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Cafes

Lazy Daisy's Cafe

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on October 13, 2011

Lazy Daisy'sLazy Daisy's proves that if there is such a thing as "farmhouse-chic," it can be a great environment in which to curl up with a coffee and some homemade soup.The name "Daisy," for some reason, has always been appropriated to our bovine friends in my mind, so I was not surprised to see her pretty speckled face around the new cafe at Coxwell and Gerrard. The shop is certainly unlike many of its neighbours, sitting on the cusp of Little India to the west and not a whole lot heading in the other direction. Owner Dawn Chapman tells me she gutted the former shawarma space after signing on, revamping it with little touches from the farm where she spent many of her childhood summers.

Lazy Daisy's"Daisy was the cow at my uncle's farm," she tells me as we settle in a pair of black armchairs. "And it was the real deal; we milked her, carried the pail, we drank the milk. There was a natural way of doing things, and that's what I wanted for this space."

Lazy Diasy'sThe new cafe borrows more than just the name of a cow from Dawn's uncle's farm. The tabletops, for example, are actually made from wood from an old barn on the land (and outfitted with stainless steel bases, hence "farmhouse-chic." In fact, most everything in the cafe--from the cucumbers in its salads, to the pottery bowls for its chili--can be traced to some town nearby in Ontario, mapped on a board by the front entrance. The display also features a local farmer's bio, which, for now, tells the story of Dawn's own uncle.

Lazy Daisy's"I want this place to be about respect for animals, and respect for your bodies," Dawn says as her two kids play at the train table near the back. "Instead of putting lots of junk in your body, you can put less, and better." Dawn tells me she and the other moms in the area longed for a place for good coffee and good food, and since she had opened a couple of bagel shops in London, England, in her twenties, Dawn thought she would be the one to do something similar for Gerrard East.

Lazy Daisy'sFar from the typical cookie and muffin café, Lazy Daisy's menu includes everything from pastrami sandwiches ($7.95) made with organic, hormone-free meat from Beretta Farms and bread from Knead Bakery, its "Wandering Oeuf" breakfast sandwich ($4.95) made with free-range eggs, double-smoked bacon, and a fresh Knead Bakery biscuit, and its house-made signature chili ($8.75) served with a jalapeño whoopie pie, of all things.

Lazy Daisy'sWith the chef working away in the kitchen, one of the friendly baristas insisted I try a spoonful of chili, which was hearty, delicious, and totally homestyle. Next I was made to try some of its house-made signature jam (a whole range of varieties, also jarred and ready to go) spread over a lightly toasted St. Urbain bagel. Raspberry-chocolate, and wonderful.

Lazy Daisy'sBut alas, Lazy Daisy's is still a coffee shop, so I ordered a latte, which I was told, is made with beans roasted at Te Aro. The drink was smooth and creamy, and topped with a heart. Truthfully, I was hoping for a cow in my latte art, but a form of that precision would be udderly impossible. Obviously I have Daisy on the brain.

Lazy Daisy's offers free WiFi and is open 7a.m. to 7p.m. weekdays, and 9:30a.m. to 6p.m. on weekends.

Lazy Daisy'sLazy Daisy'sLazy Daisy'sPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

30 Comments

johnny la rue / October 13, 2011 at 03:29 pm
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I'm sure the neighbours are loving this place! No sacred cows there.
Laura / October 13, 2011 at 04:12 pm
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This place is the real deal. I've tried the muffins (still warm from the oven), the croissants, and the Pilgrim's Pride sandwich. Everything is outstanding. And then today I tried the brownie. There's no going back now. Best brownie I've ever eaten. Everyone there is friendly and very welcoming to me and my kids. (And oh yeah, the coffee rules.)
Chris / October 13, 2011 at 04:44 pm
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Looking forward to checking this place out. I live 2 mins away and I am very excited to see the place finally open. There isn't a decent coffee shop within a 6-blocks radius so Lasy Daisy's will be a great addition to the area. Welcome!
Sara / October 13, 2011 at 05:35 pm
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Everything about the place is laid back and relaxed! Looking forward to spending many afternoons over a hot cuppa anything there ;)
Tammy / October 13, 2011 at 07:49 pm
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@Chris. I also live right in the 'hood and am excited for this new addition but I have to say there are quite a number of cafes within a 6 block radius. To the west – The Sideshow Cafe, The Grinder, & Starbucks (although still a Starbucks, it has an awesome rooftop patio. To the South – Voulez-vous & the Red Rocket on Queen, and to the East, the Bandit (ok, that's 7 blocks away). But still good coffee shops are popping up all over the place.
Danielle / October 13, 2011 at 11:32 pm
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I was worried this place was gonna be a weird junkhole since the sign reminded me of a 1980's country kitchen throwback, but I'm so excited to check this out. I moved into the hood over a year ago and its sad that there is nothing close to walk to. Circus circus coffee doesn't count and Starbucks/Grinder etc is not within close walking distance. I really hope this encourages people to open more places. We sure could use a restaurant and a bar. Fleur de Lis just aint cutting it! Welcome Daisy!
Pat MacRae / October 14, 2011 at 05:14 am
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Well done to all the family who put their support into this venture. It's a delightful looking venue and when i next visit Canada (from Australia) I will be sure to visit for coffee. I can recommend the place to anyone I hear of going there. Well done Dawn.
JP Centeno / October 14, 2011 at 11:29 pm
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The food sounds great from your comments, does anyone knows the Chef's name ?
peter & eveline / October 15, 2011 at 02:57 pm
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congratulations Dawn the venue looks wonderful. all the very best wishes for the future from wales
Debbie Eccles / October 17, 2011 at 09:26 am
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Wow, congratulations Dawn, wish you all the best with your "Lazy Daisy's Cafe", Uncle Howard would be so proud. Your cousin up North. When I get to the city will look you up. I always try to eat the food from our local farmers. This sounds like a great place to eat good home cooking. Cheers.
Rita / October 20, 2011 at 09:35 pm
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This place is fantastic and the service is really great. The chili is by far my fav!
Sundari / October 21, 2011 at 11:08 pm
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Hi James

Saw Lazy Daisy's photos in Facebook. Fusion of old and new. Keep it up
Cindy / October 22, 2011 at 07:14 pm
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A delicious lunch and yummy latte today at Lazy Daisy's. Can't wait to do it again!!
Priyanka / November 2, 2011 at 03:41 pm
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I saw Lazy Daisy a couple of weeks ago, while sitting on a streetcar. Made me mental note about checking it out (I love little cafes like this), and now I know for sure where I'm going next time I go out!
Priyanka / November 2, 2011 at 03:44 pm
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made a* ooops!
Cerro / January 4, 2012 at 09:02 am
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Nice coffee. But not everyone likes to go to a place crowded with giant strollers and noisy children with amateur parent with no skills in keeping things happy but civilized.
Shelly / January 13, 2012 at 04:55 pm
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Lazy Daisy's is perfect for this area specifically because it is kid friendly. There is a huge 'family population' with 4-5 public schools within walking distance of the cafe. It's fantastic for parents to take their kids to a nice coffee shop with excellent, healthy food where their kids are welcome and can play while the parents relax. As someone else noted, there ARE other coffee shops within walking distance, but they are not nearly as kid friendly. That's what makes Lazy Daisy's stand out and will make it a success in this area.
Nikolas / January 19, 2012 at 04:59 pm
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It's a simple place, good/quality coffee and lunch isn't too bad at all, surprisingly good actually! I was impressed. The area will enjoy this spot for years to come.
Megan / January 22, 2012 at 09:45 pm
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Heads up to the owner if you are supplied by Knead Bakery!! She skipped out on her lease at logan and dundas cafe, just read comments on her blogto!!! Small business are great and the least amount of bumps the stronger they are!! Love your cafe!
Cathy / February 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm
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I really like this cafe. I've been there twice and I love the family friendly environment, the sandwiches are delicious and the service is great. The owner is so friendly, always smiling at customers and asking how their food/coffee was. I am planning to go there every weekend!
hiy / March 15, 2012 at 11:37 am
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why support a bakery that exploits it's teenage workforce? I like what the owner is trying to do but I'd rather walk the extra two blocks to Voulez-Vous Cafe on Queen, rather than indirectly support Knead bakery?
Sarah S / September 3, 2012 at 04:08 pm
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SADLY.....THUMBS DOWN AND NOT SO KID-FRIENDLY!!! I have been to Lazy Daisy's a number of times since I live in the area and it's a neat little place to go with my 3 kids (or so I thought............). The food is heavenly, the coffee is nice and strong, and the staff working there are lovely, which is why this comment comes as a disappointment to me and my family. I was there this past weekend with my husband and kids for breakfast (and spent around $50 at that). Dawn, whom I believe is the owner, was keeping no secret of the fact that she was feeling hung over as she was out partying the night before. We were just finishing up breakfast when my 2-year-old was getting a little restless, but by no means unruly or outrageously loud. Dawn slowly approached me and asked if I could take my son downstairs or outside to calm him and/or quiet him down, to which I responded that we were just leaving anyway. My surprise is that if a cafe owner is opening up her clientele to parents AND their children, there should be some expectation that it won't be a silent place.....certainly not after a night of partying. My suggestion: either take the toys away to make the cafe less appealing to parents of young children, OR better yet, stay home in bed when you are hung over!! Sadly, I won't be taking my kids there anymore. I'll be at "L'il Bean and Green" a little further west.....
Ann / December 3, 2012 at 03:13 pm
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The manager asked me to move so that a group of women could sit together. I complied but then found no other seats where I could finish my coffee. After a couple of standing sips, I left my coffee on the counter and departed... never to return.
food snob / January 23, 2013 at 11:07 am
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first off, sarah s sounds like a bullshit commenter. i'm a food snob and coffee snob and everything snob and i fucking love this place. it's super kid friendly and everything is delicious. i was just there this morning and there were lots of noisy kids. i don't have kids and i still love the environment as it's community focused and has quality products.
Aaron / April 29, 2013 at 10:00 am
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I went with my lady to Lazy Daisy's this past weekend, and while the food was INCREDIBLE, the service was TERRIBLE. It's one thing to be having a bad day or whatever, but all three staff members were more interested in having conversations with each other than answering our questions.

That said, fantastic menu, and great food!
Greg / June 5, 2013 at 09:40 am
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I do love this place, but the service is quite slow, especially on the weekends. There is a lot of staff, so it must have to do with operations flow in the kitchen.
Also, I find that 80% of the time the food and drink is really really good, the other 20% there is something I can complain about. Overall, a great place and I will still go here, but a bit inconsistent at times. Today I had a lemonade that was so sour I had to throw it away when I got home.
It often seems like there is no one in charge in the store, no one looking over the quality control and while the staff is nice they seem a bit confused at times.
Mike / October 28, 2013 at 11:31 pm
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9 inch long hair in my omelette after the second bite. 2mins later, an adolescent sized fly in my "freshly squeezed" orange juice. Mediocre (at best), yet pretentious "service". Bottom line: hipster douchbag, wannabe Leslieville dive that caters to pretty much the same clientelle. Don't believe? I encourage you to visit this place for yourself!
Susana / October 29, 2013 at 02:50 pm
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Lazy Daisy's is a wonderful cafe. The cafe design, the menu, the suppliers, everything has been been carefully, and conscientiously thought through.

Dawn the owner, is a tireless community builder too; she has a heart of gold. Just to name a few projects she's on: she's a KEY committee member on park rebuilds like Moncur Park, she helped us save Fairmount Park Community Centre and swimming pool, and is revitalizing the Gerrard-India strip day by day.

There's one thing to critique a restaurant's menu, it is another to slander a hard-working family like the Chapmans.

Anyone normal looking for an honest review: please go eat and drink there. If you have a problem, approach the staff, they will make it better. They are kind. They are doing great things at Lazy Daisy's food wise and community building wise. Dawn for Mayor :)

Mel / October 29, 2013 at 03:15 pm
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Lazy Daisy's has been such a welcome addition to the neighbourhood, with its cute n' cozy atmosphere! I love that it is in line with my own ethics, supporting local, organic farmers and direct-trade coffee. I've eaten there frequently since discovering the place a year ago, and everything I've tried has been delicious. I especially love their seasonal soups and veggie rise breakfast sandwich!

I recently checked out their new evening menu and loved that I was able to savour a beer in a relaxed environment. It's so nice to have a place within walking distance that isn't like the other local "kick n' stabs"!

Just a side note: I thought I should point out that I don't have kids, and I still think it's a great place to hang. Believe it or not, kid-friendly doesn't *always* mean noisy. I've been there on more than one occasion when a large group of mothers have been in with their newborns, and have barely heard a whimper. (Must've been nap time!) I guess it's hit and miss when it comes to that sort of thing?
Disappointed / March 23, 2014 at 04:51 pm
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I stopped in here once for a coffee and looked forward to returning.
However, my friend and I were disappointed with our brunch. The pancakes were undercooked, didn't taste like buttermilk, and I do not think cool-whip counts as whipped cream.
The waffles and sausages were overcooked and nearly burnt. The eggs and bacon were ok. The fresh-squeezed orange juice was nice.
Nobody comes to the table to ask how things are, one goes up to collect their own drinks and sometimes food, too. That's okay, but I didn't find the staff particularly friendly at any point.
I can't beleive I spent $50+. I wish I waited to tip until after the meal, but the tip jar is at the counter and one pays first.
I'm going to stick to the Irish Pantry across the street!

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