Teatree Cafe and Eatery offers a cozy respite on a busy street. The buzzing of the Danforth just east of Jones Ave seems to melt away as I push through the glass doors and enter the pale green space. Formerly a sushi restaurant, owner Erin Pim worked tirelessly with her contractor dad to get the space ready for its opening just over a year ago.
Since then, Teatree has gained the reputation of a great place for tomato melts and a relaxed space to hang out. "A lot of people come for the atmosphere," Pim says. "It's a good place to pull out your laptop or read a book."
Pim decided to open the cafe after working at the Bloor Street Diner for six years. She credits her success over the past year to a great community and loyal following. "It's really amazing," she says. "Much better than I could have ever imagined."
The philosophy at Teatree is all about healthy, local and homemade. Many of the menu options at the cafe--all of which are vegan or vegetarian--are also gluten free. A favourite among regulars is the tomato melt sandwich made with avocado, havarti and rosemary garlic mayo served on homemade rye ($6.99 with soup or salad). The soups served with the sandwiches are vegan and gluten free, and also made fresh each day. I found the zucchini and potato soup wonderfully homey and delicious--though it could have perhaps used a few more chunks of vegetables.
The newest addition to the comfort-food menu at Teatree is its homemade mac and cheese made with skim milk, whole wheat pasta, spinach, broccoli, and whole wheat bread crumb topping ($6.99 with soup or salad). Teatree also has a collection of teas from pomegranate goji berry sencha to organic wild blueberry rooibos, served in one of the cafe's eclectic mismatched mugs. And of course, true to its name, Treetree has a giant wooden tree made of bound scrap plywood displayed prominently on its wall, epitomizing the cafe's Zen.
Writing by Robyn Urback. Photos by Dennis Marciniak