Look I know every place I go to is not going to live up to the hype or that I will be able to leave a great review, but it is unfortunate when that happens. I recently caught up with a friend and he recommended this place that looked cool since it was a cafe and vinyl shop. I saw on social media some posts about so I was excited to check it out but as you know sometimes you can leave a bit disappointed. Also, I just want to clarify that the experience wasn’t all bad and this is just constructive criticism so they can hopefully improve if they read this and you as a consumer are informed prior to going. See below for a preview of what you can expect.
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The cafe is located at 960 Queen St West, Toronto, Ontario. This is downtown Toronto so traffic can be a bit hectic but when I went it was pretty relaxed. In terms of parking there are several paid parking options near by and you can park on the street if it is not too busy. TIP: On Sundays, you can park for free right in front of the store until 1pm.
Inside / Aesthetic
The best thing this place has going for it is the aesthetic, there is no denying that. I think they have that down with the cool bike in the front to the nice set up of seats, but also the really cool novelty items they have around the store. If you wanted to take any pictures I think there are some good spots inside where you can. Oh and of course, they way they got the vinyls set up, it does have a nice cozy feel to it which is great for a cafe.
While on the topic of the cafe, I would say that there is a good amount of seating available and when I went in on Sunday morning there was pretty much no one there. As you can see the menu above, the prices are not that bad. The guy working (I think the new owner) did mention that the caramel macchiato (bottom right) was popular and my friend who got it, liked it. I got the iced americano (bottom right) and thought it was decent, but a bit watered down.
Now here is the disappointing part. I wish I took photos of what I saw but in the TikTok video you can see some of the interesting finds. It wasn’t terrible but it was super unorganized and it catered more to rock if anything. However, that’s not why I was disappointed. What ruined the experience for me was when I thought I found a gem and great find because I came across a RZA as Bobby Digital vinyl which was super dope and it had a sticker that said $2.99. I had a feeling it was used because there was no plastic cover or anything (but even if it is used they should have had a cover). However, when I got to the front to pay the guy asked this other girl to check for the price and I thought they were going to check their inventory spreadsheet but instead I saw her looking at discogs for a price. So instead of $2.99, he said it was $20. I said sure because if you know me you know I have a big admiration for RZA and the Wu Tang Clan and it’s not like I come across this often so I said yeah but I should have bargained because frankly for the condition and what I saw online, I should have paid $10 max. They clearly didn’t know who the RZA was nor doubt they cared. I also saw they had the Chic album for $18 but it wasn’t clear if it was used and based what I saw online after the fact that was also a serious mark up. It’s unfortunate because not only are these vinyls all over the place but they are not properly priced or listed as used or new. There are also a bunch of other vinyls that you have no idea are just for display or on sale. Only after I left did I check the google reviews and their IG properly and noticed that 1) owners changed and 2) there are a few people who have said that the records are overpriced.
In conclusion, I wouldn’t recommend Antikka as a go to place. If you are curious I think it is nice to visit once and chill for the drinks and aesthetics but, they need to seriously do better. If you were going to go please make sure to do your research before buying anything. Once again, it wasn’t a terrible experience just really disappointing and I hope they can do better to improve for the future. If you’ve been here before let me know your thoughts below or on social media by also giving a follow on Tiktok, Instagram, and Facebook !