Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Woodrack Cafe

It's been a long time since I've written a review of a new local business, so I'm excited to finally get back into the swing of things again. First of all, I can't believe it's already October! September flew by so quickly, and it won't be much longer before those beautiful fall colours on the trees disappear. October is also the month that I dread as a university student... why, you ask? Midterms!!! For me, October has always been a month with tons of midterms or assignments, which of course means a lot of studying to be done. Although I mostly study at home or at school, sometimes I enjoy venturing out to a locally-owned cafe for a change in scenery. That's where this post and future posts come in... I hope to share with you a couple cafes throughout Edmonton that would be perfect for studying in or for getting that caffeine fix to help you power through your lecture notes. And as usual, my posts will also be an overall review of the business I check out.

The Woodrack Cafe.

One cafe that has been on my list all summer is The Woodrack Cafe (7603 109 Street), which officially opened to the public just last Monday September 28th. While out kayaking, the owners - Melissa and Shammy - collected driftwood and placed it on the rack of their kayak's - that's how the name of this cafe was born! Located on 109 Street and 76 Avenue, it is only a few minutes away from the University of Alberta (and from Whyte Ave).

The interior.
The interior.

When I stepped inside the cafe, it was almost a full house (the above pictures were taken later on)! It was so nice to see a bustling space on their first day of operation... a good sign that The Woodrack Cafe is very much a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.

Comfy seating at The Woodrack Cafe.

Now let's talk about what really caught my eye when I walked in: the lovely decor and the atmosphere! The About section on their website describes the cafe as having a "relaxed boho style atmosphere", and I couldn't agree more. The room itself is spacious and modern, but the furniture and decor were what really gave off that perfect, cozy vibe throughout the entire cafe. The dream catchers hanging on the walls, the driftwood art, and (my personal favourite!) antler art on the tables and shelves looked absolutely gorgeous. I'm happy that the owners (who are also very friendly!) took their time in making their vision for this cafe come true!

Baked goodies!
Menu for Hot Drinks.
Menu for Cold Drinks.

There is a huge glass display case showcasing all the different baked goods they offer, but when I arrived just past 1:00 PM the case was almost empty! Talk about a very busy day for The Woodrack Cafe. The drink menus, neatly written in chalk on two blackboards hanging above the till, are easy to read and categorized into hot and cold drinks. The Woodrack Cafe features 3 brands of coffee: Danesi, an Italian roast, Edmonton's own ACE Coffee Roasters, and Anchored from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Chocolate Whoopie Pie.

I managed to score the very last Chocolate Whoopie Pie ($4.50) available! I'll admit that my goal coming in was to try this exact treat, so I'm quite lucky to have picked up the last one. Whoopie pies are The Woodrack Cafe's specialty, and I would say the one I tried tasted really good. Soft and a little crumbly, with a rich chocolate flavour all held together by a delicious, fluffy frosting. As a fan of all things chocolate, it's no surprise that this treat immediately became a new favourite.

12 oz Hott Chocolate.

Even though the weather was warm when I visited, I still ended up going for their 12 oz Hott Chocolate ($3.50). The drink was served with whipped cream in a beautiful mug featuring antlers! The Woodrack Cafe has a bunch of these mugs for sale as well (for $28), so I'm planning on purchasing one for myself during my next visit. The hot chocolate was on the sweeter side, but it was smooth with no shortage of chocolate flavour, just how I like it.

Earl Grey Shortbread.

CJ got Earl Grey Shortbread for himself, which looked delectable. I didn't end up trying it, but it was instantly devoured! A sign that it was quite tasty for sure. 

12 oz Iced Mocha.

To cool down, CJ went with the 12 oz Iced Mocha ($5.25) for his drink. Yet another drink served in a really pretty cup featuring antlers! These upcycled cups hand crafted by the owners themselves are also available to purchase too.

Pretty antler art found throughout the cafe, view from the couch.

Although CJ and I sat down at a table at first, we were lucky enough to eventually relocate over to the comfy couch facing the fireplace and large windows. There is definitely room for more than 2 people on the couch, and I think it would be a perfect spot to sit and read a book with a hot drink in hand. 

Take a book, leave a book. That's my own stuffed animal to the right!

The Woodrack Cafe has a lot to offer: in front of the other entrance (the one not facing 109 Street), there is a shelf filled with books with a sign reading "Take a Book, Leave a Book". Really cool to see! I didn't have a book with me to leave, but some of the books on the shelf looked like ones I would find myself picking up. 

View of the bar and shelf containing merchandise.
More items for purchase near the front entrance.

The Woodrack Cafe combines delicious baked goods and drinks with hand crafted merchandise available for purchase. T-shirts, cups, mugs, and even earrings are for sale! Furthermore, those beautiful dream catchers hanging by the window? The driftwood art? You can buy those too! You can tell that a lot of love and care went into creating them. 


I think The Woodrack Cafe is a great place for studying or getting work done because of the super cozy space and relaxed atmosphere. It's easy to get to from the University of Alberta which is bonus for me too (take bus 9 on 109 Street going to Southgate and get off at the stop just past 76 Avenue. Or walk, bike, or drive! They have a parking space). I have a feeling that I'll be making a lot of visits to The Woodrack Cafe this school year. And why wouldn't I want to hang out in a place that has tons of antler decor! Caribou/reindeer are one of my favourite animals after all. 

At the moment, The Woodrack Cafe is open from Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM. They are currently working on extending their hours and eventually opening on weekends. I'm looking forward to that. Be sure to follow The Woodrack Cafe on Twitter (@TheWoodrackCafe), Instagram (@thewoodrackcafe), and like their Facebook page.

Woodrack Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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