Welcome to the The Mighty Oak, my favourite neighbourhood cafe! I discovered this hidden gem when walking to Main Street one day. It's tiny and there's not much to indicate that it's a coffee joint, but I think that is what makes it so special. I love going to those busy, trendy cafes as much as the next person and they have their perks (pardon the pun). But the atmosphere of a popular shop on a busy street is so different from that of a tiny cafe tucked away in a neighbourhood.
The first thing to be observed are the shelves stacked with groceries- necessities that you could pop by to grab if you are out, along with some specialty items. While I haven't bought any groceries yet, each item appears to be carefully curated and high quality. And I think I will be buying groceries soon, because they carry the best locally made ice cream, Earnest Ice Cream!
The thing that is special about this cafe is the community feel you get when you walk into the shop. From the very first time I stepped foot in, I noticed that there were benches instead of individual chairs and they all faced one another. I like that this set-up just helps to foster the already existing idea that this cafe is where you come to be with those around you. Sure, at times there may be the odd person typing on a computer, but for the most part, people are coming to be with people. And not just hipsters to be with hipsters or business minded people to discuss their latest projects together.
It's a shop that invites people in from all walks of life. From the parent and child to the oldest of friends enjoying retirement, there's a bit of everything. And I have a feeling if I were a child living in this neighbourhood, I would be running to the store everyday for some of those sour keys! But as an adult, the croissants are so very satisfying- they taste like heaven.
I don't know much about coffee (at least not as much as Kristen!) but I do know that I have enjoyed every cup that I've had! The owner carefully crafts each cup to delicious perfection. He uses a coffee roasted in Seattle called Caffe Umbria and bags of beans are available to buy in the store.
So if you are ever in the Cambie neighbourhood near 18th and Columbia in Vancouver, be sure to seek out this delightful shop for an Americano or Latte. And while you can grab and go, don't forget to stay and chat a while. You might be surprised by who you meet!
The Mighty Oak
198 W 18th Avenue
Open Tues-Sun, 9am-5pm
p.s. Be sure to watch for Kristen's review of a local Saskatoon neighbourhood cafe on Friday!