Air Canada Café Toronto Pearson Airport Review

On a recent short layover between Vancouver and Ottawa, I got a chance to check out the Air Canada Café at Toronto Pearson airport. I’ve been eager to visit this interesting addition to Air Canada‘s business class offering since it opened in late 2019. After a couple of years of closure due to the pandemic, I was finally able to stop in for a coffee between flights.

Here’s my long-awaited review of the Air Canada Cafe (also known as the Maple Leaf Cafe) at Toronto Person Airport.

Air Canada Café YYZ Location

Air Canada Café Toronto Pearson Airport Review

The Air Canada Café at YYZ is conveniently located just past security in the domestic terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson airport. It is on the gate level just below the Plaza Premium Lounge and directly across from gate D20.

The Cafe is open from 05:15 to midnight daily.

For my visit, it was super convenient to get to. I arrived at gate D26 after my red-eye flight and flew out of gate D35. The Air Canada Café is pretty much smack dab in between. This was even more convenient as my flight was over two hours late arriving giving me a short 30 minutes to check out the café.

Air Canada Café YYZ Access

The Air Canada Café is open to all Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge business class passengers as well as Aeroplan Super Eliet, 50K, and 75K status holders. The Café is also open to Star Alliance Gold Members as well as the following Aeroplan branded credit card holders;

  • TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card
  • CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card
  • American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
  • American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card
  • American Express Aeroplan Corporate Reserve Card

On my visit, I was travelling in Business Class through another successful eUpgrade bid. Aeroplan’s dynamic scale on Air Canada flights brought my relatively last-minute booking down from a ridiculous 150K points to 40K points and 4 eUpgrade credits. I suggest going back and reading my post on how to maximize eUpgrade benefits if you need a refresher or tips on how to maximize them for situations like this.

Air Canada Café Service and Amenities

Stepping inside the Maple Leaf Café you will instantly see that this is not a Maple Leaf Lounge. Gone are the endless seating options, buffet, and bar. Instead, you will find a cafeteria-like self-serve area stocked with snacks and drinks. In the middle, are a couple of seating tables and cosy booth-style benches.

Air Canada Café Toronto Pearson Airport Review

A most notable difference between the Maple Leaf lounges and the Air Canada Café is, at least on my visit, the crowd size. Maple Leaf lounges have been very busy as of late with lineups out the door not uncommon. That was not the case on my visit to the Air Canada Café. I counted around 10 people while checking out the space.

To the left of the cafeteria area are Maple Leaf café’s best features, its barista bar and juice stand. To the left of that are additional seating options and a window overlooking the tarmac.

And that’s it.

Air Canada Café Toronto Pearson Airport Review

The minimalist approach is a nice change and the lack of a crowd makes for a comfortable spot to hang out and relax or get some work done in between flights.

Air Canada Café Food and Drink

Although you will find many of the same prepackaged wraps, sandwiches, and snacks as you would in the Maple Leaf lounges, there are some interesting and notable additions in the café.

For one, there is an excellent selection of healthy drinks by Toronto-based Greenhouse Juice Co. I had the blue lemonade which was refreshing and much-needed after my redeye flight.

Over at the bar you will find an orange juice machine for freshly squeezed OJ. You will also find a display case of pastries including croissants and scones.

Last, but certainly not least, is a full menu of coffee drinks and teas. This includes both hot and cold drinks by Lavazza with traditional staples like lattes and cappuccinos but also eye-catching drinks like cherry cold brew and Creamespresso – a creamy espresso sorbet.

Notably, there is no alcohol on the menu at the Air Canada Café. There is, however, a list of mocktails to enjoy.

UPDATE: The Air Canada Cafe now serves alcoholic drinks including some great-looking cocktails. I will update with photos and a review on my next time through!

Since my arrival flight was so late, I was worried about my tight connection and didn’t get to try anything interesting. Instead, I did like the Italians do and had a quick espresso before continuing on. This was all for not as my connecting flight was also delayed. I should’ve waited for the boarding text notification before heading to my gate. Hot tip for your visit!

    Compare prices on flights to Toronto with Skyscanner

Maple Leaf Cafe – A Great Grab and Go Option

Air Canada Café Toronto Pearson Airport Review

All in all, the Air Canada Café is a great addition to the business class services Air Canada offers. With an obvious emphasis on quality over quantity, this more-is-less approach is about as refreshing as the Greenhouse lemonade I enjoyed on my visit. It’s also incredibly convenient.

Thanks to the automated turnstile, I was in and out with juice in hand and an espresso pumping through my veins in minutes. This is even more appealing given the contrast with the Starbucks queuing at least 12+ people deep outside the Maple Leaf Café.

Well done Air Canada. I will happily return here in the future and likely chose it over the lounge if crowds continue to mass there.

Starbucks anyone?

What say you?
Thoughts on the Air Canada Cafe at YYZ?
Let’s hear it!

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