Winters can get cold, but Winnipeg winters can get very cold. One of the best ways to stay warm during the colder days is to enjoy a delicious hot drink. In the West End you will find a variety of unique hot drinks from lavender lattes to traditional Indian spiced tea.
Hildegard’s Bakery, 686 Portage Ave
Located on the south west corner of Portage and Maryland, Hildegard’s Bakery is a local West End bakery that offers a variety of pizzas, breads and drinks.
When you walk into Hildegard’s Bakery you are greeted by the smell of freshly baked bread and hot brewed coffee.
“The coffee we serve is Flatland Coffee Roasters, a roaster from Gimli, and Sheepdog Coffee Co., which is from Headingley,” says Dave Newsom, co-owner of Hildegard’s Bakery.
Their classic cup of coffee is available in medium or dark roast and starts at $2. The medium roast coffee has a smooth, slightly nutty flavour that warms you right up. The fresh brew is served in a large mug filled to the brim for you to enjoy! Newsom recommends a muffin to go with your morning cup.
Newsom said they also create a range of loose leaf teas that are prepared in-house.
Hildegard’s Bakery has only been around for a year and a half, but it’s already a West End mainstay.
India Palace, 770 Ellice Ave
In India, it is customary to serve spiced tea, commonly known as chai tea, to guests or visitors. Vendors line the streets selling the tea to a passerby. Spiced tea can be served before a meal, during a meal – or any time of day.
India Palace Restaurant has been in business for 35 years and is a proud member of the West End. The restaurant specializes in East Indian food and it is where you can try delicious traditional spiced tea.
“We boil the bags of tea. You can make it as strong or as weak as you would like,” said Ashwani Kumar, owner of India Palace Restaurant. “It can be served with milk and sugar, if you prefer.”
This tea first hits you with a strong, fragrant cardamom flavour, followed by fennel, cinnamon bark and clove. The spiced tea scent sticks to your nose, complementing just about any food – from sweet to spicy to savoury. Spiced tea is easily paired with sweets like jalebi, an Indian dessert, or savoury foods like samosas.
Scout: Coffee + Tea, 859 Portage Ave
Scout: Coffee + Tea is where playtime meets break time. The play café’s yellow accent wall invites café enthusiasts and families alike. A toy castle and animal bouncy toys cover a corner of the café’s carpeted play area.
“We like to call ourselves a play café,” said Katrina Tessier, co-owner of Scout: Coffee + Tea. “We are a coffee shop that has play space available at no extra cost for families and kids.”
Scout: Coffee + Tea serve’s your classic cup of Joe along with other favourites like London Fog and Chai Tea Latte. But, nothing is quite like their lavender latte, a mixture of lavender and blue spirulina.
At first glance, the tea latte looks like any hot drink, but as you drink through the pillowy foam, you begin to see the deep azure colours. The lavender tea latte has a light, floral taste that can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
Scout: Coffee + Tea, recently celebrated their second year in the West End!
Pho Hoang, 794 Sargent Ave
Pho Hoang on Sargent is well-known for its pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup, but did you know they also made great coffee?
Vietnamese-style coffee is severed with a metal coffee filter over a glass of thick, sweetened condensed milk. Hot coffee slowly drips off the filter, melting the condensed milk. As you stir them together, the colour changes into a creamy milk-chocolate brown.
Vietnamese-style coffee is a common drink in Vietnam and is typically severed over ice to help people cool down in the country’s hot weather.
“Vietnamese-style coffee is a very popular drink,” said Heather Hoang, co-owner of Pho Hoang. “It’s found in every restaurant and street vendor”.
Another very popular Vietnamese iced coffee drink is coconut coffee. It is similar to Vietnamese-style coffee – but with a twist. The drink is a blend of sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, espresso and ice spooned over a hot coffee and condensed milk base.
Hoang says, coconut coffee is a popular summer time drink, especially among younger people.
Pho Hoang has been in the West End for nine years, adding zest (and iced coffee) to our wonderful food scene in the West End
We hope these yummy drinks have inspired you to try something new or have helped you learn more about a few traditional drinks found in the West End!