Liberty Village and Queen West/ Roncesvalles – 12 Hot Spots!

Liberty Village and Queen West/ Roncesvalles

I’ve written before about my Toronto. About my love for the city and the restaurants and sports and people. But today I want to concentrate on the super cool and trendy neighbourhoods that border my little block.

The two neighbourhoods I’m talking about are Liberty Village and Queen West/ Roncesvalles. With the nice weather coming (I hope) both are super easy to walk to and have great places to shop and eat and drink some great coffee. In fact, I took a walk a little while ago and grabbed a ton of business cards so that I could catalogue some of the great places Caitlin and I want to hit this summer.

Now, while I have visited all of these places I have not sampled all of their wares.  But trust me, we will.

Let’s start with coffee. Coffee is always a great place to start. I’ve got two favourites that aren’t Starbucks, Second Cup or Tim Hortons.

The first is in the Liberty Village @ 43 Hanna Avenue and has a wicked name, Balzac’s Coffee (www.balzacscoffee.com). This is a place that we have been to on more than one occasion and have enjoyed every time. To be honest with you, the business card is also my loyalty card which is starting to fill up with stamps on the back. The coffee is quite good and so is the atmosphere. Quiet, calm and has nice bench height seating that you can sit and talk with friends at. And I know this because we’ve done it.

On Queen West I’ve got a new favourite, Rustic Cosmo Cafe @ 1278 Queen Street West. I stopped there for a quick cup of coffee while on a resume run and was happily surprised by the low price, quality brew and little bankettes available to sit and relax. This place is solid for a quick stop to rest on a long walk, or for that caffeine fix that we all need from time to time. Some of us more than others. Thumbs up.

After coffee everyone wants a cupcake and I have two places to direct you to so you can satisfy that craving. @ 1660 Queen Street West you’ll find the aptly named Yummy Stuff. (www.yummystuff.ca) I walked into this shop and started drooling. My goodness did the baking smell good. If there had been more cash in my pocket I’d have bought a dozen cupcakes right then and there. As it stands I grabbed a card, listened to the pitch from the girl at the counter, smelled everything and stared at the displays for a few minutes and was invited to come back soon. I plan on it.

In Liberty Village there’s a place that caught my eye before I knew it was there. @ 171 East Liberty Street Unit 117 you’ll find For The Love Of Cake. (www.fortheloveofcake.ca) In the window I saw cakes of all shapes and sizes, including a fantastic looking soccer ball, and when I walked in I saw the cupcakes in the counter display. Mon Dieu they looked good. And before I left I got a flavour list (no less than 24!) to bring home and dream about. I’ve looked at it a lot of times since that day and have been trying to come up with an excuse to buy cupcakes. I’ll have it figured out soon!

Now, if you get hungrier for more than just coffee and cupcakes, and it happens to the best of us, I have two restaurants to pitch to you.

The first is @ 165 East Liberty Street. Brazen Head has seating both indoor and outdoor to make you comfortable while you’re enjoying a meal. It’s a trendy spot to be and for good reason. They have a solid menu including salads, sandwiches and entrées. And they have a fantastic selection of beverages. Last summer Caitlin and I enjoyed ourselves on the patio for lunch and have certainly made it a plan to get back there in the sun and to enjoy some late lunch again.

Side note: Bring your sunglasses for the patio. Trust me.

The second restaurant I want to mention is just north of Queen Street @ 5 Brock Avenue. The Stampede Bison Grill is the next place I plan on being for lunch. I wasn’t able to get a business card from them, but maybe even better, I was able to bring home a menu. And folks, this menu looks good! They have 3 types of burger (Bison, Beef, Veggie) and 2 grilled Chicken sandwiches to go with a roast Bison on a bun. And on the flip side of the menu they have 5 variations of Poutine (Classic, Sweet Potato, Bison, “Special” Veggie, Chicken/ Bacon/ Caramelized Onion) that make me wet in the mouth. Add the fact that they also have a patio and are licensed and I’m tempted to go right now.

Side note: The Stampede Bison Grill has Molson Stock Ale and Labatt 50 in the beer fridge. That makes me happy.

That’s the end of the food portion of this piece. But don’t leave just yet. There’s more.

If you want to buy flowers for yourself or your better half (which I should do). There are a couple of places I found that will hook you up.

Eva’s Gifts & Flowers @ 119 Roncesvalles Avenue is a cute little shop that has all of your day to day and special occasion needs covered. It has a small town feel which fits the neighbourhood perfectly and will make you feel at home when you walk in the door.

The second shop is Suzanne Gardner Flowers (www.suzannegardnerflowers.com) @ 171 East Liberty Street Unit 157. When I walked into the store I was greeted by both the employees and their dog. And when I told them it was my first time visiting the shop I was offered the grand tour. I popped into the walk in fridge, saw the cutting tables and stopped to pet the little dog. Everything about this place is inviting and cozy. I like it a lot. You will too.

What we haven’t done yet on this virtual tour is shop. All of the places I’m going to list now are on Queen Street West and Roncesvalles Avenue.

We’ll start with She Said Boom! (www.shesaidboom.ca) @ 393 Roncesvalles Avenue.  If you’re looking for cds, vinyl, books or dvds, She Said Boom! is a good place to visit.  They’ve got all kinds of selection, new and used for you to sift through. I challenge you to look around and not find something you’ve been looking for.

Next is Kennel Cafe (www.kennelcafe.com) @ 295 Roncesvalles Avenue. They have pet food, toys, accessories and everything you need for your dog or cat. Their card advertises Premium Foods, Natural & Holistic Products, Gourmet & Bakery Treats and Health Supplements & Natural Remedies. I got to say hi to the staff and pet the store cat at the front counter before I wandered the aisles of the small store. Being there made me wish I had a dog of my own. But don’t tell Caitlin I said that please.

Moving on we come to your one step destination for bedroom stuffs. The Feather Factory (www.featherfactory.com) @ 1606 Queen Street West has street sets, pillows and pillow cases, custom duvets and they even do repairs. This place is full of quality linens and even though I’m a boy I know that’s a good thing. If you’re looking to spruce up your bedroom set I’d think about stopping in to see designer Martha Bull.

Last on the list, but certainly not least, is Studio Brillantine (www.studiobrillantine.com) @ 1518 Queen Street West. This place is full of little toys and art and figurines. I was surprised and smiling when I saw all of the Tin Tin memorabilia on the shelves. And though I have no idea what I would do with it all, I wanted it. If you’ve got a gift to buy for a trendy special someone I would stop in and check this place out. I know I’ll be back.

So there you have it kids. 12 hot spots in Liberty Village and Queen West/ Roncesvalles. I’ve recommended all of them and will be back to every single one.  Hopefully we’ll see you along the way this summer.

Oh, by the way, coffee is on you.

creator of content, manager of community, writer, tweeter, coffee drinker. sports, comics, movies, food, music & pop culture geek. Proud MoBro.

4 comments on Liberty Village and Queen West/ Roncesvalles – 12 Hot Spots!

  1. Ten says:

    I can’t get over how much I love reading this.

    Feel free to bring cupcakes when you come visit me (what better occasion?!)

  2. phjoshua says:

    Note: Caitlin and I had Stampede Bison Grill for lunch yesterday. We each had Bison burgers and shared a Classic Poutine.

    Everything was made fresh when we ordered, the poutine was huge, the curds were fresh and the burgers were full of taste.

    We’ve already decided that we want to go back and sit on the patio this summer and enjoy it again.

    Thank you for lunch Caitlin.

  3. Roxy says:

    Balzac’s Coffee was the perfect place to stop and catch up with friends on my way from Ottawa to Niagara! 🙂

  4. Joshua says:

    Update: waiting to take home a Bison Burger and “Special Veggie Poutine” for dinner. Happy Tuesday to me!

Comments are closed.

Liberty Village and Queen West/ Roncesvalles – 12 Hot Spots!

So there you have it kids. 12 hot spots in Liberty Village and Queen West/ Roncesvalles. I’ve recommended all of them and will be back to every single one. Hopefully we’ll see you along the way this summer.

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