Review: Light Café in Toronto

Earlier in Spring 2016, Baldwin Street in Toronto was introduced to Light Café. With the many food/coffee places I’ve been to in the past, I would give this place a mere 6/10, or 6.5 if I’m feeling generous. It’s a brightly lit place with a decent amount of seating, and a huge menu to match.

More seating was available, but was not as brightly lit as the ones by the window here.

Seeing the amount of traction this place has gained on Instagram with its pretty photos of food and coffee, Lisa (@lisaxlu) and I knew it was a place we had to try. We arrived around 3 PM on a cloudy Sunday. Upon receiving the menu, we saw they had an extensive list of food and drinks to choose from. They offered mini pizzas, baked potatoes, soups, salads and sandwiches for food, and coffee, tea, smoothies or even Italian soda for drinks. If you were feeling dessert, they offer a selection of waffles, cake and creme brûlée. We had trouble deciding what we wanted considering they had such a huge selection. Lisa got the black sesame waffle and fresh fruit black tea, while I got the mango waffle, apple lemon organic green tea, and their daily cheesecake with a side of matcha ice cream (they had an apple caramel cheesecake when I went.)

Everything we ordered on one big table.

Although we ordered shortly after we settled in, the amount of time we had to wait to get our food hardly made it worth it. Logically, I thought the tea would have come first because they’re no fuss to make: put in the loose leaf tea, add hot water, and you’re set. But Lisa’s black sesame waffle came in first (within 10 minutes after ordering), we had to wait over 40 minutes to get her tea, then at least another 5 minutes after to get everything I ordered. When my cheesecake arrived, they forgot about my ice cream, so they had to add it in a separate little cup.

Black Sesame Waffle (with sesame drizzle and vanilla ice cream)
Mango Waffle (with fresh mango chunks)

My waffle was good, but definitely not the best thing I’ve ever had. I probably would have enjoyed the waffle a little more if it had come in hot and if it was a little less difficult to cut into.

Left: Apple Lemon Organic Green Tea | Right: Fresh Fruit Black Tea
My tea came with a side of honey. It was a ‘sweet’ touch!

Both of the teas were light and refreshing; Lisa’s tasted like a light juice, mine was less sweet and the flavour of apple was very prominent.

10/10 would recommend this combo.

My favourite out of everything I ordered had to be the apple caramel cheesecake ($4.75) and matcha ice cream. It was rich and creamy; everything I would expect from a good cheesecake. The sauce on the side was a little too sweet for my liking though. I’m not sure what it was, but I definitely preferred the cheesecake without it.

Overall, the rating I give this place is so low (6/10) because 1. the service was very slow, 2. they only accept cash (we didn’t realize until we settled in – Lisa had to run out after eating to withdraw money), 3. everything was a little pricy (a lot of their drinks were at least $5, most of their food/dessert costed on average $9+), and 4. it was a little too noisy and I felt like I had to speak pretty loud to be heard. This café is definitely not for those who’d like to sit down to get some work or reading done.

I can appreciate that Light Café puts so much effort into visual presentation for their food, but I feel I would have loved the place a lot more if it wasn’t for the reasons listed above. Since Light Café is a Taiwanese dessert place (Taiwan currently holds 3 locations), I would recommend visiting Sugar Marmalade instead. It is another Taiwanese dessert place in Toronto that also only accepts cash, except their service is much faster and the food/drink/dessert is considerably cheaper. There are currently two Sugar Marmalades in Toronto: one in downtown Chinatown, and another one up in North York.

If you’d like to see what Lisa thought of Light Café and the items she ordered, see her post here!

Till next time,