Coffee Around Canada

I seem to have collected a small mountain of “coffee shop” photos on my iPhone (photos taken while enjoying coffee); not sure why I started to take coffee shop photos, but in discovering these I decided to share a snippet or two from good cafes around Canada:

Perks Cafe, Halifax, Nova Scotia

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Who in Halifax doesn’t know about Perks? I think Perks was in Halifax before Starbucks became a franchise (Starbucks has been in Seattle since 1971 but didn’t expand until the 90s). I know that when in Halifax and I want coffee, I head down to the waterfront / N.S. Crystal building / Ferry station — because Perks is there and it’s probably bustling with activity.

Coffee Merchant, Wolfville, Nova Scotia

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“We brew organic fairly traded coffee,” is the sign that greets you when you head into the Coffee Merchant in Wolfville (Main Street). Beside the vintage and slightly spooky Library Pub, it’s your last stop for a GOOD latte as you head into the Annapolis Valley and the land of Tim Horton’s coffee. It’s also the only place within 100km where I could find a wireless internet connection that’s open to the public, set-up correctly, and works with a Linux machine. The Coffee Merchant has been around FOREVER (at least since my days as a university student in the ’80s), which is something that I find extremely comforting (the donair pizza shop is now gone and the Anvil is back to being the Anvil until it changes hands again).

Caffe Amantes, Comox, British Columbia

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On the exact opposite side of the country is this small little cafe called Caffe Amantes on the main strip in Comox (Comox Avenue) that makes terrific hot chocolate, lattes and baked goods. If you like baked goods, this is a great place to go — and when you ask for a kids “hot chocolate” they know you mean a “kids- warm- chocolate- with- whip- cream- and- chocolate- and- a- ginger- snap- cookie.” I’ve written from Caffe Amantes before and recently La Niña and I were able to hang out there once again and catch up with Nate and Debbie over a brew.

Mudsharks Coffee Bar, Courtenay, British Columbia

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Mudsharks is a rather wonderful “good karma” coffee bar we found on a recent sojourn to Courtenay. Again, it’s on the main strip of old Courtenay (5th Street), kind of tucked in towards the top of the 5th Street hill. It’s a good karma shop because La Niña found a penny on the floor and put it in the tip jar; the immediate response from the barrista was to give her a “karma” button for passing on the good luck.

Heartland Cafe, Sunnyside, Calgary

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Ah, Heartland. Another shop that never really changes and if you live in Calgary most people know where this is. It’s an old stand alone building tucked away in Sunnyside. If you were to get off at the Sunnyside C-Train station instead of heading towards Safeway, head across the tracks in the opposite direction one block. On a recent coffee expedition I forgot to check and see if Heartland still had my favourite type of muffin — a dark chocolate muffin with cream cheese ball in the centre.

8 comments on “Coffee Around CanadaAdd yours →

  1. I like Heartland — I haven’t been there very often, as there aren’t any near my house — but I’ve been to the Heartland Cafe in Bridgeland, as it is near B-Dekk Beads, one of the stores where I teach jewelry design, so I sometimes pop in after a class, or if I happen to be there for shopping.

    Out of curiosity, I was wondering if you knew off hand if any of those coffee places serve anything other than cow’s milk or soy milk? My husband and I have stopped eating all meat, dairy, and eggs — so obviously no more Starbucks lattes for me!! (Yes, I’ve tried the Silk soy milk that Starbucks uses, and I’ve always hated soy milk, and still hate soy milk, and unfortunately I’ve found the Silk “taints” the flavour of any latte I’ve had.)

    It made me wonder if there were any coffee places/cafes that served almond milk (my first choice) or rice milk (my second choice).

    Almond milk is so good in coffee and on cereal (I also cook with unsweetened and sweetened almond milk and it works perfectly, too). I just wish that there were other milk options available at cafes other than cow or soy! (I’m thinking I may have to take a tiny cooler of almond milk with wherever I go!)

  2. Mmmmmm…. Steamed Almond Milk Lattes. I went through an almond milk addiction many years ago and recently. For my first Almond Milk phase there were plenty of cafes that served almond drinks — I’m thinking of Kenzington Ave Cafes. Community Natural Foods is another place that comes to mind. There used to be a little cafe across the street from the 10th ave CNF that had wonderful almond drinks. They’ve since closed down in that location and moved to the west side of 8th street across from MEC. Not sure if places like Beanos, Cafe Artisiano, or Bumpies serve almond drinks. I’m not a soy fan anymore; I don’t like drinking something that screams when you steam it ;).

  3. Yes – the last two times we’ve planned to meet, I’ve been sick with dread plague. I keep hoping a spontaneous meet is going to happen…I’ve been taking Fridays off, though, so I’m there on Thursday nights until the end of November.

    Um. How’s THAT for spontaneous?

  4. We’ve been part of the weekend brunch crowd. Weekdays are insane with swimming lessons and yoga and dance and “sport” lessons and weight training and running and cycling and dog walking and work meetings. Sigh. I’m told it only gets worse.

  5. I believe the Heartland Cafe is now gone in Calgary; seems to me another cafe has taken its place. However, we had coffee in Amantes on Vancouver Island a few weeks ago. It’s still good and an cute little place to hang out for a while.

  6. Whoa, we’re just seeing this now. Thanks so much for including Mudsharks in your list of great coffee spots around Canada. We really hope you’re able to come back and see us again soon.

Thoughts?