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Cafes

Cafe M

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on December 2, 2012

Cafe M TorontoCafe M is a new independent coffee shop ... on Yonge Street? Forgive me while I do a double take. While the majority of indie coffee spots tend to collect in the east and west ends of the city (in neighbourhoods such as Leslieville, Roncesvalles, and Dundas West), central downtown Yonge has remained largely out of the loop. Perhaps it's because Yonge doesn't have quite the same "community" feel, or else would-be cafe owners don't want to set up shop beside a Money Mart or discount electronics shop.

Whatever their reasons, however, Michelle Wong doesn't buy it. The Cafe M owner tells me she always wanted to open her own space, and when she saw this one available at Yonge and Wellesley, she seized the chance to move in.

Cafe M Toronto"It was really because there aren't any other independent coffee shops in the area," she says to me as I stop by the cafe on its opening day. "It was an opportunity."

There are, nevertheless, lots of places to get coffee on Yonge between Dundas and Bloor, especially with a Starbucks on nearly every block. But as far as independents go, there certainly is a dearth.

Cafe M TorontoCafe M offers an edge in that you'll actually find its owner behind the bar, often pulling Classic Gourmet Espresso for Americanos ($2.75/$3.00), cappuccinos ($2.85/$3.95), lattes ($3.00/$4.00) and more. Equipped with a culinary management diploma from George Brown, Michelle has opted for a simple menu of sandwiches and panini, with options such as her prosciutto, brie, pear, arugula, and honey butter ($9), and egg salad sandwich with mixed greens, cucumber and alfalfa sprouts ($7), both of which include side salads.

Cafe M TorontoIn terms of baked goods, Cafe M has sourced a mix from local bakers including Desmond & Beatrice and Dufflet. I stick with coffee though, and find the espresso to have a smooth, nutty flavour, if just a little bit mild. This time I went with the single; next time, double.

Cafe M TorontoMichelle says the idea is just to have a place where people can relax and take in the action without feeling rushed (and if you've ever held up a line counting change at Starbucks during the 8 a.m. swarm, you know what I mean). The cafe has a few comfortable spots to kick back (and yes, there is free WiFi), though I think the best seats are at the bars by the front window, which prop you up to front row for the Yonge Street action. Sit there long enough, and you're bound to see a show — something you're less likely to find at a Roncy cafe.

Cafe M TorontoCafe M TorontoCafe M TorontoPhotos by Christian Bobak

Discussion

17 Comments

Franco / December 2, 2012 at 08:07 pm
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I'll have to check it out.
yvonne martins / December 3, 2012 at 02:17 am
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Congrats, Michelle, on the opening of your cafe. Wishing you success and lots of customers.

By the way, i also love chicken salad sandwiches


Auntie Yvonne


Devika Arokium / December 3, 2012 at 08:23 am
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I recommend the panini which I tried on Saturday. Fresh and delicious.The cornmeal muffing with bacon, yumm!.

You'll also love the personality of the adventurous young owner behind the counter.
Cyril Sneer / December 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm
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I live in the area I'm very excited by this. The lack of higher-end coffee shops has long been an annoyance of mine. I'll be checking this place out for sure.
Steven / December 3, 2012 at 01:25 pm
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Awesommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmme!

Thank you Thank you Thank you!
Alexis Lowe / December 3, 2012 at 07:26 pm
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Congrats Michelle. Maybe when we come to Ontario again we will come in for a visit
Shay-Rah / December 3, 2012 at 07:38 pm
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I've been eyeing pictures of Michelle's food creations via face book for sometime now. I am very very excited to finally have a chance to try some of them...Congrats Michelle!
Joyce / December 10, 2012 at 05:36 pm
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I visited Cafe M today and I had their Proscuitto Sandwich with a Cappucino. The Sandwich was paired with a generous portion of side salad for only a total of 9dollars. The sandwich itself was very delicious and had a really nice combination of ingredients like pear and brie cheese. The salad tasted very fresh with spring mix and vinagrette dressing.The staff was very friendly and accommodating. The Cappuccino itself is nicely affordable (i think 2.50 for a single shot) which is quite cheap compared to the other coffee brewers around. It was a well made drink with a good proportion of foam to coffee! I did try their regular brewed coffee and I didn't like it too much so I think I'll stick with the other beverage options. Overall i liked the environment and the food and its cozy and quiet enough to read a book/homework unlike the hustle and bustle that is starbucks
Court / January 5, 2013 at 10:53 am
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I tried to check this place out a few times but its always closed. Would be nice if its open Sunday's and later on weekdays. I will keep trying to check it out because I love the idea of something other than Starbucks!
Élodie / January 25, 2013 at 03:16 pm
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Excellent coffee, great staff, and cosy atmosphere. In short, an awesome place to hang out or to bring your laptop and study. I recommend it!
Margaret / February 24, 2013 at 12:13 am
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I looked in your window as I walked by you on Friday. On my return I had to go in. Your coffee was a delight - so was your cookie. The ambience is perfect for someone who goes to cafes to read. So very glad to have found you. See you soon. Love M
Anne-Laure / February 28, 2013 at 11:05 am
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I have been sooo happy since café M moved into my neighbourhood!
Many reasons to love it:
1. Food is delicious and definitely home made or from a pretty damn good bakery ;)
2. The Music is good, as it does not blast into your ear, is not cheesy, and still allows you to drown the voices of the neighbours
3. Great smell! It may seem stupid but i can not stand when i come back from a coffee place and smell like I have been rubbing coffee grinds all over my clothes. They put candles that totally neutralize the smell and makes the time there, that much more enjoyable.
Triple yeah!
Rick / May 21, 2013 at 10:53 am
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This place is great. Excellent sandwiches and there is a great feel to the cafe.
Danny / June 26, 2013 at 10:00 am
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not impressed.
Marc / February 16, 2014 at 05:44 pm
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Great coffee, cookies, sandwiches, and staff. A great place to meet people or to read.
Lisa / April 9, 2014 at 04:07 pm
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Thinking of having a casual work meeting here- is there room to sit and chat with others? I just see bar stools in the pictures
Audrey / September 22, 2014 at 08:31 am
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A very charming little cafe! The lady behind the counter was very friendly and the latte was delicious! I also tried a brownie - very good!

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