Get to know a street: Christie Street
Christie Street is one of those enigmatic Toronto stretches where shops of great notoriety sandwich blocks of... well... not much. In fairness, the street does host a good number of homes that would surely be opposed to a dive bar on every block, though people seem to forget about poor Christie when caught up in the sweetness of Ossington or Dundas West.
But Christie (and her neighbouring vicinity) does host some of Toronto's favourite bike repair spots, chocolate shots, stores for fresh produce and churassco, beaming with just a gentle modesty that perhaps makes her all the more endearing. Here are some shops to check out in and around Christie Street.
It looks like a typical big box grocery store, but Fiesta Farms is actually a mecca of organic meats and produce. Teach you to judge a book...and all that. Fiesta Farms is touted as one of the best places in Toronto to shop for an array of fresh (organic) fruits and veggies, with new specials every week. A superb selection of international foods, as well.
Pasteleria Barreda has already begun its slow domination of the Christie Street community, and its main wielding weapon comes in the form of its irresistible beef empanadas. The husband-and-wife team of Leonor and Osvaldo Barreda are constantly churning out their delicious alfajores and other sweets, along with their signature Chilean breads. Just follow the aroma.
From pastries to chocolate. Stubbe is the resident gourmet cocoa-wielder on the strip, located just off of Christie on Dupont. The shop offers all sorts of chocolates, cakes, and truffles, which are impossible to resist with a view of Stubbe's open kitchen. The shop also offers classes, workshops, and special chocolate tastings.
Dave Fix My Bike
The venerable Dave is Christie Street's resident bike mechanic, though he's been serving the greater area for decades. With its "free air" and impossible-to-miss yellow exterior, this shop is tapped both for its ambiance and expertise (and perhaps the ode to old bikes you might find inside).
The Bristol Yard
A Christie Street newbie but already much beloved. The Bristol Yard is quaint British cafe offering the best of across-the-pond eats as well as specially-imported UK soft drinks. Of particular prominence are Bristol Yard's pies, bangers, and virtually all of brunch, with the odd house-made concoction such as its new black currant and bacon ice cream. Fingers crossed for that liquor license.
A superb name and an even better store. This is one of those places a vintage junkie can't help but explore, with everything from vintage handbags to old cookbooks, to wooden hutches and table globes (ah, to live in a time before Google Maps...). This shop offers a mix of clothing, furniture, and accessories, with new finds constantly landing on its shelves.
Espresso junkies will certainly want to check out Faema on Dupont off of Christie. Let the uber-pros pull you an Americano while you drool over the machines (and subsequently, the coffee). And after enjoying a pizza or a quick pastry, you might want to head up to Davenport and Ossington, and let the coffee-gushing continue as you explore the Faema showroom.
Every street needs its sushi spot, and for Christie, Gobo's it. The restaurant doesn't offer a lot in the way of room, though the variety of options on its menu (including a few creative rolls) more than make up for it. Gobo has a reputation for consistent freshness and presentation, with the occasional complementary miso soup.
A place to work off all of those pastries, chocolate, and sushi. Or, at the very least, achieve peace with it. This is a classical yoga studio that offers specialty courses for both kids and adults, with programs that include pre- and post-natal yoga, yoga for mental health, restorative yoga, and individual classes. Vidya also offers training courses to become a certified yoga instructor.
Churasco on St. Clair
At the top of Christie on St. Clair, Churasco on St. Clair makes some of the best barbecue chicken in Toronto. While the shop itself may not exactly be pretty, the suckling pig, roast rabbit, and of course, the chicken, are sights to behold. Prices aren't to shabby either. Eat your heart out, Dundas West.
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