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Cafes

F'COFFEE

Posted by Dar Mustafa / Posted on June 9, 2009

F'CoffeeWhen I first heard the name "F'Coffee", I wondered what-the-F my friend was saying to me, but I was too tired and hungry to care. Visiting this friend's friends in one of the stylish studio spaces across the street, I had been promised a satisfying lunch at a place nearby that would make up for the long, hard work day we'd had.

If there is a sure-fire way to soothe the ravenous beast inside of me, it's to present it with a less than two-minute walk to the place where the food be. Such astounding proximity sure started mine and F'Coffee's relationship on the right foot, and the sign out front promising a beer & grilled-cheese combo for less than five bucks cemented a union made in heaven.

F'CoffeeWe happen upon another mate of the aforementioned studio, who seems to have spent the better part of her day there. Laptop out, food remnants about, and a giant mug containing coffee dregs, are all tell-tale signs. Not to mention a great familiarity with the staff which immediately rubs off on me.

"What a nice little hang-out," I think to myself, feeling thrust into their community. I then proceed to lunch there on two other occasions within the span of about a week and a half. We devour multiple sandwiches (with multiple cheeses inside) and daytime beers while the sign still permits, knowing things this good never last.

F'CoffeeThe beer and sandwiches are still there, and no, I don't mind buying them the old-fashioned way. There's a rather extensive and tempting list of varieties, though it's always hard for me to resist my first love- being a combination of Smoked Mozzarella, Cheddar and Havarti on sourdough bread. ($5, though I think a bit extra for all that cheese...).

F'CoffeeRidiculously, it wasn't until months later that I finally tried their coffee; an Americano which, my friend belatedly warns me, is "kind of jittery "--perhaps implying that this jittery girl start with something a little less potent. Well, potent it was, but jitter I did not. Very strong, but very smooth, I even heard a customer candidly call it "the best coffee in Toronto" with his own mouth.

F'CoffeeSuch a powerful bean begs for some sweets, and I suddenly became hyper-aware of the fact that I haven't even so much as glanced at their baked offerings (this being what happens when I fall victim to sandwich-vision).

It was high time for a cookie, but I had sadly missed the early-day array, and was left with chocolate chip as my only option. This would have been fine if it weren't for my irrational hatred of the stuff. Bummer. I have heard great things about them, though.

F'Coffee
F'Coffee

These days, it seems that whenever I'm out gallivanting, F'Coffee isn't far away; in the midst of a visit to the Riverdale Art Walk last weekend, or on the way to my roommate's work place this afternoon, I turn my head and it's there. I think it may be stalking me.

A close look at the sign finally reveals the "hidden" piece of the name "puzzle" in the "fine print" above: "there's always time...(a-haa!)". " F'Coffee." This fabulously lazy philosophy, expressed in an equally-so diction is almost too awesome for me to bear.
It also seems rather appropriate (for the place itself), very necessary (for those who have yet to learn), and would probably make a fitting epitaph for yours truly.

F'Coffee
F'Coffee

Discussion

35 Comments

dana / June 4, 2007 at 04:19 pm
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seriously the freshest/best coffee in Toronto, and the baked goods are out of this world. So much care is taken in the selection of the bread (st.johns bakery on broadview) and ingredients to every sandwich, and the choice of cheeses is off the scale!
Sai Sivanesan / November 8, 2007 at 04:35 am
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Let me put it this way - When my studio rent went up, I decided to stay because of F'Coffee.

My almost, daily breakfast stop, and I totally agree with Dana, the coffee is the best in the city. If you are lucky enough to get there when the cookies come out of the oven, you won't be disappointed.
Kasandra / April 1, 2008 at 11:08 pm
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Just went there off of your recommendations... I WAS lucky enough to get there when the cookies came out. I ate one half, and then went back for the other.
and da london fog wasn't bad either!
gurmeet singh / May 14, 2008 at 04:07 pm
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I'll admit i am not a huge coffee drinker, but one thing i like about F'Coffee is their lunch menu. Their sandwiches and soups are really good; so next time you're i suggest you try the havarti cheese with tomato on Rye....deliciousssssss
davis mirza / June 20, 2008 at 01:26 am
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Hey I hear F'coffee has applied for a liquor license...can I be the first bartending Dj to host the summer saturday night T party?
Ps. Have records will travel Peacelvis
tailormade / September 17, 2008 at 09:20 pm
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Their coffee is delicious..and apparently they get it freshly roasted down the street at Fresh Coffee Network. Delish!!!
Mars Blackmon / October 22, 2008 at 04:31 pm
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I recently decided to try their London Fog based on past reviews. I was unpleastently suprised to say the least, very water and licorice aftertaste(they use Stash double Bergamot). Not as good as I had hoped in fact the London Fogs at Red Rocket are far superior. Can't say anything about the baked goods 'cause there weren't any although I am told they are made on site.
Don River / December 19, 2008 at 12:32 pm
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I work 3 doors down and, despite only being there 3 days a week, I hit up F'Coffee generally 2 of those 3. I'm not even going to talk about their coffee, as I live down the street from the incomparable Jet Fuel, but the food at F'Coffee is incredible.
The large chili/bagel combo, at $5.50, cannot be beat.
I am very cheap, and don't like to spend money, but lunch at F'Coffee is often hard to resist - even when I've brought my own!
Also, the staff are great. Very friendly, fast, and thorough.
Not to be missed for anyone in the neighbourhood.
Jessica / February 15, 2009 at 04:14 pm
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what are their hours?
Oranjette5 / March 30, 2009 at 04:39 pm
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THANKS, everyone! I checked it out on Saturday and I agree that the coffee (strong, just like I like it) was excellent. Strong but not bitter! Had the choc. chip cookie and it was dee-lish - obviously they use high-quality chocolate.

The atmo is very laid-back and low-key, so if you're looking to pose, go down the street.

Josh / April 21, 2009 at 10:49 am
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Hours (as of April 2009) are:

7am-5pm M-F
10am-4pm Sat
Closed Sun
B.Kienapple / June 9, 2009 at 10:23 am
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I used to eat here almost every day when I worked around the corner and it is a great place to grab a not-too expensive lunch. The gazpacho soup and veggie chili is out of this world delicious and they make a mean London Fog. The only problem is that the degree of 'done-ness' of the cookies can vary wildly - from raw to burnt and occasionally the perfect ooey-gooeyness (yes, that is a technical term). Also, the staff here are great.
Bubba / June 9, 2009 at 09:25 pm
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good coffee, tasty cookies
Karen / June 10, 2009 at 11:13 am
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I live in Leslieville and I pass by F'Coffee often and I swear it is never open--it's become an ongoing joke with my boyfriend--we're always shocked the very few times we've seen it open! We check out all of the coffee shops in the hood, and have yet to try this one given the limited hours.
rob / June 11, 2009 at 06:56 pm
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If you're stopping by on Sundays ... then there might be a chance that I
appear to be never open at F'Coffee. But otherwise , I've been open mon-fri
7am - 5pm since opening two and a half years back. Sat 10 - 4.
Often open later when folks come by for the patio this time of year.
Baking my stuff on site ,roasting coffee , organizing a modest cafe
menu of fresh organic this and that .... means that my shop's hours can't suit everybody's schedule. But outside of my 9 or 10 days off between
Christmas and new years ... it's Mon-Fri 10-5 Sat 10-4. Thanks !

rob / f'coffee





hours for eveverybody's schedule.
rob replying to a comment from Don River / November 17, 2009 at 06:29 pm
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Please!! Everyone knows that JetFuel has the shittiest coffee. Please don't avoid trying coffee elsewhere because your ignorant. Please!! For the love of everything good in this world!! Just walk over to Darkhorse, I promise you will thank me!
xenia / February 5, 2010 at 04:35 pm
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REASONS NOT TO EAT HERE

1. The owner is very rude! You ask for something like a soy latte (in an effort not to get a burned drink) and he mumbles profanities under his breath because you are making him go out of his way. It is a cafe! People will sometimes order soy lattes! Some of those people will be lactose intolerant. I'm not sure if he's just lazy or intolerant or lactose intolerants.

2. Lattes and cappuccinos are not made properly. Milk is always reheated always burnt.

3. Their pricing system isn't a system. One day i'm charged 5 dollars for something, the next time i'm charge 6.50 for the exact same order! (This has happened more then once.)

4. The place is just generally dirty! If their counters and floor are a sign of their kitchen's condition I would be (and am) afraid of contamination.
Sophie / February 13, 2010 at 06:40 pm
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I was very pleased to have such a warm welcome at F'Coffee. The place has a genuine homeyness that is sometimes hard to come by. The service was superb and the the coffee delicious. I'm so glad I didn't listen to some of the somewhat sour comments posted here.
Sean / February 24, 2010 at 03:07 pm
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This place is really great... I sadly don't work nearby anymore, but I loved taking my lunch break there and Rob and company were always so great to talk to. I like that it is more a lunch cafe then a coffee exclusive cafe.. I mean, sometimes you want a beer with your lunch, not a coffee :)

Great place all around and everyone should be down with having them in the neighbourhood. One day I will make it back in time!

Oh, and v. sweet patio too.
Greg / April 12, 2010 at 02:03 pm
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I've been coming here since the day Rob opened shop.

Great place for a meeting, relaxing out on the back patio with a pint or grabbing a quick breakfast bagel and coffee in the morning.

The homemade cookies are out of this world - if you're lucky enough to arrive when they're just out of the oven.

The veggie chili has been a staple of my diet for a couple of years.
Sarah / August 6, 2010 at 06:31 pm
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I absolutely love this place. It really IS the best coffee in the city. Their Americanos are awesome. The patio is adorable and the sandwiches are great. I always bring friends from out of town there because it makes the neighbourhood I live in look even better. Delish!
Bubba / August 25, 2010 at 10:44 pm
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veg chili good

grill cheese good

coffee good

yabba dabba do

Richard / October 23, 2010 at 05:32 pm
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Went to this place once, the man was so rude!I nicely mentionned to him the "closed sign" is still in the window. He got all offended.

The coffee (cappuccino) was not worth better than a Tim Horton's Cappuccino!!!

WILL NEVER GO BACK THE OWNER IS A MORON

rob replying to a comment from xenia / October 28, 2010 at 01:18 pm
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i can only really address bulletin point 3.
prices do vary , as i am quite frequently
cutting folks a deal, no particular reason.
they are always welcome to pay the full
posted prices if this is more satisfactory.-r
rob replying to a comment from Richard / October 28, 2010 at 01:23 pm
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I apologize for your perceived experience.
I do thank you for your brevity here,
although appreciated your page long unsigned
hate-mail rant , delivered by Canpost.
Honestly !

the Moron
Gerald / October 28, 2010 at 07:46 pm
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Don't waste your time going there; the morning customer service experience is likely to ruin your day.

There are hundreds of much better place in the city.
Observer Girl / January 1, 2011 at 08:35 pm
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I've never had a bad experience at F'Coffee. Mind you, it doesn't take much to please me. Give me a fresh-from-the-over muffin and a hot coffee and I am a happy camper. But I do appreciate the great music and Rob's laid-back camaraderie with his customers.
Little Chinese Girl / February 13, 2011 at 11:24 pm
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I don't know how you can have a bad experience at F'Coffee. I love everything about this place. The freshness and the smell...mum...
Keep it up Rob:)
3m / April 6, 2011 at 01:33 pm
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I'm there right now. I had high hopes but the results are mixed: The food looks simple and smells awesome, but the coffee is catastrophically over-roasted.

This is not the place to order espresso.
huskylord / April 16, 2011 at 06:17 pm
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My wife and I have always had excellent service at F'Coffee and love the sandwiches. We live across town in Etobicoke and any chance we're in the Leslieville area means we get to have our favorite Americanos and Latte's.
karl / June 10, 2011 at 08:45 pm
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I don't know whether it is the best coffee in the City (I'm awfully fond of the flat white at te aro) but it is a damned fine coffee and for what I like, a bit better than the Dark Horse just down the street and for that matter, the Red Rocket, Mercury or Tango Palace in Leslieville and Crema on Bloor. In the end though they all make pretty good coffee and have some great cookies, scones or amandines, etc.

What I like about F'Coffee is the aforementioned lack of 'tude, or perhaps pose is the better term. I'm 49, don't work in film or design, don't have a Macbook or a piercing, don't listen to the Chickasaw Mud Puppies or vote Dipper or Green. Nothing really wrong with any of those things, individually but at some of the coffee shops, you feel that you must hit 8 out of 10 and yes Mercury and Dark Horse, I am thinking of you.

I like my world with a bit of grit and a bit of art in it but not when it seems overly contrived. I suppose that it's the same reason why I prefer the Cameron House to say, Shanghai Cowgirl.


peterho / June 22, 2011 at 06:42 pm
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hey karlos,

that is pretty bang on. less contrived and a bit more grainy
Martha / November 22, 2011 at 06:45 pm
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The breakfast bagel is amazing.
John / August 19, 2013 at 05:07 pm
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Lots of honest reviews here and it's nice to see replies from the owner too.

I work nearby and have visited f'Coffee as our office "annex". I have purchased way too many coffees, ice coffees, and sandwiches over the years. Therefore my opinion is the only one that counts. Just kidding.

Let me agree with all the complaints and then some, sorta' like Marc Anthony's speech in Julius Caesar...

Yeah, the coffee is over-roasted but so is most of what I find out there! I used to over-roast my own beans too. Wait... that didn't sound right.

And yeah, I have to confess that the coffee down the street at Dark Horse or Merchants of Green Beans is better, especially the cappuccinos etc. However that's not the only reason for going to f'Coffee.

F'Coffee is more like a friend's back yard than a typical café. If you came to my house, I'd ask if you feel like beer today or coffee. Same at f'Coffee. I like the fact that it is a sole proprietorship with no hype or pretense. I like that the owner Rob is not solicitous -- take him the way he is. Those other 2 places nearby are very nice. Go there too. But they don't have much of a menu and no beer on tap. I buy my green beans from the Merchants of, and I hit Dark Horse for a treat about once a month too. These are not "competition" just a different thread woven into the neighbourhood.

The staff at f'Coffee are NOT professional barrrrristas. They are more like ski bums ...minus the skiing of course (sigh). I think a lot of the staff have been foreign students and emerging artists. Maybe some day you will be in a gallery or performance or the UN General Assembly and nudge the person beside you and brag: "I know that woman!"

That said, f'Coffee could be kept cleaner without damaging the mood or losing a customer.

Yeah, I agree the 'tude is VERY casual and at times staff seem a little lost in their own reveries, but I don't mind. I've never encountered what I would call "rude". When I inquire about their interests we always have fascinating conversations. In fact, if the staff person is not paying enough attention to you they are probably either busy or thinking about some performance coming up.

I talked with someone who claimed the behaviour of a staff person at f'Coffee was rude and learned that she was inferring all sorts of offense that just wasn't there... No one was trying to offend her. It was more like the offended person was simply angry because her needs were not being met and there is no way for anyone else to know that, let alone a server at f'Coffee.
Need a therapist? Go somewhere else.
Need a perfect cappuccino? Maybe not here, depending on who's working.
Need a place to unwind and practice smiling at strangers again? Pause here.
John / August 19, 2013 at 05:10 pm
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great photos!

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