Some disclosure here: I grew up in Sherwood Park back in the 70’s, and there were not many dining options at that time. When McDonald’s opened on Wye Road when I was in high school, it was a BIG DEAL. We used to hang out at the Dairy Queen and eat Peanut Buster Parfaits, which seemed to be to be much larger than they are today. Maybe it is because I was much smaller then. And we would get Slurpees from the 7-11, which was really open 7 am to 11 pm, and had the Slurpee machine stashed behind the counter, before the days of self-serve.
When my parents took us out for dinner, we drove into the city to either Bonanza or Captain John’s on Kingsway. Captain John’s had broken shells embedded in the tables. I remember that.
Fast forward about thirty years, and my daughter Ella had a soccer game in Sherwood Park tonight, so we dropped her off for the warm up and wandered over to Cafe Haven. Cafe Haven has a big presence in the Twitter world, and an intriguing website. I can confidently tell you that dining options in Sherwood Park have changed in the past 30 years. And the previous monopoly of chain restaurants is no longer. Cafe Haven is giving them a run for their money.
I especially love the space at Cafe Haven. It is in a converted bank, complete with a vault. We could not help ourselves. We sat in the vault. (Pictured above). It was cosy and private in that vault. We felt very safe.
Outside the vault, the rest of Cafe Haven is decorated in royal colours, and adorned with oversized armchairs and couches. Very cosy. It felt like being in the large living room of your especially funky friends. There were board games and magazines available to add to that community feel. Sometime indie coffee shops try to do too much and feel disjointed. Cafe Haven isn’t like that – it feels well designed, well executed and focused on their outputs – good food and exceptional coffee.
The eatin’ was thus:
- a glass of perfectly acceptable house wine (Merlot)
- a cup of fennel soup – peppery and hot, perfectly textured and seasoned, and adorned by fresh dill. Usually soup is just a device for me to dip my bread in. Not this time. I slurped the whole thing up.
- hot hummus and goat cheese – baked with a big dollop of goat cheese and fresh nacho chips. The hummus was especially citrusy with a good dipping texture
Cafe Haven is a lovely find. Worth a drive out east to Sherwood Park for us city folks…a rare cafe that just gels together and works. Highly recommended for coffee, a casual dinner, or to listen to live music. The food scene in Sherwood Park has changed…and for the better.
9 Sioux Road