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Cafes

Voulez Vous Cafe

Posted by Elizabeth / Posted on March 8, 2010

Voulez Vous CafeVoulez-Vous Cafe, from outside, is about as non-descript as it gets. Tucked away on a quiet stretch of Queen East near Coxwell, it sits unadorned on the end of a small block, looking more like a mid-90's "office space for rent" than a cafe. But its exterior betrays a quaint and lovely interior, where you can go in for a coffee, and walk out with a piece of furniture.

Voulez Vous CafeJulie Voulet and her husband Sean Lacey are newcomers to the cafe biz. Together they opened Voulez-Vous Cafe only three weeks ago, after a perfect storm of opportunity and location.

The cafe is a bit of a blank slate at the moment, the decor is French, modern and a bit eclectic but with lots of room for incoming art from local artists, and Julie has tons of ideas for what to do with the space and patio outside. She envisions book clubs, live music and poetry readings - but she doesn't plan to do this on her own; help and suggestions from the community are welcome.

Voulez Vous CafeThis business really embodies the spirit of a boutique hotel, but in cafe form. You can kick back on some designer furniture and if you like it, take it home with you. There is also a catalogue at the counter with more styles available for purchase.

Voulez Vous CafeVoulez Vous CafeVoulez Vous CafeThe cafe offerings are simple, but solid. Sean's old family recipes are put to use in the form of banana bread and Danish chip cake. Other treats are brought in by Circles and Squares.

Voulez Vous CafeThere is no menu board, and no prices. I think they're still trying to figure that out. In the meantime, order the standards made of beans roasted by Classic Gourmet. There's also a fair trade option for drip coffee from Ethiopia.

As Julie is quite the tea lover, she brings in tea from Specialteas in Victoria, BC and is always on the lookout for new blends to add to the growing collection. If you have a favourite, ask!

Voulez Vous CafeVoulez-Vous cafe is family friendly (changing table in the basement), and is open Monday-Friday 7-6, Saturday 8-6 and Sunday 10-6.

Voulez Vous CafeVoulez Vous Cafe

Discussion

32 Comments

dickie greenleaf / March 9, 2010 at 09:28 am
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i've lived in Montreal for several years. what makes a cafe uniquely Quebec? sounds like a lame marketing ploy.
Robert replying to a comment from dickie greenleaf / March 9, 2010 at 09:46 am
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I don't think that the owners referred to it as "Quebec French", probably the author.
TK / March 9, 2010 at 10:02 am
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My thoughts exactly Dickie. Having spent the first 25 years of my life in Montreal, I can't explain what a 'Quebec style' cafe is. None of the images of descriptions bring me back home either. Nonetheless, a very charming cafe indeed
everlast34 / March 9, 2010 at 11:15 am
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This is just a poorly written article.
Reads like a first draft.
Jane / March 9, 2010 at 11:18 am
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I walk around in Leslieville quite often and I have missed this cafe. And from the pictures of the store front I know why.

Inside looks quite lovely but there needs to be some sort of awning or something to draw you in.

I am sure they are working on it! And now I will know to wander in next time.
BC replying to a comment from dickie greenleaf / March 9, 2010 at 11:54 am
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I don't see any mention of Quebec in the article, just a comment about French (i.e. ornate, detailed) decor.
William Self / March 9, 2010 at 11:54 am
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I was absolutely gutted when I Deal Coffee closed their doors as it was my favourite coffee joint on the east end. On my first visit to Voulez Vous Cafe I managed to get past my time of mourning for I Deal and quickly adopted the new place as my Saturday morning hangout - again.

The new owners are great - a pleasure to talk to and the magazines by the window are a nice touch too.

Oh yeah, and great coffee!
Michael Mitchener / March 9, 2010 at 02:08 pm
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I'm really enjoying the vibe at the new cafe. Everyone is friendly, the coffee is great and every time I go in, they've made some new improvement. A welcome addition to the neighbourhood. Live long and prosper.
CDG / March 9, 2010 at 03:32 pm
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This used to be a great take-away resto "The Dutch Pot", well missed roti!
Bob / March 9, 2010 at 08:04 pm
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My wife and I dropped by there today and rest assured – the coffee is great!
Eastendah! / March 9, 2010 at 10:59 pm
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Great coffee is an understatement. This is simply one of the best espressos in the city (at least east of the Don)! Seriously, they sourced their own beans from around the world and used a local organic roaster. This is up there with Sam James for great coffee.

Also, super nice peeps. Sean is the man and Julie is so sweet!

But get a freakin' sign already!!!
Keith / March 10, 2010 at 09:10 am
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Since when did Coxwell and Queen become Leslieville?
Sort of like the "Beach" town homes at Vic park and Gerrard E.
sarah / March 11, 2010 at 08:27 pm
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This was a terribly written article. I'm a freelancer living nearby and this cafe has turned into a great extension of my office (aka my living room). Coffee's great here. There's even an outdoor outlet for my laptop on the patio.
sarah / March 11, 2010 at 08:35 pm
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to keith's comment, Leslieville actually extends east to Coxwell and south to Eastern. but i get it that you're one of those that fought hard for "the Beach" vs. "the Beaches" vs. townhomes east of Woodbine not being actually in the Beach.
Arby / March 14, 2010 at 12:25 am
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Is the focus here on coffee?

My first espresso, pulled by Sean, seemed okay. And I appreciated that he was interested in hearing from me about it. When I get that sort of attention, that's gratifying and that's really what a coffee shop is all about to me. The espresso seemed fine. Classic is air roasted and while Te Aro's air roasted is good (off and on), and sometimes excellent, I'm not sure I don't prefer drum roasted.

On my second visit, I had a barista who didn't know how to make a macchiato. That's fine for folks who wouldn't know the difference. And if the owner is fine with that, then that's that. Otherwise, Coffee suppliers will usually, I believe, offer to train the baristas how to make espressos and espresso-based drinks properly. Why not take advantage of that if you've got the equipment and good coffee and the need to impress people who will spread the word?!

I wish Julie and Sean good luck with this. The area is a bit of a wilderness, but on the other hand, it could use this place. There are always folks in every hood who look for this sort of place and are thrilled to see one pop up where they live. I only live around the corner in fact. But not for much longer.
Arby / March 14, 2010 at 12:32 am
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I just realized that my initial question might get taken the wrong way. I was referring to the coffee shop.

As for comments that didn't deal specifically with the coffee shop or the review of it, Well, even talking specifically about one thing leads you to other subjects. As someone who's had posts yanked (ostensibly) because they've strayed off topic, I'm not going to complain about others mentioning, in a normal fashion, seemingly off topic subjects.
eastendah / March 14, 2010 at 01:31 pm
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Arby, I have been 10 times now at least and if you are an espresso purist like I am you can appreciate what a quality product they pump out. It's in the European vein of subtle flavour, not the bold roast of Black Cat. It's an extremely clean shot with gorgeous crema. I haven't seen anywhere in Toronto that does this. Sam James is excellent but this is just a better product. It's a shame the article didn't focus on that.

I personally just drink espresso and don't mix it with milk or sugar, so I can't comment on their macchiatos. But obviously taste is a subjective beast. They seem pretty cool and open to suggestions or improvements so that's great you vocalize your concerns instead of stewing about it later.
JK / March 15, 2010 at 06:35 pm
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Went here for the first time last week on a nice afternoon. Sean was at the bar and pulled excellent shots of espresso with rich crema, and the beans that they're using is great.
Much better than Rooster or Red rocket, but Mercury is still my fav in the neighbourhood.

Great set-up, but I wonder how they'll survive the neighbourhood
supremely delicious replying to a comment from sarah / March 22, 2010 at 11:12 pm
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Sarah wrote:
to keith's comment, Leslieville actually extends east to Coxwell and south to Eastern.

---------------------------------------------------------

Not really, the area between Greenwood and Coxwell has been more often known as the Ashbridge's neighbourhood.
Since the Ashbridges moved here in about 1793.
Mike / March 23, 2010 at 08:49 am
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If I may wade into the deep end, the City calls this neighbourhood, "Greenwood-Coxwell".

http://www.toronto.ca/demographics/cns_profiles/cns65.htm

I've always thought that had a very un-catchy ring to it and I've never heard anyone use this description in real life.

I kind of like Ashbridge's or proposed once, "Beachville" as a cross between the Beach and Leslieville but that doesn't quite work either. I vote that we have a vote similar to the recent Junction Triangle vote. Let's assert our identity once and for all :)
Al replying to a comment from Arby / March 28, 2010 at 07:33 pm
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Arby, Classic is not air roasted. Not sure where you got that info from. They use a drum.

Arby / March 28, 2010 at 09:48 pm
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Really? I thought that's what the literature I read said. If I'm wrong, then thanks for pointing that out. That's a big boo boo. I might also have been confusing them with another supplier. I'm not sure. Later...
sarah / March 31, 2010 at 12:03 am
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To Mike's comment, YES it is "Greenwood-Coxwell" to the City, and I believe that their map of it extends south past Eastern Ave and east to Coxwell.
To Arby, it sure sounds like you just plain don't like this particular cafe and therefore should move on to try plenty of others in the city. I'm not a macchiato drinker, strictly Americano or latte for me, and I've not had a bad experience.
Arby / March 31, 2010 at 12:36 am
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Don't worry about me Sarah. I'm fine. Thanks.
sarah / April 14, 2010 at 05:22 pm
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I had this WONDERFUL CHAI LATTE the other day, my choice guided by Julie and her expansive knowledge of seemingly all things tea. I recall there were several chai teas to pick from and the two that i've tried so far have been nirvana!
Declan / June 30, 2010 at 02:48 pm
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I'm there (here?) right now and this place is just excellent. Super friendly and the coffee and espressos are brilliant. Nothing pretentious about it, either. Julie and Sean are great.

Excellent music selection as well.
Lyla Burns / April 17, 2012 at 03:15 pm
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I love the cafe! I actually thought about finding office space for rent near it so that I could grab my morning coffee there. It is kind of in a weird location, but the interior really makes up for it! Thanks for sharing!
Lyla Burns / April 17, 2012 at 03:15 pm
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I love the cafe! I actually thought about finding office space for rent near it so that I could grab my morning coffee there. http://www.theprofessionalcentre.com It is kind of in a weird location, but the interior really makes up for it! Thanks for sharing!
Yazmin replying to a comment from Keith / December 19, 2012 at 11:35 am
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To Michael and Sarah,
Why don't the two of you meet over a coffee. You sound like an old married couple arguing about things no one actually gives a shit about.
Kelsie / March 25, 2013 at 10:20 pm
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Hands down the best coffee and coffee related beverages in the city. Friendly staff, great atmosphere, love it!
Tanelle replying to a comment from Lyla Burns / April 6, 2013 at 03:32 pm
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Why is it a weird location...?
Michael / July 29, 2014 at 11:51 am
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They're closing. Another loss to the neighbourhood :(

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