While travelling to Ucluelet on Vancouver Island, we chanced upon Zoe’s Cafe after an online search for the best pastries nearby to satisfy our cravings.
The wood plank and shingled exterior gives the cafe a welcoming feeling as you walk up the stairs to the entrance. By the door, there is a small circular table that reuses coffee bags as plant pot, housing herbs sprouting towards the sunshine. Friends are hanging out on the porch and on the outdoor benches, looking very much at home lounging at Zoe’s Cafe.
The interiors are similarly adorned with wooden decorative elements, from shelving to the countertop that integrates a massive tree trunk. A red shelf against the wall showcases various characteristic gifts such as ceramic mugs, canned goods and jams.
The menu offers vegetarian sandwiches, soups and deli salads that change daily, alongside indulgent treats such as a chocolate raspberry coconut cake topped with edible flowers. We visited early in the morning and focused in on the baked goods and lattes that would be a great start to our day’s adventures exploring Ucluelet and nearby Tofino.
After a serious debate of how many pastries we could realistically consume and digest within the next two hours (which was the time until our next meal), we decided on the cranberry pecan chai scone (just the name sounds delicious), and the classic cinnamon bun topped with cream cheese. Scones will always have a soft spot in my heart, and I will try anything with chai or earl grey in it at least once. There were many treats we wanted to buy and take with us, such as the rice krispies treats with rainbow sprinkles, but we decided we would have to come back on our next visit to Ucluelet.
Once you have made your purchases, the next decision is whether you want to enjoy your treats indoors or out on the porch and benches. Given that it was a nice summer day we opted for the porch sitting beside an arrangement of vibrant flowers.
It was time to try the classic cinnamon bun, and texture is light and not greasy, with a generous spread of cinnamon, which blends with the cream cheese for the perfect bite. We also had a London Fog (earl grey latte), and the flavour was nice in that it had just the right balance of sweetness while retaining the slightly bitter taste of black tea great as a morning pick me up. We decided to keep the cranberry pecan chai scone for our car ride as a snack throughout the day, and even though we had the best of intentions, the scone was so good it was gone by midday.
We recommend stopping by Zoe’s Cafe if you are visiting Ucluelet. There are a variety of cafes in the vicinity, but we love the environment here, with its porch seating and outdoor benches. Moreover, from the cafe’s online presence, you can see the team is an active contributor to the community, from having a karma cup initiative in store to hosting an Earth Day block party where the community can plant ‘plant babies’ (the tiny plants we saw on the table by the entrance to the cafe), it is an entity worth supporting, so make sure you visit!