Hi all; I hope you’re doing well on this gloomy Wednesday! If our recent grey and rainy weather has been getting you down, I have a couple of things that might cheer you up. The first is the weather forecast, which – at least across the GTHA – is predicting a beautiful sunny, warm weekend ahead. And the second is the adorable café I’m going to share with you today, which is cute enough to brighten anyone’s day, rain or shine!
This café is in a bit of a surprising location: it’s located at Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga. Now, the reason I say “surprising” is because typically when you think of mall eateries, you think of bustling food courts lined with fast food chains. And while I have nothing against a McDonald’s burger or Starbucks latte, there’s something so nice about sitting down in a pretty setting, enjoying your food a bit more leisurely, and supporting a small independent business while you’re at it. That’s why I was so pleasantly surprised to come across Alaïa Café!
Located right inside Entrance 7 of Square One, Alaïa opened last summer and bills themselves as Toronto’s first Instagrammable pink café. And let me tell you, when it comes to being Instagrammable, they understood the assignment! If you’re a girly girl (or can at least appreciate the aesthetic) you will love how they decorated the space. The hot pink walls are adorned with gold butterflies, flowers, and hanging greenery.
The whimsical, nature-inspired theme continues throughout, with large butterflies hanging from the ceiling, and a leafy statement wall towards the back. The neon “maybe coffee is addicted to me” sign is a popular selfie spot – I’ve seen it all over social media lately!
Alaïa serves all of your standard coffee drinks, from lattes to cappuccinos to Americanos (and even regular old drip coffee) but they’re best known for their over-the-top specialty drinks. I got the Rose Oat Latte, a rose-flavoured oat milk latte which is topped with dried rose petals and served with a side of pink Turkish delight. I’ve enjoyed a lot of fancy lattes in my time, but never one that comes with candy on the side… I’m officially a fan! Tania got a classic cappuccino, which was served in the cutest heart-shaped cup.
Food-wise, you have a couple of different options at Alaïa: you can go savoury with a bagel, or go sweet with mini doughnuts. We did both! We ordered a small bag of cinnamon sugar mini doughnuts to share, which were so nostalgic because they taste just like the Tiny Tom doughnuts you get at the CNE. Then we shared a rainbow bagel. You can get these plain (with your choice of butter or cream cheese) or for a more substantial meal, order one topped with avocado, smoked salmon or pastrami. We weren’t super hungry and just wanted a quick snack, so we got the plain bagel with butter. I’d never had a rainbow bagel before – they’re so cute, and I couldn’t resist snapping a silly photo with it.
You can view Alaïa’s full menu here. Next time we’re here, I want to try their Unicorn Doughnuts, which are topped with sprinkles and cotton candy – they look like a dream!
If you find yourself at Square One and are craving a coffee or snack, you should definitely give Alaïa a try. It’s such a nice change of pace from the usual food court haunts! They’re also available for delivery via Uber Eats, but in my opinion, you should definitely visit in person to get the full experience. (Although, the thought of getting cotton candy-topped doughnuts delivered to my front door is definitely an idea I can get behind!)
Do you know any other cute cafés in the GTA that I should visit? Please email me or drop their name in the comments – I always appreciate your recommendations!
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