Thanks in many ways to the farm-to-table movement popular throughout North America, Niagara’s restaurant scene has ushered in a new and delicious era for everyone who visits here. One establishment that deserves a bit of extra attention, Mahtay Café is an unusual place that serves up excellent fare and plenty of entertainment offerings to boot. Located in St. Catharines, plan on having at least one meal here the next time you find yourself in Niagara.
Mahtay Café got its start as a community-oriented space centered on the creativity and sharing inherent in what the owners call the “healthy yerba-mate lifestyle.” Known by the Guarani people as the “drink of the gods,” yerba mate is a high-octane tea that is credited with everything from boosting the immune system and rebalancing poor sleep patterns to increasing energy and lowering cholesterol. A tea that has been traditionally drunk within a community, it’s that sense of individual rejuvenation amidst others that lies at the core of what Mahtay Café seeks to provide for their customers.
Without a doubt, the centerpiece of the restaurant is its excellent food. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options abound, but meat-eaters won’t feel left out at all. While many people assume a vacation has to pack on a few pounds whether you like it or not, when you eat a meal or two at Mahtay, you can easily protect your waistline — if that’s what you’re after.
Delicious salads, hearty nachos, memorable breakfast sandwiches, flatbread pizza — much of what they serve is straightforward, but it all has that same je ne sais quoi unique to the café’s food. Whether you’re a picky eater, a foodie, or someone for whom food is just a means to an end, you’re unlikely to look down upon your eating experience at this restaurant.
The first Sunday of every month marks their Twilight Jazz Series for lovers of jazz and improvisation. Every Thursday is Open Mic night where budding songwriters and established artists, poets and spoken word aficionados all take the stage for experience and to receive some nonjudgmental feedback. The rest of the nights are taken up with artist conversations, local bands, CD release parties, and even musical theatre productions. No matter what kind of live entertainment you prefer, it’s likely you’ll find something to interest you at Mahtay Café.
Whenever you next find yourself in Niagara, be sure to head over to St. Catharines for a night of great food and great entertainment at Mahtay Café.