Communitea in Canmore is a fresh alternative to your typical ‘I don’t know anything here, so I’ll eat Tim Hortons’ excuse that you’ve probably fallen victim to. With many tea houses focussing on baking, Communitea’s menu consisting of bowls, salads, vegan and gluten free fare, and an assortment of sandwiches might peak your interest. (pun intended)
Restaurant type: Tea/coffee, asian-fusion, fresh + cold-served, vegan friendly, hippie food
Honest flavour: 7/10 - Communitea has a plan, and they stick to it. Many of their dishes exhibit the same ingredients with different vehicles and sauces adding the variety. I was impressed with the Buddha Bowl I ordered; it was nicely balanced, and not over sauced. I thought the marinated tofu could have been more flavourful, but the freshness, and lightness throughout the dish didn’t necessitate it. My initial when our order was brought out was that I would walk away hungry, but the potion size was deceiving, and I was completely satisfied. When it gets down to it, Communitea just plain tastes good.
Ingenuity of flavour: 5/10 - I don’t think Communitea is the kind of restaurant one goes to expecting a complex, interesting meal, it’s all about fresh food. With that said- don’t go in with the hopes that you’ll find your new favorite flavour combination that you’ve never heard of. Though the recipes are for the most part ‘run of the mill’ and easily made at home, Communitea does manage to inclue a few interesting ingredients such as a balsamic fig jam, and their garlic tahini dressing.
Restaurant Vibe: 8/10 - One of my favorite parts of Communitea was the atmosphere in the restaurant. For a tea-house, it was oddly busy throughout our visit, but our service was friendly and the quality of food didn’t seem to suffer. I didn’t receive the tofu as the menu suggested my dish would include- but they brought it out to me promptly, and I appreciated their positive attitude. Communitea’s success seems to come of it’s one central idea of freshness. The bright colors match the friendly service, as well as the healthy menu options, completeing the upbeat, fun vibe they are obviously going for. Communitea adds one more ingredient to their restaurant’s cornucopia of happy feelings with a huge live music roster- in the next month and a half, both Joel Plaskett and Hawksley Workman are slated to play.
Overall Value: 7/10 - At $12.25 for my bowl, I was satisfied. The portion was a good size, and I was comfortably full to continue my mountain adventures without feeling like I needed to nap before my hike. Communitea fits the Canmore criteria of being better value, and more comfortable than Banff.
Final Thoughts: Tasty eats, a fun bright room, and good service. Though I felt like I could make everything I ate at home for a fraction of the price, there’s still some appreciation because I’m in Canmore and we all know I’m not going to go to the grocery store while I’m here- convenience is key. It wasn’t necessarily the most interesting or inspiring meal I’ve had, but I’ll definitely be back.