The Good Neighbour is an artsy, airy space with exposed brick walls and plenty of different sized tables and nooks for sitting. With WiFi and lots of natural light, it's an ideal place for work, leisure or small group catch-ups. Owner Max Mancuso and his wife Amara opened about three weeks ago on Annette in the Junction and they already have regulars.
The coffee beans are from Intelligentsia, and Mancuso says it was a five-month process before they made their decision. I try the espresso macchiato ($2.75) and swoon over the white foam heart floating around my cup. Stefania has a latte ($3.75) and her foam art is in the shape of an intricate leaf, with no extra charge for specialty milk.
We share an almond croissant ($2.50) and Mancuso warns us beforehand that they're addictive. Within a few bites, I can't stop eating it. The flaky crust is sprinkled with powdered sugar and crunchy almonds, while the inside is full of creamy, custard.
The pastries are seasonally made, and the dessert choices change everyday. From chocolate chip banana muffins ($2.50) to lemon ginger scones ($2.50) the options are diverse. The tea ($2.50) is from Tealish and comes in a variety of loose-leaf flavours and is served in a mini glass teapot.
My favourite touch was the free cucumber and orange infused water that thirsty people can enjoy while waiting in line. I can foresee this being very popular when the temperature starts to rise.
Mancuso is endearing and kind to his customers. I overhear two elderly ladies telling him he looks like some actor from The Young and the Restless, while he smiles and listens attentively. While he and Amara both come from an advertising background, he says they were lulled by the romantic idea of having their own cafĂŠ. They wanted to make something small, simple and beautiful.
I believe they have succeeded.
The Good Neighbour is open Monday- Sunday 7:00am - 7:30pm.