Who knew that I would stumble upon this hidden CabbageTown gem tucked away in this obscure little house? Just north of Carlton on Parliament Street, MerryBerry Cafe and Bistro maybe new on the block, but they show clear signs of a becoming a neighbour favourite. MerryBerry is the 7-week old baby of owners Cyril Picard and Nimmi Nagothu, two long time friends originally from France.
The decor is a breath of fresh air; a Parisian feel with sweet personal touches like the wall of chalk board in the washrooms, and colourful, decorative French pot holders and place mats hanging from the ceiling available for purchase. Mismatched strips of ornate wallpaper create warm light and I instantly feel at home the moment I step in.
The customer base ranges from students to mum’s and their toddlers coming in for an after school snack. The staff’s warm and friendly demeanour encourages people to stay a while and savour the relaxing atmosphere and delicious dishes.
Their menu is fresh and creative, showcasing the artistic edge of the two-some; heavenly hot beverages like the Cafe Bon bon (1 shot condense milk, 1 shot espresso – $2.50) and the hot cocoa pepper (made with organic hot cocoa and a few drops of juiced red pepper and red chilies for a tasty kick – $3.50) are some of their signature specialties. For those fearful of pepper, not to worry – Cyril informed me that milk calms the heat of the pepper so there is more bark than bite in this delicious drink. They serve Reunion Island Coffee; a delicious Fair Trade Organic blend, and there is a wide variety of Kusmi loose leaf teas from Paris available for tea lovers.
Looking for a unique take on cafe food? Entrees take on a sweet twist with quirky sandwiches such as the Ninja Snack – a tasty trio of real tuna mini sliders with wasabi, avocado, arugula, and sesame seeds. Other favourites include the fish-potato curry and magic quinoa salad, and no meal is over $8.00. MerryBerry also bakes their own cafe treats such as fresh muffins, cookies and croissants, and throws in their own touch with desserts like the winter fruit salad. Pannacotta with berries too? Wow – Count me in.
Maybe I’ll see you there, because I plan to make MerryBerry a regular coffee spot in my books.
MerryBerry Cafe, 559 Parliament Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4X 1P7. (647) 348 0411