Mabel’s is the kind of place you visit when you sleep in on a breezy Sunday morning, then go for a long run, and a long shower later and realize there’s nothing you’d like more than a flaky croissant and a piping hot coffee. It’s the kind of place you visit after an infuriatingly frustrating day, where nothing goes your way and the only thing that will lift your mood is a tangy lemon square, or maybe an orange blondie with cream cheese frosting. Or perhaps you delight in small, quirky details, like swirling milk into your coffee with a pasta noodle?
Mabel’s is the best. There’s a handful of locations around town, with one of them around the corner from my apartment on Queen West and a short walk away from various other places you might be aiming for/coming from, like Trinity Bellwoods Park, the Drake and Gladstone Hotels, or Parkdale (an oddball neighbourhood in the west end). There is usually a pun-ny quote on the sandwich board on the sidewalk out front, along with the dogs anxiously waiting for their owners and patrons enjoying their treats.
In terms of what you should try, I’ve already given you some hints – I’m partial to their squares, which are dense and generous. Mabel’s croissants and pain chocolats rival those I’ve had in France, and their crusty bread makes a lovely house gift.