Not just for vegans... Cafe Pyrus
Cafe Pyrus is a hidden gem nestled on Charles Street across from the bus station. Because of its location off the well-tracked King Street strip it has this alternative and authentic vibe that makes it so unique. It offers vegetarian, vegan and dairy free options which has made it a fan favourite for those with dietary restrictions… and although I am none of those things, I am a foodie and was seriously impressed by their menu.
I had been planning to check it out for a while but never seemed to make it there. Until one afternoon, in late August, I made it my mission to check it out and ended up spending three straight days there drinking and eating my way through the menu and enjoying the eclectic work atmosphere. I would also like to mention that they have an abundance of outlets and different work areas which I have realized is lacking in many other cafes.
Each morning I would start off with a large americano to stay. The first time I ordered it they warned me that there was 4 shots of espresso in it and I assured them that that was exactly what I needed! It would always come in a huge mug and saucer and made me feel like I was just relaxing at a friends house but with better coffee!
For my first lunch I asked for the house favourite, as I always do, and they suggested the Angry Vegan sandwich which I paired with kaleslaw. It came on a soft, crusty, well toasted panini with caramelized onions, tomato, spinach, homemade artichoke spread and organic cheddar cheese. All sandwiches can have their cheese substituted for daiya (dairy-free cheese) so they are truly vegan but I decided to give the cheddar a try this time.
The caramelized onions were amazing, soft and sweet just like they should be and paired perfectly with the cheddar cheese. The organic tomato and spinach added freshness and just a hint of the homemade artichoke spread gave it all a depth of flavour and creaminess. The slaw itself was delicious with carrots, apples, almonds, kale and a nice semi-creamy dressing. They put the slaw on top of plain spinach which gave it another element and nice texture but would have been much nicer if the spinach was also dressed and cut up into smaller bite-sized pieces.
Since I was coffee’d out from the morning, I decided to grab their house iced tea. And it was perfect! Deliciously lemony and refreshing, they used very little sweetener, if any, which is exactly how I prefer my tea. It was almost a combo between an iced tea and lemonade and they added a little shot of pink into it which gave it that summery feel.
The following day I wasn’t feeling super hungry so I opted for a Green Machine smoothie complete with coconut water, mango, kale and hemp hearts. It was honestly a little different than I was expecting. I love green smoothies or juice when I need a refresher but I think the ratios in this one were kind of off. There was very little sweetness or mango taste and while I love hemp hearts they do have a very distinct flavour that overpowered the smoothie in this case. Although I was slightly disappointed I drank the entire thing and got used to the taste by the end. Next time I would probably ask for more mango or even a splash of lemonade or passion fruit juice to give it a bit of tartness.
All-in-all I can definitely say that Cafe Pyrus will remain a staple as a great place to work, meet, eat and chill. Even for us non-veggies, I am excited to continue to taste my way through their menu and share it all with you!