Harry Ten Shilling boasts a history as rich as its homemade desserts. The building's original identity was the Union Hotel, which served as a stopover for early pioneers. Later it would become a bootlegging operation, then an antique store, and then an art gallery. Finally, in 1977, the storied location transformed into Harry Ten Shilling Tea Room—a name that pays homage to William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part II. During the play, characters reference a 10-shilling coin marked with the face of Henry III, who was also known as Harry.
Harry Ten Shilling's traditional teatime experience bridges the gap between past and present. The café complements cups of chai and naturally flavored black tea with homemade finger sandwiches, jams, and signature scones. Cooks arrange the delicacies on fine china and supply all the proper tea fixings—milk, sugar, and splints for keeping pinkie fingers angled at precisely 45 degrees.
Brown Dog Coffee Shoppe complements its aromatic free-trade coffee with a crowded menu of fresh cafe fare. Lunch dates commence as pairs settle into the cafe’s brick-walled, cozy ambience—complete with wooden floors and a grandmother encouraging guests to eat up—and select Brown Dog signature half sandwiches such as the smoky Country turkey ($7) or the stacked simplicity of the ham and swiss ($6). Hot sandwiches, including eggs benedict ($5) and bacon-cheese ($4), arrive at tables escorted by doting pickle-spear chaperones and the customer's choice of salad or soup of the day. Diners contemplate the complex aromas of one of Brown Dog's in-house roasted fair-trade signature coffee blends while sitting on the Paris location's brisk patio area, where the Grand River eases along nearby and compels patio sitters to speak only in haiku. In addition to flaky apple fritters, the amiable Brown Dog staff keep the ovens humming with classic cafe delectables, including scones ($1.75), french toast ($3.50), and a fluffy assortment of muffins ($1.75).
Inside the welcoming clove-coloured caf?, baristas grind fair-trade organic beans to create a variety of drinks that spotlight the distinct flavours of the world?s best coffee-growing regions. They customize these concoctions with flavoured syrups for a touch of sweetness, or pour them over ice for a quick way to cool down on a summer?s day. New chef Natasha Frank's expansive menu features a selection of sandwiches and flatbreads, as well as appetizers such as jalapeno popper and salmon pinwheels, and vegetable soup. The caf? helps foster a sense of beauty and community by showcasing local music and artwork, including a rotating collection of oil paintings, pottery, and collages.
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Family owned for two years, Wisdom Teashop is committed to enriching the global tea community by providing Fair Trade and Ethical Tea Partnerships loose-leaf teas and products whenever possible. Savour the soothing taste of Japanese matcha ($6 for 50g), a rich, frothy green tea often used to make green tea ice cream, lattes, milkshakes, and bubble-bath beards. Or shake up your morning coffee routine with a steamy cup of Canadian breakfast tea ($4.95 for 50g), a specialty black tea blend whispering floral, oaky sweet nothings. Shoppers looking for gifts or a little something special to accompany their own tea-totalling will appreciate the selection of accessories and wares at Wisdom Teashop. Do your part to save the earth, one leaf at a time, by storing your lovely leaves in a round tea caddy ($2.75 for 50g container), a sleek, reusable tin good for long-term, air-tight storage. Once exposed to the freedom of the air, let leaves soak directly into your cup or pot with a stainless steel infuser ($5.95), or tea ball infuser ($3.75 for a 2" infuser).
One of London’s only local, independent, and sustainable cafés, East Village Coffeehouse is an indie oasis serving up fair-trade brews from international locales and retail coffee from local roasters Hasbeans, Las Chicas del Cafe, and Fire Roasted Coffee. To complement the succulent sippables, East Village boasts a largely organic menu including a variety of eclectic, internationally inspired dishes, many of which are gluten-free, low sugar, and/or vegetarian. This eco-friendly beacon of beanery is dedicated to minimizing waste by recycling and using reusable materials. Guests can enjoy free wireless while soaking in the funky, colourful décor made musical with streamed lounge music, rather than rivered rock ‘n’ roll. As one of two Artefex galleries, East Village displays myriad works of graphic art given a painted makeover on oil canvases. On December 12, East Village Coffeehouse will be participating in Share the Love: the East Village Arts Crawl, featuring the work of more than 30 London-based artists.
With 40,000 or so people of Arabic descent in London, Joe Alomeiri—a native of Jordan—knew a Middle Eastern restaurant would be well received by the city. He also had a feeling that non-Arabs might be curious to explore some traditions of his culture, including shisha. So, in 2008, he opened Crazy Joe's Shisha Cafe, naming it with the moniker he earned from his years working multiple jobs at once, often with very little sleep.
Joe allows himself to spend more time counting sheep, now that his sole focus is on his authentic shisha cafe. Free from tobacco, tar, and nicotine, herbal shisha—smoked from a water pipe, also known as a hookah—comes bathed in fragrant flavours, from fruity apple, guava, and peach to more indulgent tastes, such as chocolate and whiskey. Guests at Crazy Joe's can sink into a cushy sofa as they puff shisha and sip hot tea, or slide into a table and enjoy Middle Eastern favourites, such as chicken shawarma and falafel. On Saturday night, every seat in the house gets a full view of live belly dancers, who twist and shimmy amid the cafe’s vibrant, curry-coloured walls and blonde hardwood floors.