Saturday, May 2, 2015

Cafe Mosaics

After being closed for a few months this past fall for an expansion and renovations, Cafe Mosaics has now returned to the Edmonton food scene - this time looking bigger and brighter than ever! And I really mean it when I say that... there is now plenty of seating at this vegan and vegetarian eatery, with a large front window allowing beautiful natural light to spill inside the dining space. For all the Instagrammers out there who post pictures of neat spaces or food with natural lighting like myself, this place is godsend. 

The interior.

Sadly, I didn't take too many photos of the interior. But trust me, it really is gorgeous inside. Bright, white walls and minimalist details make Cafe Mosaics appear quite spacious, while the potted plants on every table added a cute touch. This is definitely a popular joint on Whyte Ave, since more and more people started pouring in during our visit here. 

All the menus.

While I didn't take too many photos of the interior, I made up for it by having tons of photos of their menus! The first two images show the main menu items, the third shows their burgers, and the last one lists all the different drinks they offer. Please excuse the quality of the photos... sometimes natural lighting doesn't always work in your favour. 

PB Cacao Banana and Chai Berry Chai.

To start, my two friends ordered drinks from their Ice Blends selection. Yusra got the PB Cacao Banana ($6.50) which consists of natural peanut butter, banana, oats, hemp hearts, honey, cacao, and your choice of milk. She said the consistency was slightly thicker than what she would have preferred, so stirring was much needed. In spite of that, she said that the drink tasted really good (I'm pretty sure she tried to recreate her version of it at home too). Jeline got the Chai Berry Chai ($6.50) which contains chai, blueberries, and raspberries. As someone who likes to drink chai, she enjoyed it. 

Nacho Friend.

Now let's talk about the food. Yusra ordered Nacho Friend ($10) from their Let's Start Grazing list, which contains all the appetizers. This dish contains tons of nachos, quinoa, cheese, and beans that are oven baked. Sour cream, salsa, and a lime wedge are served on top. I didn't try this dish myself, but I really liked the pretty, vibrant colours on the clean white plate. So mouthwatering. Yusra enjoyed the toppings, and said the nachos were perfectly crunchy. She also said the portion size was big, so this dish is one that you can share with friends too (if you want lol). 

Crispy Vegan Spring Rolls.

Jeline chose to get their Crispy Vegan Spring Rolls ($10). Served on a bed of kale and mints, the spring rolls are filled with root vegetables, with a plum or vegan fish sauce on the side for dipping. I got to try one of these, and while I did enjoy the crunchiness of the spring roll, the filling was just decent in my opinion. I would much rather go for something with a bigger portion size if the cost is the same. 

Green Onion Cakes.

CJ's pick was their Green Onion Cakes ($10), also from the appetizers list. At first I was mad at him for not being more adventurous with his food, but when I took a bite into one of these I'm glad he ordered them! Apart from the green onions, each fluffy pastry contains roasted flax and hemp hearts, with hot chili sauce served on the side. I really enjoyed the added texture from the flax, and the pastry itself had a soft interior with a perfectly crunchy exterior. So yummy! There was also a lot of cut up cakes too, so CJ and I felt like the money was well spent on his appetizer. 

Vegan Pho.

And now for the final dish, which was my pick: Vegan Pho ($15). While everyone else chose from the appetizers, I wanted something a bit bigger so I chose from their Soups selection. But damnnnn, this bowl of pho was HUGE. I wasn't even sure I could finish it all by myself! Cafe Mosaics' Vegan Pho contains pho vermicelli with assorted mushrooms, soft tofu, white fungus, veggie mutton, thinly sliced purple onion, bean sprouts, fresh basil, and a wedge of lime. Hoisin and satay sauce are also served on the side. The broth in this vegan pho had a lot of depth and was really tasty... just as good as the broths I've previously had at other joints (which contain beef). Every now and then I would pick up a different mushroom while I ate... I even found these thin white mushrooms that looked pretty cool. I later discovered their name: enoki mushrooms! Unfortunately I was too scared to eat it at the time, so I let CJ have it. The mushrooms made for a nice replacement for traditional meat. Overall, a very delicious bowl of pho. 


You don't have to be vegan or vegetarian to enjoy the food and atmosphere of Cafe Mosaics. The food and drinks here were super tasty, and you'll feel good about eating fresh ingredients sourced from local markets. Yusra also liked the fact that she could eat anything from their menu too! If I were to return here, I would want to try one of their burgers - it seems to be really popular on social media! Here are a few notes about Cafe Mosaics that you may want to know: they only accept debit or cash for payment! A diner sitting next to me didn't know about this when he handed over his credit card, so a server explained that paying with debit or cash ensures that they can continue to provide the organic foods they use in their dishes. Also, when you are done eating, you have to take your bills to the register to pay. This was a bit weird because we saw a server bring over a debit machine to another customer at their table, yet we ended up having to pay at the register. Finally - and according to their website - they like to play loud music. I didn't even notice any music playing to be honest, but if you're looking for a more quiet, intimate place, perhaps consider another eatery? All in all, consider stopping by Cafe Mosaics if you're ever on Whyte Ave for a morning coffee break or an afternoon lunch - there is something for everyone here!

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