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By the Way Cafe/ Future Bakery....help me decide

Am meeting a friend for early lunch on Friday and haven't been to either of these places for many years..friend is coming via subway, that's why I chose(??) these two places..anyone have suggestions as to what's good/what to avoid. Not up for Japanese/Shwama/Thai for this particular Lunch, other suggestions appreciated, but must be in the Annex..

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  1. Of the 2 I would choose By the Way. Haven't been to either in a long while, but I remember the food being much better at By the Way, I have a recollection of fabulous home fries.

    1. Future Bakery was sold about five years ago. Nothing like it used to be. If you look at the sign closely, it has "Future Bakery" in large letters and "Bistro" in small type. They don't even sell bread anymore!

      Bar Mercurio @ St George subway?

      1. Does Italian work? If so, then I'd go to Serra. It's on Bloor about 2 blocks west of Spadina station.


        They don't open until noon, though.

        1. For a similar kind of spot in the Annex, but WAY better food, I'd suggest Aroma Espresso Bar on Bloor, a couple of blocks east of Bathurst. Or you could go to Fresh at Spadina and Bloor.

          1 Reply
          1. Curious- has anyone tried Hey Lucy on Bloor in the old Mel's space? Not sure if it's worthwhile for lunch, or not.

            I miss Future's circa 1992.

            Country Style Hungarian is open for lunch, but it's cash only, and it hasn't been getting many rave reviews lately. Would probably be worth it to travel east to Bay, and head to the Coffee Mill for lunch instead, if you're craving Hungarian.

            Country Style
            450 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1X8, CA

            Hey Lucy
            440 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5R, CA

            4 Replies
            1. re: prima

              I second Coffee Mill. So delicious and old school!

              1. re: MeMeMe

                Ditto -- good call on Coffee Mill!

                  1. re: crawfish

                    I'm the Hound who took the conversation out of the Annex, by suggesting it might be worthwhile for the OP & her friend to take the subway east to Bay Station. True that the Coffee Mill is not located in the Annex, but it's located only one stop east of the Annex, in case the OP & her friend are willing to trek east of the eastern border of the Annex.

            2. I don't care for either By the Way or Future. There are loads of other choices nearby.
              Take Brunswick two blocks south to Harbord & you'll find DTBistro and Harbord House - both great choices and quite different from each other. Closer to Spadina also on Harbord, Tati is open for lunch over the holidays so it's a unique chance to eat there during the day. And if you want to stay on Bloor, Crepes a Go Go is just a door or two west of Spadina on the south side. Not much seating though. If the Bathurst subway station works for you, there's Sky Blue Sky for sandwiches and a hipster vibe, on the south side of Bloor just a block west of Bathurst. And if you are up for a stroll, Fanny Chadwick's on the southwest corner of Dupont and Howland has its charms. Hope you have fun wherever you go.