Haarlem Toronto

Haarlem Espresso Bar

Haarlem is essentially a 1200sq foot lunch truck. The strip on Carlaw between Queen and Dundas is pretty void of cafes or restaurants but chock-a-block with artists and people working in the neighborhood who are hungry, and in need of a good espresso.


Opened in July, Haarlem is the new kid on the block with a no B.S. approach to serving up coffee, sweets, sandwiches, salads and soups. It doesn't get any more laid back than this place.


See that table full of pennies? It's not an art installation, Julian (co-owner) just really, really hates pennies and on the table top is where they end up.


The space is sunny, cheerful and full of personality that reflects the neighborhood and the attitudes of the people behind the counter. It's an open space, but really comfortable. The kind of place you can put your feet up without dirty looks from anybody, least not the staff.


Julian has been working in the cafe business since he was a teenager, having learned the trade under Lettieri and Terroni just to name a few.


Espresso starts at $2 and the quality of the beans and roasts (not to mention, completely unpretentious) from Detour has already attracted a bit of a following of regulars who populate Haarlem between 8 and 5pm on weekdays. The coffee options are basic - they're not trying to outdo some of the nearby cafes , just offer a consistent and solid product. Most drinks can be made iced.


Every day, Julian picks a tea with the most interesting sounding name and supplied by the Tea Emporium , and makes it the iced tea of the day. ($2)


A similar laissez-faire approach to the lemon and poppy seed loaf from Circles and Squares has it sliced on request, all you have to do is indicate how hungry you are.


The sandwiches also change up fairly frequently, brought over by . On my visit, there was a tasty sounding Duck Confit with Arugula Pesto and Woodland Mushrooms on Sourdough. Prices vary.


Haarlem is open Monday to Friday, 8-5.

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