Whether you’re a local looking for a new place to get your morning cup of Joe or a traveller needing their next caffeine hit to get through jet lag, this post is the ultimate guide to our favourite coffee shops in downtown Ottawa. In this list you’ll find a lovely assortment of cool dessert cafés, quirky coffee shops and local chains. Enjoy!
10. Bread & Sons
A great place to grab something on the go (as they have very limited seating), Bread & Sons not only has delicious coffee, but also some of the best sandwiches and pizzas in the city! Their prices are quite reasonable and they source most of their ingredients from local farms. Our top picks here are any of their pizzas, fresh salads or pastries (we haven’t had a bad thing here yet!).
9. Morning Owl
A welcome change to your typical Starbucks and Second Cup, Morning Owl is an awesome little place in Centretown. Not only are they in a great location, but they also have a large selection of lattes and desserts. Our favourites are the coconut, peppermint or Nutella lattes which you can get hot or cold, as well as the blueberry + zucchini loaf (which is HUGE). Come here if you need a break from the heat or are looking for a refuge during your work day. As an added bonus, they also sell some awesome little handcrafted soaps here!
A cult classic in Ottawa, this local coffee chain has its own roastery in the city. It evens opens up the roastery up to tours during Doors Open Ottawa (usually in June)! This place makes awesome lattes, coffee, tea and food (think brownies, cookies and the like). They even have fresh pressed juice! The best part? Bridgehead ensures that all its coffee, tea and chocolate is fair trade! If you like their coffee you can buy bags online or in-store or even their delicious granola which is super yummy for breakfast. Our favourites here are the Caramel Cider (its like drinking a caramel apple) and the Fair Trade Brownie.
7. The Tea Party
A less expensive alternative to having high-tea at Château Laurier, the Tea Party is an Alice in Wonderland-themed tea house that will make all of your childhood dreams come true. There are tons of different teas to choose from, our favourite being ‘Arctic Raspberry’. For about $15-20/person you’ll get a pot of tea as well as a tower of desserts and sandwiches, and get to sip tea out of dainty little cups while sitting on a beautiful sofa. Tea and scones not really your thing? No worries! They’ve also got an assortment of great desserts, coffee and even lavender lemonade!
6. Origin Trade Inc.
A place with comfy leather chairs, great coffee and a cool atmosphere. What more could a coffee fiend want? Not only is Origin Trade Inc. a great place to hang out in the company of a good book or laptop during daylight hours, it’s also a fantastic place for drinks during evenings. That’s right, Origin sells awesome food and drinks! Sip on beer and wine on their awesome patio to chill out after a long (and let’s face it, probably boring) day at work.
5. I Deal Coffee
This super retro coffee shop is an independent roaster right here in the city! They roast their very own coffee beans right here in the shop and have their machine on display so you can check it out while you sip your brew. They also sell bags of their coffee, so if you enjoy it as much as we do you can grab a bag to enjoy it at home. We love this place not only because of its delicious coffee, but also because of its really great atmosphere and small outdoor patio. Our recommendation is the iced latte!
4. Oh So Good
Although not technically a coffee shop, this little gem in the Byward Market is one of our favourite hangout spots in the city. Not only do they have an ever changing and vast selection of desserts that are sure to please the needs and tastes of everyone (as you can see in the picture below), but they also have a large selection of teas and hot drinks – including coffee. Our top picks are the lemon coconut cake with an iced chai latter (Katherine) and peanut butter cheesecake with a side of tea (Jordon). In addition to the great food and drinks, this place has a great atmosphere, with soft music playing in the background and cool art on the walls (which you can actually purchase should your little heart desire it!). This is a great place to come for a mid-afternoon snack or a late-night snack. Whatever your preference, we know one thing for sure: your sweet tooth will definitely be satisfied!
3. The SconeWitch
Again, not purely a coffee shop but so very awesome that it had to be put on this list. This is hands down the best place to get a fresh scone in the entire universe! They have a large selection of sweet and savory scones that you can have as a side to your pot of tea or cup of coffee. Feeling hungrier? They also have amazing ‘sconewitches’ (a sandwich inside a scone – awesome) or brunches. Our favourites are BLT with Pesto Sconewitch and the Sconewitch Brunch, but you really can’t go wrong with anything in this shop.
2. The Ministry of Coffee
We love this place because: it has a really awesome name (ministry, get it? because it’s in Ottawa! Hahaha), they are a super cute local shop, and they have a Nutella flavoured latte. They also use coffee from “North America’s top tier roasters”, featuring a different roaster every week. If you love their coffee you can even purchase them in the shop to enjoy at home. As an added bonus, their other location on Wellington West sells beer and wine after 1 PM in case you’re feelin’ the need for something a little stronger than coffee.
1. Planet Coffee
Hands down our favourite coffee shop in Ottawa. Maybe it’s the super cool hipster-esque atmosphere. Maybe it’s the delicious treats. Maybe it’s the delightful outdoor sitting area in the courtyard during summer months. Whatever it is that makes this place so great, they have got it down pat! Our favourite drinks here are the chilled chai latte (Katherine) and the Maple Way, aka the maple latte (Jordon). These drinks are sure to warm you up on a cold winter day or cool you down during the hot summer months. As an added bonus, Planet Coffee hosts a weekly colouring club on Tuesdays between 6-9 PM (i.e. those cool new colouring books in Chapters that are supposed to be great for mental health/de-stressing) where you and your friends can sit, colour and be super cool while doing it. Be sure to get there early as seats fill up fast!
Tip: Planet Coffee only accepts cash so be sure to have some on hand before coming here. There is an ATM on site but the fees, as always, are quite hefty so it’s best to get some from your bank’s ATM if possible.
Unsure of directions? Check out this handy map below that will show you where to go!
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