Gloria is a go-lucky cafe near Roncesvalles and Dundas. The spot is named after Cafe Neon alumnus Bryan Sherry's grandmother, which explains the black and white photograph of Gloria on Sauble Beach in 1963 that's affectionately placed on a wall nearby the barista bar.
What makes Gloria stand out in this family-centric neighbourhood is Sherry's eagerness to serve whatever patrons request, like organic milk or other in-demand ingredients. Lucky for him, his close ties with STASIS , the grocery store next door, guarantees a go-to selection of assorted ingredients.
"I don't want customers to leave empty handed or hungry," Sherry explains.
Case in point: his larger-than-life Turkey and Havarti Sandwich ($7.50), which is the most satisfyingly pickle-perfect sandwich I've devoured since Thanksgiving. It's a beauty.
There's also free WiFi and plenty of seating for freelancers. One doesn't get the sense that there's any concern regarding the Starbucks competition across the way; Dundas West business owners and neighbourhood folks no doubt prefer local to corporate.
Replacing Autumn Toronto, a multi-faceted art gallery, Sherry has redesigned the space with the help of leading designer Sarah Townson from Brick Row. Throw in a beautiful rustic logo from Julia Deakin and you have a gorgeous space that's quaint and charming.
It's been a team effort to bring Gloria to life, and it's painfully adorable with its old-school record player (that still works) and glossy antique sewing table, now covered in sugar bowls and milk containers.
On the menu, Gloria's coffee is a sweet South American blend from Ezra's Pound . The flavour profile is smooth and full bodied, and makes for comforting lattes ($3.50) and cappuccinos ($3.25).
If you're in the mood for tea, they've got 20 flavours from B.C.'s Murchie's Tea .
With weekly specials pairing coffee and baked treats like sandwiches, bagels, raw bars and brownies, there's no shortage of delicious pairings.
Craving something hearty? Good news, Gloria serves fresh baked Montreal-style bagels from St. Urbain Bagels , alongside other yummy treats like Earl Grey oat bars, chocolate peanut butter swirl brownies, and gluten-free oatmeal raisin bars from Cafe Neon. It's an easy but satisfying menu with plenty to choose from.
Catering to Roncesvalles wanderers, commuters and neighbourhood families, Gloria has a special touch that's full of good intentions and possibility. Suffice to say, this little coffee shop is impressively authentic and full of sweet surprises.
Photos by Hector Vasquez.