For residents of the Little Italy neighborhood, Zocalo is a lively and treasured business, ideally situated along 95 Street just south of Giovanni Caboto Park and the Italian Centre Shop. The vibrant housewares and carefully selected products are a combination of local and international artisans’ work, a complementary relationship that is reflected throughout every aspect of the café-greenhouse.
When Miranda Ringma and Ken Bregenser were planning their retail operation in Edmonton, they knew that it would involve two of the things they loved most — plants and good coffee. Fifteen years later, they continue to deliver on these two points.
Zocalo boasts a genuine Italian espresso and follows the European tradition of serving a little square of chocolate with each warm beverage. The café’s heartier items, however, follow a more personal tradition. The decadent peanut butter cup is one of the co-owner’s family recipes, and the bread used for the sandwiches and paninis is made in-house, as are the soups. For those with more adventurous taste buds, there is also a selection of DRY Soda Co. flavours, including Blood Orange, Juniper, and Lavender.
Inspired by their travels abroad, Ringma and Bregenser have made every effort to ensure that Zocalo expands the palette, acting as a bright and colourful haven against the often dreary inner-city seasons. For students wanting somewhere warm and stimulating to study, there could be no better place.
Seating is ample as there are bistro-style tables and chairs in the café, and there is a long harvest table in the greenhouse. Typically busy throughout Saturday and weekday mornings, the café is a welcome and relatively peaceful place in the afternoon, especially during extended evening hours on Thursday and Friday.
Wi-Fi is easily accessible, but the lack of wall plug-ins means that students are advised to come with a full battery. Once surrounded by live plants and listening to the gentle trickle of a nearby fountain, you won’t want to leave. The extra oxygen provided by the plants will also give your studying a bit of a boost.
Peanut Butter Cup
Forget Reese’s Pieces, this sweet snack will satisfy any and all cravings because it is melt-in-your-fingers good
DRY Sparkling Soda – Juniper
One of those people who likes to try something new now and then? This flavored sparkling water is crisp and refined, an excellent palette cleanser.
10826 95 St NW
Mon — Wed. & Sat.: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thurs. — Fri.: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun.: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Photography by Emily Campbell.