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For those of you (including this writer) unschooled in the classics, “capulus” is the Latin word for coffee. Fast-forwarding a couple of millennia, it’s also the name of the latest cafe to hit St. Clair Avenue West, just east of Oakwood.
By association, the Latin designation is also somewhat fitting in that the owners of Capulus Coffee House hail from southern Mexico. Tellingly, Mexican influences are scattered throughout the eclectic menu, in the form of burritos, chicken tinga and – on Saturdays – cochinita pibil, a feast of pulled pork, served with tortillas and habanero sauce that can be ordered in advance for an eat-in or takeout.
That said, in keeping with the “eclectic” modifier, other influences abound. Korea is represented via the very robust Holy Cow bulgogi beef sandwich. And tapsilog, the beloved Filipino combo of beef tapa, garlic fried rice and fried egg, is just one of several compelling offerings on the weekend brunch menu. Another is a delicious mash-up consisting of roast beef slices, piled between two pieces of French toast, and crowned with a poached egg (yes, maple syrup is also involved).
There’s also a wide array of equally munchable, and nicely priced, fare that veers into both lightly and heavily into healthy territory. In addition to sandwiches, salads, soups and bowls, there are superfood smoothies and creamy parfaits, the latter made with Greek yogurt or coconut milk. For sweetness, there are muffins, cookies and brownies, baked fresh on the premises, with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. Of course, there’s also coffee.
Amid the rapidly rising towers of two luxury condos being built along this stretch of St. Clair, Capulus Coffee House is contrastingly cozy and intimate. Plants adorn the windowsill and dangle from the walls and colourful chairs invite you to sit down and chill, or as they say in Latin, “relaxat”.
Capulus Coffee House is located at 881 St. Clair Avenue West. It’s open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (and until 3 p.m. on Sundays).