Zoe’s Bakery & Cafe

This review was originally written for Toronto Coffee Shops.com, a blog dedicated to reviewing indie coffee shops. 

Zoe’s Bakery & Cafe: King Street West 

Zoe's Bakery King West


You don’t survive thirteen years in the food and beverage industry without learning a thing or two about the components of a good business: prime location, quality coffee, delicious food, and excellent customer service. 

Zoe’s Bakery and Cafe provides all this and more. Not just a coffee shop, Zoe’s (548 King Street West) offers a full dining experience for breakfast and lunch. Don’t be deceived by the cafe’s seemingly small storefront: the lower-level space stretches back from King Street into a full-service restaurant, and even includes a boardroom for small business meetings.

Zoe’s Bakery—names after the owner’s dog—brews exclusively Italian-brand Illy coffee. Illy rep Esther Levy sat down with me to discuss Illy practices, from fair-trade farming to state-of-the-art pressurized packaging. Illy monitors and controls their coffee beans from the farm to your cup in an effort to ensure product quality and consistency.

In a rush? Grab a quick latte and croissant from the cafe’s bakery kiosk. Got some time? Sit in the back or on the patio to try their Toronto Life-featured roast beef sandwich ($9.75). Around noon, the cafe starts to fill up: businesspeople on their lunch breaks, artists holding creative meetings, or just friends catching up over coffee.

How does Zoe’s compete with the big brand name coffee shop right across the street? By catering to clientele who have an affinity for something more than assembly-line style corporate chains. Zoe’s keeps it simple without sacrificing the essentials. 

Free wifi; Monday – Friday 7:30 AM – 6:30 PM; Saturday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM