So apparently October 1st is now International Coffee Day, I’m not complaining – any excuse to enjoy more of my favourite addiction is welcome!
When I travel to a new city, one of the things I always do is try out as many of the cafés as possible and find the best one. While I haven’t been to every single town and city in Canada (yet!), I’ve traveled across Canada twice and these are the cafés that I loved the most and go back to when I’m in that city.
Here are my 5 favourite cafés in Canada:
1. Café Myriade (original location) – 1432 Rue Mackay – Montreal, Quebec
Café Myriade first opened up when I was an undergrad at Concordia University and taking creative writing classes across the street. It kind of looked like a hole in the wall and still does, in fact when I took my friend there recently, telling her “This place has the best hot chocolate ever, it’s made from real warmed up chocolate”, she told me it was not the kind of place she would have ever gone in on her own. They have some newer more glam looking locations but the hole in the wall original location is still my favourite. It’s small and hard to find a seat but the coffee is strong, the lattes are the perfect balance of milk and espresso, and the hot chocolate really is amazing – like drinking a cup of thick melted chocolate. Also try their Honey Lemon Gingers – the hot one is great for if you’re feeling under the weather.
2. 49th Parallel – 2902 Main Street – Vancouver, British Columbia
49th Parallel is my favourite Canadian coffee roaster, these are actually the beans that Café Myriade uses to make their coffee. I love them so much I actually have a personal supply of coffee beans shipped from Vancouver to me wherever I am at the moment.
2. Rocket Bakery – 272 Water St – St. John’s, Newfoundland
I think Newfoundlanders tend to be more of tea drinkers than coffee drinkers and I actually found it hard to find a latte here that wasn’t too milky. The lattes at the Rocket Bakery uses Canadian roasters such as Phil & Sebastian and they were strong enough for me. This is also my go to location for hearty but inexpensive meals when I’m in St. John’s. For under 10 $ Canadian they have filling, healthy meals like sweet potato shepherd’s pie. When I went on St. Patrick’s day they had Irish Style Lamb Stew and soda bread and they even served lattes that looked like this:
4. Wild Flour Bakery – 101-211 Bear Street – Banff, Alberta
Banff is such a great place to get a coffee because who would not want to sit at a cafe and relax with those great views all around you? The Wild Flour Bakery became one of my favourites because not only does it have great coffee and a terrasse to sit on outside and soak in those gorgeous mountains but it also has inexpensive food that can meet a variety of dietary needs such as vegetarian, gluten-free and organic. This was a lifesaver for me when traveling as a broke backpacker on my first ever solo trip crossing Canada by Greyhound on a Discovery pass when I was younger especially as the prices of food can be quite expensive in Banff.
5. Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters – 9002 Quartz Rd – Whitehorse, Yukon
Like the midnight sun in the north, the coffee at this coffee roaster and cafe will keep you awake all night – it’s super strong! If you ever visit the Yukon in the summer and want to stay up all night and have that true northern experience, try some of this coffee. The Yukon is where I first fell in love with the north and this quirky cafe was part of introducing me to the unique spirit of the north. I brought home a bag of this coffee and savoured it along with dreams of going back to the north. In addition to roasting beans, serving coffee and having walls lined with art and unique books, the building also has a bike shop.