For all the coffee addicts out there (like me!), I’ve rounded up the best coffee shops in Ottawa.
When I travel to a new place, I’m always looking for a great cup of coffee. Whether it’s a dark roast coffee, an espresso, a latte with plant-based milk, or the local specialty, I’m willing to give it a try. You know, for research purposes. I’ve got to report back to you, my lovely readers, with a list of the best coffee shops in Ottawa. Well…let’s be honest. Blog or no blog, I’d be seeking a great cup of coffee.
With only a couple of days in Ottawa, I managed to drink several cups of coffee at a few places in town. Of course, there were a lot of places I didn’t get to try. I’ll still add them to my “honorable mentions” list with the hopes of visiting them upon my return to the city.
If you have any suggestions for me, I welcome them! Please let me know all about your favorite coffee shops in the comments at the bottom of this page.
MINISTRY OF COFFEE
279 Elgin St
Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-7pm, Sun 8am-6pm
One of my friends from the Ottawa area recommended that I check out the Ministry of Coffee. He warned me that had a bit of a hipster vibe, but the coffee was great. When I entered the shop on Elgin Street, I immediately noticed that it was rather cozy. The tables were all taken on a weekday morning, with mostly younger people working away on their laptops. It’s a great environment if you’re interested in getting some work done, although I recommend arriving early so you can get a seat.
I ordered an almond milk latte to go. The barista was friendly and the service was quick. The latte was rich, smooth, and delicious. I’m sure their other selections of coffee are great. Currently, they don’t have any vegan pastries on the menu, though I’d love to see at least one make a regular appearance.
There’s a second location in Hintonburg, The Ministry of Coffee and Social Affairs (1013 Wellington St W). I’ll have to check it out next time!
96 Sparks St
Hours: Mon-Fri 6:30am-7pm, Sat-Sun 8am-6pm
When I type “Bridgehead” into Google Maps, at least 10 locations pop up in downtown Ottawa. Clearly, this coffee house is an institution in the city. You must give it a try as it is one of the best coffee shops in Ottawa. I can also see why their coffee is so popular as they’ve truly perfected the brewing process.
I visited a location right across the street from Parliament Hill. After a trip up to the top of the Peace Tower early in the morning, I was ready for a jolt of caffeine. The cafe itself was warm and inviting, without being too crowded or noisy. They serve baked goods and light meals, so Bridgehead could be a great lunch option, too.
As for vegan options, Bridgehead serves soy and almond milk. You might see a vegan baked good available from time to time. They also sell fresh pressed juices and vegetarian meals, like a quinoa and sweet potato wrap.
I ordered a coffee that was bold and flavorful. I sipped it as I walked around downtown Ottawa, with the snow lightly coming down. The coffee was comforting on a chilly, winter day.
BREAD AND SONS
195 Bank St
Hours: Mon-Fri 6:45am-5:30pm, Closed Weekends
Bread and Sons happened to be around the corner from my Airbnb apartment. I also discovered that they were open really early in the morning, and they also served vegan desserts. Naturally, I had to go there!
This isn’t the kind of coffee shop where you hang around for hours on end chatting to your friends. When I visited, it seemed popular for its grab-and-go selections. There was a line up of customers that moved very quickly as everyone knew what they wanted to order. These were mostly professionals on their way to work, picking up a coffee and a light breakfast.
While the coffee was good, the freshly baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookie was amazing. They also sell vegan muffins and vegan slices of pizza. If you don’t come here for the coffee, at least try one of the plant-based treats.
LITTLE JO BERRY’S
1303 Wellington St W
Hours: Tue-Thu 8am-6pm, Fri-Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 8am-5pm, Closed Mon
Little Jo Berry’s makes an excellent cup of coffee; however, they might be known even better for their selection of baked goods. This establishment is also 100% vegan, although you’d never know it. It’s extremely popular in town, and I’m sure that many of their customers don’t even know that it’s a vegan place!
From handmade pop tarts to brownies, and burgers to pizza slices, you’ll find yummy treats and savory meals. I recommend doing what I did – buy a coffee, and bring back a container full of desserts. Some of them made it home as a surprise for Justin. Many of them didn’t make it out of my Airbnb. A girl’s gotta have a late night snack, right?
As for caffeinated beverages, you’ll find only plant-based milks on the menu: soy milk, almond milk, and coconut milk. They have coconut whipped cream, too. There are a variety of espresso drinks, including specialty beverages like a vanilla chai, a matcha latte with agave, and hot chocolate.
OTHER HONORABLE MENTIONS
Here are some other places that I’d love to try the next time I visit Ottawa. Have you tried them before?
Happy Goat Coffee
35 Rue Laurel St
Hours: Mon-Tue 7:30am-8pm, Wed-Fri 7:30am-10pm, Sat 9am-10pm, Sun 9am-8pm
Morala Specialty Coffee
734 Bank St
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-6pm, Sat-Sun 8am-5pm
380 Elgin St
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat 9am-4pm, Closed Sun
I Deal Coffee
176 Dalhousie St
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sat 8:30am-7pm, Sun 9am-6pm
24 York St
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-10pm, Sat 7:30am-10pm, Sun 8am-8pm
5 Arlington Ave
Hours: Mon-Sun 8am-5pm
111 York St
Hours: Mon-Wed 8am-9pm, Thu-Sat 8am-1am, Sun 9am-9pm
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