Bottle Rocket Coffee
Bottle Rocket Coffee serves locally roasted coffee and homemade pastries baked in house by owner Patrick Newmark. This cafe at the corner of Lansdowne and Paton used to be home to popular brunch spot Starving Artist.
This new concept takes the space back to its roots of providing neighbourhood residents with necessary caffeine and calories, with huge potential for live music and other creative endeavours, rather than the waffle empire that sprouted out of this place.
The interior still has a grungy, basic feel. Newmark also kept the signature fish tank that brought so much life to this Starving Artist location, replacing all the fish and naming them after members of Phish, the band.
Newmark used to work at Cherry Bomb, which in addition to having their own cafe on Roncesvalles roasts their own beans in Port Credit and Prince Edward County. Cherry Bomb even made Bottle Rocket their own signature chocolatey, nutty medium roast.
You can buy bags of their beans here, from the signature medium roast ($16) to a lighter, softer Red Catuai ($19) to a Swiss Water “KIller Bee” decaf ($19).
Their coffee tastes great, just like Cherry Bomb obviously, which is comforting. My latte ($3.50 for a medium) has a nice stiff layer of creamy foam on top, and the balanced coffee washes down pastries well.
And what pastries! The latte complements this scone which is anything but dry, also in a mixed berry flavour (smart) with roasted slivers of almonds that bring a nice smoky crunch to this sweet pastry drizzled with amazingly yummy lemon glaze.
Muffins ($2.75- $3) are just coming out of the oven when I arrive.
Crack any pastry here open and it’s perfectly moist, like this mixed berry muffin with sour and juicy berries throughout the moist cake and a nice crunchy top.
Fresh cinnamon rolls and dense croissants in flavours like goat cheese and almond line the shelves behind the espresso machine (around $2 - $3).
Chocolate chip cookies are $1.75, and there’s a vegan alternative in some walnut banana bread. Newmark says he’s always thinking about ways to expand his gluten-free and vegan options, and has also been toying with baking breads like baguettes.
There’s bar seating at the front where you can get some light and look out onto Lansdowne, and then there’s some more focused seating at the back with a big table. The patio out front is the same as always, and the back patio area is now semi-covered.