Hibiscus Café is a family-run vegetarian café where the buckwheat crêpes are fresh and delicious, the soups and salads are rich and filling and everything is organic and gluten-free.

Bang in the heart of hip Kensington Market, it also serves some of the best vegan ice cream in town.

The setting

Hibiscus Café is on Augusta Ave, one of the main streets in hipster Kensington Market. The area is packed with casual street food cafés, thrift shops and quirky boutiques. Chinatown and the trendy shopping drag of Queen St West are a few blocks away.

The space

There’s a small wooden fenced-in and umbrella covered patio outside. Inside is relatively compact, but home to several wooden tables with Bentwood chairs.

One wall is dark shelving displaying foodie ornaments, the back wall is cool green and the final wall has pretty lit alcoves housing natural objects and prints.

The staff are friendly and very helpful.

What else?

There’s another branch of Hibiscus Café in the Assembly Chef’s Hall opposite the iconic Nathan Phillip’s Square. The portions are large, especially the ice-cream ones and the staff let you try flavours before you buy. The café is committed to sustainable packaging.

The fresh juice test

Hibiscus doesn’t sell juice, but there’s a range of smoothies and kombuchas which come served with a metal straw.

We had the blend of banana, blueberry, canteloupe, kiwi, mango, pear, raspberry and strawberry which was delicious.

What we ate?

The Hibiscus Café sells an array of sweet and savoury buckwheat crepes. You can pair with a soup or salad, but do save room for their innovative dairy-free ice cream.

There’s also a good choice of sweet crêpes, including: home-made chocolate-hazelnut and spread with banana; cinnamon and lemon icing; apple and cinnamon; banana and walnut and home-made vegan dulce de leche and kiwi. Hibisicus also have a selection of mouth-watering gluten-free, vegan cookies, squares and brownies. However, much as we were tempted, we went for the vegan ice-cream, as we couldn’t resist the flavours on offer.

The vegan ice-cream is made in small batches and comes in a cup or GF cone. The ices are made with either coconut, almond or home-made mung bean milk.

We had a double scoop of sea buckthorn and a strawberry and basil. Both were stunningly creamy and delicately favoured.

The bill

Kombucha $5.20
Smoothie $8.00
Savoury Crepe $16.50
Ice cream, double scoop $8.00

Hibiscus Café

238 Augusta Ave
Toronto
ON M5T 2L7

(416) 364-6183
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