Thursday, September 27, 2012

Holy Oak Cafe

Cafe: Holy Oak Cafe
Address: 1241 Bloor St. W.
Phone: 647-345-2803
Store Hours: Mon 8 AM - 7 PM, Tues 8 AM - midnight, Wed-Fri 8 AM - 2 AM, Sat 9 AM - 2 AM, Sun 9 AM - midnight

Wi-Fi?: Yes
Study Appropriate?: Yes
Stamp Cards?: No



Drinks - Soy/Almond/Lactose-Free Options?: N/A

Food - Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free Options?: N/A


Choice of Drink: Latte, $4

Holy Oak is one of those multi-purpose restaurants. During the day, it serves as a cafe. At night, it becomes a bar for the community to come together and enjoy some live music and other events. I personally have never been to the cafe during the night, so I cannot give my input about that time frame.

When I went to Holy Oak during the afternoon, I remembered it having only a couple of customers. Therefore, it was much more quiet and great if you would like to get some work done. I don't recall anything standing out to me about this cafe, asides the fact that it doubles as a pub at night. Because it doubles as the pub, you can see the interior is much more suited for that sort of lively environment. I'd imagine it being much more fun during the night rather than the day because it caters more as a pub than a cafe. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Tango Palace Coffee Company

Cafe: Tango Palace Coffee Company
Address: 1156 Queen St. E.
Phone: 416-465-8085
Store Hours: Mon-Fri 6:30 AM - 11 PM, Sat-Sun 7 AM - 11 PM
Website: N/A

Wi-Fi?: Yes
Study Appropriate?: Yes
Stamp Cards?: No



Drinks - Soy/Almond/Lactose-Free Options?: N/A

Food - Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free Options?: Vegan and gluten-free snacks


Choice of Drink: Small Cafe Latte, $3.19

A more artistic cafe, Tango Palace Coffee Company doesn't shy away from draping the ceilings with stars and art-for-sale upon the wall. They even have henna artists and tarot card readers to boot!

Originally, I decided to head to this cafe because it was named one of the top cafes with a patio on BlogTO. However, as you can see, I did not situate myself in their patio. I think at the time I didn't see it off the bat and assumed that it didn't exist. Though looking back, there might have been a backdoor that I totally missed....

I recall it wasn't a super busy cafe but at least a few regular customers here and there. Considering the amount of space, I was able to sit in an area where I was able to work quietly with not too many distractions around me near the windows. However, I feel the environment is more suited for an evening meeting with some friends to bond over the latest in culture and art.

Now if they actually had tango lessons, that would have been pretty cool.

Lazy Daisy's Cafe

Cafe: Lazy Daisy's Cafe
Address: 1515 Gerrard St. E.
Phone: 647-341-4070
Store Hours: Mon-Wed 8 AM - 6 PM, Thurs 8 AM - 11 PM, Fri 8 AM - 12 AM, Sat 8:30 AM - 12 AM, Sun 8:30 AM - 5 PM

Wi-Fi?: Yes
Study Appropriate?: Yes
Stamp Cards?: No



Drinks - Soy/Almond/Lactose-Free Options?: Yes to all
- 2 choices of soy milk: sweetened or unsweetened
- All teas are organic
- Freshly squeezed lemonade and orange juice

Food - Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free Options?: Yes to all
- Gluten-free bread
- Vegan and gluten-free treats
- Mostly locally grown; free-range meat and egg
- Soup made with vegetable stock with vegan choices

- Breakfast until 11:30 AM everyday
- Every Sunday there is brunch until 2:30 PM, new menu every week to keep things fresh!

Macchiato, $2.65


Choice of Drink: Medium Dirty Chai Latte, $4.35

Upon entering Lazy Daisy's Cafe, I was glad how extremely spacious it was and how it had plenty of seating available. Since this was one of the further cafes I had to trek to, I was glad my efforts were not wasted when I planned to study there.

After ordering, I immediately realized how children-friendly the cafe was. At the very back of the cafe, they had baby stools available and a range of children books and toys. They even offered products geared towards children for their parents to buy! They successively tapped into a niche market when I noticed the frequency of customers that had brought their young children with them, something I rarely saw in past cafes I'd been to.

Originally, I was planning on trying their Pear Creme Tea because it was something I have never heard of before. But I realized I needed something strong so I could stay awake for my evening class. The dirty chai latte I ordered with a double shot espresso wasn't as sweet as other chai lattes I was used to but, it wasn't bitter where I had to get out of my way to add any sugar. I think it did an effective job on keeping me awake (adding on top of the regular coffee I had the morning of).

Deciding on the spot in which I was planning to create this blog, Tissa the barista, was very nice and helpful in replying to all off the questions I had regarding their menu. Her knowledge went far and beyond as I received way more information than I expected. Before she left her shift, she thanked for my visit and looked forward to my review of this cafe. It was very thoughtful of her and definitely added to my sweet experience at Lazy Daisy's Cafe.

Updated (Oct 4/13): For my earlier update of this review, I expressed I was disappointed with the cup size of the macchiato that I received. I did not realize that it was going to be an espresso cup-size, thinking that it was going to be a lot bigger due to past experiences. Dawn reached out to me in the comments below, which was sweet of her since she genuinely wanted her customers to have a great experience at the cafe.

Just when I was about to leave the cafe before 6 PM, thinking that it was going to close soon because of their old hours, I met Dawn in person! She explained to me that the macchiato she had in the past were espresso-sized. However, she was going to change the macchiato cup-size soon, enough for two shots and cream on top. She didn't want me leaving with a bad experience, so she gave me a card for a free macchiato for the next time I visit! (Though she wrote it behind a free fresh roast filter coffee card, so I'm not sure which one I would be cashing in!). That alone created a memorable experience for me as a customer!

I learnt that they recently obtained a liquor license. Dawn said she realized that there weren't many locations in the neighbourhood that provided adults with an opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine in a nice setting. Therefore they extended their hours and created night menus. They now have a craft beer menu, wine list, cocktail menu and appetizers (see above for new menus; menus' appearance in progress). In order to create that more intimate atmosphere, they dimmed the lights and provided candles on the tables. I definitely saw the change in customers compared to earlier in the afternoon! More couples compared to moms with their babies.

Once a month, they have a couple of events that they host for the community. Every second Wednesday of each month, there is a Trivia Night. Another event is their Motherload Comedy Show, which happens randomly but if you keep in check with the cafe's social media, you will be able to find out. They now also have board games available!

Lazy Daisy's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Hello! My name is Diana and I'm the creator of the Toronto Cafe Blog. I originally started my Toronto cafe adventures when I first found out about the Indie Coffee Passport in 2011. Wanting to always try the different cafes that had to be offered in Toronto, I thought it was a fantastic deal ($25 for 30 cafes!) and a way to explore new cafes and neighbourhoods!

Due to a high demand from friends after seeing my Facebook album dedicated to cafes, I finally decided to make a blog to record and review all the cafes I have been to. Since I get a lot of questions on what cafes I recommend, this review blog would give a better insight.

A little more about my background in blogging and reviewing: I am a veteran in the book blogging world. I have been reviewing young adult novels and Japanese manga since August 2008, as well as some film reviews here and there. I have reviewed for several big publishers as well as independent authors. Before even creating the book blog in high school, I had a couple of manga reviews published in a kids' newspaper back in middle school. You can view my book blog at Stop, Drop, and Read!