Published in Plaid Magazine Online, November 2011
Photo provided by Sam James
Sam James has been giving caffeine-addicted Torontonians their daily fix since he opened his eponymous space, the Sam James Coffee Bar, in 2009, and the Sam James Coffee Pocket the following year. With his perfect technique, delicious drinks, cool foam art complementing each cup (not to mention the friendly service), his bar is our favourite stop for sweet indulgence. And since he knows our go-to spot, it’s only fair of him to share his. Plaid got the scoop on this barista’s other loves around the city.
I’m pretty impressed by artwork in the making, so I like to visit an artist’s studio to get a feel of the work that they’re producing and the process. Although it can kind of kill the “How’d he do that?” mystery, I’d just rather have it that way. Clint Roenisch shows some nice work at his gallery.
Go to The Black Hoof, and go often. I don’t have a favourite dish, its always changing, always great, and always fun. I also think Niagara Street Café is the best restaurant to take a date. It’s beautifully intimate without being intimidating, there’s relaxed service, great dishes, and a wine list that is far ahead of the curve of what’s going on in other restaurants.
Sydney’s is the only store I want to spend money in. He’s a great buyer, great designer, hires great staff, and isn’t full of himself despite having the best menswear in Canada.
I like The Good Egg. It’s a cookbook store, and so much more. They have the most inspiring cookbooks, gifts, and kitchenware, all displayed with a sense of humor. And there’s some beautiful girls that work there as well.
I really can’t stand being at a music venue, or seeing music live for that matter. I get humanity poisoning being around so many enthused, impressionable people, or the bummer shoe-gazers who are too cool to see the band they paid $60 to see. I much prefer listening to Mobb Deep in the comforts of my own store on a Sunday morning.
Sam James Coffee Bar, 297 Harbord Street & Sam James Coffee Pocket, 688a Bloor Street W.