Growler at Large Review: Taloola Café

Category: Growler at Large Review

Kim S.

Viva la vie bohème:
Taloola Café

By Kim S.


Image courtesy of Kim S.

In “Carey,” Joni Mitchell sings about a little Matala, Crete spot that was popular in the 1960s and went by the name of Mermaid Café. “Come on down,” she trills, “And I will buy you a bottle of wine / And we’ll laugh and toast to nothing and smash our empty glasses down.” I have never been to Crete, nor do I have any information regarding the current status of the fabled Mermaid Café, but when I draw a picture of the place as it would have been in its halcyon days in my mind, it bears a remarkable resemblance to Taloola, a unique Walkerville café with a distinctly bohemian spirit.

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Find parking on Assumption or Devonshire, and stroll over to the brick building on the corner of those streets. This is Taloola.

Outside, there is a charming patio lined with yellow pom pom flowers. (I also noticed several containers of bubbles. Whether or not this is a novelty provided by the café to distract its customers while they wait for their food to arrive or if perhaps some whimsical gal or fellow left in a hurry and forgot to take her or his collection of bubbles along is unknown to me. Note to self: conduct further research into bubbles mystery on next visit.)


Image courtesy of Kim S.

Indoor seating is varied: there are yellow brocade armchairs, benches, standard wooden with could-be-vintage upholstery chairs. Customers place their orders at the front counter, and the food and drinks are then delivered to their table.

While waiting for my food, I took a good look around at Taloola’s eclectic decor. I loved the exposed brick walls, the beaded chandelier, the giant map of the world, and the well-stocked bookshelf. One more noteworthy thing that gave me a chuckle was the clear plastic female torso in the (clean, well-maintained) washroom that bore the following important PSA over its breasts: “Whether you have these or not, don’t forget to roar.” Huzzah for feminist art in public washrooms!


Image courtesy of Kim S.

The place is full of kitschy personal touches that enhance its character. I’m not going to lie: I had developed a pretty hopeless crush by the time my lunch arrived. Nevertheless, the food is what you want to hear about, no? And so, hear you shall.

Taloola’s menu is extensive, featuring a great selection of reasonably priced healthy vegan-friendly options for breakfast or lunch, as well as a long list of (organic/fair trade) coffees and loose leaf teas. Not to fear meat-eaters, there is plenty to choose from for you as well, such as the kula-turk sandwich – oven-roasted turkey deli meat with a white bean spread, tomato, and cucumber.


Image courtesy of Kim S.

I ordered the chichi roti (mashed chickpeas, spinach leaves, and a house curry dressing on a vegan-friendly tortilla) and a sweet matcha latte made with almond milk. Everything was colourful, fresh, and delicious. (As far as I could tell, most of the menu items are made to order, so give yourself plenty of time for a nice relaxed meal.)


Image courtesy of Kim S.

I only wish I’d had more time to grab a cup of coffee and sit back and absorb the atmosphere, people-watch, maybe do a bit of writing. It’s a great locale for the creatively-inclined or for the just plain hungry and/or caffeine-deprived.

Taloola has earned itself top standing in my list of favourite places in Windsor. I fully intend to return one day soon, perhaps to laugh and toast to nothing. I’ll be the one blowing bubbles on the patio. Groovy.

Kim S.‘s Overall Rating GpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-Whole

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Misty Habib via Facebook May 17, 2013, 5:04 pm

    cute place, a little pricey

  • Laurel R.
    May 20, 2013, 11:49 am

    Taloola is one of my favourite places in Windsor… every time I walk through their doors I feel like I’m home, somehow. Great review – you hit on all the reasons why I love it so very much! My only complaint is that they’re not open on Mondays – my day off… but I guess everyone deserves a break. 😉
    Laurel R. recently posted… So, I’m here. Now what?My Profile


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