The Abbott: King West Coffee

by Amanda Cosco on April 18, 2011

If you’re in Toronto’s west-end and find yourself in need of a comfort space, check out the Abbot at 99 Spencer Avenue. Located just past Dufferin off King Street West, the Abbot opened its doors only three months ago, but is quickly becoming a Parkdale hub for artists and locals alike.

Co-wner Fadi Hakim wanted to carve out a community space for local coffee enthusiasts. He teamed up with Alex Sengupta, Danny Greaves and Evan Johnsen, (founders of The Lakeview at Dundas & Ossington). The power team also wanted a space rooted in Parkdale’s history, which explains the cafe’s name: The Abbot is named after Mr. Anderson Abbot, the first Canadian-born man of color to be a registered practitioner in Toronto.

No corner of this quaint, rectangular space has gone unthought of: everything—from the bookshelf coffee bar to the moving wooden tables— has been arranged with attention to detail. The exposed brick adds a urban edge to the cafes otherwise homey feel, and the large front windows provide lots of lighting.

The coffee is excellent, perhaps this city’s best; baristas craft lattes with a perfect blend of foam and espresso, giving the beverage a creamy yet frothy texture. The Abbot uses an Elektra machine, one of the leading Italian brand name machines in espresso culture.

For $2 you can enjoy a solo espresso ($2.50 for a double) and $4 gets you any of their specialty drinks. I had a soy mocachino: the perfect treat to warm up after the winter walk along King. The Abbot also sells baked treats muffins ($1.75) and croissants ($1.75). All of the snacks, which also include cookies ($1) and bacon-and-cheese biscuits ($2.50) are prepared at the Lakeview and brought over to share.

My favorite thing about the Abbot: it’s warm! I’ve found excellent cafes in this city, but they don’t crank the heat in the winter like the Abbot, which is a huge selling point for someone who spends their entire afternoons in cafes.
In terms of seating, the Abbot offers small, round wooden tables for intimate meetings, as well as a large rolling table that can accommodate more than ten people.
The Abbot is perfect for the entrepreneur or writer or anyone else seeking internet access and a great caffeine source close by.

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