Willowdale offers a concentrated tour of international tea houses and European-style espresso bars and dessert cafes. Bubble tea is especially prevalent, and despite the extreme saturation of establishments, you'll find most of these places bustling in the afternoons and late into the night.
Here's a round-up of bubble tea shops and dessert cafes in Willowdale.
As cute as the cartoon mascot that marks its entrance is, this tea house offers drinks like the Potted Milk Tea sprouting with fresh mint leaves and drinkable desserts like the Tiramisu Cake Milk Tea. The savoury food menu is meant to contrast the sweet beverages and includes snack-sized portions of fried wings, saucy lo-mein, and takoyaki.
This dessert house makes a mean matcha latte and specializes in sweet and savoury crepes, plus parfaits and pastries from Rahier. Highlights include the sweet black sesame crepe folded over peanuts, sesame seeds and sponge cake, sprinkled with cereal and served with a couple scoops of house-made sesame ice cream.
The pastry counter at this coffee house is stocked with a rainbow of macarons, mousses and petit fours. You can take a whole cake home, but the thing to do here is grab a slice and espresso.
L'Opera Patisserie et Cafe
Desserts like delicate crepe cakes, creme brûlée, decadent waffles, and macarons are all on the menu at this bakery cafe. With good cappuccino, this place is like a little slice of heaven.
The menu at this cafe will satisfy sweet tooths with cold desserts like like red bean shaved ice, traditional tofu pudding, and herbal jellies. Wash it down with a fruit slushie, and brewed or milk tea.
This chain of Victorian tea rooms originates in Shanghai and boasts multiple locations across China. The North York location is the sole outpost in North America, offering formal afternoon tea service featuring tiers of pastries and crustless sandwiches along with steeped beverages in fine bone china.
The chic International bubble tea chain already boasts a location in Markham and has now opened on Yonge Street too. Signature offerings include yogurt drinks and fruity teas served with optional mix-ins including the usual tapioca pearls and herbal jelly options, plus unique items like black sugar jelly, basil seeds, extra milk foam, and puddings.
This Taiwanese bakery cafe deals in espresso-based drinks, "teapressos," and bubble tea from Chatime along with scratch-made baked goods including pork floss buns, Japanese cheesecake, mille crepes cake, and Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes.
The Yonge Street outpost of this Taiwanese dessert chain puts a twist on traditional desserts. Bubble tea and fruity yogurt drinks are the main draw while the menu of sweets and snacks includes collagen-enriched grass jellies, creamy frappes, glutinous rice desserts and even fried chicken.
Coco Fresh Tea & Juice
Compared to some on this list, Coco Fresh Tea & Juice offers a rather pared down menu free of whimsical garnishes and over-the-top desserts. The chain from Taipai is more interested in creating premium drinks, which involves direct relationships with tea growers and a commitment to using fresh fruits in their juices and purees.
Did I miss one? Add your favourite Willdowdale bubble tea shop or dessert cafe to the comments.
by Liora Ipsum via blogTO