Edmonton restaurants feed stomachs and minds.
At Caf Tiramisu, you can enjoy a pizza calabrese, beet salad or simple cup of coffee while, just metres away, your child is playing in the play area and your partner practises a yoga sun salutation.
It’s all part of owner Seble Amelga’s vision.
During her years as a homemaker raising three girls, she dreamed of a place where people could meet friends over good food, and bring along the kids.
“When people open cafes, it’s mainly for the food or for the coffee. But what makes [Caf Tiramisu] different is, I want to bring a ‘lift-me-up’ experience to this cafe,” says Amelga, who’s referring to the refreshed feeling one gets when breaking free from a hectic life.
“Lift Me Up Fitness” lessons, which include yoga and Pilates lessons, are priced per eight weeks, with separate classes for adults and kids.
But this lifestyle-oriented spot is not an anomaly. Other new Edmonton restaurants, such as Noorish Conscious Eatery and Superfood Elixir Bar, offer more than menus and give packaged experiences.
On the surface, Noorish is a superbly decorated organic and vegetarian restaurant, but owner Sheniz Kassam is also trying to feed your mind, body and soul.
“We bring people in, lure them in with really amazing gourmet food, and then expose them to different ways of healing themselves, and transforming and understanding what this world is about,” says Kassam.
Downstairs from the dining room, you can find your zen by meditating in the kiva room or, come August, you can get colon hydro-therapy. Yes, it’s pretty much a self-administered enema, that’s supposed to rid your colon walls of mucoid-plaque. If that’s not for you, you can order a “cleansing elixir” drink, Gratitude to Greens.
And for aspiring artists, young and old, Quirky Art Caf on 111th Street and 65th Avenue offers workshops for practicing your painting talents, or you can get a caricature drawn of you by owner Cathy McMillan, all while you nibble on a pastry. McMillan says she wanted to combine a coffeehouse with creativity. So it’s not just your digestive system working while you’re there, but your right brain, too.
Though all of these places cater to different groups, it’s obvious that local restaurants are thinking outside the to-go box.