Le Gourmand is a bustling cafe near busy Queen and Spadina that's known for having some of the city's best cookies and other baked goods. They serve a loyal customer base of nearby condo residents and office workers, some of whom have been coming here for over a decade. They apparently get pretty miffed if an item gets removed from the menu.
The inside is big and bright with ample seating and places to hang your bags and layers, though I’ve never been especially aware of that many accessible outlets for laptops.
On weekdays Le Gourmand is always a reliable bet for an indulgent pastry case replete with riches such as financiers, custard tarts, cookies and croissants.
A delightful caramelized inverted puff pastry is filled with lemon pastry cream.
Their cookies are to die for. I’m especially fond of their walnut and chocolate chip creations, which melt in your mouth when they’re warm with a rich combo of crunchy walnut and gooey chocolate.
They brew robust coffee featuring their own Le Gourmand “Black Gold” blend ($12.50 a bag retail).
They do intense bistro-style sandwiches here that are sure to keep you going all morning or afternoon, with ingredients like poached salmon, pancetta, roast beef and curry chicken.
The roasted veggie sandwich ($7.95) with arugula pesto and spicy antipasto has a good kick. Everything is roasted in house, from the beef in other sammies to the eggplant, peppers, zucchini, and portobello mushrooms on this one. It’s tied together with creamy, melty brie that marries French with Italian influences, on Fred’s Bread.
On the side we have some butternut squash soup that has a bit of zing to it due to some added ginger.
For a less hearty, more breakfast-y option, grab a fruit salad and add on some yogurt and nicely chunky granola ($7.75).
Lots of open space and a flow from pastry case to cash to kitchen at the back means it’s easy to navigate Le Gourmand and get your treats and coffee fast. Lots of wood and a checkered tile floor always bring me home to a genuine Toronto feel.