If ever there was a hidden gem in Edmonton, The Hallway Cafe & Takeaway is it!
Recently renovated and rebranded, I was invited to try and tour this adorable little restaurant located inside City Hall downtown earlier this month, and boy do I have great things to say about it!!
The Hallway Cafe offers breakfast and lunch menu items, where almost everything is made in house, from scratch, including pastries and breads. They braise their own meats, make their own preserves and create from bone to stock to soup!
If that wasn’t great enough, The Hallway Cafe is actually a learning kitchen by e4c Alberta, an organization that helps vulnerable Edmontonians, working to prevent and eventually eliminate poverty!
What is a learning kitchen?
These young people cycle through various stations over an 18-week period, focusing on things like pizza, baking, prep line and front of house. They’re the ones who make your delicious food at The Hallway Cafe!!
It’s a 30-hour a week commitment and e4c Alberta tries to train up to 40 youth a year.
They’ve been doing this for over 20 years (see—hidden gem!) but only recently renovated and switched names in February! (It used to be called Kids in the Hall Bistro. I had never heard of it until now).
For many youth, working and learning at The Hallway Cafe helps get them job ready and teaches them life and work skills they otherwise might not have access to.
Skills like teamwork, communication, time & resource management, and customer service—as well as kitchen skills!
When I went to try The Hallway Cafe with my friend Chris, I was really impressed with the interior. There’s a mural wall on one end, wood tables, colourful bars, and a bunch of greenery, plus the nice slanted windows of the City Hall building and a really cool, warp-y ceiling design. Even the floor has great detail!
It is a really cute space, and one I’ve passed by numerous times outside of City Hall, never realizing it was there! Add points for speediness of service, presentation of food, and of course—the taste, and you’ve got yourself a wonderful little hidden gem.
Everything we tried at The Hallway Cafe was so good.
We had their made-from-scratch Blazing Basil Bird chicken pizza with brussel sprouts, basil cream sauce and harvati cheese ($10).
I loved the charred bottom and the thin crust. It wasn’t as “blazing” as I wanted it to be but it was real tasty and a huge portion for $10!
Their Philly Cheese Steak sandwich ($10) was great and, well, super cheesy as it should be. It came with fries which feature a house seasoning that I really liked.
I had their The Hallway Cafe’s Fire In The Hole jalapeño and cheddar scone sandwich with fried egg, jack cheese, pancetta and arugula ($7) with Carrot Ginger Soup ($5), which was super flavourful (I thought it might lean more towards one or the other flavour but it was seriously perfectly balanced).
The fried egg on the Fire in the Hole was not to my desired ooziness, but other than that it was a quality sconewich (and you can’t beat that price).
Finally, can’t forget drinks! The Hallway Cafe’s apple cranberry pineapple juice is divine. A must order!! Chris said, the best juice he’s ever had! They also sell a variety of coffees, so it would be a great place to just stop in for a quick coffee fix on your way to and from work too.
All-in-all, we had a really simple yet filling and delicious lunch at The Hallway Cafe.
It’s lighter fare, with phenomenal pricing, and it’s all made better knowing their unique concept and what they’re doing to help Edmonton youth in need.
The Hallway Cafe is open 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays only. Their executive chef is NAIT grad Brian McBride sets the menu with input from youth, who are then totally in charge of executing. I can’t state enough how impressed I am with these talented young cooks.
If you need more things to love about this place, they also focus on sustainability and food security. Their food packaging uses renewable resources and are 100% compostable. If there is excess food, they share with Women’s Emergency Accommodations Centre (WEAC) and other programs in the city.
Broken record over here! Our lunch at The Hallway Cafe was really good. And everything on this menu is so affordable. The most expensive item they serve is an $11 Hallway Burger and Caesar Salad. Mostly everything else is between $7-$10 including, as I mentioned, really well-sized pizzas!
I can’t wait to get back to The Hallway Cafe. I love what e4c is doing with this restaurant / learning kitchen. As my friend Sharon said in her post about it, The Hallway Cafe is serving up food with purpose. I have a feeling it will become one of my favourite and frequent new downtown lunch spots.
If you haven’t been (or like me, had no clue there was a learning kitchen inside City Hall the last 20+ years) you’ve got to check this place out. It’s so cute. It’s so tasty. And it’s such a cool and meaningful concept.
You will not be disappointed!
Disclaimer: I will always provide my 100% honest opinion on this blog. I was invited to try The Hallway Cafe by e4c Alberta. My meal was complimentary. This does not impact the opinions stated in this post. I was super impressed with The Hallway Cafe and can’t wait to come back!