• By: Kat Walcott

BEST OF OTTAWA 2019: Cafés & Coffee Shops

After over 20-years writing about life in Ottawa, we think we have

a pretty good idea of the best of what this city has to offer.

In this weekly series, we’ll share our picks with you — 

our top hotels, live music venues, local brews,

bands and more. Check, share and discuss

#OLMBest every week!

Red Door Provisions – 177 Beechwood Avenue

Tucked away in a mostly residential area, Red Door Provisions really is a hidden gem. It’s atmosphere is homey and quaint and their beverages, baked goods and in-house made preserves are to die for! From the traditional cappuccino to their specialty Beechwood Fog, their menu offers a little bit for everyone. Don’t forget to try out one of their unique grilled cheese sandwiches while you’re there as well!

Photo: Scott Wilson via Red Door Provisions Facebook

The Art House Café – 555 Somerset Street West

What do you get when you merge artisan eats and high quality coffee with beautiful art? The Art House Café! Located in Centretown, this spot has become a hub for local artists to display, share and sell their work. Whether you’re an artist yourself or just want a beautiful, artsy place to relax, this is the place for you. Their day menu includes all the café staples like hot beverages, soups and sandwiches while the night menu includes fun cocktails, beer, nachos and more.

Photo: The Art House Café Facebook



Oat Couture – 1154 Bank Street

It doesn’t get more unique than Oat Couture! Specializing in gourmet oatmeal porridge, it is the only spot of its kind in Ottawa. They offer both sweet and savoury oatmeal bowl options, which switch up seasonally, such as “The Savannah” (topped with cinnamon, pecans, maple flakes, nutmeg) and “The Hangover” (topped with aged cheddar, apples and crispy bacon). The cafe also offers a great drink menu that includes various teas, coffee and healthy, oat-based smoothies!

Photo: Oat Couture Facebook



Equator Coffee – 1 Elgin Street and 412 Churchill Avenue

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.” Equator values investment in and commitment to their local and global neighbours and are involved and partnered with various charitable organizations. Their downtown location, at the National Arts Centre, offers a beautiful view of Elgin street through its floor-to-ceiling windows.

Happy Goat Coffee – Various locations

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 the environment through sustainable, small scale farming which supports diversity and local economies. They also offer a really cool coffee subscription on their website!

Café Cristal – 240 Kennevale Drive

If you’re looking for a Parisian getaway without leaving town, Café Cristal is the spot for you. This gem is inspired by the neighbourhood cafés of France and strives to offer not only just exquisite baked goods and beverages, but a full experience – a place where people can come together to hang out and bond over good conversation. Whether it’s a business meeting or date, this is an ideal place!

Photo: Café Cristal


The Ministry of Coffee – 274 Elgin Street, 1013 Wellington Street West, and 18 Beechwood Avenue

The Ministry of Coffee values technique and the staff pride themselves on embracing innovative brewing technologies. The café’s drink menu changes regularly, 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.

Morning Owl  – Various locations

Morning Owl is owner Jordan O’Leary’s way of celebrating his family's Abruzzese roots. Using organic and direct trade 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 have six locations scattered throughout the city.

Planet Coffee – 24A York Street

Tucked away in Clarendon Lanes Courtyard in the ByWard Market, Planet Coffee is a coffee-lover’s oasis. The sleek café offers outdoor seating so you can enjoy the beautiful views of the courtyard and take in the fresh air. The coffee is always fresh and all their baked goods are all made on site. We recommend their date squares and seasonal loaf cakes!

 Photo: Planet Coffee Facebook


Little Victories Coffee – 801 Bank Street

The name Little Victories sure does suit this spot because oh, are they ever victorious! While they offer three pillar coffees that are perennial, their multiple single origin offerings change regularly as they purchase beans with the nature of sustainability, social impact, and quality in mind. You may have tried their coffee at one of the cafés they distribute to, but their own cafe in the Glebe is definitely worth a visit. All of their blends can be ordered either as a filter, milk base or espresso at the café.

Photo: Little Victories Coffee Facebook