“Life is short. Make it sweet” is the business card pronouncement for one of the newest Patisserie/Cafe/Gelaterias on the Lawrence village stretch.
Indeed words to live by…
And it has taken until I am due to move out of this fabulous area of Toronto to discover that minutes from my front door I could have practiced this mantra through regular stop-offs at a whole new tranche of fancy smancy patisseries/ coffee shops dotted along the short stretch between Yonge/Lawrence station and Loblaws.
Not only that but it is it jam-packed with every type of store/service/boutique one could need without a trek downtown. In fact when I first arrived here I was dumbfounded to discover that most of my neighbours rarely ventured down town at all and six years later and temporarily home-bound I finally get it!
The newest of these, the very high-end “Butter Avenue” – just south of Loblaws, has attracted rave reviews from foodie and city papers since it opened at the back end of 2011.
This sort of patisserie shop has been a long time coming to the area. It boasts a simple minimalist design – teeny tiny round tables, Philip Stark style white cafe chairs, a stunning stand-alone window display comprising a huge conical tree of macaroons – the cafe’s speciality. It was chock full of Japanese “designer bag” chicks all taking shots of themselves with their Iphones. I can understand why, having visited Tokyo last year – this is exactly what this chic demographic aspires too and “Butter Avenue” delivers this ambience in spades. Great espresso reasonably priced and “special” tarts and macaroons sparingly displayed for maximum visual impact can be purchased and whilst they are not cheap they are “to die for”. Stefan Grapelli and Gallic background music completes the classy effect. This cafe would not have been out of place in New York’s Central Park area (so sadly lacking anywhere to have a decent espresso) –3467 Yonge Street Tel: 6473418686.
“T-buds” which serves a million tea varieties and afternoon tea upstairs in an unassuming corner location off Yonge Street has in fact such an unassuming facade that it’s difficult to “see” whether it is open or not until you get right up close to peer in through the window, and who wants to do that? Fortunately it usually is (open that is), as it serves till 7pm most weekdays. Hosts tea tasting sessions in its substantial premises and does a very delicate looking afternoon tea most weekday afternoons (you need to book these).
Also on Yonge just north off Lawrence station is the “Organic Oven”, a “knit your own muesli” organic cafe which appears to be incredibly popular and manages to serve organic, non fat, no sugar chocolate muffins etc that actually taste good. 3189 Yonge Street Tel: 416 489-7777
Whilst not an actual sit down and drink/eat patisserie/coffee shop, “Robyn’s Cookies” – housed at 3215 Yonge St. – north of Lawrence and in a back building behind “Melonheads” is pretty difficult to spot unless you know it’s there or just happen to be walking down Ranleigh Avenue, whereupon you might spot the A-frame sign directing potential cookie addicts down a laneway to the courtyard where the cottage bakery is located. Tel: 416-489-8497 www.robynscookies.com/. Open Wed – Sat 10am – 6pm
This stretch of Lawrence is also home to not one but two Starbucks (my the area must be high-end), a Second Cup and hey a “Coffee Time”!! On that point its probably time to sign off
Ooh just out again and noticed that “David’s Tea Shop is opening soon on this stretch – that’s not an “ooh” of excitement by the way – more incredulity. And add 2 yogurt venues to the above list!!
Next week I’ll be tracking down all the patisseries on Mount Pleasant – no just joking – I do have a life……………….
Over and Out