Ella's Uncle is understated cool with its retro black and white tiles, lime green walls and scribbled chalkboard menu. While the cafe has been on Dundas West for more than four years, they haven't lost their appeal. The space is modest and regulars come in droves, popping in and out and chatting it up with staff. There's also free WiFi, wicker baskets of newspapers and a leather bar stool type seating arrangement.
Their coffee is an eight-blend brew from Classic Gourmet that is a mix of Brazilian, Columbian, Indian, Mexican and Peruvian beans. I tried a single espresso macchiato ($2.25) and Stefania ordered the Ella, ($4.50) which is a double small cappuccino with a hint of maple syrup.
Other choices include an Ovaltine latte ($3.50) or organic loose-leaf teas ($1.75). There's a ($.50) extra charge for specialty milk. For those who want to beat the heat, all coffee options are available on ice.
Both brews were satisfying and went well with our treats. We tried the chocolate toffee oatmeal cookie that owner Jennifer Hedley deemed, "The Crack Cookie" ($2.00) and it was worthy of its name.
We also tried a blueberry blackberry scone ($2.25) that tasted like fluffy blueberry pancakes, and "The Hermit" ($1.75) cookie that Hedley deemed the healthier choice. It was filled with dates, raisins and chopped nuts and it tasted a little bit like trail mix, but had a lot of sweetness to make it indulgent. They also have savory Parmesan cheddar scones and banana bread.
Hedley is spunky and outgoing and explains that she knows most of her customers by name. Co-owner Mike Craig, who wasn't around is actually the real Ella's uncle as his niece is the cafe's namesake.
Ella's Uncle is open Monday to Friday 6 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.