1 min

Mmmm, local

Parkdale keeps things organic

The Pinball Café has great coffee and eight pinball machines. Credit: Adam Coish

Unlike Church St, Parkdale is jam-packed with food vendors who embrace organic and local production. Take Poor John’s Café, on Queen St, just east of Callender St. This Parkdale staple prides itself on using solely organic, shade-grown and bird-friendly coffees purchased from local roasteries.

In search of a local, sustainably grown and prepared burger? Look no further than Cowbell, at Queen St and Dowling Ave. Under the direction of chef Mark Cutrara, Cowbell serves up a “farm-to-fork” philosophy with all its eats.

Lending a helping hand

Giving back to Parkdale is as easy as grabbing a cup of joe. In keeping with the theme of community, Parkdale offers up a range of restaurants and cafés that support not only local food ventures, but also those living within the neighbourhood. Ground Level Café, located on the corner of Queen St and Macdonell Ave, employs youth with limited skills, experience and education and provides mentoring and youth- and community-based programming. And the Mascot, on the corner of Queen St and Elm Grove Ave, promotes local arts ventures, with half the café set up as an art exhibit.

Get the best of both worlds

Parkdale is chock-full of coffee-plus-entertainment venues that are sure to please. Take Jinks Art Factory: located just east of Triller Ave, this coffee shop/tattoo parlour offers drinks and ink on the cheap.The Pinball Café, with eight fully functional pinball machines, serves up premium coffee with a side of fun.

On a budget

For the frugal, Parkdale has a plethora of cheap-eats options. A dollar and change will get you a medium-sized cup of coffee at Jason’s Coffee Shop or an Americano at The Big Guy’s Coffee Shop. And the Sizzling Grill, just west of Lansdowne Ave, will cook up a beef burger for just $4.

We recommend: Ground Level Café at 1496 Queen St W and Stampede Bison Grill at 5 Brock Ave.

For a map of Parkdale’s best coffee and burger spots, pick up the latest issue of Xtra.