Get to know a street: Annette Street
Annette Street strikes me as the overlooked middle child of Toronto's list of hip and happening areas. The blocks between Jane and Quebec Avenue host many of our favourite spots for pizza, fresh meat, a quick 'do, or a slice of pie, but shoved over on the west end and a bit north for downtown devotees, and we inevitably opt for yet another trip to Parkdale, Roncesvalles or Dundas West. For shame.
Annette Street hosts residential, professional, retail, religious, and more, but is quiet enough to get away with still flying under the radar. That's what you get for playing sibling to the Junction. Here are some places to check out if deciding to lavish attention on Annette.
The Good Neighbour
For those lucky enough to live close by, The Good Neighbour offers a perfect end-of-day respite for winding down with a latte and watching the traffic drive go by. Blame it on its hypnotic tin bar, or consistently fabulous Americanos, but it's easy to get way too comfortable in one of The Good Neighbour's chairs. The old "Annette Food Market" awning only ads to the charm.
Cranberry Flirt is an express blow-dry-and-more bar, swathed in white, cranberry (obviously), and glittery things. Unlike other Toronto blow dry bars, Cranberry Flirt offers more than just a wash and dry, with quick manicures, pedicures, and waxing all on its roster. Best of all, Cranberry Flirt has recently been offering "Wacky Wednesday" deals where an extra service is thrown in for the price of one.
Get over your snickering, kids; this shop deals with another type of fantasy. Crossed Swords looks sort of like the inside of someone's workshop/garage, perhaps appropriately so since its offerings include historical miniatures, ships, and buildings, as well as board games, books, and magazines. Actual swords displayed in the shop are removed from the premises at night.
This is the place for pizza on Annette Street (or anywhere in Toronto, some might wager). Buddha Pie is a mom & pop operation known for its authentic margherita pie. John and Cyndy make their pizzas with thin crusts and fresh ingredients, in varieties such as pear and prosciutto, BBQ chicken, and "old school" pepperoni. Seating is minimal, but usually not a deterrent.
Butcher By Nature
Some might be deterred by the dress-wearing hen or hat-clad cartoon cow gracing its front sign, but Butcher By Nature keeps its actual meat free from unnecessary adornment. Its meat is all certified organic and free-range, and the shop also stocks organic breads, gluten-free pasta and snacks, and lots of sauces, marinades, and spices to top off a meal.
The Pie Shack
A Beaches gem, this shop opened its second location here on Annette Street to the delight of neighbourhood residents. Its blueberry pie is quite powerful, indeed. The shop offers a selection of sweet and savoury pies, to be enjoyed at one of its communal tables, or outside next to "The Paw Shack" dog house.
Westwood Grill offers pan-Asian cuisine in a sleek and sophisticated setting. Its menu, though, is anything but reserved, and seems to go on endlessly from Dim Sum to Duck, Mu Shu to Szechuan, Fish to Fried Rice, and--oh look, another page! Opened in 2003, Westwood Grill boasts an MSG-less menu and a head chef with over 25 years in the industry.
Previously in this series:
The Village of Islington
Lake Shore Boulevard
Do you have any suggestions for overlooked streets you think we should feature on this site? Please send suggestions to streets [at] blogto [dotcom]
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