Ah, coffee. It’s the morning staple that so many of us rely on, the afternoon pick me-up that we sometimes need, and the beverage that everyone can agree to meet over, be it for business or pleasure.
In this great, big country of ours, there are plenty of spots for that coffee fix. Tim Hortons is standard when you’re in a pinch and don’t feel like paying more that $2.00 for a cup of joe, and Starbucks is always a reliable choice that’s easy (maybe too easy) to find. That said, there’s something inherently refreshing about those independent coffee shops that are in your favourite neighbourhood, a trendy part of town, or just around the corner from where you live.
No matter what city I move to, discovering the best coffee shop(s) in town is always an immediate priority of mine. It helps me feel more at home and makes me feel at ease. “The coffee shop” becomes a safe space that I know I can go to if I don’t feel like being at home.
Truth be told, for the better part of my 20’s I’ve taken shelter in many-a coffee shop, and they have been my saving grace in many instances.
In Vancouver I found a coffee shop just around the corner from my office, which I ran to whenever I was feeling overly stressed or needed an escape from the office (not to mention the fact that they had the most delicious chocolate chai latte I’ve ever had!). In London, ON I found a coffee shop where I knew I could always get a caffeine kick and some brain food to power out intense paper writing. And in Calgary I’ve discovered the best spot for both meeting with friends and work colleagues alike (and, if I’m lucky, a great spot for that first date).
I don’t quite know what it is… whether it’s the atmosphere, the quality coffee taste that’s oh-so-much better than the rest, the people watching, the solid tunes, the fact that I can go by myself without feeling bad about it, or the fact that I can go with a friend and be sure that I’m in for at least an hour of quality conversation. Coffee shops are fantastic spaces to be in. Enough said.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and explore something different, something other than your average Starbucks. You’ll be in for a real treat, and the best friggen latte you’ve ever had. Chat up the barista, sit and stare at passerbys, listen to the intense conversation that the couple behind you is having, plug in your headphones and get in the zone for some productive work time, or simply chill out and take in the vibe. Stay. Sit. Sip. Enjoy!
Some of our favourites:
- Victoria: Habit, Picnic, Solstice Café, Wild, Fernwood Coffee Co
- Vancouver: Medina Café, Trees Organic Coffee, Calhoun’s
- Calgary: Analog Coffee, Phil & Sebastian, Deville, Higher Ground
- Yellowknife: Dancing Moose Café, Javaroma
- London: Organic Works Bakery
- Toronto: Café Olya, Ezra’s Pound, Cherry Bomb, The Scullery
- Montreal: Café Myraide
- Halifax: Cabin Coffee, Uncommon Ground