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Cafes

Belljar Cafe

Posted by Amanda DiPasquale / Posted on April 17, 2010

Belljar CafeBelljar Cafe is a little less city, and a little more neighbourhood. Off the beaten path and away from the hustle and bustle, this cafe is the perfect spot for Roncesvalles residents looking for a fresh space to start their morning, or relax in the afternoon.

Belljar CafeOpened about two weeks ago, Belljar Cafe is still working out the details, but the place looks like it has been in business for years. Owner Geoffrey McPeek wanted to create his own space, and offer something different to nearby options like Alternative Grounds and Balluchon. With WiFi access and a slightly European feel, Beljar Cafe has coffee and creativity in mind.

Belljar CafeI order a regular Americano ($2) and Stefania orders a creamy Mochaccino ($3.50). All the coffee beans come from Classic Gourmet in Concord. The desserts are catered in from other bakeries such as, Circles and Squares and OMG Baked Goodness. Treats range from giant ginger molasses cookies ($1.50) to sticky, sweet butter tarts ($2.50).

Belljar CafeI fell in love with the creamy lemon cheesecake ($3.50) perfect for sharing. The menu also offers lattes ($3.25) and espressos single ($1.50) and double ($2). McPeek doesn't charge extra for any specialty milks. Desserts and treats sell out pretty fast, and savory snacks like quiche are also offered. Soups and sandwiches are hoping to make their way onto the menu soon.

Belljar CafeThe cafe name comes from Sylvia Plath's famous book and the concept of being stuck in a Belljar, trying to break free. McPeek says, on a more positive note, the cafe name also can mean a place for people to incubate ideas. As we walk out, I overhear a woman exclaim to her friend, "I love this place."

Belljar CafeI flip the business card over and it doubles as a coffee card. If a customer reaches eight coffees they get a free one, including espresso. If I'm ever back in the neighbourbood, I'll definitely stop by and get my card stamped. One down, seven to go.

Belljar CafeBelljar Cafe is open from Monday-Friday 7a.m-4p.m and Saturday-Sunday 8a.m-4p.m.

Photos by Stefania Sgambelluri

Discussion

23 Comments

pierre / April 19, 2010 at 08:49 pm
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Great new place. Saw it from the Dundas Streetcar on way to work and decided to visit after work. This place has the greatest view of the street. My Espresso was excellent. Had a butter tart that oozed maple and butter. It's a relaxed atmosphere and the owner seems very laid back. Will be going back again to do some coffee drinking and lounging!
Adam / April 20, 2010 at 10:55 am
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Sounds like a gas!

(I just wanted to be the first to say that)
5andman / April 20, 2010 at 11:44 am
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Another welcome addition to the area!
Going to bring my laptop and check it out!
CS / April 20, 2010 at 02:45 pm
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The pure gold baby melted into a shriek and drizzled over the cappuccino is to die for!
horizoncarrie / April 20, 2010 at 03:33 pm
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I wish they would stay open a little later so i can try this place during the week!
jameson / April 20, 2010 at 07:50 pm
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Looks like a neat place, however this article is full of beans

"a little less city, and a little more neighbourhood"

pfft is that needed? a city feel like neighborhood, if it wasn't for yuppy bohemian types gentrifying the cities kicking out the existing neighborhoods, bringing in your polarizing income, tectonic mantras and segregation...
jp / April 20, 2010 at 10:56 pm
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@jameson -- relax, it's a review for a cafe. you can step down from your soapbox now.
bernie / April 21, 2010 at 01:16 am
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@jameson 'Tectonic mantras'?? sheesh! Last time I checked this wasn't a philosophy/social sciences class, it was a cafe blog review. So like JP suggested get off your soapbox.
Brook replying to a comment from jameson / April 21, 2010 at 03:31 pm
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Jameson, I think the work you are looking for is "fauxhemian."
http://www.dirtapples.com/2010/03/fauxhemian.html
I think this sums it up: "1. A native of Fauxhemia, that segment of the population that claims to like to keep it close to the Earth by eating only organic foods but drives their SUV to the Whole Foods on the other side of town every day."
CB / April 21, 2010 at 03:36 pm
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Hey, any coffee shop referencing sylvia plath in their name can afford a rant or two.
Keep us smiling, Jameson.
ct / April 21, 2010 at 03:48 pm
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@Jameson - wow, was it really necessary to take your anger toward "yuppy bohemian types" out on this cafe review? Unecessary!

Great review! Definately a cute place and everything looks delicious!
piccola / April 21, 2010 at 10:30 pm
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Small pet peeve: if you're selling something, learn how to spell it. (It's "macchiato," for the record.) Otherwise, place looks great!
Joel / April 22, 2010 at 10:06 am
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Went this morning. Airy, light, best double espresso in the hood. The vibe there is extremely relaxing. I noticed this morning they now have kids books.
noel replying to a comment from piccola / April 22, 2010 at 02:02 pm
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love this place.....music was loud and great ! I had a machiato today also .It was excellent ! Lay off Piccola Spiccola ?
GCB Mike / May 5, 2010 at 11:31 am
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Congrats Geoff!
Brad / April 28, 2011 at 04:03 pm
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Incredible coffee, nice relaxed atmosphere full of light. The baked goods and sandwiches are great as well. (Plus, the staff are friendly and cute to boot.) So glad you guys moved to the hood, much needed and appreciated.
feelie / July 7, 2011 at 11:48 am
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I visited this cafe the other day. They had croissants from Pain Perdu and one of the tastiest cappuccinos I've had in this city. Their coffee is from Classic in Concord Ont. It was so delicious
and you could actually see the Barista making it not hiding behind a big machine. The service was friendly , informative, and gracious. I don't usually write on blogs but this place was excellent. welcome to the neighbourhood, didn't know you've been around for a year already.
Kozel / February 5, 2012 at 11:24 am
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Perfect cappuccino.
I don't know why I hadn't gone sooner.
Just FYI / June 20, 2013 at 04:29 pm
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There isn't enough sugar on the cookie in photo #2.
matt / July 22, 2013 at 10:45 am
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woah, good prices on the coffee.
William Hess / August 2, 2013 at 12:54 am
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The Belljar cafe is now open until last call!
Not only is their coffee superb but now have a full on bar for nights. Stumbled upon it last night and it was jammed ! Still can get coffee until midnight ! Awesome patio. Haven't been there since last year ...... Original and inspiring to come back to
Bobs your uncle / October 16, 2013 at 07:43 pm
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Ok I'm going to give my review of this place but I warn you now it won't be glowing. And I almost don't want to only because people have bad days you know. I've known and been to beljar since it opened. And to give you context, I've been going to the dozen cafés or so in my hood for now over thirteen years. And as most coffee goers can relate to, many people use laptops at cafés. I would even say most offer free internet to boot.

Well the other day was just the weirdest day. Buddy of mine and I were there in the back patio enjoying our Americanos and carbo treats, laptops humming (one of them plugged in to their outlet which is mounted high), when all of a sudden this guy (which could only have been the owner) comes out, sees my laptop plugged in and goes "whoa whoa...no. No. We can't do this. It's a liability. This isn't an office!"

Wow!! We were flabergasted. Speechless. Did we hear him right? He had what sounded like effectively told us to F-off. First of all his Americanos was weak and lacked the flavour of some of his competitors down Roncy, but to effectively tell off two regular cafe goers in the hood?... that takes gonads.

I hope it was just a bad day for him. I'd gladly take this review down. I wish him all the best.

-2 customers.
richard / July 20, 2014 at 10:25 am
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Speaking of laptops………I go to cafes for coffee , to eat and to support my local business which all have different rules. I respect each and everyone. I think laptop users in general have taken over spaces.They take for granted that every plug or signal is free everywhere. Business owners would like to offer you certain amenities but the polite thing to do would be to ask first.
I've heard only great things about this west end cafe but have not had a chance to go there.
Cafes in Toronto are all very different in their approaches. Lets be happy we have a place affordable to hang out in besides our offices, library or homes.
written from a cafe
east end
free wi-fi

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