If you’re looking to fill your coffee addiction in downtown Oshawa, there are more unique choices than the ever-popular Tim Hortons. Two local businesses are serving up their cups of Joe in their special style.
With an artistic chic vibe and all sorts of goodies on display, Isabella’s Chocolate Café is inviting. You are met with comfy black couches and café tables. The walls are decorated with colourful prints and a blackboard showing upcoming events performed at the restaurant. You can find Isabella’s Chocolate Café’s stylish black and white sign at 19 Simcoe St. S.
Isabella’s serves both hot and cold beverages, from vanilla lattes to chocolate hazelnut truffle smoothies. Coffee served is fair trade and certified organic. Biscotti, sugar cookies and cupcakes are tempting while their handmade chocolates are an unique offering. For those without an exclusively sweet tooth, there are sandwiches, soups and salads.
“It’s an uptown escape downtown,” laughed Ashley Anthony, while she enjoyed a caesar salad and chocolate banana smoothie.
Further back is a stage, which will showcase the Simcoe Hall Settlement House program recital this Friday. The walls surrounding the stage currently feature the art of Stephanie Turner.
Down on King Street West, you can find the home of Beanz Café, owned by John and Richelle Borg. This couple isn’t afraid of a little hard work.
The Borg’s now have to unlock and answer their new door, still looking a little incomplete. Last April, a beer bottle was thrown into their old entrance. Despite the costly downfall, the Borg’s are all smiles.
Coffee bean filled vases with a single white flower are the centrepieces on café tables. Two floral printed pink seats sit beside a bookshelf enticing you to read as you sip your mocha. Pictures are hung on the wall in frames reading captions like, “Oshawa Museum,” “Oshawa Haunting’s,” and “Oshawa Airport.” Fair trade coffee is served in cups with eco-friendly sleeves.
“Pretty good,” three-year-old, Patience, says in between bites of her nanaimo bar and gourmet veggie pizza, playing with a toy truck Richelle offered.
The café is vegetarian friendly and vegan considerate, “Goat cheese OK?” John asked before adding it to the pizza.
The Borg’s have got the customer service side of things covered with their endearing interaction with customers.
When the aforementioned three-year-old spilled mocha on the table and floor, John smiles and cleans up un-begrudgingly. “There’s no use crying over spilled coffee,” he says.
There are plenty of other non-traditional coffee houses in the downtown core. Take a break and explore.
Story and images by Hillary DiMenna