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Cafes

Broadview Espresso

Posted by Wendy D / Posted on December 17, 2008

Broadview Espresso TorontoSo long, porno shop... hello Broadview Espresso! Wait, what? You heard me - Broadview Espresso is a 17-year-old porn store turned toasty cafe. And although it's barely four months old, the place already sees a steady stream of caffeine-craving customers come through the door (that alliteration was not intentional but it stays, dammit).

Owner Mike once had visions of fine coffee, positive ambience and a community vibe that he has since brought to life at Broadview and Pretoria (just north of Danforth). Customers walk through the door and he knows their orders, local art hangs on the walls and good music serves as a backdrop.

Broadview Espresso Cafe

Living in the area, Mike felt the gaping lack of coffee shops and decided to do something about it. He chose locally roasted, always fresh beans as his centre piece and rounded it out with homemade baked goods (care of Boy Oh Boy). He stresses the importance of a good sense of community, which includes allowing his staff and customers to hook up their own iPods. Mike remarks that customers often comment on the "positive vibe" in the room as he carefully prepares their lattes and americanos.

Broadview Espresso Inside

For $5, I demolished a fresh piece of zucchini loaf and a foamy hot chocolate - perfect comfort for a torturously brisk day. And now that local Broadview dwellers can stick to their area instead of venturing further east, it looks like things are comin' up Broadview Espresso.

Broadview Espresso Cafe Toronto

Bonus: you can call Broadview Espresso at 416-553-DUDE (a little Victorian flavour from the west coast native!)

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Broadview Espresso

Discussion

22 Comments

Gloria / December 17, 2008 at 11:21 am
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Looks like a cool place! I'll have to tell my friends who live just down the street.

Note to new websites: If a site is under construction, please at least include basic contact and "where to find us" information.
Cynthia / December 17, 2008 at 11:53 am
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Would definitely try this place out! Does it serve proper meals, or is it cafe stuff?
prosynia / December 17, 2008 at 04:30 pm
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this is EXACTLY what this area needs (i live close by). i will be there soon.
GRTone / December 18, 2008 at 03:07 pm
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I can see it from my window, and yet only realised it was there after reading it here at BlogTO. (I think I've mentally blocked out the porn shop with its paper-covered windows, so the change had gone unnoticed by me.)

A wonderful development on 2 counts. First that the seedy porn shop is no more. But even better is that it is replaced with a shop like Broadview Expresso, something the locals hopefully will appreciate and support.
Toronto Metis / December 20, 2008 at 08:04 pm
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I live in the area as well, and I have been going to this cafe since it opened. The expresso is excellent, affordable, and the owner and staff are friendly. It is a great place to go on the weekend, read the Sunday Times and enjoy yourself. Highly recommended.
Chester Pape / January 19, 2009 at 06:27 pm
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I popped in for 'fine on the way home this afternoon and was a little surprised that there was NO food on offer, none at all, and all the food display stands etc. were gone. The woman in queue in front of me asked and was given the explanation that "were changing bakery suppliers and were cleaned out". One hopes that the story is true and not a cover for "we couldn't pay the bakery bill". In any case any past review of the food is moot since it will all be different when (let's assume not if) they get food back.
Lilly Morse / January 21, 2009 at 05:46 pm
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This is quite possibly the best coffee place in the city. There is so much love in that room, and the owner is so positive and so lovely. Want to feel good? Get a coffee at Broadview Espresso.
Chester Pape / February 2, 2009 at 10:27 pm
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Popped in for a fix today and the food was back, a small selection of baked goods. For the life of me it looked like exactly the same stuff they used to have so I don't know what the "we're changing bakeries" dance was in aid of.

New art on the walls as well from local artist Bailey Bedard (who used to run the "R galle y" a couple blocks south.
Rebekah / February 27, 2009 at 07:39 pm
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I try to get as often as I can in the mornings, and with regards to baking, I think one of the bakers went on vacation and they switched to another bakery, I'll try to find out who the next time I'm in.
Ethan / November 23, 2009 at 09:53 am
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This place was a great idea! Initially I really enjoyed going in, back when it first opened but I have found that since then, the service and quality of staff has gone down. I feel as if I am a nuisance the second I walk in the door. It’s quite clear the barista’s get on great with the people they like or know, however seeing as I prefer conversation over giggly immature high school chatter, I have never received as much as a smile from anyone in there. Unless the owner is in there the music is too loud and obnoxious, the latte will suck and the staff will act snobby. It’s really a shame as I’m not sure what they’re trying to prove with the attitude. It truly ruins the atmosphere.
Daniel / February 23, 2010 at 05:42 pm
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LIKE SB nothing really good about it. i asked for Cappuccino and got huge jar of milk with some hint of espresso.
common guys... Cappuccino 6oz maybe 8oz... but whats with the milk jar?!
MR / April 14, 2010 at 01:43 pm
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Well I am not a regular and have always been greeted with a smile and warm welcome. I love it there and the coffee is amazing! Too each there own I guess.
Ash / June 26, 2010 at 03:07 pm
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Meh. I live super close, therefore get my daily coffee from there and I think it has an overwhelming sense of "meh". The service is SUPER slow, the actual place is tiny, and my husband and I have a weekly conversation about how easy it would be to open across the street and put them under. The owner seems like a nice enough guy, but I think the staff are the problem.
Marc / August 17, 2010 at 08:03 pm
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That is one of the worst things for a cafe, well, any business. I'm talking about a business having employees that don't know the culture of the type of business and don't belong there. Since this is under Broadview Espresso, there are cafes with ignorant staff who don't know the cafe culture and mode. They are either playing music too loud, and it's the wrong and innappropriate type of music, or they are chatting amongst themselves like it's 90s/2000s era high school, or just plain ditzy or dumb. But the main error, for business and all of businesses, is bad attitude and bad customer service or lack of.
Chris / September 25, 2010 at 05:56 pm
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I've been there several times and it got a little worse each time! Coffee is quite good, though I found their Americano very bitter. The problem was....the service. Always comes down to the service. I'm weary of inattentive service from very young "baristas" overflowing with attitude. I don't expect much, honestly. But the last time was really the last time, I won't go out of my way to go back here.
Cat / November 21, 2010 at 11:33 am
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I live nearby and recently I've been in quite a lot. I haven't experienced any of the complaints described above: the staff (from the youngest barista to the owner) are always attentive and friendly, the vibe in the place is warm and welcoming, and I always enjoy my drinks (although I can't really comment on the quality of the coffee, as I will always have hot chocolate or a coffee loaded with syrups and flavours). They never rush you out and let you sit as long as you wish without badgering you to buy more drinks. They smile and greet you as you come in, and smile and say goodbye as you leave.

I'm thrilled this little place has opened up so close. I'd go there and support it over the big chain coffee shops further east any day.
daniel / December 21, 2010 at 11:24 pm
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like Cat, i live nearby as well and have never experienced some of the brash, pretentious, rude and inaccurate statements that some of the others have commented on. It's a great spot with fantastic service. Smiling, laughing, and always pleased to see you. There are some great people who work there and even better chracters who frequent the establishment. Great coffee, great people, great customers (other then regulars who despise the place but go anyways, as listed above)...what more could you ask for?
Richard / September 1, 2011 at 10:37 am
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Any of the posts saying that the staff is rude are absolutely off base. Been going there since they opened. Used to be a Mercury Espresso fan. Broadview is nicer looking, has better lattes and has amazing staff.

They know our names when we come in and are always friendly. never, ever have I seen rude service.
Nicole / September 1, 2011 at 11:18 am
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This has been my favourite place to get my latte since it opened. I find both the staff and Mike completely down to earth and friendly. I've tried most of the independent coffee shops in city and it still ranks as my favourite for both the quality of the coffee and the easy going friendly vibe of the place. I completely disagree with the posts above that the staff are pretentious or rude. That couldn't be further from the truth. If they are busy, it can be a bit slow, but that is only because they are busy making a lot of beverages. And if they take a second or two to chat with the customers, even better. That's what being a friendly, neighbourhood place is all about. I was recently near the new Crema on the Danforth and thought I would try them out. There was no one in line. I asked the guy at the cash for a latte. He looked at me like I was asking for lasagna from the cafe. He walked to the back and brought back a young lady. He told her what I wanted. She started playing with her hair and putting it up slowly and looking at me blankly. I said, you know what, thanks very much, but I'll go to my usual place down the street and then I preceded to walk the several blocks to my dear Broadview Espresso.
Krista / February 10, 2012 at 09:32 pm
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This place is so great. It's very cozy and serves up a mean latte. It's perfect for the area and just a short walk from the subway. Would definitely recommend!
Matt / December 11, 2012 at 05:10 pm
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Owner does a great job hiring. Staff are really, really friendly.
adam / July 8, 2014 at 06:42 pm
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loved the vibe. I found the music a bit too loud to have a conversation with a friend. other than that it's a really great place.

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