Palmer Coffee is a delightful cafe serving coffee and homespun baked goods and breakfast items at the northwest corner of High Park.
A daily selection of the best foods from other restaurants and bakeries around Toronto and hats and mitts handknit by a local grandma are sold alongside the made-in-house goodies at this friendly neighbourhood spot.
A small side patio section is outside while the interiors feature little touches like the globe-shaped palm leaf light fixture, wall planters, gold tiger wallpaper and a bright teal side counter for a bit of a tropical feel.
This coffee shop has been a lifelong dream for owner Kat McCallum, who was born and raised in the High Park neighbourhood. Her love for food started when she was five at which point she was hosting tea parties for her mom and neighbours and taking care of family dinners.
McCallum continued cooking at home while spending about 10 years in the hospitality industry as a server at Los Colibris, Cafe Boulud and dbar in the Four Seasons, and most recently, Arthur's by the Chase Group.
A favourite on McCallum's food menu is the breakfast sammy that comes on an English muffin with egg, lemon mayo, cilantro pesto and your choice of mortadella or smoked salmon ($9).
Also made with the housemade nut-free pesto is the eggs Palmer ($9). These get scrambled in no time with the espresso machine milk frother.
They come out perfectly soft and fluffy and are made without any oil. A good amount of cilantro pesto is drizzled on top for added freshness and a toasted English muffin comes on the side.
The star tiger bowl ($9) has yogurt, organic granola, almond butter, dates, blueberries and honey.
Coffee is made with beans from the local Stereo Coffee Roasters and Ontario-made Hewitt's Dairy whole milk or oat milk (latte: $4.50 for medium, $5.50 for large). Double shots are poured for every cup unless specified.
Iced drinks are also available for those hot summer days and all of the cups, lids and spoons used are completely compostable.
A great alternative to coffee is the matcha latte (M: $4.50, L: $5.50). Good in both flavour and texture, the strong taste of matcha combines with an ultra-creamy mouthfeel.
Hot chocolate ($5.50) is made with McCallum's from-scratch chocolate mix and big pink flamingo sprinkles, which I'm told are a fan favourite by kid and adult customers alike.
McCallum's butter tarts are made with raisins and that ooey-gooey, melt-in-your-mouth quality I love to see with these sweet pastry tarts.
A big jar of Tunnock's (chocolate tea cakes from Scotland) sits on the counter beside biscotti in flavours of double chocolate, walnut cinnamon with black pepper and orange blossom, also made by McCallum.