It’s the fuel for everything we do and often the only way to start our day. So where are the best places to find fuel? We take a look at café culture and showcase three places you might want to check out.
Lock Stock Café:
Beneath the hustle and bustle of the busy downtown streets sits an incredible little café. Located at 10534 Jasper Ave. Lock Stock carries Ace coffee, which is roasted right here in Edmonton, and some of the most delicious desserts and breakfast sandwiches the city has to offer. Any of their coffees will ease your morning blues, but I highly recommend their cappuccinos. If you’re hungry, their bacon and arugula sandwich on focaccia bread with tomato jam will have you begging for more and their pastries are sure to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. All of their food is made fresh in-house because at Lock Stock, quality is of the utmost importance. The ambience and service are incredible, with staff going out of their way for their patrons, even remembering their regulars’ drink orders. As far as hours are concerned, you can find them open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Whether you’re looking for coffee on the go or a quiet place to enjoy some time with friends, Lock Stock is sure to meet and exceed your expectations.
Located near the Century Park Transit station, at 2023 111 St., Bogani Café boasts a cozy atmosphere and delicious homemade food and drinks. The café was named 25 years ago by the original owner, who named it after the South African word for the huts on plantations where workers would go for food and drinks. The space is divided into three sections: the entrance opens up to a living room-style space with squishy sofas, bistro tables and chairs that line the length of the café, and finally a hidden nook with a fireplace, more sofas, and bookshelves. The latter is often used for events but is otherwise open to the public. With a menu ranging from hot teas to bubble teas, you would be hard-pressed to find something you don’t like. The menu also includes pastries; quiches; the three S’: soups, salads, and sandwiches; and decadent treats for anyone with a sweet tooth. The café is well-known for its drip coffee called The Grog, which is a perfect blend of French vanilla, hazelnut, and Irish cream. Pair it up with a slice of cheesecake and you have yourself a perfect day.
For every bookworm’s dream, Mandolin Books and Coffee Company exists. Located at 6419 112 Ave., close to Concordia University, is a cozy little bookstore. And guess what, they also sell coffee and food. The Mandolin Books and Coffee Company has existed for approximately 16 years and has made its mark in the community. The current owner, Leanne Traynor, works hard to keep the café involved within the community. The Catfish Roast coffee is roasted just outside of Sherwood Park. The food is catered by a local chef in large variety; vegetarian and vegan options are also included. The books are second-hand but in excellent condition. The bookstore features local artists, and is currently featuring Larry Thiessen’s landscapes. The Red Drink is unique to the bookstore café. It is a red rooibos tea mixed with apple juice, and can be served hot. Lose yourself in a book, grab a drink, something sweet — the lemon squares are delicious but the vegan brownie is absolutely divine — and relax on the patio for the last few days of summer. “We’re here, cozy, quaint and quiet,” said Traynor.