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Food & WineBEST OF OTTAWA: Coffee Shops

BEST OF OTTAWA: Coffee Shops

BEST OF OTTAWA: Coffee Shops

With 20-years writing about Ottawa life we think we have
a pretty good idea of the best of what this city has to offer.
In this new weekly summer series we’ll share it with you.
From our top picks of hotels, live music venues, local brews,
bands and more, check, share and discuss
#OLMBest every Monday!


Bridgehead (Various Locations)

This socially responsible local chain was the first company in the nation to serve Fairtrade coffee. Specializing in specialty grade beans, their goal is to connect the producer with the customer in a meaningful way. All food is made with ingredients sourced through their partnerships with numerous local farms. You can tour their roastery on the first Saturday of every month.

The Ministry of Coffee (279 Elgin Street)

The Ministry of Coffee values technique and staff pride themselves on embracing innovative brewing technologies. They rotate their drink menu every week, with selections coming from all over the continent. They are so passionate about coffee and their business that they offer courses on home brewing (covering “pour-over, cupping and coffee knowledge”) and consulting packages to discuss how to start or improve your very own coffee shop

Happy Goat Coffee Co. (35 Laurel Street)

Happy Goat Coffee treats coffee like an art form and are happy to educate their customers about the different types available and their origins. Roasting only the most superior beans, the niche coffee company aims to protect their environment through sustainable small scale farming which supports diversity and local economies. They also sell three- or six-month coffee subscriptions on their website.

Quitters Coffee (1523 Main Street South – Stittsville)

Casual cafe by day and bar by night, this independent coffee shop features chic décor, outdoor seating and quality service. Their coffee menu is constantly changing and they carry various local brands of craft beer and wine. They also serve a fantastic breakfast and lunch.

Equator Coffee (412 Churchill Avenue / 451 Ottawa Street)

Equator coffee strives for good service and amazing brews. Everything they do is focused on their three main pillars: “Fresh Roasting, Fair Trade Purchasing and Organic Certification.” They value investment in and commitment to their local and global communities; they partner with SchoolBox to bring classrooms and school supplies to Central America. They’re clearly doing a good job, having won the Best Ottawa Business Award for Performance in Philanthropy in 2016.

Grounded Kitchen and Coffeehouse (100 Gloucester Street)

Created in the summer of 2010 by Amir Rahim and Gabriel Pollock, Grounded Kitchen is definitely down to Earth with simple, natural grub and stellar coffee. The open kitchen concept of the Centretown establishment tries to evoke the feeling of an outdoor market while indoors. Much of the interior has been recycled and or refurbished, such as the whiskey barrel bar or the pair of wood carts once owned by the Museum of Civilization, lending it an eclectic vibe.

Bluebird Coffee (261 Dalhousie Street)

This local micro roaster, owned by Raymond Roy, has been open since September 2012. They pride themselves on the high quality of their freshly roasted coffee. Buy a bag to brew at home or sit and stay awhile in the cozy shop to take advantage of their delicious soups, sandwiches and baked goods.

i deal Coffee (176 Dalhousie Street)

This independent coffee roaster in the Byward Market may be small, but their coffee packs quite the punch. They buy organic whenever possible and roast small batches two times per week to maintain freshness. All of their coffee blends are meticulously vetted for taste and quality. You can also order their coffee online, available in six different grinds.

Morning Owl Coffeehouse (Various Locations)

Morning Owl is owner Jordan O’Leary’s way of celebrating his family's Abruzzese roots. Using organic and direct trade Little Victories coffee, this shop offers all types of coffee concoctions, including lactose-free options. Drinks range from flat whites to undertows to lattes in a variety of original flavours, such as Nut N' Honey, Peppermint Patty, Nutella and Snickers. They also have lactose-free options. They have six locations scattered throughout the city.

Francesco’s (48 Jamie Avenue)

This award-winning artisan coffee chain roasts their coffee to order, using state-of-the-art equipment to make 10 to 60 kilo batches every 17 minutes. Thick roasting drums and precise control and cooling technology make some of the best coffee around. They can even deliver your custom order to your front door in under 36 hours from the time of roasting.

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