Utopia Dream Cafe
Utopia Dream Café is one part bubble tea café and one part board game café. While bubble tea joints are rampant in Markham, what sets Utopia apart is their rather impressive (and growing) selection of board games.
Owner Peter took over this struggling café in May 2012. Recognizing that he needed something more than bubble tea and snacks to draw customers in, Peter decided to introduce a small selection of board games to entertain his clientele. His idea has taken off and his selection of games has been growing ever since.
Utopia's selection of games is quite extensive, ranging from classics like Monopoly to strategy games such as Risk. Thrown into the fray are quite a few traditional Chinese board games. Two electronic Mahjong tables are available, as well as a poker table and two darts machines.
The menu here consists of a vast selection of tea drinks, herbal teas, milk shakes, yogurt drinks and ice cream. I opt for an iced taro milk tea ($4.99) with tapioca ($.50) - it's a sweet, refreshing, frothy, milky concoction.
Aside from drinks, they also have some cakes, crepes and waffles. To satisfy my sweet tooth I go for the Oreo Macau Cake ($5.99). This is more of a parfait than a cake, served in a cylindrical glass consisting of alternating layers of Oreo cookie crumbs and whipped cream.
While not an earth-shattering dessert, the Macau cake is nonetheless an interesting take on a parfait that is delicious enough to satisfy my dessert craving. If you favour savoury food, Utopia has an interesting selection of noodle and rice dishes. For those looking to snack, a selection of mostly fried snacks (Chicken wings, fish balls etc) is available.
Utopia keeps late hours on weekdays and is open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays. The place is quite spacious, but does get busy, so larger groups may have to wait to get a table at peak times.
Overall, it's nice to see the board game café trend making its way north, providing an excellent alternative for a fun night out with friends.