There’s a little known vegetarian teahouse in Mississauga where you can find fresh fruit tea and delicious vegan meals in a peaceful environment. It isn’t advertised at all and there’s no outdoor signage for it. The Water Drop Teahouse (formerly known as Lotus Teahouse) is a Buddhist temple Mississauga tea house, and it’s a delightful place to enjoy a delicious and healthy meal.
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Step inside the Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto and you’ll find a quaint tea house that has quickly become one of my favorite lunch spots in the Toronto area. It’s perfect for vegans, vegetarians, and those who love incorporating plant-based meals into their lives.
Visiting the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple
Before you step through the front doors, be sure to admire the exterior of the Buddhist temple itself. This massive, symmetrical building is ornately decorated, with a large drum suspended on one side of the building, and a large bell on the opposite side.
After walking up the front steps to the main entrance, we swung open a hefty red and gold door. The smell of incense immediately filled my lungs and my eyes were dazzled by hundreds of gold Buddha statues inside an enormous prayer room directly beyond the front door.
No photography is allowed inside the temple itself because this is a place for meditation and prayer. On Sundays, you can take a tour of the temple. As it wasn’t a Sunday, we weren’t able to take a tour, but I hope to return at a future date.
Doors Open Ontario
In the past, the Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto was part of Doors Open Ontario. Hopefully, the Buddhist temple will be part of this project in the future (it couldn’t happen in 2020, for obvious reasons!). From the Doors Open Ontario website:
The objectives of this temple are to promote the principle of humanistic Buddhism and to foster peace and harmony among all peoples of the world. The temple has a main shrine, meditation hall, art gallery, library and teahouse. Experienced guides will introduce visitors to the practices, culture and art of Buddhism. Interactive actives include tea meditation, calligraphy and Buddhist etiquette.
How to Dine at the Water Drop Teahouse
You’ll find the Buddhist temple Mississauga tea house at 6525 Millcreek Drive, and it is closed on Mondays. From Tuesday to Sunday, you can dine here for lunch between 11:00am and 4:00pm. Their hours of operation may have changed. Please check their official website for hours first. Here are some important things to know before you plan your visit.
Membership and Tickets
When Justin and I dined at the Lotus Tea House (now called the Water Drop Teahouse), it was open to members of the public. Nowadays, you must be a member of the Buddhist temple to dine at the vegetarian teahouse. But, anyone can become a member for $30/year. As it is relatively inexpensive to dine at the teahouse, it’s certainly worth paying for a membership if you plan to dine here more than once a year.
Once you enter through the front doors of the temple, you’ll spot the tea room to the right of the main entrance and a table on the left side. As no money is exchanged inside the tea room itself, you can buy meal/drink tickets from this table in advance.
Tickets are $10 each and every item on the menu is worth one ticket (the meals, a pot of tea, etc.). When Justin and I visited, we purchased three tickets: one for each meal, and one for a pot of tea to share.
Please note that the temple is completely run by volunteers, including those working in the kitchen and those working as servers. They do not accept tips for their services. You simply pay for your meal with the tickets and that’s it! In the place of a tip, you are welcome to make a donation to the Buddhist temple at the front entrance, though it is not mandatory.
Our Experience at this Mississauga Buddhist Temple Tea House
There are several tables in the tea room. We didn’t have a problem finding a seat on a weekday afternoon. It gets very busy here on weekends and they do not accept reservations in advance. You may need to wait longer to get a table on the weekend.
The tea room itself is quite minimalist, and the restaurant offers a very relaxing and peaceful vibe. The servers are kind, courteous, and helpful. They are happy to answer any questions that you might have about the menu.
The entire menu is vegetarian and most of the dishes are vegan. There are only one or two food items (one sandwich and the desserts) that are not vegan. All of the noodle and soup dishes are vegan. The temple serves mock meat items in many of its dishes, including tofu and seitan.
One popular item on the menu is the vegetarian Laksa. Unfortunately, we tried to order it and it was already sold out. Thankfully, there were several meals that looked yummy. Justin ordered the cold noodle with sesame sauce, and I ordered the noodle with bean sauce dish. We shared a pot of the fresh fruit tea.
Our Meals and the Fruit Tea
The fruit tea is definitely a highlight of the meal. You can ask for more hot water when you’re partially finished your pot of tea. The servers will happily top up your teapot. We were given toothpicks so we eat the fruit from the bottom of the teapot once we were finished drinking it. The fruit was super concentrated from the tea and was really good.
The noodle dishes themselves are simple, yet incredibly delicious. The cucumbers, noodles, and the bean sauce was warm and satisfying, while the tofu pieces of the cold sesame noodle dish were very addictive. The food was served really quickly, making this an ideal lunch stop for anyone with a limited amount of time on a work lunch break. Enjoy these healthy meals that are soothing for the soul.
More Things to Do in Mississauga
There are lots of great things to do in Mississauga that you’ll love. Here are some of our favorite places to visit in Mississauga, from the perspective of a local: