Tea Tree for Two
A Review of the Tea Tree Café
By Meghan Gribben
Opened three years ago, the Tea Tree Cafe is a welcome addition to the Danforth’s friendly vegetarian and vegan community. While the Danforth is no stranger to accommodating diets of all kinds, it’s a treat walking into the calm atmosphere of the Tea Tree Cafe, in-between Pape and Donlands stations, to enjoy its healthy, wholesome cuisine. A combination of the exposed brick wall, the quiet indie music playing softly, and the cool art hanging on the walls (also, for sale!) makes the experience of eating here relaxing.
The menu boasts vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options in the way of sandwiches, soup, and comfort food like macaroni and cheese and Sheppard’s pie (lentil beans in lieu of ground beef). Dessert comes in a variety of gluten-free and vegan options as well.
At my first visit I tried the vegan and gluten-free Sheppard’s pie with salad ($7.99), and my friend got the Chunky Hummus sandwich on homemade rye with homemade asparagus soup ($7.99). Accompanying our meals were loose leaf teas sourced from the local Tealish: pomegranate gogi berry sencha green tea and honey pistachio biscotti black tea.
The Sheppard’s pie was a joy to eat, especially for myself, being a vegetarian. My mother makes a mean pie, but I haven’t had it for eight years since I became veggie. It was great to enjoy the comfort food without breaking my diet. The ingredients were fresh and delicious: lentils, carrots, veggie broth, and crispy oven-baked mashed yam and potato. It was light, served piping hot and wasn’t soupy. The vegetables were tender yet still flavourful.
The Chunky Hummus sandwich was wonderful as well. The homemade rye bread was crumbly and delicious, as was the hummus—you can really tell the difference between fresh and store-bought hummus. Cucumbers and alfalfa sprouts gave the sandwich it’s very refreshing quality. The accompanying soup of the day, asparagus, was light and green and tasted delicious without being bogged down by cream.
For dessert we got the chocolate macaroon (vegan), which was way too good. We also shared the green tea lemon cupcake and were amazed by how delicious the green tea icing was—it’s very hard to make vegan icing so rich and tasty.
Overall I will be coming back to Tea Tree Cafe for sure. It was cozy and had friendly staff (who offered great recommendations!) and had many more items that I want to try on the menu. Tomato melt on rye and vegan chili? I’m coming for you next!