Address: 823 Corydon Ave.
A combination of pizzeria, hip bistro, and cocktail bar, Café 22 fulfils a variety of culinary yearnings on the vibrant Corydon Ave drag. This revamped resto serves fast-casual fare, while upping the ante on atmosphere.
Stemming from local delivery stalwart Pizza Hotline, Café 22 offers a sit down experience for favourite cheesy pizzas, pillowy breadsticks and hearty salads, along with stone fired pizzas.
Don’t be fooled by the wallet-friendly prices; the sleek décor and chic bar scream date night. Charcoal-coloured brick walls add industrial flair, and a living wall of plants freshens up the otherwise dark room with greenery. While the renos have doubled the square footage, bar side tables are packed so close, it feels like one large party, buzzing with chatter.
This watering hole is a summertime hotspot, with locals flocking post work and pre events to grab a seat and people watch. If you want a table outside, be sure to arrive early (around 5 pm), especially on sun dappled days when patio time is prime.
Start with well-loved “build your own” pizzas and calzones, which allow diners to customize meals and get creative with veggies, meats and finishes.
The calzone is a puffed up wonder with savoury sweet San Marzano sauce, caramelized onions, prosciutto and roasted red peppers swaddled in chewy dough. The meal gets extra saucy with a choice of bbq, ranch or honey glaze. Other finishing options like garlic herb oil add subtle heat without being overbearing.
New stone fired pizzas add considerable punch to the roster. Hand stretched dough baked in a stone oven results in a charred base, crisp edges and chewy center. One standout from the menu of eight pizzas is a hearty pie loaded with Italian sausage, Genoa salami, and fresh basil. A roasted vegetable option shows off a cheesy web of fior de latte mozzarella, tangled with tender artichoke hearts, red peppers and garlic herb oil.
Take out favourites like baked wings are smothered with a choice of sauces and rubs. Veer away from the usual suspects and opt for the smoked applewood rub, packed with piquant paprika flavour, or the mildly sweet roasted garlic and pepper rub. Wild condiments are also at play on a trio of sliders smeared in chili mayo sauce and topped with caramelized onions.
To help balance out the carb and meat-centric menu, bowls of greens range from feta-happy Greek salad to a crisp classic Caesar. The chicken mista salad is a portion large enough for two, dressed in herb oil, and topped with a healthy serving of grilled chicken.