“I thought Little might like to stay for lunch.”
And that’s all it took for me to plot my much-anticipated visit to a local café. I’d heard about it recently through a mutual friend of the new owner and was looking forward to sampling its hopefully delicious fare.
I spent that morning doing fun things like cleaning the tub grout and packing up clothes for Goodwill with my eye on the prize—coffee at Seven Shores. And guys, I went by myself. I had debated about setting up a last minute lunch date, but the idea of sipping on a coffee and reading my book uninterrupted was too tempting. It’s one of my favourite pasttimes, but I only get the opportunity a few times a year. I was not passing this up.
Seven Shores is located in the Uptown Waterloo area, so parking was a bit of challenge, but after circling the block only twice, I scored a free spot nice and close. Which was good because despite it being May, it was a chilly morning (I was almost forced to wear socks, so I’m not exaggerating).
The atmosphere was laid-back and inviting. It was my first visit, so I wasn’t sure what the format for seating and ordering would be. No one stared or made me feel uncomfortable. The other patrons were busy doing their thing and there was music playing in the background which provides camouflage for newbies like myself.
I liked the high counter displaying the baked goods and chalkboard menus featured other dining options. Everything was clearly laid out and made ordering simple and stress-free (I’m not the only one who frets about doing things “right” in a new situation, am I?)
It was lunch time and I debated about trying a meal, but I wasn’t that hungry and was a bit pressed for time (my sweet friend wouldn’t keep my son indefinitely), so I chose a delicious looking pecan buttertart and a good old cup of black coffee. The staff was friendly and the service was quick and efficient.
Putting aside my fear of looking awkward, I wandered around the seating areas before deciding on a bench along the wall. I doubt there are really any bad spots to sit, but the back room had a few moms and their children enjoying a snack so I didn’t want to insert myself (plus, um, I was child-free).
Another patron kindly informed me of the wifi password and I settled down with my late-morning treat, my book, and my phone. There was a general hum of patrons’ conversations mixed with the murmurs and chuckling of the staff as they worked. I could have stayed for hours.
Alas, the time came for me to depart. I quietly told the front line employees that I would like to take a few photos that I would hopefully include in an upcoming blog/review. They were very gracious and even offered to pose.
The coffee was a dark roast. I usually go for medium, but dark was on hand and I have to say it was smooth and tasty, without being too bold. The buttertart was amazing. The pastry was flaky and contrasted perfectly with the filling. I’ve had a lot of buttertarts in my life, this makes my top five.
Coffee Taste Rating: 8
Buttertart Taste Rating: 9
Ratings Round Up
Level of uncomfortableness upon walking in: 3. No gawking, straight-forward format for ordering.
Fedora/Newsboy Hat/Knit Beanie Count: 1. Barista sported a beanie.
Level of Pretentiousness: 3, only because no one is perfect. The décor was an eclectic mix of wood and granite (I’m guessing on the granite, but pretty sure I’m right). Large windows provided lots of natural light. Menu items were all pronounceable and there were even gluten-free and vegan options.
Parking: 7. I’m sure if I hadn’t minded walking a bit, I would have found a spot sooner. This would be a great spot to stop mid-shopping so then it wouldn’t really matter where you park.
Seven Shores prides themselves on being a local business supporting local and fair trade sources, so you can fuel up and feel good about supporting your community. I will definitely be back, maybe even with one of the kids.
Have you ever been to Seven Shores? What's your favorite place to go without kids?