wall paint, comfortable couches and inviting hardwood flooring can't change. The sisters who run the place are very caring and meticulous with their baked goods and provide only refined material for the neighbourhood families to consume. The breads are fantastic and soft, the croissants exceed expectations and while there isn't much of a typical cafe drink menu (another addition that would be ideal to attract people) the pastries and variety is good. If a little more investment is put into the venue, it could definitely make it.
Joe / January 6, 2011 at 09:40 am
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Best challah ahd pastry in the world; poppyseed or sesame;delicious golden brown and crispy bread ! Along with the hot lunches at the counter, everything is delicious, fresh and authentic. I love going there especially to see the smiling faces of the lovely ladies who own the place :)
I like this place ...
Patricia / January 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm
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I highly recommend Cozy Cafe and Bakery! As a former Montrealer and experienced home-baker who *really* appreciates good bread and pastries, I give this place very high marks. It never occurred to me that the chocolate Christmas trees might look like dog turds--very tasty dog turds, I must say, with a creamy, marshmallow-y meringue filling. Give me more! The cafe also makes poppyseed vanilla baklava that is sublime. Not too sweet--just perfect. Likewise their baklava dipped in organic chocolate! Their breads are pure class. The challah is the best that I've found in Toronto. Likewise, I highly recommend their vegetarian lasagna and vegetarian stuffed peppers. Tremendous value and really delicious. As others have commented here, the owners are lovely, kind and community-minded sisters who are unfailingly pleasant and considerate. True, their coffee is so-so, but what a minor quibble. So, I would say to the people who pass by the Cozy Cafe, or turn up their nose at the untrendy decor--you are cutting off your nose to spite your stomach! Go on in, take home some baking and make your own coffee! (And grab a lasagna while you're at it!)
Mark / February 23, 2011 at 09:39 am
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I too have been to Cozy Cafe many times. Living in the area, its a standard go to when we are out to grab some treats. The kids love their Cinnamon Buns, and I love the meat pies and the various pastries (Ham/Cheese or Spanokpita). Their lunch is amazing too! Highly recommended to check out!
Cal / March 1, 2011 at 05:03 pm
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Live in the area and my wife and daughter regularly visit after school. Love the pastries. Have to stay away from this place, its toooooo good :)

Okay .... can't stay away, just have to limit myself! Really, the food is great, is as the atmosphere.
William Steig / March 2, 2011 at 09:07 am
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You're missing out if you walk by because it doesn't "look" Cozy. The sisters who own and operate the Bakery/Cafe exude warmth and are so welcoming, and their baking is exquisite. The challah and multigrain are amongst the best breads I have tasted and we love their strudels and danishes and cinnamon buns. The lunch pastas and soups stand on their own.
Unlike another neighbourhood bakery which somehow got a rave on this blog, nothing is stale or tasteless and dried out.
Barb / April 15, 2011 at 05:16 pm
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I visited the Cozy Cafe for the first time today. I had a lovely coffee and a warm, fresh cinnamon bun. I will definitely come back to sample more of their baking. As a mom with a young baby, I liked the large tables and room for strollers. Clearly other moms feel the same way, as there were several moms and kids in there. Would definitely recommend.
M / September 7, 2011 at 05:52 pm
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I just put up a bunch of paintings in this cafe. Colourful abstract stuff > hope folks like them : ) Cheers
Sofia / December 10, 2011 at 09:27 pm
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I suggest you guys update this review because the bakery does not look anything like it does in these pictures. The family has done an impressive renovation on the place and they have spiced up the menu as well. Check out their Christmas decorations. Went in yesterday and got breakfast for 4.99 and it was delicious! Best kind of breakfast to brace the cold and a rare treat on Woodbine/Danforth intersection.

Kevin Holdan / December 9, 2012 at 08:55 pm
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I love this charming place food is fresh and delicious .Coffee fresh .
Service friendly .
I come to this place every week 2, 3 times I meet lots of people from the Upper Beaches .
Relaxing and charming corner in the middle of husle and bussle of great City called Toronto
East Ender / January 20, 2013 at 02:42 pm
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Sad news that this neighbourhood favourite with such two caring sisters has closed down due to lease renewal issues. We are going to miss their health-conscious authentic European baking.
Ann Atheist / October 24, 2013 at 09:30 pm
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Sounds like a lot of fake comments

Ceiling looks like sh*t
Ann Atheist replying to a comment from EJR / October 24, 2013 at 09:31 pm
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So true

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