Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Double Take Doughnuts

If you follow me on Instagram (@sk_gonzales), you might have noticed that I constantly post pictures of desserts. I love sweets! Cupcakes, chocolates, macarons... you name it. If sugar is involved, chances are I'll eat it. And that is especially true with doughnuts! I almost always pick up a box of Moonshine Doughnuts whenever they are at the University of Alberta Farmers' Market, or a pack of Frickin' Delights Donuts whenever I visit the Old Strathcona Farmers' Market (although it has been awhile). You may be aware of my informal "macaron adventures," where I write about macarons made by local businesses. Now I think it's time I do a similar series for "doughnut adventures" as well! My latest doughnut adventure? Double Take Doughnuts!

Double Take Doughnuts.

I first learned about Double Take Doughnuts browsing through #yegfood photos on Instagram. They are a fairly new business, making their first debut back in June. Although I absolutely loved how fantastic the doughnuts looked in the photos, I never really found the time to place an order. Luckily, I heard that Double Take Doughnuts would be at the Santa's Little Helpers Christmas Shopping Extravaganza event at the River Cree Resort & Casino, an easily accessible location for me. Finally, a chance for me to try doughnuts that I spent a long time admiring behind my phone's screen!

Contact information.

When I arrived at the Santa's Little Helpers market, I immediately located the table for Double Take Doughnuts (surprisingly really quick too, given that there were so many other vendors in a crowded room!). I was greeted by Kayla Harris, owner and operator of the business who bakes the doughnuts in her own home. She typically sells them from her home as well. If you check out the ordering process on their Facebook page, you'll find that your doughnut order can be very customizable. At the market, however, set flavours were being sold as a pack of 4 doughnuts for $10. The doughnuts were specifically Christmas themed to kick off the holiday season.

So cute!

My first impression when I opened the box was that the doughnuts smelled SO GOOD! Seriously. Opening the box was just like stepping into a bakery... a sweetness that entices you to indulge in the desserts laid out before your eyes. Another thing that really sets Double Take Doughnuts apart from other businesses is the presentation: it's fun and playful, colourful, but expertly put together.

Vanilla base + green coloured icing + sprinkles.

The first doughnut I decided to try was the vanilla base with a thin, green coloured glaze and festive sprinkles. The doughnut had a lovely bakery smell to it, while the cake base was denser compared to other cake-like doughnuts I've tried/baked myself. Not a bad thing though - this doughnut was excellent! It wasn't too sweet (and I was worried about this because of its sweet, sugary smell!), and the icing made each bite even better. A few people told me that they liked the appearance of this particular doughnut the best as well.

A reindeer! Chocolate base + chocolate buttercream.

I initially wanted to save the reindeer for last (because I perceived it to be the best one in the box since I'm a big fan of reindeer), but I also wanted to eat it at its freshest. The chocolate cake base was not as dense compared to the vanilla, so I thought this doughnut was much "lighter" overall even with the thicker chocolate buttercream as a glaze. I would describe the chocolate taste of this doughnut as being delicate... this is a doughnut that I would eat more of without feeling guilty about overloading on sugar. Pretzel antlers added a contrasting saltiness, chocolate chips for a bit of texture, and a maraschino cherry for a bright red nose complete this super cute Rudolph doughnut.

Vanilla base + chocolate glaze + white chocolate peppermint bark.

The reindeer doughnut was the best looking one in my opinion, but this vanilla base doughnut with chocolate glaze, white chocolate peppermint bark, and crushed peppermint was hands down the best tasting one! I was actually expecting the base to be chocolate, but I soon found out that the subtle vanilla allowed for the glaze and peppermint to be the stand out features on this doughnut. I loved every single bite... the cooling sensation of the mint combined with the sweet chocolate was absolutely delicious. I also really enjoyed the handmade white chocolate peppermint bark for some extra sweetness. I would devour another one (or more...) in a heartbeat.

Snowman: vanilla base + vanilla buttercream.

Last but certainly not least was this snowman doughnut made up of a vanilla base with vanilla buttercream. Along with its pleasantly sweet smell, this doughnut was soft and moist despite its denseness. The buttercream was also stiffer compared to its chocolate counterpart on the reindeer, giving the glaze a slightly gritty, sugary texture. The thin layer of buttercream ensured that the glaze wouldn't make the doughnut overwhelmingly sweet as a whole. Chocolate chips dusted with powdered sugar and a candy corn nose were perfect touches for the snowman!

Loooooved these doughnuts.

My first box of Double Take Doughnuts was amazing! My personal favourites were definitely the reindeer and the chocolate + peppermint. So how do you order doughnuts for yourself? It's simple - just head on over to their Facebook page to view their order form and then send an email to with all the requested information. You'll be able to choose between 1.) chocolate or vanilla bases, 2.) buttercream, white chocolate, dark chocolate, or cheesecake for the icing options, and 3.) toppings which include mini eggs, cookies and cream, oreo and more! You can get really creative with the doughnut flavours. Check out this review by Ms. Hangry Foodie for doughnut flavour ideas, or give Double Take Doughnuts a follow on Instagram (@doubletakedoughnuts) to check out more photos! I'm looking forward to trying out more delicious doughnuts in the future! Feel free to take a look at my past reviews for Moonshine Doughnuts and Frickin' Delights Donuts as well. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015


There have been quite a few new bubble tea spots opening up in Edmonton recently, particularly in the southside. One place is Simply Yours Cafe, which I visited back in October (read my review here). Exactly a week later, I checked out Yumioca - the latest addition to Edmonton's bubble tea scene.


Yumioca (5940 104 Street NW) is a bubble tea and dessert shop located next to Tropika Malaysian Cuisine along 104 Street. It is in the same strip mall where you'll find Let's Grill Restaurant and Escape City. I can imagine many people stopping by for bubble tea after dinner at either of those restaurants, or after trying out an escape room (which is really fun, by the way). 

The interior.
The interior - check out those chairs!

Now to describe the interior: not too big or too small, modern light fixtures, and fun, colourful chairs to contrast the textured gray carpet and walls. The atmosphere is very cozy... it's a place where you can spend awhile just hanging out with friends over bubble tea and snacks. 

Drinks Menu.
Shaved Ice Dessert Menu.

Yumioca offers a variety of drinks, including a signature cheesecake + red/green tea drink I'm curious about. They also serve shaved ice dessert, which I prefer to call shaved snow (because it's not just plain shaved ice like in halo-halo, it's softer and the 'snow' already constitutes the flavour). To be honest, I wanted to check this place out just to try their version of shaved snow! 

They have a food menu!

One thing I was worried about was if Yumioca offered a (savoury) food menu since they currently do not have one shared on their Facebook page. Good news - they do! These menus are found on each table but there is also one next to the cash register. I thought the menu could have been organized better... smaller snacks first, more filling options, and then desserts? I didn't really like seeing a green onion cake listed under two desserts (but that's just me). 

Taro Bubble Tea.

I think CJ was a bit overwhelmed by the number/variety of drinks available, so he wasn't really adventurous and ended up going for a classic Taro Bubble Tea ($4.75). I thought the taro was great... perfect consistency, prominent taste - I would totally order this for myself but without tapioca. CJ also noted that the quality of the tapioca pearls was much better at Yumioca compared to Dream Tea House... I guess you could say they were "yumi-oca" (haha I'm funny right?). 

Chocolate Shaved Ice Dessert.

I picked their Chocolate Shaved Ice Dessert ($6.95) for myself. Although there are a lot of choices for toppings, each topping costs an extra $1. I obviously did not want to go overboard with toppings, so I only asked for strawberries in my dessert. Surprisingly, I was given some chocolate sauce and chocolate rolled wafer sticks for no extra charge - thank you Yumioca! However, in spite of the free extra toppings, I was disappointed to see very little shaved snow in the bowl... I was expecting a lot more for the price I paid. Imagine how this dessert would look without any toppings... yea, I wouldn't be happy either receiving such a small amount. Furthermore, the quality of the shaved snow wasn't the best... most of it had an icy consistency instead of a melt-in-your-mouth softness. At least the chocolate taste itself was okay. The toppings were the best part of this dessert, but overall I felt that the $7.95 I paid wasn't worth it. To improve this, I think Yumioca should 1.) reduce the price to match the amount of shaved snow in the bowl or, 2.) increase the amount of shaved snow and keep the price and finally, 3.) either add set toppings for each flavour (at no extra cost) or reduce the price of each topping (so people are more able to pick and choose how many toppings they want). 

Green Onion Cake.

I knew CJ would want something to snack on (the reason why I hoped for a food menu!), so I got us a Green Onion Cake ($2.95) to share. The version at Yumioca is the big, soft, and fluffy kind of cake, with a surprisingly strong green onion taste. I thought it paired well with the sauce we were given, although it would have been nice to see some specks of green colour throughout the cake (really just a minor detail though). 

A variety of games to play at Yumioca.

CJ and I were in a hurry to do some errands, so we weren't able to stay longer to play some of the board/card games available. I really liked how the games are organized on big, roomy shelves - you can see what's available clearly and easily grab it off the shelf. It also looks like there's space to add even more games in the future!

Yup, we arranged the Jenga blocks to be a rainbow.

I think Yumioca makes for a great hangout spot in south Edmonton. The inside is very clean, modern, and cozy, and the bubble tea drink we tried was quite good. The only issue I really have is with their shaved ice dessert... it needs to be improved by adjusting either the price or the portion accordingly. As for the rest of the food - well, I'm interested in seeing how they serve yam fries and what their tiramisu cake is all about. I also had no problems with their service... very quick and friendly which is always great to see (although I do question why there were so many staff near the cash register when we visited lol. But again, not a big deal). My first time at Yumioca was good overall, but for my next visit I think I'll go for their bubble tea drinks instead of shaved ice (until they improve it, that is). I love seeing Edmonton's bubble tea scene continue to grow! 

Holiday Gift Idea: TLC Package

Yay, it looks like the snow is here to stay! It's mid-November, which means Christmas is coming up really soon. Every year my friends and I have a Secret Santa gift exchange, something I always look forward to. Here is a simple and (for the most part) inexpensive holiday gift idea I put together last year: a Tender Love (or Loving) & Care (TLC) Package! 
The contents of the TLC Package.

The theme behind this box was rest and relaxation. In addition to the items the recipient (my friend June) wrote on their wishlist, I added some things that I thought would complement the gift as a whole. 

Face masks.

One of the items June wrote on her wishlist were Face Masks. These ones are from The Face Shop for just $2 each. I decided that the pink, brown, and gold packaging of these masks would be the colour scheme for the rest of the items in the package. 

Bath bomb.

I also threw in the Twilight Bath Bomb from LUSH for $6.55. I was actually with June when I was shopping for this, so I had to be super sneaky hahaha. I was careful not to pick one with glitter since I was told it would be difficult to remove. 

It's Raining Men Shower Gel.

Another wishlist item was the "It's Raining Men" Shower Gel, also from LUSH. I picked the smallest size (100 ml) for $9.95 so I could add a few more things to the box. 

More snacks hehe.

Last but not least: Snacks from T&T! These cost around $1-2. Here's what I had envisioned: after using the shower gel, take a bath bomb bath with a face mask on while munching on some snacks. How lovely is that? 

A note.

Optional: I wanted to add a note listing the items of the care package as well as the usual holiday greetings. I think it adds a nice, personal touch to the gift. 

TLC Package complete!

When you have everything you want for the package, put it in a box! This one was from Dollarama for either $1.50 or $2. Dollarama actually has a lot of hard boxes available for wrapping presents, but I recommend stopping by the store early this holiday season so there's more selection/variety of boxes. I bought mine quite close to Christmas Day when there weren't many boxes left. 

The Secret Santa presents! Apparently we all went with blue for our wrapping paper theme...

And that's a wrap (literally lol)! The centre and right present at the front are the ones I wrapped (I also got her a David's Tea tumbler (I believe that's what it was), but obviously that didn't fit with the TLC theme). The budget for the entire TLC Package: ~$26 (approximating this because I bought the face masks as part of a sale, and I don't remember the exact cost of the snacks). The LUSH products are what really upped the cost of the care package, so you can definitely find other products that aren't as pricey. 

Hopefully my TLC Package gift idea inspires you to create a similar package for a loved one this holiday season. You can customize it however you want - add in things to match their interests, change up the colour scheme, anything really. The best part: wrapping it all up! Can't wait for this year's Secret Santa!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Simply Yours Cafe

Happy Halloween! It looks like we're having perfect fall weather today too (and let's hope it stays that way in the evening). Whatever your plans may be, I hope your Halloween is safe and fun! Now onto this new blog post. 

After a particularly stressful week of school, I was in much need of some food therapy. In this week alone, I learned about many new food businesses that recently opened so I decided to visit one of these places as a reward for getting through the week. 

Simply Yours Cafe.

Simply Yours Cafe (3811 99 Street) is a new cafe and bubble tea place that held their grand opening last Saturday October 24. They are located in south Edmonton along the busy 99 Street in the same business area where you'll find Izakaya Tomo. 

The interior.
View of the ground floor.
Second floor.

One of the first things you might notice stepping inside is how big and spacious this cafe is. A high ceiling, stylish light fixtures, and minimal decor add on to the modern feel of the space. There is also seating on the second floor as well as a pool table. I would have wanted to sit on the second floor, but it was too dimly lit for me (and that wouldn't be good for my food photos lol). 

Drink Menus.
Specials + Food Menu.

So what does Simply Yours Cafe offer? In addition to bubble tea, they have coffee, tea, sandwiches, salads, subs, and a variety of sweet treats. There are also chips and boxes of Pocky available. The pricing of their food and drink items are on the lower end which is great if you're looking for a more affordable eatery in town. 

I spy macarons!
Even more treats next to the till.

The display case features their packaged and ready to eat sandwiches and salads along with cheesecake, swiss rolls, macarons, and homemade cake pops. A tray sitting next to the front till also has an assortment of individually wrapped treats. Lots of selection for snacks or a light lunch. 

Avocado Dream.

CJ and I ordered bubble teas to start off our lunch. He chose the Avocado Dream ($5.50) for himself, but found it to be really lacking in avocado flavour. I gave it a try and while I do agree about the barely there avocado, I preferred the consistency of his drink over mine. A lot of people leaving reviews on their Facebook page seem to be enjoying this particular drink though. 

Berry Berry.

I went with their Berry Berry ($4.75) bubble tea and asked for lychee pieces instead of tapioca. I usually love mixed berry drinks, but this one wasn't a favourite. The consistency of the drink was too thin for my liking and reminded me of the Tripleberry Julius from Orange Julius. I think I would have enjoyed this drink more if the consistency was a bit thicker and also if I had requested for more lychee. 

Vietnamese Meatball Sub.

The food item that caught CJ's eye was the Vietnamese Meatball Sub ($5.50). Unfortunately, he was really disappointed with this and ended up eating only half of it (which says a lot, because he almost always finishes his food). What was supposed to be meatballs ended up being sliced sausage which I thought had a weird taste to it. The toasted bun was also a bit hard and sliced in an odd way. In my opinion, this was a little unappetizing so I wouldn't recommend getting it. 

Green Onion Cake.

The Green Onion Cake ($2.50) I got was probably the best food item we ordered (take a look at that very low price! Happy Stephanie indeed), but it was still just okay compared to other green onion cakes we've tried in the past. This version was more compact and crispy which was fine for me, but if you prefer your green onion cakes to be fluffy and soft then you might not find this one enjoyable. I thought it could've used some more of that green onion taste as well. 

Coffee Swiss Roll.

To finish off, I went for a slice of their Coffee Swiss Roll ($2). Sadly, I didn't enjoy this treat either: the slice was stale, dry, and lacked a lot of coffee flavour and sweetness. Certainly not the soft, moist, and delicate dessert I had hoped for. You all know how much I enjoy sweets, but I really couldn't get myself to finish this one. 

Our spread of food and bubble tea.

I'm sad to say that my first experience at Simply Yours Cafe was disappointing overall. The food was mediocre at best, and the bubble tea drinks I tried were not made as well as it could've been. However, since they are a brand new establishment, it is understandable that there are still some kinks to work out with their food and drink items. It would be nice to see more hot food added to their menu, instead of only spring rolls or green onion cake. 

On the plus side, the service we received was quite friendly and I really liked the quiet and relaxing atmosphere. I think Simply Yours Cafe actually makes a good addition to the area since there aren't any other casual cafes/hang out spots nearby. They also open very early (7:00 AM on weekdays) and close at 1:00 AM on Fridays and Saturdays - great for early risers or night owls. Now that I've outlined a few positives about this place, the only thing that really needs improvement is the food! Simply Yours Cafe definitely has a lot of potential! 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

October 2015 #yegfood: New and Upcoming Businesses to Look Out For

One of my favourite things to do is peruse the "yegfood" hashtag on both Instagram and Twitter, keeping an eye out for any new and upcoming businesses. Sometimes I may even pass by a building with "Opening Soon" signs naming a restaurant I've never heard of before, which is also pretty exciting in itself. Discovering new businesses is quite fun for me, and lately it feels like my list of places to look out for just keeps getting longer and longer! Although I usually tweet to spread the word, I think an informative blog post with a round-up of new and upcoming food businesses would be helpful to both myself and anyone else who loves the Edmonton food scene.

Here's my October 2015 summary of new and upcoming #yegfood to visit and look out for. The first couple of businesses listed are ones that have recently opened. 

11010 51 Ave
At the start of September, I noticed a bright green sign reading "Kerala Restaurant" in the business area just north of Southgate Mall during my morning commute to school. Formerly known as Savoy's Health Cafe, Kerala Restaurant held the grand opening of their newly re-branded and renovated restaurant on August 23. They offer ethnic South Indian food.

11965 Jasper Ave
Coffee and beer. Two different brews, both found in one location! Located in the Pearl Tower in Downtown, BRU Coffee + Beer House held their grand opening on Sept 19. Check them out, the space is lovely! Blog post to come. 
>> Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Taiwan Bubble Tea
10903 23 Ave
Taiwan Bubble Tea opened in mid-September close to the Century Park bus and LRT stations. I'll be writing a more detailed blog post, so stay tuned.
>> Facebook (for their 104 Street location)

7603 109 Street
I love my city's growing coffee (or hot chocolate!) scene. The Woodrack Cafe opened to the public on Sept 28 so I made sure to visit since it's located so close to the University of Alberta. Don't forget to read my review of this new coffee shop.

9103 118 Ave
Although Pho King has been around since February 2010, they recently completed renovations and re-opened their doors earlier this month on October 5. Pho King serves both Vietnamese and Western food. I hope to check this place out sometime soon - isn't the name awesome? Haha! 

16518 100 Ave
Edmonton's newest ramen restaurant is now open for business in the west side! They held their grand opening just last Thursday October 15, but I haven't found time to visit yet. In the meantime, check out these reviews by Andrea and Cindy.

Purple Bubble Tea
10558 109 Street
I recently learned about this new bubble tea and food place that opened just last week in Downtown, close to Macewan University. They offer a variety of drinks, snacks, and SHAVED SNOW! I had tried shaved snow from Snowflake Shavery in Las Vegas, and since then I've been wishing for a place that served it in Edmonton. Now it's finally here!

14253 23 Ave
I'm excited to say that Confetti Sweets' first Edmonton location in the Terwillegar neighbourhood is now open! They opened for business last Tuesday Oct 20, sharing a space with Prairie Mill Bread Co.Can't wait to visit and pick up even more coconut cookies! 
>> Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 

Simply Yours Cafe [NEW TO LIST!]
3811 99 Street
There is a new food and bubble tea place now open for business in the southside! Simply Yours Cafe held their grand opening just last Saturday Oct 24 offering sandwiches, subs, sweet treats, and more. I was able to check it out yesterday, so expect a review to come soon. 
>> Facebook

9802 Jasper Ave 
Chef Spencer Thompson of Toast Fine Catering has moved into the former Tavern 1903 space in Alberta Hotel, located in Downtown. He's partnered with Brandon Baker (formerly of Three Boars) and opened to the public Thursday, Oct 29. I'm looking forward to lunch the most, which begins Nov 3. The restaurant will feature craft cocktails and food sourced from Alberta farms. 
>> Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Yumioca [NEW TO LIST!]
5940 104 Street
Yumioca is the newest addition to Edmonton's bubble tea places located in the southside, and they are having their grand opening this Monday Nov 2 (although they have soft opened). They also offer some desserts including my new favourite shaved snow! Can't wait to visit!
>> Facebook

Now here are some places that haven't opened yet (as of October 31, 2015), but expect them to sometime this year or early next year: 

Square One Coffee
Aspen Gardens community, exact address to come 
A month ago, while reading through a Fresh Sheet for Southwest Edmonton Farmers' Market, I noticed a new vendor called Square One Coffee. I learned that Brandy (the owner of this business) planned on opening a coffee shop featuring locally roasted beans in the Aspen Gardens community in southwest Edmonton. Specifically, the coffee shop will be located just off 119 Street in front of Vernon Barford School. I was pretty excited knowing this, so I gave Square One Coffee a visit at the market.

2003 91 Street
Chef Paul Shufelt (formerly of Century Hospitality Group) will be opening his own restaurant in southeast Edmonton sometime this fall. The Workshop Eatery, located in the Mosaic Centre For Conscious Community and Commerce, will feature 12 to 15 staple items on its menu focusing on local and seasonally inspired cuisine. Check out this Edmonton Journal article to learn more. 

10350 124 Street
Ever since I attended two of Prairie Noodle Shop's ramen pop-ups earlier this year, I've been looking forward to the opening of their brick and mortar shop along 124 Street. They are hoping to open in late November, and you can bet I'll be there on opening day! Prairie Noodle Shop ramen is some of the best I've had. 

The Almanac [NEW TO LIST!]
10351 82 Ave
Whyte Ave's food scene continues to grow with the addition of The Almanac, a restaurant/bar featuring French pub fare. Check out their website: it gives you a countdown of their opening date right down to the microsecond! 
>> Twitter

11248 104 Ave
1ST RND will be opening a second location Downtown in late November. In the meantime, check out their West Edmonton Mall location on Bourbon Street - they offer a great selection of burgers, fries, wings, and more. 
>> Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Pizza City Donair & Broast 
5572 Windermere Blvd
Driving along 23 Ave in the Terwillegar neighbourhood, I noticed a sign for a new eatery opening soon in Windermere. The food offered at Pizza City Donair & Broast will be halal as well. I haven't found any of their social media pages, but check out their Google+ page for more information.

New Asian Village 
2331 66 Street
New Asian Village will be opening a new location in Mill Woods Town Centre, next to GoodLife Fitness. This will be their fifth Edmonton location offering East Indian cuisine. Please excuse the quality of the photo I took, I was in a moving vehicle haha. 
>> Facebook (for their 34 Ave location) | Twitter

Washoku Japanese Bistro [NEW TO LIST!]
124 Street and 107 Ave
I highly recommend checking out Sharon's blog Only Here for the Food - the weekly Food Notes are an excellent way to stay up to date with Edmonton's food scene! In her latest Food Notes, Sharon noticed opening soon signs for Washoku Japanese Bistro, located next to Relish Gourmet Burgers. Hopefully the social media pages appear soon! 

Love Pizza
Canterra Centre, 109 Street and Jasper Ave
A new pizza place will be coming to Downtown in January 2016! Love Pizza will feature signature pizzas and a build your own option. I would definitely want to check this place out for lunch - who doesn't Love Pizza? See what I did there. 

I gathered all this information from Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, news articles, blog posts, word of mouth, or just by simply spotting a new eatery. Are there any other new or upcoming food businesses that I missed? Please let me know in the comments! If you want more real time updates of new food businesses in the city, follow me on Twitter (@sk_gonzales).  

Last updated October 31, 2015. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Woodrack Cafe

It's been a long time since I've written a review of a new local business, so I'm excited to finally get back into the swing of things again. First of all, I can't believe it's already October! September flew by so quickly, and it won't be much longer before those beautiful fall colours on the trees disappear. October is also the month that I dread as a university student... why, you ask? Midterms!!! For me, October has always been a month with tons of midterms or assignments, which of course means a lot of studying to be done. Although I mostly study at home or at school, sometimes I enjoy venturing out to a locally-owned cafe for a change in scenery. That's where this post and future posts come in... I hope to share with you a couple cafes throughout Edmonton that would be perfect for studying in or for getting that caffeine fix to help you power through your lecture notes. And as usual, my posts will also be an overall review of the business I check out.

The Woodrack Cafe.

One cafe that has been on my list all summer is The Woodrack Cafe (7603 109 Street), which officially opened to the public just last Monday September 28th. While out kayaking, the owners - Melissa and Shammy - collected driftwood and placed it on the rack of their kayak's - that's how the name of this cafe was born! Located on 109 Street and 76 Avenue, it is only a few minutes away from the University of Alberta (and from Whyte Ave).

The interior.
The interior.

When I stepped inside the cafe, it was almost a full house (the above pictures were taken later on)! It was so nice to see a bustling space on their first day of operation... a good sign that The Woodrack Cafe is very much a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.

Comfy seating at The Woodrack Cafe.

Now let's talk about what really caught my eye when I walked in: the lovely decor and the atmosphere! The About section on their website describes the cafe as having a "relaxed boho style atmosphere", and I couldn't agree more. The room itself is spacious and modern, but the furniture and decor were what really gave off that perfect, cozy vibe throughout the entire cafe. The dream catchers hanging on the walls, the driftwood art, and (my personal favourite!) antler art on the tables and shelves looked absolutely gorgeous. I'm happy that the owners (who are also very friendly!) took their time in making their vision for this cafe come true!

Baked goodies!
Menu for Hot Drinks.
Menu for Cold Drinks.

There is a huge glass display case showcasing all the different baked goods they offer, but when I arrived just past 1:00 PM the case was almost empty! Talk about a very busy day for The Woodrack Cafe. The drink menus, neatly written in chalk on two blackboards hanging above the till, are easy to read and categorized into hot and cold drinks. The Woodrack Cafe features 3 brands of coffee: Danesi, an Italian roast, Edmonton's own ACE Coffee Roasters, and Anchored from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Chocolate Whoopie Pie.

I managed to score the very last Chocolate Whoopie Pie ($4.50) available! I'll admit that my goal coming in was to try this exact treat, so I'm quite lucky to have picked up the last one. Whoopie pies are The Woodrack Cafe's specialty, and I would say the one I tried tasted really good. Soft and a little crumbly, with a rich chocolate flavour all held together by a delicious, fluffy frosting. As a fan of all things chocolate, it's no surprise that this treat immediately became a new favourite.

12 oz Hott Chocolate.

Even though the weather was warm when I visited, I still ended up going for their 12 oz Hott Chocolate ($3.50). The drink was served with whipped cream in a beautiful mug featuring antlers! The Woodrack Cafe has a bunch of these mugs for sale as well (for $28), so I'm planning on purchasing one for myself during my next visit. The hot chocolate was on the sweeter side, but it was smooth with no shortage of chocolate flavour, just how I like it.

Earl Grey Shortbread.

CJ got Earl Grey Shortbread for himself, which looked delectable. I didn't end up trying it, but it was instantly devoured! A sign that it was quite tasty for sure. 

12 oz Iced Mocha.

To cool down, CJ went with the 12 oz Iced Mocha ($5.25) for his drink. Yet another drink served in a really pretty cup featuring antlers! These upcycled cups hand crafted by the owners themselves are also available to purchase too.

Pretty antler art found throughout the cafe, view from the couch.

Although CJ and I sat down at a table at first, we were lucky enough to eventually relocate over to the comfy couch facing the fireplace and large windows. There is definitely room for more than 2 people on the couch, and I think it would be a perfect spot to sit and read a book with a hot drink in hand. 

Take a book, leave a book. That's my own stuffed animal to the right!

The Woodrack Cafe has a lot to offer: in front of the other entrance (the one not facing 109 Street), there is a shelf filled with books with a sign reading "Take a Book, Leave a Book". Really cool to see! I didn't have a book with me to leave, but some of the books on the shelf looked like ones I would find myself picking up. 

View of the bar and shelf containing merchandise.
More items for purchase near the front entrance.

The Woodrack Cafe combines delicious baked goods and drinks with hand crafted merchandise available for purchase. T-shirts, cups, mugs, and even earrings are for sale! Furthermore, those beautiful dream catchers hanging by the window? The driftwood art? You can buy those too! You can tell that a lot of love and care went into creating them. 


I think The Woodrack Cafe is a great place for studying or getting work done because of the super cozy space and relaxed atmosphere. It's easy to get to from the University of Alberta which is bonus for me too (take bus 9 on 109 Street going to Southgate and get off at the stop just past 76 Avenue. Or walk, bike, or drive! They have a parking space). I have a feeling that I'll be making a lot of visits to The Woodrack Cafe this school year. And why wouldn't I want to hang out in a place that has tons of antler decor! Caribou/reindeer are one of my favourite animals after all. 

At the moment, The Woodrack Cafe is open from Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM. They are currently working on extending their hours and eventually opening on weekends. I'm looking forward to that. Be sure to follow The Woodrack Cafe on Twitter (@TheWoodrackCafe), Instagram (@thewoodrackcafe), and like their Facebook page.

Woodrack Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato