Get a taste of Canada’s café culture this autumn


Canadian cafe culture

In autumn, Canada’s cities are picture perfect. The parks are decorated in red and gold falling leaves and the city streets come to life as Halloween pumpkins pop up. After sightseeing in the crisp air, the best way to warm up is by diving into Canada’s café culture.

Independent coffee shops, bakeries and cafés are everywhere, tempting passers-by with a toasty welcome and delicious cakes. Lots do fall-themed drinks and autumn sweet treats – here we take you through some of the best ones you can try during your next Canada holiday, or even make at home.


Pumpkin Chai

Pumpkin spice tea

This black tea is a great drink to try during fall in Canada, as its warmth of cinnamon and cloves and the sweetness of caramel and pumpkin make for a delicious autumn drink.

DavidsTea, a tea shop with stores all over Canada, including in Toronto and Montreal, sell delicious mixes of Pumpkin Chai. After a day sightseeing in the autumn-hued city, pick up some chai from one of their stores or online to make at home.

Pumpkin Chai Maple Latte Recipe:


1 perfect Spoonful of Pumpkin Chai tea
1 ½ cups water
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 cup coconut milk
¼ cup canned pumpkin puree
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs maple syrup


Step 1 – Put water, tea and spices into a small sauce pan and bring to a slow boil.

Step 2 – Turn the heat to low and simmer for 8 minutes.

Step 3 – Add coconut milk, pumpkin puree, sugar and maple syrup and let simmer for another 3-5 minutes.

Step 4 – Strain into mugs and enjoy!


Hot Cider

Hot cider

When the weather turns crisp outside, a favourite way for Canadians to warm up is with a cup of hot, spiced apple cider. Don’t be fooled though! Stateside, cider doesn’t mean alcoholic. This is simply an apple juice drink. If you want the hard stuff, you need to look out for “hard cider” on the menu.

Come autumn, cider is served warm and flavoured with fall favourites like cinnamon. If you’re in Toronto, the pretty and kitsch Bobette and Belle on Yonge St. serves up a good one alongside delicate pastries. Balzac’s has coffee shops across Toronto and Niagara, serving up hot cider in autumn as well as their signature smooth roasts.

Canadian Living Spiced Apple Cider Recipe:


1 tablespoon grated orange rind
4 whole cloves
2 pieces cinnamon
3 cups apple cider
3 cups apple juice
Sugar to taste


Step 1 – Tie up the orange rind, cloves and cinnamon in a cheesecloth or muslin. Add the apple cider and juice to a pan, cover and heat on a medium heat until just boiling.

Step 2 – Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Discard infusion bag and stir in sugar to taste.


Sweet treats

Pumpkin Pies

Pumpkin Pie

There is a reason why this is one of the most requested desserts in North America; this rich, spicy pie is delicious. The traditional autumn sweet treat is a must-try if you are visiting a Canadian café.

If you’re heading to West Vancouver to visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, stop in at the Savary Island Pie Company on the way for their favourite pumpkin pie.

If you want to try making this traditional fall dessert, then check out the below recipe.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe:

Step 1 – According to Simply Recipes, after preheating your oven to 218°C (425°F) you need to beat two eggs, mix in brown and white sugars, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves, cardamom and lemon zest.

Step 2 – Add pumpkin puree, stir in the cream and beat together.

Step 3 – Pour the filling into an uncooked pie shell and bake for around 15 minutes. Then lower temperature to 170°C (around 350°F) for 45-55 minutes.

Step 4 – Cool on a rack for two hours and then enjoy this delicious treat.


Pumpkin Doughnuts

Pumpkin doughnuts

Canada is famous for its doughnuts. Shot into popularity by the nation’s favourite, Tim Hortons, you can now find doughnut shops everywhere.

What’s even better, they come in seasonal flavours from Jacked Up Pumpkin Pie at The Rolling Pin in Toronto, to Salty Caramel at Suzy Q in Ottawa.

Food Bloggers of Canada have picked some favourite doughnut recipes, including this one from Bake. Eat. Repeat.

Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Recipe:

Step 1 – Whisk together oil, eggs, sugar pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice before adding salt, baking powder and flour.

Step 2 – Spoon the batter into a doughnut pan and bake in the oven at 175°C (350°F) for 18-20 minutes.

Step 3 – Melt butter in a saucepan and whisk in maple syrup and icing sugar to make a glaze for the doughnuts.

Step 4 – Once the doughnuts have cooled, glaze them and place on a wire rack to set.


Canadian Apple Pie

Canadian apple pie

The Canadian apple pie is synonymous with fall, particularly as this dish is often served at Canadian Thanksgiving which takes place in October. It is one of the most popular foods in the country’s café culture.

Whether you are skiing in Canada this fall or have been hiking through Canada’s stunning national parks, the best way to recharge your batteries is to sit down and enjoy this scrumptious take on the apple pie. Crystal Hut on the Whistler Blackcomb Mountain serves up delicious pie and waffles – perfect for après ski!

If you want to try your hand at making this iconic Canadian sweet treat, then check out the recipe below from All Recipes.

Apple Pie Recipe:

Step 1 – Preheat your oven to 165°C and line a pie dish with one crust.

Step 2 – Mix cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a bowl and then add in chopped apples, maple syrup and a whole egg.

Step 3 – Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and cover with top crust. Be sure to make several small slits into the top of the pie so steam can escape.

Step 4 – Whisk together egg yolk and water and brush over pie.

Step 5 – Once you have covered the pie with aluminium foil, place on a baking sheet into the preheated oven for 35 minutes.

Step 6 – Remove foil and put back into oven for another 15 minutes.

Step 7 – Allow to cool, then enjoy.


Image Credit: Jennifer C., Brent Hofacker (Shutterstock), A Girl With Tea, Eliza Adam, Andrea Parrish – Geyer.

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