The Green Room Cafe

296 Brunswick Ave.--Toronto, ONT--(416) 929-3253--11am to 1 am

As it happened, birdonmyshoulder* was kind enough to tell me about this place. She described it as having a Theatre/Actor/Filmmaker crowd. The name comes from the theatre term green room where actors hang out during a performance. They sell Tea and Coffee. They sell food, beer and even hard liquor. There's music playing. But you don't go to 'The Green Room' for any of that stuff. You go for the people. There is an amazing variety of people there. I feared I would look out of place, but you'd really have to try to do that. I suppose if you showed up in a three piece suit and tie you'd look out of place. But short of that...

There are a few odd oil paintings. Bookcases full of books against the walls. Thank god they have outdoor seating, I headed straight for it. Where I was sitting outside, the din of random conversations completely drowned out the music. I would have liked to have told you that they didn't have any two chairs that were alike. But I think I saw some that matched. The lighting in the outdoor area consists of old Christmas tree lights and plastic Tiki Torches. Next to me a guy showed up with a sketchbook and a copy of "Slowness" by Milan Kundera. He had a huge cup of Tea and he seemed to know all the waitresses.

I noticed the place was a multi story building and I wondered who could possibly live upstairs from such a place. I found out later when I asked where the washroom was. Upstairs. There was a whole other floor to the place! More tables, more mismatched chairs and windows to look down on the street from.

The menu consists of some Mexican Food, Vietnamese food, vegetarian food and some Thai food influences.

I wish there was a place like this back where I come from, if there were, I'd be there almost every night. On my way out I noticed it was voted "Best Secret Meeting Place" by Eye weekly. They also have HUGE boards to post flyers and Posters for other venues. That alone was worth travelling here for. As far as I'm concerned, every place should have such boards.

Always check The Toronto metanode for current info

Source: My trip to Toronto

Last Updated 02.17.02

I've lived in Toronto for about a year now and I've eaten, drank, and hung out at The Green Room a number of times. It's okay. I agree that you go to The Green Room for the people, but I usually made the mistake of going there to meet up with friends or do something mildly specific, instead of merely going to hang out and people watch. I'm not particularly fond of the food and the beer selection is somewhat dismal, but it can be interesting on a Friday night. I haven't been back recently though, as I went most often when I worked somewhat closer to the area, at Bloor & Church.

More recently, a place called the Red Room has opened up in the last few months on Spadina that is essentially very similar in particular indescribeable ways to The Green Room. One of the better descriptions I've heard is that Red Room was an eatery bound for College Street that got lost on it's way and ended up on Spadina (otherwise populated by lots of various asian food eateries, many good, some excellent).

I live near Queen and Spadina and I find myself consistently in the College West, Queen West, and John & Richmond areas. I esepcially enjoy Utopia on College West as a nice eatery and Smokeless Joe on John as a beer lover's paradise (with great seafood dishes to boot).

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