Where to eat and shop in Toronto according to singer and songwriter Fefe Dobson
Ghost singer and songwriter Fefe Dobson is no stranger to the city, having grown up in Scarborough before achieving Canadian acclaim with her top-charting hits, Juno Awards, and international tours with artists like Justin Timberlake.
What people might not know is that Dobson spent a lot of her time in Parkdale and Roncesvalles before leaving Toronto to pursue music and a life with her former partner and rapper Yelawolf in Nashville.
For years, Dobson lived in a loft apartment in the area, walking her dog (she now has four), and shopping for vintage clothing.
Recently, blogTO spent part of a day hanging out with Dobson so she could share with us some of her favourite spots.
Roncesvalles is spoiled for cafes but Dobson's clear favourite in the area is Cherry Bomb. The place is essentially a neighbourhood institution and is known for its freshly baked pastries.
When we visited the baristas played Dobson's smash hit Stuttering to welcome her back.
"Oh my song is playing. That's funny," Dobson noticed while we hung out at the cafe.
"Stuttering" is Dobson's highest-charting single from her 2010 album Joy, a project she wrote while living in the neighbourhood.
"Coffee is my thing. I love coffee. I love good coffee. I have to have a cup before I even talk to anyone. Literally, I can't even talk to management, I put them on mute until I have my coffee because I can't function without it," says Dobson.
"Diners are essential to Toronto, and to my life. Especially late nights," says the singer as she enters one of Parkdale's most celebrated breakfast joints.
Easy Restaurant, aptly named after 1969's cult classic Easy Rider, is one of Parkdale's longest-standing breakfast spots, having been around for almost 24 years. The restaurant is decorated with vintage film posters and known for the best huevos rancheros in Toronto.
In the day we visited, though, Dobson ordered 'The Easy Rider.'
"I've had a lot of fun out here. Maybe too much fun. You have to [think] because I don't remember a lot of it," admits Dobson as she sipped her grapefruit mimosa.
"I always mean to come over here whenever I come to the city, but I just haven’t had the time. To me, this is one of the best vintage stores, maybe the best vintage store in Toronto," claims Dobson.
It's no surprise that Dobson frequents Public Butter. The vintage store is best known for its wide selection of eclectic clothing sold at fair prices.
"What's amazing about Public Butter is that they don't overcharge. You walk out with some diamonds, and you still feel like you're winning," says Dobson.
Look out for the release of Dobson's next studio album, her first since 2010, slated to release later this spring.
Find Cherry Bomb Coffee at 79 Roncesvalles Avenue, Easy Restaurant at 1645 Queen St. West and Public Butter at 1290 Queen St. West.
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