Riverdale Perk Café - Brewed at a Distance

Riverdale Perk Café has been serving the Riverdale community since 2004. Located at 633 Logan Ave, at the intersection of Withrow & Logan, Riverdale Perk is located in Toronto’s East End, not far from the Danforth.


This café (and popular brunch spot) is cute, quaint, and bustling with locals. Open 7:30am-5pm daily, Riverdale Perk offers the perfect backdrop for a caffeine run, light lunch, or casual coffee date.


ATMOSPHERE


The best way to describe the coffee shop’s ambience is the perfect blend of homey and hip. Despite offerings that may seem standard - a minimalist black/white/shades of brown colour scheme, variety of panelling/textiles, pops of greenery, and overall well-lit - Riverdale Perk takes these classic design elements and creates a space entirely of their own.


Riverdale Perk Cafe Toronto East End coffee shop

The café prides itself as a community meeting spot, and attracts people of all ages – kids, young professionals, seniors, you name it! The café is unpretentious, making it perfect for coffee snobs, novices, or even detesters.


Guests can use the café’s small patio to enjoy their beverages and treats. There is enough space to seat 8 tables of two, plus a few others via the shop’s sidewalk-facing bench and Muskoka chairs.


Riverdale Perk Cafe Toronto coffee patio

If you’re visiting the café on a weekday mid-morning/afternoon, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a seat. But, if it is full, you can head to the large Withrow Park to stroll or sit with your goodies.


P.S. The café is a great place for dog spotting, as there are lots of furry friends in the neighbourhood!


MENU


COFFEE & OTHER BEVERAGES


Riverdale Perk serves local Toronto roaster, Pilot Coffee - meaning you’re guaranteed to get a good cup of joe no matter what you order.

The café has a fairly standard coffee menu, serving coffee shop favourites like lattes, americanos, cappuccinos, and more. Overall, the shop has more of a “no muss no fuss” coffee style – i.e. you won’t come here for fancy latte art or the best cup of coffee in the city. The drinks are solid, and especially pair well with the baked goods and food options offered at the café. Also, all drinks are under $5.


Cappuccino and scone from Riverdale Perk Cafe in-house baked goods

Along with coffee, the shop offers other beverages like tea, fresh lemonade, and speciality hot chocolate. The hot chocolate especially is reason to visit the café, especially as months continue to get cooler (I love coffee, but nothing is as comforting as a warm mug of hot chocolate on a cold day).


BAKED GOODS


The amount of baked goods offered at the café is astounding, especially considering they’re all baked in-house. They’re hard to resist when visiting.


These include bars, cookies, energy balls, muffins, danishes, and scones. There are a ton of options to choose from, and all are at a very affordable price point ($2.90+).


Large selection of baked goods at Riverdale Perk Cafe Toronto

Some of my favourites include the chocolate peanut butter bar, the chocolate caramel bar, and the (huge) morning glory muffin.


Plus, baked goods like the muffins and scones are a little on the doughier side, making them perfect to pair with (and dunk in) your coffee


FOOD


The café has two separate menus for breakfast and lunch, which I’ve included below (photos from the Riverdale Perk Café website).


Toronto Riverdale Perk Cafe breakfast brunch menu

The breakfast menu is served until 11:30am.


Toronto Riverdale Perk Cafe lunch brunch menu

I personally prefer the café’s lunch menu as it’s more extensive, and offers an array of grilled cheese options. Pictured below is their “grown up” grilled cheese.


Grilled cheese sandwich in Toronto Riverdale Park Cafe East End coffee shop

The sandwich was delicious, but the pears make it a little too sweet for my liking. Other recommendations: the Guinness bacon grilled cheese, oven roasted turkey sandwich, or spicy kale caesar salad.


OTHER


Riverdale Perk believes in the importance of locality (and even take on the motto: eat, drink, & be local). As so, everything sold in the shop is Canadian-based.


This includes merchandise like LOOP juice/smoothies, Pluck Tea, and Charlie’s Ice Pops.


CHANGES DUE TO THE PANDEMIC

Toronto Riverdale Perk Cafe coffee patio open during COVID

Businesses across the city have needed to adapt to better serve their communities, and keep patrons and staff safe. For Riverdale Perk, implementations include:



· No indoor seating available

· Limited amount of people allowed inside the café at a time

· Card is preferred payment method; will accept cash, but no change provided

· Clipboards on tables signalling protocols (also states if the table has been sanitized)

· Guests must see a barista before sitting on the patio to take down information




SUMMARY


Riverdale Perk Café is more than just a coffee shop or brunch spot – it’s a locals’ gathering place that has been serving the Riverdale community since 2004. The café is unpretentious, serving coffee and light lunch offerings in a hip, yet homey, space. Indoor seating is currently unavailable, but you can enjoy the café’s menu out on their small patio or in Withrow Park nearby. The shop has of a “no muss no fuss” coffee style. As for their baked goods, there are a wide variety to choose from, and all are baked in-house. There are two menus served at the café, breakfast (7:30am-11:30am) and lunch (11:30am-5pm); the lunch menu has a wider selection. The café has taken ample precautions to safely serve its patrons, and as such, I hope you’ll visit for a future coffee or brunch date.


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