Relaxation Spot: Tequila Bookworm

Tequila Bookworm is possibly the most unassuming attraction on Queen Street. Announced only by a small window-sign and painted sunflowers in the facade above, I certainly never noticed it while hiking to the Queen West Clubs...and now I'm kicking myself for not discovering it years ago.

Inside, Tequila Bookworm defies the standard sterility of cookie-cutter coffeeshops. This is not the place to go for your venti-double-extra-hot-soy-vanilla-bean latte, although you will find a large variety of beverages, both alcoholic and non. The chairs and tables are worn-out comfy and retro-rap blares from the speakers (or at least it did when I was there last week).

On all sides, you are surrounded by seemingly random piles of used books...upon closer inspection, it appears that there actually is some semblance of order on the shelves. As an alumnus employee of the big-box bookstores, I thought that the chaos would drive me insane. Instead, it was refreshing; reminiscent of the state of my room while in University. Furthermore, you can read these books at your table without someone demanding to see your receipt! In the end, we wound up buying three books, including a hardcover that my fiance had been trying to find for years. And we found a classic Bloom County book! You can't go wrong with that!

As far as food is concerned, I have to admit that the menu is sparse...especially for someone like me who has a trick-stomach and has to watch everything I put into it. My lactose intolerance alone eliminated all of the ice-cream drenched treats, which counted for approximately one third of the menu. But I did manage to find something. The staff were kind enough to alter the smoked-salmon bagel for me and afterwards my fiance and I split the Roasted Garlic and Breads platter. If you have no idea what to get off the menu, I highly recommend this platter. It takes a while to make, but it's worth it. The preparation of this selection fills the cafe with such a mouth-watering scent that I would have ordered it on that alone. And the finished product more than lives up to the aroma.

With all the charm of bookstores I'd only read about, Tequila Bookworm is a perfect place to spend time with your sweetie, hang out with your friends or just read or write by yourself. Having unintentionally put in 3 hours there on my first visit, something tells me I'll be there again.


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