A Perk and A Park: The Best Cafes and Parks in the East End of Toronto

While the weather is still pleasant, I like to take my little one to the fabulous parks East Toronto has to offer and as a mom with a need for caffeine, I frequently find myself visiting parks near great cafes. I hit a cafe, grab a little pick-me-up for myself, then head straight to the park, so my little monkey can play. Here’s my take on the best cafes, close to fantastic parks, in the east end.

Broadview Espresso and Riverdale Park East

On a clear morning, one of the best things to do is visit Broadview Espresso, for some high quality coffee in the form of a latte, cappuccino, espresso or whatever your little caffeine craving heart desires. Serving coffee made from fresh and locally roasted beans, displaying local art and encouraging conversation by intentionally choosing not to include Wi-Fi, Broadview Espresso is definitely a cut above the average cafe. Cash only, so don’t forget to hit the bank machine before you head out.

Caffeine in hand, head south to Riverdale Park East, 550 Broadview Avenue. The view of the city from this location is unbeatable. After taking a moment to enjoy the view, head to the playground at the north end of the park. Stroller access is a little tenuous, with the steep incline at this park, so tread carefully. There are two sets of stairs at the north end of the park, or if you are up for a walk, head west on Montcrest Blvd, which leads to a paved entrance-way. The playground offers the usual slides, swings and sandbox combo, as well as a number of mature trees.

Broadview Espresso

817 Broadview Avenue, (416) 553-3833

Broadview Espresso on Urbanspoon

The One in the Only Cafe and Phin Parkette


Two of the best kept secrets in the Danforth area are The One in the Only Cafe and Phin Parkette. With most of the high profile establishments at the west end of the Danforth, many people never venture east of Pape Avenue. The One in the Only Cafe and Phin Parkette offer two great reasons to make your way east. The One Coffee House can be found within The Only Cafe, which is actually more local bar, than cafe.  The One serves coffee, tea and a variety of snacks, while The Only is known for its large selection of beer. Both venues offer an eclectic vibe, with an assortment of mismatched couches, chairs and tables, as well as a variety of fascinating artwork. Stop by The One for a coffee or tea, before heading to Phin Parkette, 115 Condor Avenue. Phin Parkette is an oasis of lush green trees and rock formations surrounding a great play structure. The park includes a wadding pool, and plenty of space for sitting, picnicking or chasing toddlers.

The One in The Only Cafe

966 Danforth Avenue, (416) 463-3249
The Only Cafe on Urbanspoon

Riverdale Perk and Withrow Park


Riverdale Perk and Withrow Park, 725 Logan Avenue, are both popular destinations for families. Riverdale Perk is a cute and friendly cafe that offers hot and cold drinks, as well as lunch, brunch and a kid’s menu. Stop in and grab a drink, snack or lunch to go and take your stash into Withrow Park, just a few steps north. Withrow offers everything one could desire in a park setting. Plenty of play structures, a wading pool, sports fields, and lots of trees and gardens. A great place to spend time with or without the family.

Riverdale Perk

633 Logan Avenue, (416) 462-3538
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Riverdale Perk on Urbanspoon

Tango Palace Coffee Company and Leslie Grove Park


Tango Palace Coffee Company has been a Leslieville staple for the past 17 years. This quirky cafe includes a cozy setting, a wide variety of caffeinated beverages, and a large selection of baked goods. Head in for a drink, snack, and some casual conversation with the top notch staff.  Then, walk a few steps east to Leslie Grove Park. Revitalized in 2005, Leslie Grove Park includes a new play structure, a wading pool, a community center, and lots of open space.

Tango Palace Coffee Company

1156 Queen Street East, (416) 465-8085
Tango Palace Coffee on Urbanspoon

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  1. Even if I am a West Toronto veteran, I love coming to the East end and checking out the cool neighbourhoods. I made it to some of the places on your list, I have a reason to come back now!