Nestled on the corner of a busy intersection of Christie Pits bustling with bike lanes and city streets is a retro soda fountain malt shop straight out the 1950’s. Imagined and realized by the husband and wife team of Liezel and Brennan Anderson once you take a step through the front door your senses are rewarded with old school decor, hip hopping fifties era rock ‘n’ roll and retro desserts and beverages to beguile your senses.
For those who revere nostalgia the narrow diners’ cherry red counters and checkerboard tiled floor are a perfect backdrop for the charming soda jerk uniforms, complete with bow ties and hats. Even The Toronto Vintage Society have offer assistance to the Anderson’s at finding the most authentic items for their shop.
Liezel, an accomplished pastry chef, delights in the creation of many of the restaurants decadent desserts, laboring long and hard to create the perfect butter tart or slice of cake or delectable hand pie. Each day only a certain number of hand pies are available, making them perfect to grab for the commute home or weekend bike ride.
The Old School Lunch Pie is a sugary, teeth shattering example of self indulgence with graham cracker crust, strawberry jam, chocolate ganache and peanut butter, perfect for anyone who loves their desserts.
With limited seating and tranquil Bickford park right across the street the menu caters to quick drop ins and the to-go crowd. It’s an ideal location for a first date where two straws are a popular as the shakes they go in but a quick exit can be accomplished if things get awkward.
Quality is incredibly important to these first time shop owners. Using the highest quality equipment they produce incredible sodas and shakes. Brennan, a former barista and coffee expert has a keen sense of flavors and uses it to create outstanding homemade syrups for their soda (lemon Rickey, hibiscus, gramp’s ginger, root n’ cola, real orange, vanilla cream and cherry cola). Skillfully using spiral bar spoons the syrup is poured into a glass of the purest soda water they can create, preventing agitation of the ice. The result is a concentrated, refreshingly flavorful drink .
And if you want to go a little crazy that same soda can be garnished with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream and proverbial cherry to be presented as the prettiest soda float around. And once the ice cream is slid carefully into the beverage, the need for the bottom plate becomes essential.
Milkshakes or Malt shakes are by the far a popular choice at Bean and Baker. After trying various ways to create the perfect malt flavor the final product is a thick, creamy froth of ice cream and milk. Being considerate of their neighborhood and customers, a vegan and lactose free option is available allowing for whole families to enjoy these treats together. The stainless steel shake cup accompanies your glass so it can be topped up with every last drop of milk or malt shake made.
If sweets are not your thing savory pies and sausage rolls are also available while Brennan, with his keen coffee sense has created a house blend of beans that produces a superb tasty coffee or latte.
Nowhere else in Toronto can you get an experience of stepping back in time, to an easier life of soda fountains and milk shakes, Chuck Berry and shiny linoleum like that at Bean and Baker Malt Shop. With attentive staff and owners wanting to bring you the most authentic experience you will be begging for a shop like this in your neighborhood. Until then Liezel and Brennan look forward to seeing you.