Located at the corner of Dundas & Quebec, there is a Starbucks. But more importantly, at the southwest corner, there is Claudia’s Coffee.
*As of mid-2022, the Stcarbucks at Dundas & Quebec has since closed, but this opening line is too iconic to change*
Formerly known as Crema Café, Claudia’s is located at 3079 Dundas St W and has recently reopened its doors after renovations. With the café’s community and neighbourhood eagerly awaiting, the coffee shop made its debut as Claudia’s Coffee at the beginning of May. Just over a month in, the café has already needed to extend their summer hours based on popular demand; Claudia’s Coffee is open Monday to Friday 7am-4pm, Saturday 7am-5pm, & Sunday 7:30am-5pm*.
Claudia’s prides itself on serving organic locally roasted coffee & tea. They serve Stereo espresso, a Toronto roaster located at 40 Cawthra Ave (<15 minute walk away). Fun fact: the founder of this 2018 roasting company used to own Crema Café and co-founded/owned Propeller before establishing his own roastery.
The coffee is no doubt very well-crafted (Stereo has stated that their goal is to develop each coffee to its full potential), but it’s also the way Claudia’s baristas serve it that make the coffee so special. On my last visit I ordered an iced latte and the espresso’s flavour was strong – the drink wasn’t overly milky like at some cafés. You can definitely tell the experience and knowledge of the baristas, whom most were carried over from when the café was Crema.
Claudia's also offers a fairly extensive menu, including a selection of seasonal beverages for espresso and tea lovers alike.
Along with being skillful, the baristas and owner are also very nice. From cheerily posting on Instagram, to having long chats with customers, to even the sign above the coffee shop’s door - Claudia’s cares about creating a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all. Their kindness was especially evident in my last visit where I was asked how chocolatey to make the mocha, which was much appreciated by my chocolate-loving partner.
Along with beverages, the café also serves a small selection of sweet and savoury treats. I ordered their gluten-free orange chocolate cake on my last visit, and it was delicious. Its baked goods vary per week; you can find their recent offerings by following them on Instagram.
Claudia’s Coffee has used their time in quarantine to their advantage by remodeling to properly reflect its change in name/management. Owning a small business, especially a new one, during this time is no easy feat for anyone. If you’re in the area, consider stopping by Claudia’s for coffee, treats or bags of beans. You can order inside the café or from their makeshift takeout window (perfect if you’re on your coffee run while walking the dog).
Jokes aside in the introduction, if you’re ever in the area, please don’t support big chains like Starbucks. Rather, support independent, sustainable coffee shops like Claudia’s Coffee.
*Given the COVID-19 pandemic, hours depicted in this post may be skewed as businesses adapt to better serve its staff, customers, and community.