The Best New Cafes in Toronto, 2008
Despite a year filled with rumours of a Starbucks moving into Kensington and a Tim Hortons opening up at Queen and Bathurst, 2008 has actually been a very good year for local, independently owned cafes in Toronto. In fact, it seems that the major chains have actually helped pave the way for much of their success.
After all, it was Starbucks and Second Cup that set the bar for $4 and up mochachinos, and through their cookie cutter confines and margin-focused product strategies have made it all too easy for others to offer a superior (often fair trade and organic) product for less money. Throw some eclectic furniture into the mix, some free WiFi and maybe even some latte art and all of sudden you have a collection of amazing new spots to fill our list of the best new cafes to have surfaced in Toronto in the past 12 months.
Green Beanery is part coffee equipment store, part cafe. Walking in through the front doors at Bloor and Bathurst, there's nothing but a sea of bodums, home roasters, espresso machines and, uh, a few toasters. But beyond the shelves of equipment there's a number of tables to chill and savour a coffee and one of their basic sandwiches or baked treats.
From the people who brought us Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, Hank's cafe in just next door and is home to one of the best baristas in the city. Along with some artfully prepared hot drinks expect tasty lunch fare including a daily soup, stew, sandwiches built with St. John's bakery breads, baked goods and meats prepared in house.
Balluchon is a small, neighbourood cafe and specialty food store at Sorauren and Wright, just south of the park. It's more of a take-out spot than a place to settle in for the afternoon, but the coffee here is fair trade and organic, and there are a bunch of cheeses and prepared foods also available.
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