Yemeni Oasis: Mokha Coffee House

Yemeni Oasis: Mokha Coffee House

Yemeni Oasis: Mokha Coffee House

When you pull up to the plaza at the corner of 137th Avenue and Admiral Girouard Street in Griesbach, the neighbourhood seems, well, a little cold. 

With drab, grey architecture and a half-finished housing development looming over it, the strip-mall that houses Mokha Coffee House — Edmonton’s new Yemeni cafe — hardly has the feeling of a lively community. But then you step inside Mokha and realize the community isn’t empty, everyone’s just tucked away inside.

When I arrived, the large, open-concept cafe adorned with bright, welcoming decor was jam-packed with families, students and professionals. The place was alive with chatter and the earthy, green colour palette and lush hanging plants gave the place the feel of an oasis amid an otherwise overcast and sleepy day.

When it comes to what’s on the menu, Mokha has all the specialities that the average Canadian might expect to see on an upscale cafe’s menu: frappes, macchiato, cold brew, et cetera. But Mokha also delights in offering traditional Yemeni and Arabian brews, too. I ordered the Mofawar  — made with rich cream and cardamom — but there’s also the Qishr, San’ani and Adani Tea on the menu.

While there’s no full-menu (it’s a coffee shop, after all), it does have a healthy selection of traditional Middle Eastern pastries. I chose the Sabayah made with delicately light and flaky layers of phyllo, sprinkled with black cumin and then drizzled with Yemeni honey.

All this ran me $12, so while you won’t find a $2 double-double anywhere near this place (thank God), it’s not price-gouging, either. Most drinks will only run you $3 to $6.50, with the extra fancy drinks like affogato or smoothies costing $7 or $8.

And with a beautiful (and large) water fountain and urban parkette situated just outside of the patio seating area, I can only see Mokha’s reputation as a gathering place growing as the weather improves and word spreads.

Mokha Coffee House
Griesbach | 5344 Admiral Girouard St, Edmonton | Mokha’s Instagram