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Cafes

Cherry Bomb

Posted by Emily Thomas / Posted on March 13, 2009

Chery BombIt's very Zen like inside Cherry Bomb. The decor is sparse and simple. The place is impressively clean, as though scrubbed down and put into order moments before we arrived. Some gentle, melodic music is playing (Bonnie Prince Billy with Tortoise "The Brave and The Bold", I find out). I can understand why Cherry Bomb has become a popular place for take-away morning coffee. It's relaxing inside. One would leave there feeling centred (and ready for a jolt of caffeine).Chery BombRoncesvalles goes wild for Cherry Bomb coffee. Alyssa and I'd hung around inside Cherry Bomb with some finely crafted lattes ($2.50) made from Dark City coffee beans. The coffee comes in paper cups with a cherry seared into the side in red ink. Customers can bring their own mug for a discount, but Cherry Bomb is mostly a take away place. Chery BombThe recent Best Cookies in Toronto poll incited equally rave reviews for Cherry Bomb baked goods, so Alyssa and I trip over there near the end of the day. All the remaining cookies, scones and cakes have been neatly stacked on a single baking tray in the middle of the wide-open kitchen behind the counter. I appreciate this small and manageable amount of baked goods because it looks like they are going to sell out. (I used to work at a bakery that sold three-day old pastries as "day olds" and as a result, am wary of mass baking.)Chery BombThere are only about six baked good options so we get to try almost everything (except the most popular, sold out chocolate oatmeal cookie). The double chocolate and cranberry cookie ($1.50) is rich and chewy. The cranberries burst, tart, through the dark chocolaty bites. And we split a slice of the coffee cake ($2.75). It has swirls of CB's own ground coffee and comes apart in sugary coffee hunks and walnut. Chery Bomb
These are sturdy goods. We take the rest of them away in a paper bag that endures several bouts of rain and a train ride. By the end of the day the bag is damp, tearing at the edges with the bottom falling out. But the sweets are intact. Chery BombWe had an oatmeal raisin cookie ($1.50) in there, gigantic and chewy and packed with raisins. And the cinnamon scone ($2.00) retained its freshness the next day because it was so moist and dense. It's not too sweet, and with butter it becomes a hearty meal.
Chery BombChery BombChery Bomb
Photos by: Alyssa Bistonath

Discussion

26 Comments

nat / January 30, 2008 at 01:16 am
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cerry bomb rocks the almond croussants and date walnut scones and the the diffrent coffee are so amazing pluse the muffins wow and the staff are so friendly i injoy going there to get my coffee s and treats
nat
Machiatoto / August 3, 2008 at 05:40 pm
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I always passed by Cherry bomb enroute to and from work/home and wanted to make a point pass by. I heard good things about it and being an amateur home Barista with my Racillio Silvia, I'm game with checking out a good cup of coffee.
When I saw the machine, I think was a ECM, I was all stoked.

Maybe it was the fact it was busy and maybe it was because it was warm day, or the bean wasn't strong enough. But I have to tell you i was disappointed with the latte I recieved. It was luke warm I didn't see a hint of foam. And well it wasn't the BOMB...

Maybe I give it a try another time. But I have to say I had a bad first impression.
Tima / August 22, 2008 at 05:57 am
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I miss the Cherry Bomb since I moved from Ronci. You need to try it again. It can get packed...
Miguel / September 15, 2008 at 12:26 am
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I just got back from the place.
I have to say that their beans was really nice and they made me an awesome macchiato (minus the latte art mind you..).

One thing that disappointed me was the lack of sitting space and their "to-go only" policy. They didn't have any coffee mugs and/or plates even though I was planning on having the coffee at their window counter, one of their 5 sitting places. Good thing I had my own!

I know that the place is too small for a nice chair or two, but my idea of a perfect coffee shop has (a) good coffee, and (b) comfortable sitting areas. My two cents.
Anyways, thanks for the share. I loved my afternoon nonetheless!
Caleb G / September 29, 2008 at 09:21 pm
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i think some of the most aromatic and some of the freshest coffee in toronto is found at cherrybomb. I have been in few places ever that smelled so beautifully of fresh roasted coffee. Big fan of the shogun blend...dark city roasters in general...and the featured coffees that they provide - that's some really special attention being paid to coffee, few other cafes seem as interested in coffee.
Damian / November 4, 2008 at 08:52 pm
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Sorry, but Cherry Bomb cannot even begin to compare with the newly opened LIT Espresso Bar on Ronces. Cherry Bomb really needs to re-think its quality of bean, plus the no-seating design. CB is okay, but could be a lot better.
Eric S. Smith / January 3, 2009 at 02:34 pm
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If you like a cup of strong, dark coffee, I don't see how Cherry Bomb can come off poorly. It's consistently very good, with what comes out of their carafes handily equaling most places' Americanos -- and that's not considering the delicious fresh croissants.

It's not as though there's absolutely no seating, either: there was room for about nine to sit indoors when I was there this winter. (Christmas renovations may have rendered this information outdated.)
Courtney / January 21, 2009 at 12:17 am
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good coffee and love the Vegan Banana bread.
Matt / February 26, 2009 at 01:07 pm
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I am coffee obsessed and I can't recommend this place enough. The beans here are fantastic. They have the best drip-brewed coffee I've tasted in the city. I buy a half-pound of their Fair Trade Sorauren blend for my french press every week. It's rustic and smooth.

Some people knock them for not having much sitting space, but that isn't the niche that this place as carved out. Think of it as an urban indie Dunkin' Donuts. You line-up and grab a quick coffee and a scone (the best I've tasted), perhaps chat with someone you recognize, and then go on your way. The decor and design is wonderful, the products are the highest quality, and the prices are great. They play good tunes in there too.

In my opinion, this place is a much better business than Lit Espresso Bar, though very different in style.

(If you're looking for a place to hang-out while having a coffee, there is no better alternative to Tinto, which is just next door to Cherry Bomb.)
bubby / March 13, 2009 at 11:26 pm
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tried it today, the barista wasn't very focused on drink quality and i could taste it. the espresso in my my cap was very bitter and milk tasted burnt because some fresh milk was added to milk already sitting in the pitcher from the drink before mine and steam again. so bad never again
Jerrold / March 15, 2009 at 01:08 pm
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Stopped by there yesterday and had an absolutely delicious Mochachino. If you stop by, check out the picture book on the shelf... memoirs of a cat owner.
chenyip / March 16, 2009 at 01:09 pm
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I'm amazed how the third wave coffee scene has swept this city by storm and created some of the most pretentious and misguided coffee snobs I have ever witnessed. Sorry to say this, but a lot of you people haven't the slightest clue what you are talking about.

First of all, comparing Cherry Bomb to Lit is immaterial because they have two very different approaches to coffee. Lit is riding the Intelli-third-wave style while CB pulls shots from virtually all their beans and follows a more traditional approach to coffee. And in spite of some of the attempts of latte art at Cherry Bomb, I've never ever once had a wet-styled Cappuccino from Johnny (owner there). For the record, his traditional caps are one of the best I've had. So comparing Cherry Bomb to a Lit or Mercury is bullshit. That would be like saying single malt scotches are better than blended scotches. Or that Texas BBQ is better than Memphis BBQ. It's apples and oranges people.

Also, their business model is based on grab-and-go. Suits me fine for when i need a coffee in the morning before work. If you have the luxury of chilling out for an hour each morning, then i suggest you migrate up onto Lit. They have good coffee and seats. But if you want a coffee on the run, I couldn't think of a better place in that hood to score from. And to be honest, it seems like they kind of have their business model dialed in.

Z / March 16, 2009 at 04:46 pm
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I worked at CB for a little bit so I know the place from the other side of the counter.

1. Everyone there cares about the coffee. Everyone cares about the food. It's very clean and everything is done properly. It's the cleanest place I've ever worked.

2. Dark City beans are really good and they sell so much of it that you always get fresh beans. Why would you buy Intelligencia beans (a US company) when you can get fresh locally roasted bean that are arguably as good?

3. The people who work there like the people who come there. It's really busy so I thought it was nice how much effort the staff put into remembering people's orders and chatting them up during downtime.

The biggest problem with this place is how busy it gets.
breerion / March 16, 2009 at 04:50 pm
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best scones ever...!!
cdv / March 16, 2009 at 10:03 pm
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For the tastiest chai latte in town go to Cherry Bomb.
Hays / June 23, 2009 at 12:32 pm
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Loved the chai latte, but wished they had skimmed milk :( The scones looked delicious, must try next time
Richard Head / July 5, 2009 at 05:54 pm
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I love it! Great capps and the scones are scary tasty
jameson / September 26, 2009 at 10:22 pm
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amazing, just great. i wonder how the rating can be so low? doesn't even begin to make sense
Matt / November 23, 2009 at 09:22 am
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It's nice to see this place finally reviewed on here. My mental health would deteriorate noticeably if this place ever closed. Ronces' best cafe. Probably the best place to buy coffee and a baked good in the city.
alley cat / February 1, 2010 at 11:22 pm
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i agree that there are alot of great cafes in the city ,south of bloor st.but has anyone really researched the history of cafes and coffee shops in the whole city....any idea anyone...theres surly a great deal of awesome cafes or coffee shops in the city and some are also located that have never had a write up or any type of public notice....these are cafes or coffee shope that have been around for the last 40 years and still going strong.but they get no regoniction becuase the mass coffee commuters and coffee snobs are all living downtown so no one visits north of bloor st... go try them out then do the comparessing in quality of coffee becuase design is just design but at the end of the day costumers that can say ..that was a great latte or coffee or espresso ,its what counts in the real coffee world.i go around the city and check out coffee houses and cafes becuase its what i love to do everyday...and that is make my costumers great coffee....just a word from your sponsor....
Arby / March 22, 2010 at 01:10 am
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Well, Cherry Bomb is a nice place. Lots of plusses there.

I did a solo coffee crawl the other day and Cherry Bomb was my 3rd stop. Balluchon and Cherry Bomb were my main goals, but I also discovered Lit on my way to Cherry Bomb. Then finished up at White Squirrel, unintentionally.

The baristas at all the shops I hit were professional, pleasant and pulled proper shots (although I'm not sure about formulas at White Squirrel, seeing how they use glasses, which I'm not overly keen on.) I felt crappy about forgetting the name of the barista in Cherry Bomb, since he took the trouble to give me a detailed explanation of the bean blend I was drinking. I just have no more short term memory.

I asked him about the music and whether it was always so low-key. He pointed out, essentially, that it depended on who was working. I told him that his music worked for me, unlike Lit's. I'm not knocking the crashing, banging music. It's just not my cup of... coffee. I also don't get how people can work and/or make phone calls in places where the music is cranked, especially if it's not neutral.

It's a bit ironic, I think, that CB does (apparently) music that conduces to sitting with a laptop or a paper, but it's the take out place, while Lit (and other places like it) embraces sitting but hits you over the head with the tunes. (Actually, I was able to sit at CB without any problem. I seemed to have a quiet spot, because it wasn't long before there was a line up in the shop.) Mind you, It didn't seem to bother people there reading etc.. I guess I'm in a minority.

As for the coffee (I had an espresso) in CB, it was good. But one cannot fairly assess a shop's coffee (aside from whether the drinks are made properly) on one visit. In fact, I find it hard - after all the commenting on coffee shops - to actually say about a shop that it has the best, or worst or so, so coffee, simply because everywhere I go, regularly, the coffee goes up and down. That's the nature of coffee. Yes, There's places where you've had great coffee over time, and that makes an impression.

I was into White Squirrel twice. The first time, the service was excellent but the coffee was off for whatever reason. This time, for example (I only went in because I was at Chippy's and needed to use a bathroom), I was blown away. Now and then that happens. If I went in there tomorrow, Would I have the same experience? I've been blown away by some shops only 'once' even though I've visited many times (My first visit to Sam James).

In any case, There's more to a coffee shop than just the coffee. Cherry Bomb is... dynamite. Roncy is lucky.
mdmg / June 23, 2010 at 02:06 pm
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I lived in Roncy for a year and developed a frightening cherry bomb scone/americano addiction. I'm on the west coast now and still crave Cherry Bomb on a regular basis!
embean / July 11, 2010 at 10:26 am
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I just moved to the neighbourhood and was anxious to check out CB. I was not aware that they were cash only and it was clear that the guy at the cash was a bit annoyed when I asked him about debit.

Also, if they arranged their space a bit differently, they definitely could have better seating arrangements. The impression I got from this place was less than welcoming and I got the feeling they just want to shuffle you in and out.

I get that they might have their reasons for not having a debit machine, but I think that's a bit archaic in these times. I hardly ever carry cash and had to downgrade my order. My latte was decent but I don't think I'll be back. I'm already a fan of bell jar and I think I'll try Lit or Balluchon. I'd rather spend my money somewhere where customer service is decent and my plastic money is good enough for them. I never really understood the coffee snob stereotype until today.

I can perhaps understand going in there for beans, because to me they are more of a store than a cafe. But, I don't think I'll be back.
coffee lover / May 17, 2011 at 12:47 pm
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My two favourite cafes in the city are Cherry Bomb and Ezra's Pound. After a conversation discovered that the owners have been in coffee for a long time - far longer than any of the "fashion espresso joints" popping up around the city. These guys will be around long after the posers have packed up and left town.
Kalize / January 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm
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Does anyone know what has happened to the beans "extra butter"?
Lynn / February 4, 2013 at 10:21 am
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I really, really miss this place since moving to the east end. I love their drip coffee, coffee beans and all of the food they make is the best (all the croissants especially). They are so busy, that I imagine the reason why they are cash-only is because the lines would get out of control if they had to process a bunch of debit transactions. The staff has always been really great too.

For all of these reasons, they are my favourite coffee shop in the city.

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