Yes, it’s true – one of the greatest Canadian stereotypes is living off Tim Hortons. From my time abroad, I can deduce that Canadian people LOVE this place. I witness this first hand every time I go (e.g. there are constant queues for Tim Hortons), and to Canadians the place seems as integral of an eatery as McDonald’s or Subway. Although the general consensus is that (to Canadians) it is the embodiment of everything good in the world, I really wanted to try the place a handful of times to see if it really lived up to the hype!
Phase 1 – the atmosphere
The first time I stepped into a Tim Hortons, I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t what I had in mind. My expectations of a dim lighted coffee house similar to a Starbucks interior were flat lined when I saw the harsh lighting and basic furniture. At the end, I felt more like I was at an upscale Maccies than a “coffeehouse”. This wasn’t made better by the fact that there is a huge queue, and the staff constantly rush you along so they can ease the queue.
I now saw why although the queues were long, seating is always available. From my opinion, I’d much rather enjoy my Tim Hortons to go – the dreary atmosphere isn’t worth it!
Phase 2 – the coffee
From experience, this depends on what you get. I guess you could say that this is true of all coffee places, but at Tim Hortons it seems like more of a necessity. As an example, when I went to Tim Hortons (the second or third time) I got a French Vanilla again. I liked how sweet and easy to drink it was, though it reminds me more of a latte than “actual” coffee. However, my friend just got an Americano (they liked strong coffee) – however, they soon came to wish they hadn’t.
Long story short, some of their coffees taste nice (I will miss my French Vanilla runs when I come to leave), but some “taste like something you’d get from the gas station”. Enough said!
Phase 3 – the food
Yeah, I know, the picture doesn’t look too promising! Sadly, like most fast food places, the poster food doesn’t look as good as the real thing. Another thing I think of whenever I taste Tim Hortons is how fatty it is, as in you can just taste it (I have no other way of describing that experience).
Saying that, there are bits of the menu I do like (and all of them not a part of the breakfast section, like the sandwich picture is). I guess when there is Tim Hortons on every street corner you just give in a lot!
Overall, though my review seems very negative, I’d still go again! I feel like the reason Canadians go here so much is not down to quality, but price. If you compare Tim Hortons to any eatery, it’s likely that Tims will triumph as the cheaper option. If I can get a large French Vanilla for $2.50 (about £1.50) then it’s likely that I’ll be coming back. I guess that’s why the lineups are so impressive!
Until next time. x