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Jan 18, 2009 08:12 AM

Hidden away, independent cafes, worth making a special trip to visit.

Recently there was a thread for "Small Lovely Winebar/ Cafe?"
The 15 replies swiftly moved to recommendations for 'Crush' and 'Le Select', which are not really small or Cafes.

It would be great to have a list of small independant cafes that are worth a special trip to visit, just because they are different or fun in some way. Two that come to mind are:

Regal Heights Cafe; 145 Lauder Av. just south of St.Clair, West of Oakwood. A friendly and informal sort of place, very personal service, limited food, good coffee. Great for quietly reading a newspaper or sitting outside in Summer.

Pan Perdu; North side of St. Clair at Christie. ( many comments in other posts here). Small, excellent, very French, patisserie/Cafe. Limited, high quality food. Slightly pricey. Good for a mind trip to Paris.

Any others that should be added to the list??

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  1. Simple Cafe at Queen E & Leslie just east of the beer store is a cute new cafe that is independently owned by a lovely young woman. They have fair trade coffee and organic eats at good prices. $6 for a sandwich. Inside is all white with natural "tree" counters and tables. Free WiFi and a beautiful window to watch the leslieville crowd stroll by...

    2 Replies
    1. re: OnDaGo

      There is a wonderful restaurant in Rosemont (Hwy 89), about 90 minutes north of Toronto called the The Globe Restaurant. I adore this place for both the local food and the wonderful atmosphere. It is like being in your grandmothers dining room. The food is truly outstanding.

      Following is the link for the restaurant.

      1. re: theresah

        if you are heading out of town and into that hood, check out bistro riviere in erin, great food from a former toronto chef and a nice lifford wine supplied wine list...but there can great little finds in georgetown, erin, orangeville, guelph...

    2. Sure, I'll add a lovely little cafe that opened last year in the Junction neighbourhood:
      Crema Coffee @ 3079 Dundas St W (corner of Quebec Ave).

      5 Replies
      1. re: sylvrgirl

        crema is great! it's always packed.

        also in the junction is "the beet". (on dundas, east of pacific, right where the TD bank machine is, oddly.)
        they have wonderful homemade soup, and there is an emphasis on fair trade, organic and locally grown produce. they even sell a tiny amount of produce themselves! check it out.

        1. re: Sarah Cat

          went here early one morning and was extremely disappointed. i ordered a coffee and it tasted watered-down and flavourless. whenever i go to a new place that's the first thing i order, cause if they can't do that right...

          1. re: jayseeca

            that's horrible! i had a decaf there once and i was yummy. prepared fresh as an americano.

            it's true, though — bad coffee is unforgivable.

          2. re: Sarah Cat

            We went to The Beet a couple of weekends ago when every table at Crema was full. The Beet uses Merchant of Green fresh coffee beans. I had a latte and it was pretty good. Not Crema good, but pretty good.

            1. re: Food Tourist

              I just found out that The Beet is licensed! And has a small side patio!

        2. I really like Novacento, also on St. Clair West. Lovely room with a heavy wooden bar and casement displaying delicious gelato and pastries. Authentic cappuccino and espresso, licensed too (just in case). Old men drinking coffee, families out for the evening, couples on dates... and a charming patio space in the summer. A delightful neighbourhood spot.

          I've included this link from blogto because it has great photos:

          1. To add to the Junction - Cool Hand of A Girl on Dundas east of Keele is always worth visiting. Although it seems to have changed owners the food is still good with an organic/healthy slant. Nice room.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Shorttyred

              I've got to agree with the Cool Hand of a Girl rec. They make a good espresso drinks and it's the best brunch I've had in recent memory.

              I've got to disagree with the Dip recommendations below. Great people watching, but poor food imho.

            2. The original comment has been removed