Top 5 Coffee Shops and Cafes in Mississauga
In a city somewhat devoid of an indie coffee scene, it’s hard to create a definitive list of the city’s best relaxing beverage destinations. That said, the difficulty stems from the fact that most people (like me!) are thinking too narrowly -- picturing earth-toned espresso joints when cafes often feature much more than lattes and addictive drip coffees (if you’re into drip coffees). So, here’s a diverse list of the best hot and cold beverage destinations in Mississauga. Here are the top 5 cafes in Mississauga:
A few months ago, I spent some time in Beijing, China. It’s a vibrant, colourful, historical city with an incredible culinary scene (don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise). It also boasted numerous cafes that served bubble teas and other unique hot drinks, and the drinks used ingredients Amurikan coffee shops would never dream of using -- crushed nuts, unusual fruits, etc. The Heartland Bubbletease is one bubble tea joint that truly captures the Beijing feel. It’s spacious, authentic and creative. It’s not just about the menu (although you should try the super-sweet Hazel Matcha Latte - $4.47), it’s about the experience. The loft-style building uses deep oranges and yellows and doesn’t shy away from cutesy Asian cartoon accoutrements. The tables are also separated by modern chain curtains -- a nice touch. The cafe also offers playing cards to diners, which is cool if you’re into card games (I’m not, but I’m an anomaly). The only thing Bubbletease is missing is a nearby vendor selling candied fruit on a stick -- one of the best things about Beijing.
Hot beverages need not be rushed, pre-work treats. Tea and coffee can be -- and often is -- an experience. When people go “out for coffee,” they go out to socialize. So it makes sense that some people still like to make a big, fun, semi-formal event of going out for tea. Or at least they should -- tea is a highly underrated hot beverage in North America despite the fact that it's often a simpler, cheaper and healthier alternative to, say, a flavoured latte. But I digress. The Tea Room offers diners the chance to indulge in a higher-end experience (though not too high-end, a high tea costs $18.75 a person) that includes a wide variety of diverse loose leaf teas (Assam, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Yunnan, Jasmine, herbal and more) and decadent snacks -- think scones, salads, quiches and life-altering egg salad sandwiches (if an egg salad sandwich hasn't yet changed your life, I feel sorry for you). The Tea Rooms offers patrons an experience, giving tea the respect it so desperately deserves.
The Apricot Tree Cafe, a long-standing Sauga landmark, has made its way onto one of our top 5 lists before. While there's no doubt it's a great place to grab dessert, it's also a good place to go for a higher-end coffee beverage. It, like the Tea Room, offers a variety of loose leaf black, white, green, herbal and rooibos teas. It can also make you soy or regular cappuccinos, mochaccinos and Cafe Au Laits (the soy thing is big for me because, believe it or not, soy can make some coffees taste better). The cafe is also the place to go if you want an Adult Coffee Beverage. They offer the Apricot Tree Cafe coffee ($5.50) with coffee, apricot schnapps, Frangelico and whipped cream and a Blueberry ($5.50) Tea with orange pekoe tea, Grand Marnier and Amaretto. Who says you can't enjoy taste, warmth, comfort and intoxication all at once?
2 - Green Grotto
This place is has the nicest atmosphere and the best tasting bubble tea in Mississauga. Green Grotto Tea Room is a new bubble tea spot hidden in the Grand Park Plaza along Burnhamthorpe just east of Mavis. The independent tea room prepares authentic bubble tea using traditional tea brewing methods that you can taste with your first sip. It also offers Taiwanese hot meals. Other perks include free Wi-Fi, chill tunes and a reading lounge with Asian specific magazines such as Vivi, Muse and Mina that feature anything from the arts and culture scene in Hong Kong to the fashion scene in Japan (these typically cost an arm and a leg to subscribe to). The bar staff traditionally prepares batches of loose leaf green, black and oolong teas multiple times a day for the 50+ tea drinks on the menu.
1 - Studio 89
Studio 89 is considered a community hub. You might think of it as a cafe, but it's a cafe with a mission and purpose. This is a non-profit organization and the money you spend at Studio 89 goes towards the functioning of our community hub. If you purchase something, they simply say thanks for the donation.
Here is how they define Studio 89: See we're what is technically called a social enterprise. This is how it works. Our youth led non-profit organization YTGA has been empowering and mobilizing young people for social justice through campaigns, workshops and the arts since 2006. Through the cafe business we are able to run much more programming for many more young people! That's right, you spend money on good ethical and healthy stuff and it goes towards more good community stuff!
If you want to use their free Wi-Fi, enjoy a coffee or have one of the most delicious organic sandwiches I've tried, come here for a change from the regular multinational coffee shops.