Best of Ottawa 2020: 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 share our picks with you — our top hotels, live music venues, local brews, bands and more. Check, share and discuss #OLMBest every week!
Happy Goat Coffee Co.— Multiple 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.
Photo: Happy Goat Coffee Co.
Arlington Five— 5 Arlington Avenue
Arlington Five is small, cozy and full of delicious options. Their menu features an array of delicious brews, iced drinks, sandwiches, baked goods and more. What makes this café stand out is the vibrant graffiti art on the outside of their building – perfect for those Instagram shots!
Photo: Arlington Five
The Ministry of Coffee— Multiple locations
The Ministry of Coffee’s menu changes regularly, with delicious coffee blends coming from all over the continent. You can drop by one of their four locations to grab a cup, or to pick up a bag of one of their house blends to brew at home. Their handy website even has a whole section dedicated to coffee equipment recommendations if you’re new to the coffee world! Pay attention to the coffee blenders that will help you prepare bulletproof coffee.
Bar Robo— 170 Queen Street
Bar Robo has been the talk of the town for some years now since its original location in Chinatown, which has now closed, to their current location in Queen Street Fare. Drop by for an array of coffee, tea, sandwiches and yummy, unique donut flavours like peanut butter and banana, and raspberry smoothie!
Photo: Bar Robo
The Thirsty Maiden— 65 Denzil Doyle Court, Unit 116
The Thirsty Maiden is one of the newest additions to Ottawa’s café scene. Located in the Kanata South neighbourhood, the café is stunning with painted brick walls, plush chairs and wooden floors making it feel very home-y. As for their menu, your choices are endless with various coffee and tea lattes, baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, and more.
Photo: The Thirsty Maiden
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
Equator Coffee—multiple locations
At Equator Coffee, everything they do is focused on 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.
Photo: Equator Coffee Roasters
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: David P. via Google Maps
Little Victories Coffee Roasters— 801 Bank Street
The name Little Victories sure does suit this spot because oh, are they ever victorious! Offering both perennial and seasonal brews, you’ll always find something new. 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 Roasters
Morning Owl — multiple 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 lattes in a variety of original flavours, such as Nut N' Honey, Peppermint Patty, Nutella and Snickers.
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