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Searching for great panini (panino?) with an espresso

daimon4 Sep 24, 2009 09:36 PM

Hi y'all, I'm new in town from Montreal and have yet to find a place that has good espresso AND sandwiches. THere are a few cafes in Leslieville but that's quite a trek from me (I'm near Bloor and Bathurst) and they are often out of food. Had an ok espresso and ok sandwich at White Squirrel and Saving Gigi but they were just that...ok. All the other espresso places I've been to seem to only do scones/light snacks. The panino's at Cafe Diplomatico are pretty bad. Any ideas? Please help...I bike or drive around hungry and with a caffeine headache nearly every morning and would love to find a place that could take care of both....

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  1. Wahooty RE: daimon4 Sep 24, 2009 10:53 PM

    Haven't tried the coffee yet, but it's no secret I'm a fan of Negroni. Haven't had a bad panino or salad yet, and the wine is cheap (which is why I haven't tried the espresso...) Call to check on the hours - the website says they open at 11:30, but they recently added breakfast panini to the menu, so it's possible they open earlier now.

    1. h
      Hondapendragon RE: daimon4 Sep 25, 2009 01:08 PM

      Gosh, this might not be close by but... I am going to suggest Alcoa Bakery at Ossington and Davenport. It's a Portugese bakery. Their Tosta Mista is yummy (it's made on the panini press) and espresso is pretty good. Try the custard tarts while you're there.

      Hope that's helpful.

      1. g
        gastronom RE: daimon4 Sep 25, 2009 01:33 PM

        I have always wondered why coffee shops in Toronto don't sell Paninis in order to cater to the lunch crowd as they do in Montreal/London/NY and Melbourne (where I find they are the best at it).

        1. m
          ms. cornbread RE: daimon4 Sep 25, 2009 02:41 PM

          I can't comment on the coffee, but do yourself a favour and go to Negroni for a panino. It's one of the new places I've been to in Toronto lately that I want to desperately go back to!

          1. Rabbit RE: daimon4 Sep 25, 2009 02:53 PM

            Negroni is good for panini (and cheap vino!)... but for panini and espresso my vote goes to L'Espresso Bar Mercurio. Note: this is the cafe on the south side of Bloor and not Bar Mercurio which is on the south north side (and also good).

            1. p
              preppycuisine RE: daimon4 Sep 26, 2009 05:14 PM

              La Merceria on Adelaide, just west of Portland, has great sandwiches and coffee. Ezra's Pound, Dupont, east of Spadina, also does good coffee and sandwiches. Pantry does espresso and sandwiches, along with very interesting grocery selections, at 972 College (very far west, but worth it).

              Dip is for hangover brunch, especially in summer on the patio.

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              1. re: preppycuisine
                daimon4 RE: preppycuisine Sep 26, 2009 07:27 PM

                Thanks for all the tips--had a lovely panini (panchetta, tomato, arugula) and two perfectly good espressos at Negroni this afternoon. Corey was very sweet, bringing me a small bowl of their chocolate ice cream (they do a different flavour every day) on the house. Prices are excellent and the space is gorgeous. I can sleep easy knowing that Negroni will be there (and open late too!)--will still check out the other spots--thanks again hounds-you da best!

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