For a while there, I was starting to worry that my neighbourhood was going to be overrun with hair salons. Seriously, it was getting kind of crazy. But two new restaurants have opened in Cathedral that have made it so much more awesome.

Just in time for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival, Orange Café reopened. Presently, it’s still getting its kitchen in order and waiting on a liquor license but when it’s all done it’ll be an Izakaya Fusion Café and Bar. Not sure what all that entails exactly but I’ve heard the word sushi mentioned from more than one source. For the time being, you can still get good coffee and baked goods (the latter coming from off site).

If you click on those thumbnails at right, you can get a glimpse of the inside of the new Orange. It’s looking pretty styley. Have to say, as fond as I was of the old place, I like this design much better.

Also new to the neighbourhood — and a total surprise to me when it opened — is the Fiesta Filipino Bakery. Must admit, I haven’t really given this place a serious try yet. I’ve tasted their take-out empanadas and coconut buns — both really, really good — but there’s a lot that’s unfamiliar to me on their menu so I have to keep going back before I’ll have a real sense of the place.

The decor is a lot more… erm… “functional” (he euphemises)  than in other places nearby, but for the promise of Spanish and Filipino food I’ll forgive a lot.

You know, I remember back during the consultations for the Downtown Plan how the consultants talked about how great it would be if the 10 best restaurants in the city were all clustered together downtown.

That was almost two years ago, now. And during that time, while the city’s been busy with so much downtown jiggery-pokery, Cathedral has had the Fainting Goat open (Regina’s Best Restaurant As Selected By You) the Mercury Café and now these two places. Add that to 13th Ave Coffee House, the Freehouse, Crushed Grape and Viet Thai (did I miss anything?) and Cathedral is quietly fixing to become the place to go for eats.

Sorry downtown, I love you and all, but you’re a few extra blocks away of walking for me. I’m hoping this trend continues.

UPDATE: Commenters have pointed out some other great Cathedral restaurants I left out of this post: La Bodega, The Abbey and The Creek. I’ve eaten at all three more than a few times so it was just plain stupidity that I forgot about them. Whoops. Of course, it’s also a sign that the eating is so good here that I can barely keep all the places in my head.