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Hidden Coffee, Staycations + Vegan Hotspots

On the very first episode of the Only In YQG Podcast, we talked about some hidden coffee that you’ve gotta fill your cup with, plus we talked about how Windsor is actually a good place to have a staycation and some vegan hotspots that I personally can’t help but love.

I’ve had a coffee shop on my radar for quite some time – 14th Coffee Co located on the 14th Concession in Essex. Just as I was planning my first trip out there, we were told we needed to start social distancing. A bit of a buzz kill but I’d still love to share this space with you so you can add it to your Windsor-Essex Bucket List (I mean, if you have one of those like I do) So let me break it down for you. This rustic coffee shop, situated on the same property as the owner’s large restored barn, produces and packages their own signature blends of fresh-roasted coffee beans and Cold Brew coffee right onsite. When you visit 14th Coffee Co for a delicious cup o’ joe, you also get to experience a quaint greenhouse with tons of natural light, a small gift shop and an open-concept, rustic loft which you can rent as an AirBNB. If you’re lucky, you’ll be greeted by some of their fur friends!

Staycations are becoming more and more popular right here in Windsor-Essex as homeowners are putting their properties up as listings on the AirBNB website. If you take a look on the AirBNB website and search for local places to stay in any location within Windsor-Essex county, you’d be amazed to find a ton of unique spaces that will help you get away from the city but still stay close to home. Whether you’re looking for a cottage on the lake, a tiny getaway home in the middle of a forest or a modern-style condo downtown, there’s bound to be something for you.

The great thing about 14th Coffee Co’s homestead loft is that it’s a short drive away from the city but still far enough away that you feel as though you’ve got your own mini-getaway… for a fraction of the cost, of course. The 100+ year old, open-rafter, newly restored loft has 1250 square feet of open space, a reclaimed barn-wood bar which shapes the kitchen and comes equipped with a stainless refrigerator and gas stove. You’ll also have the ability to relax in the rustic bathroom under the skylight in the claw-footed tub. Stay by yourself, with your partner or a friend and you’ve got a perfect opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of your every day. Since it’s located on the same property as 14th Coffee Co, make sure you grab a coffee in the morning.

While we are quarantining and keeping our distance from one another, 14th Coffee Co still wants to keep you deliciously caffeinated. You can get their packaged coffee through take out OR delivered right to your door! They are available on Amazon Prime. It’s a great way to support this local business during this time.

PS- if you’re looking for a spot to take your family or engagement photos, this might just be it.

Now that I’ve planned my next mini-staycation, let’s talk about some of the vegan hotspots in Windsor-Essex. Starting with one of my personal favourites…. Nooch Vegan Eatery.

Before we do, I can already feel your eyes rolling. So, I want to get something straight...

You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy (and appreciate!) vegan food … and yes, vegans do eat more than just tofu and carrots. Compared to Toronto, Windsorites have proven to be more reluctant to eating Vegan food without ever giving it a chance. I’m telling you right now, you’ll want to give these ones a chance.

Nooch takes a lot of traditional foods and makes em vegan, including the well known big mac. They’ve named it a Big Mock and for good reason. The flavours in this “burger” (and I use air quotes here!) will make you feel like you just went through the McDonald’s drive thru… except you’ll feel much better after you eat it.

Oftentimes people think of Vegan food and associate it with being super healthy however the owners of this restaurant catered their menu to the foodie who could use a bit of comfort food. We’re talking fry supreme, gyros, philly cheesesteaks, cheesy pasta and chili cheese dogs. Not to mention a carrot cake I would literally die for. I’m serious… you NEED to try this whether you’re vegan or not.

Nooch’s small but mighty restaurant located at 350 Cabana in Windsor is one of my favourite vegan restaurants in the YQG. From their food to their drinks to the smiling faces on every single staff member, it’s always a good time. Add it to your bucket list to try later this year!

Another Vegan staple I’ve fallen in love with is Healthy Mama – a quaint little restaurant located in Tecumseh. Healthy Mama is an easy breezy, laid-back plant-based/gluten-free restaurant and wellness education hub that is perfect for food lovers, healthy eaters, vegan gurus and meat-eaters alike. If you’re on the hunt for some delicious avocado toast, mac n cheese, a burger or panini… Healthy Mama’s got you covered. Plus, their breakfast menu is amazing. Hint hint, try the waffles and the mint chip smoothie. You’ll be lucky if you have room for dessert… but they have that too!

Healthy Mama can be ordered through SkipTheDishes AND they are currently in the process of turning their shoppe filled with unique grocery items into an online store you can order from and pay online. It should be launching after Easter so keep your eyes out for that!

If you’re in the mood for a quick vegan lunch, check out the Avocado Pit Sushi located at Bullseye SouthWindsor. Sushi, but make it vegan. Annnnd oh so delicious!

If dessert is on your radar and you haven’t picked up your Plant Joy donuts yet, what are you waiting for?! Located on Wyandotte Street, my friend Jordynne from Plant Joy is one of the sweetest humans I know and she’s built herself a doughnut shop that’s truly one of a kind. With flavours including maple dip, cookies n creme, chocolate peanut butter (my fav!) and cinnamon sugar… I’m sure you’ll fall in love just as I have. Plus, Jordynne is giving listeners of the Rose City podcast 10% off giftcards during this crazy time. Gift one to a friend or treat yo’self, it’s a great opportunity to support this amazing small business and still get to experience the mother of all vegan doughnuts in a month or two. Use code ROSECITY at checkout. Note: there’s a minimum $20 purchase!

Well, there you have it – a coffee shop paired with a rustic style loft perfect for your Windsor-Essex staycation, a vegan comfort food eatery and a vegan feel-good restaurant, and go-to hot spots for a quick vegan bite… both lunch and dessert. Check back here next week for another blog post!


Written by: Kierstyn Pare, Host, Only In YQG Podcast

Photos taken by: Mackenzie Kelly

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