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“Excellent Independant Upscale Cafe”
Review of Mahtay Cafe

Mahtay Cafe
Cuisines: Healthy, Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Late Night
Description: A funky downtown cafe with live music and an art gallery. Diverse menu with lots of vegan and gluten free options. Serving flatbreads, crepes, sandwiches, soups, salads and weekend brunch.
Niagara Falls, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
378 reviews
295 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 248 helpful votes
“Excellent Independant Upscale Cafe”
Reviewed January 22, 2014

Mahtay is an independant upscale cafe that is a great place to meet friends and have a latte, mocha, cappucino, etc,... They have very cool transparent serving mugs for herbal teas that the tea and water are mixed into and then it's placed on top of the drinking mug for serving. Love it! And they have them for sale!!

They also have great snacking food and light lunches. Much of the menu caters well to vegetarians. They also have free WiFi and some of the tables have power plugs. There is live music, lectures and readings in the lounge area at the back of the dining room on a regular basis.

This is a very cozy place downtown and even though it's a little expensive, far better than the upscale large franchise cafes.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sheumais
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChDaLo, Owner at Mahtay Cafe, responded to this review, July 10, 2014
Thank you for the awesome and in-depth review of the cafe.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    30
    12
    4
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Enjoyed Mahtay, but, Expected Artist Performances & "Community"; Expc'd Rock Snobs, Cliquish Energy & Early Close Times.”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

I've frequented Mahtay five times thus far. All visits took place between June and October 2013.

I've brought others with me and encouraged even more to patronize the venue.

I've enjoyed my visits to Mahtay, overall, but going by what I'd heard before visiting the first time and from the staff each time I've visited, I had expected Artist Performances on each evening that I visited and a friendly sense of "Community".

I believe the food and beverages account for the "community" at Mahtay, since the food ingredients and menu items are said to be locally grown, brewed, etc.

What I've experienced of the menu has been good quality and tasty, however, the Baristas have nothing healthy on hand to sweeten or lighten teas, chais and coffees with -- for those of us allergic to nuts and wishing to stay away from cane sugar, anyhow. No Agave Nectar, Brown Rice Syrup, Brown Rice Milk or Coconut Milk. The Soy Milk on offer has cane sugar included and I believe they offer sweetened Almond Milk, as well. I am pleased to report that they offer organic, fresh, gluten-free and cane sugar-free foods! : )

Each and every time I've visited I've felt the recorded music, while an impressive selection on each visit, was a little too short on volume, making it less easy for those who are shy, self-conscious or needing to speak discreetly to open up and speak, you know... really communicate, in an on-going conversation, as it feels as though the entire room can hear your conversation, regardless of the area you're seated in. I've purposely sat in each area available to patrons in order to determine whether the acoustics are different in different area. They aren't.

While I like that there are local Music and Performance Artists booked to perform, the only time any type of performance was happening when I visited was on only ONE of my five visits. The performance was nearly finished at the early hour of 8PM! I guess it was an Open Mic Night. It had been all young, female, acoustic, Vocal performers and I was the only person in a half-filled Cafe who applauded the Muso's efforts! Even their own contemporaries didn't get "into" the performances and barely seemed to acknowledge most of the performances!!! It was very odd, and disheartening!

I think, if the volume were turned up and the lights turned down a bit, the feel of the room would improve. However, the energy and conversation from much of the clientele has seemed cliquish, with 'Rock Snobs' or 'Folk-Rock Snobs'; those trying to impress, seem "cool" and over-talking some of their pals -- has rubbed me the wrong way -- on each and every visit.

Artists are generally authentic, open, accepting, interested and easy-going folk. This crowd, every time I visit, seems Put-On to a degree.

I don't wish to feel as I do about Mahtay. I'm glad there is such a venue in the city. I've shared, simply, what I have experienced there.

"Community" is alluded to in regard to Mahtay, quite a bit. Considering the population of the area, I wonder why the only (and very few) people of colour I've seen at Mahtay are Asian-related. I've yet to see any of the city's African, Caribbean, Latino or Australia/New Zealand/South Pacific Islands-related folk as clientele or performers there...

I appreciate the "Free Wi-Fi" internet availability. It makes for a more inviting, cultured and less stoic venue to visit while out of home but needing to be on-line, opposed to the nearby Central Library.

Most of the times I've visited the venue it has closed EARLY. As I am nocturnal, that is always a disappointment for me.

I haven't given up hope to catch some impressive entertainment acts there, eventually.

I will continue to frequent Mahtay when in the Garden City and do hope I manage to feel different about it in the future -- in only positive ways, preferably!

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank OpenCarry K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChDaLo, Owner at Mahtay Cafe, responded to this review, August 1, 2015
Hi goinganywherewecango

I am truly sorry we let you down. We strive to deliver remarkable service all the time, every time. There is not a day goes by that we don't receive compliments about our team, our place and our product. So when we hear we did a poor job we take notice!

All our baked goods and breads are are baked fresh from a local bakery. We get our meat products from a local butcher shop. Our coffee is from the current coffee roaster of the year. We make all dressing sauces and marinates in house. Having said that we didn't deliver and that is on us.

We hope someday we can make it up to you. Meanwhile please email me at chris@mahtay.ca. We will pull up your receipt, refund your money and offer you a cafe credit for your next meal here (if you will give us that chance).

Sincerely,

Chris
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NiagaraFallsCanada
Level 6 Contributor
166 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Casual and welcoming cafe”
Reviewed October 16, 2013

Great place to grab a light meal, glass of wine and relax. There is always something fun and happening going on at Mahtay. They keep a chalkboard calendar on the wall with upcoming events. You never know what they will come up with next!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank CanadianTraveller48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A Gem in Niagara!”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Whether it's (great) coffee-on-the-go, prolonged chats over caffeine, yummy and healthy lunches, or evening events (really active schedule here!) this place is simply fantastic! Great staff, ambiance, coffee, food, and overall vibe. I'm a regular.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tony L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Awesome place to kick back, connect, restore”
Reviewed May 29, 2013

Mahtay has a very active entertainment schedule, from poetry slams through concerts to open mike night. Great food, all freshly made on premises. Great teas and they are serious about the coffee. Chairs/tables or couches. Your choice. And an eclectic and approachable crowd.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank RockHopperUp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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