Monday, December 7, 2009

Cruisin' Cafes: Toronto, ON

Darlings, I blame Hollywood, I truly do. If not for the fact that I’m constantly being bombarded with news of various television programs and films being taped on location in the aforementioned area, it probably would have remained unknown to me. That said, while the thought of hobnobbing with celebrities is what lured me into the subtle glamour proffered by Toronto, Ontario, the hip, professional, cosmopolitan, urbane vibe of this particular destination is what has kept me smitten. I think of Toronto as an international version of New York City laden with culture, architecture, and the most heavenly, gleaming view of the Harbourfront once night falls. As such, it is the ideal place to settle into a handful of quaint cafes all ripe for discovery!

Moonbean Coffee Company It was Barrie’s Peter Pan who influenced me to never let go of my childlike imagination; whom inspired me to believe in magic and fairytales – even going so far as to hold fast to the idea that someday, somehow, someway a handsome Prince will trot up to me atop a grand white horse and sweep me off my feet. Perhaps that is why I am utterly spellbound by Moonbean Coffee Company.

Found within Kensington Market, I can’t help but feel that Barrie would have been more than happy to allow his imagination to run wild while sipping a latte or nibbling upon an Orange Creamsicle right in this very location. Inside, the aesthetic is eclectic and cozy with seating to spare; yet even with all the tables nestled in close proximity to one another, there is no feeling of claustrophobia – whether you’re alone, or in a group, as you sit you feel as if you’re shrouded in your own little world, private and pensive; though the outside back patio is most certainly the piece de resistance of Moonbean. Inviting benches swing to and fro from a perch burrowed in the charming garden-like atmosphere, awaiting your pending arrival. Curl up on one with a carrot muffin and an Americano and you’ll never want to leave. 30 St. Andrew St., Toronto, ON M5T 1K6.

Saving Gigi You are all well-versed in the amount of time I devote to choosing the perfect soundtrack for just about any situation I may happen to find myself in; therefore, it is no surprise that when searching for an enchanting cafe, one must not only take the menu and ambiance of the place into consideration, but the tunes playing softly in the background, as well. Bloorcourt Village’s Saving Gigi has the lazy, languid coffee shop music down pat, establishing an even more ambrosial experience for the visitor from the moment you step inside until the time you depart.

As opposed to catering to one specific scheme of décor, the interior of Saving Gigi mixes different design elements, juxtaposing rustic, dark-stained wood plank floors with pristine white walls adorned with scant framed art pieces and an oversized mirror; a coupling that establishes a very haute monde look quite reminiscent of an upscale art gallery or museum. But unlike those places, here there are no restrictions, rules, or regulations about what you can or cannot touch. Banquet seating found along the front window is the preemptive location for sipping an Espressado while people-watching, or taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi by updating your blog while listening to the sorrowful strains of Duke Ellington poring quietly from the speakers. Do me a favor and indulge in a sandwich made on raisin bread – you won’t be sorry! 858 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON M6G 1M4.

Luna Café It is not everyday that one stumbles upon a captivating spot situated smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood; but perhaps that is what truly makes Luna Café so enchanting…it’s location.

Snuggled between towering apartment buildings and houses, if you don’t look closely it’s quite possible that you’ll miss the hidden little gem known as Luna, for it is nearly invisible to the naked eye – until you walk through the door, that is. Precious and petite, Luna seats no more than thirty or so people at a single time; but having the chance to take a load off in her lovely locale is worth the wait, as well as the trek. While evocative of a home environment, there is a dark, brooding essence found within Luna which gives it a very weatherbeaten, Sam Spade feel that is gritty, glamorous, and oh so inviting. Come for the coffee, but stay for the scrummy weekday brunch. 181 Dovercourt Rd., Toronto, ON M6J 3C6.

Which of these Toronto cafes would you like to cruise?

Fashionably yours!

Thanks to We ♥ It for the pictures.

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