STREET FOOD

A universal truth about the street food of the world is that it is practically infinite – thus, it gives us an infinite opportunity for discovery, experimentation and surprise.

Be charmed with Arabic hospitability. Relish the richness of Homestyle Arabic Street dishes and be enchanted by the shadow play of the music.  Share stories over mouthful of spiced food and when you can’t eat another bite, relinquish yourself to the intensity of the day to a cup of specialty coffee or tea. 

Anyone who has eaten on the streets knows about street food. Sometimes it is poor people selling to poor people – that’s certainly how it began long ago. Street food then was the only alternative to home food. But it was also the early version of a restaurant – when restaurants didn’t exist, but people still needed to be fed. Street food is great food prepared with care, technique, and the best of ingredients; an innovative experience that consistently surprises and satisfies; and a feeling of being personally connected to Yafa Café 

Arabs pride themselves in their hospitability and worth is measured according to how well guests are treated, family, friends’ neighbors and acquaintances are treated with the utmost generosity when dining at an Arabic table.  It is no different in Yafa Café.  Our refined Homestyle cuisine is served with unpretentious abundance and in the spirit of Arabic hospitability; you will be welcome like members of the family.

Throughout the world food is served in the streets – In Canada, hot dogs, Beaver Tails (fried pastries with sweet or savory toppings) and Poutine (French fries topped with gravy and cheese curds) are sold on the streets. The world of street food is rich and exciting; one-pot meals, slices of fruit, fried dough, little stuffed breads, sandwiches, chestnuts, drinks – prepared and cooked right in front of you and then consumed seated, standing or walking while you take in the sights, sounds and smells of the city.

Owners found distinct charm in the family operated food carts and corner markets scattered throughout Broadway and the Farmer Market in Winnipeg where the aroma of fresh food, hand crafted sauces and homemade cheeses saturated the air. This trip began our obsession…our inspiration…our mission to bring this experience to Winnipeg.

You will lovingly enjoy all kinds of food, in particular the Sfeeha: the smell of onions and pomegranate syrup wafted as soon as he spread stacks of the flat meat pies.

We opened Yafa Café in tribute to our mothers and grandmothers cooking with a mission to create fresh, healthy Arabic food focused on the preparation of high quality ingredients and attention to simplistic cooking.  Today’s consumers are looking for healthier, better quality food with convenient, fast delivery to accommodate their hectic lifestyles. We see this as our mission – to continue to deliver on these themes and to continue to find new channels through which we can expand the brand and the family of loyal Yafa Café customers.  Yafa Café was created with the belief that you don’t have to sacrifice quality and flavor for speed and value.

And since there is nothing more comforting and delicious in any culture than a home cooked meal, Yafa Cafe also brings you thalis – traditional family meals highlighting Arabia’s amazing culinary diversity.

PEOPLE


Our story

Food an essential part of all family and social interactions in the Arab World where people grow up with intense flavors, colorful, vibrant foods fresh from the marketplace, prepared simply and with a lot of passion. Aromatic herbs fill the streets and a spirit of warmth and generosity exudes welcome at any table.

Yafa Café is a world of Arabic cooking an exciting and new addition to Winnipeg.  Located between Polo Park and the Assiniboine Park/Zoo. We offer an Arabic fusion, providing a distinct Arabic twist to many Canadian favorites, while introducing a distinct cultural flavor to the community, contributing to the transformation of our corner into a ‘New Arabia.’ It offers manakeesh flatbread sandwich traditionally baked in an open flame oven and cranked out early in the morning in time for breakfast.

The cafe is the brainchild of a passionate owner who longs for the vibrant atmosphere of Downtown Jerusalem, Beirut, Baghdad and Algiers here in Winnipeg.  The name is our daughter’s name, named by her grandfather, inspired by Yafa, a Palestinian coastal city that was the site of major trading activity since the second millennium.  It is located on the Mediterranean coast north west of Jerusalem and has an Egyptian influence as shown by Archaeological evidence as it was an important trading center because of its ports. It was also a cultural center, where most Palestinian newspapers and magazines were published and known for its numerous cafés and modernity hence comes the name of Yafa Café. 

So come on in and visit us. Whether you are seeking a sandwich made in the oven in front of you, a velvety espresso, a bite of baklava, or just the aroma of fresh baked bread, you will be sure to leave with your own little slice of Yafa .

Here at Yafa Cafe, we share these strengths brought with us from Palestine to the new world of Manitoba – where modern curiosity, compassion, progressive values and tolerance are paving the way for harmonious integration and celebration of cultures and flavors.


Rana AbdullaRana

The founder and owner of Yafa Café.  She has always had a passion for food and after being a wife and a mother for over 35 years, and living in five different provinces, she saw a gap in the Canadian market and brought Arabic Street Food to Manitoba.  Rana grew up in a household where hospitality was prized and where both cuisines and palates were equally valued and integrated. Rana is deeply involved in the cultural community of Manitoba and is a crucial part of the palate, menu development, and creative process behind the Yafa aesthetic. 

Through her knowledge and expertise, Rana established Yafa Cafe in the hope to provide a reasonable, yet outstandingly tasty and high quality meal to those in Manitoba – future plans to expand and enter into the street food market world will continue through Rana’s drive to broaden the awareness of those unforgettable dishes.  She has carefully has developed the menu and recipes, adapting the traditional street food dishes to bring it into the 21st century, using the best ingredients.


Sarah AbdullaSarah

Owner Sarah Abdulla was born in Ottawa and lived in St-John’s, NL before moving to Manitoba.  Yafa Café is her brainchild, a student at l’univesitié de St-Boniface After and has the youth vision to turn Yafa  as an experiment to bring the food and traditions of the Arabs to the Canadian audience and to bridge the apparent gaps between the two cultures he inhabits. True to her artistic background, Sarah has her hands in innumerable projects, big and small, around the restaurant in order to make the Yafa experience universally compelling.

 


The Team

None of this would be possible without our spectacular team!

Yafa Cafe Team

OUR FRIENDS

At Yafa Cafe we make a point of sourcing our ingredients carefully. Our friends, which is how we like to call our suppliers, are the best in their field. We have thought carefully about the quality of our ingredients and have spent time assembling a brilliant team of suppliers to provide us with the finest ingredients for our delectable dishes. We may serve our food fast, but we certainly take no short-cuts shopping for and preparing it.

COMMUNITY

As generosity and compassion are a staple in Arabic culture, giving back is an integral part of what we do at Yafa . Since our opening, Yafa has donated to the people in the community; they provide the inspiration for all that we do. Through our special discounts for students, individual donations, and private events, we strive to cultivate a spirit of appreciation and collective growth. We have also recently sponsored the Arab cultural exhibition at the U of M.