New Snacks on the Block is a monthly review series. With the wave of new food and caffeine options that have opened near campus this year, we’re reporting on those that will become Ryerson students’ coveted study spots and snack staples.
I recently ventured out to Page One Café, an independent business that opened six months ago near Mutual and Gould—just south of the Rogers Communication Centre.
The atmosphere of Page One Café is relaxed and comfortable. The entire back wall of the café showcases a variety of ancient collectibles such as typewriters, rotary dial phones and vintage cameras. Page One is cosy enough for anyone to adapt to. While students studied in one corner, business professionals had lunch in another. The café and its friendly staff are welcoming and respectful to their very diverse demographic.
Let’s be honest—we’re all students, and the factor that will determine where we buy food is affordability. For an independent business that sells specialty drinks, I expected the prices to be a little higher than what I would have preferred, and I was right.
Basic “pluck teas” (loose-leaf teas) are priced at $3, espresso drinks start at $2.85, brewed coffees at $1.30 and lattes and hot chocolate are $4. The beverage pricing is what tends to be seen at Starbucks, but the quality and taste are better as more ingredients are made in-house. One of the managers, Anskar, showcases his amazing latte art with every mug, as well as on his Instagram, @anskrshn.
I ordered the chai tea latte, which was $4. I must say it exceeded my expectations and topped the Starbucks version—I’m definitely calling it my new pick-me-up. I tasted an authentic blend of spices that you don’t get everywhere. They also offer alcoholic drinks if you need something stronger after your least favourite class.
The beverage pricing is what tends to be seen at Starbucks, but the quality and taste are better
I also ordered a cheese-chive scone for $3, which was a perfect savoury indulgence. If you ever want to level-up from Tim Horton’s cheese tea biscuit, give this scone a try. Page One’s lunch options consist of a variety of sandwiches and paninis (southern BBQ chicken, honey BBQ pulled pork, spiced goat cheese and roasted yam, and cauliflower falafel). Each sandwich is $11, comparable to most specialty lunch options in downtown Toronto like Balzac’s.
One highlight Page One offers is the use of RITUAL in collaboration with their business. The mobile order-and-pay app is for those of us in a hurry who would prefer to skip the line when time comes for coffee or lunch. The concept is similar to UberEats, except that it’s a pick-up service instead of delivery.
Be sure to stop by Page One at 106 Mutual Street for great coffee and an even better study space.