A traditional European street food has hit Calgary’s streets in a big way with Utca Chimney Cakes, a new coffeehouse downtown.
Opened on Nov. 13, 2017, the coffeehouse serves specialty coffees alongside chimney cakes. The tube-shaped pastries are baked on a rotisserie-style spit and can be topped with anything from sugar, cinnamon, nuts, or sprinkles.
‘Utca,’ which translates to “street” in Hungarian, was used as the name since chimney cakes are a popular treat in many European countries, specifically in Hungary.
Yadira Pineda opened the cafe, located at 207 13th Ave. S.E. with her husband, Guillermo Rivas.
While travelling in Budapest, the couple discovered chimney cakes and knew they had to learn how to bake them on their own. They took lessons and were soon baking these pastries for their children at home.
“My husband was just in love with them. He’s a petroleum engineer but he loves to cook and he travelled to Budapest just to get trained on how to bake them. Just for us, just for the family,” Pineda said.
What started out as a family treat has now become a thriving business. Utca serves both savoury and sweet chimney cakes, and are also serving locally-sourced gelato in their sweet treats.
“We just decided to bring some fun over here,” Pineda said.
Farzeen Manji, a finance student attending the University of Lethbridge’s Calgary campus, visited Utca and was rather impressed with the relaxed atmosphere and great food.
“As a student I can see other students coming here and getting homework done here as well,” Manji said.
Utca will ‘keep it rolling’ with their chimney cakes and hope to introduce even more European treats to Calgary’s streets.
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