If you’re looking for a great local coffee shop, Ottawa has quite a few options for you to choose from. From busy, brightly lit spots to quieter, cozy, wood-covered cafés, Canada’s charming capital has a coffee scene for whatever mood you might be in.
Whether you want to catch up with a group of friends or steal away to a quiet corner, one of these downtown area independent coffee shops will have the right atmosphere. Discover coffee spots that are loved by Ottawa locals and visitors alike!
From Elgin Street to the pedestrian Sparks Street, you’ll find various Bridgehead locations throughout Ottawa’s busy downtown core and beyond.
Bridgehead is an Ottawa-owned company, with its flagship shop being opened at 362 Richmond Rd. in 2000. Here, you will find fairly-traded, organic coffees and teas that come from small farmers in areas such as Nicaragua. You’ll also find fresh organic snacks at this coffee shop such as brownies, macaroons, cookies and more. Gluten-free items are also available.
For the most part, the Bridgehead locations have a bright, minimalist and modern look. You’ll often see Ottawa’s downtown working set relaxing here on a coffee break.
There are 16 Bridgehead locations across Ottawa, including a roastery on Preston Street (near Dows Lake). You can take a free tour of the roastery on the first Saturday of each month. Discover how coffee in its initial green form is roasted into coffees with aromas of caramel, vanilla and many more.
Located at 24 York St. in one of the ByWard Market neighbourhood’s charming cobblestone courtyards, this coffee shop offers coffee, tea, fantastic sandwiches and fresh pastries.
This is a great place to take a break from sightseeing and recharge with a light meal and a caffeine jolt. On a nice day, we recommend grabbing a table outside and people watching for a while. Planet Coffee backs onto the busy Clarendon Lane Courtyard, which is shared by several other restaurants.
But if you decide to stop by this coffee shop, remember to bring some money. Planet Coffee deals in cash only.
THE MINISTRY OF COFFEE AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS:
This is one of Ottawa’s newest coffee shops and it keeps gaining popularity. This place is a coffee shop by day and a lounge bar by night!
Here, you will find a selection of coffee, lattes – including a Nutella Latte, various teas as well as hot chocolate. This cozy coffee shop is also home to Ottawa’s unique Nitrogen Cold Brew coffee! According to “The Ministry of Coffee,” as it’s known casually, the coffee is cold steeped for 24 hours, then filtered into a keg and infused with nitrogen. This process results in a naturally creamy and delicious iced coffee.
And if you want to learn some barista skills of your own, the Ministry’s ‘Department of Propaganda’ offers classes in topics such as Coffee Cupping, Latte Art and Aeropress coffee-making. Some classes are free and others have a cost.
There are two Ministry of Coffee locations in Ottawa; at 279 Elgin St. and 1013 Wellington St. West.
MORNING OWL COFFEEHOUSE:
You will find two Morning Owl locations in Ottawa; one at 538 Rochester St. and one at 139 Bank St.
This coffee shop is Ottawa-owned and operated by Jordan O’Leary, offering direct trade coffee. Here, you’ll find various teas, coffees, iced coffees, hot chocolate and a selection of lattes including unique flavours such as Creme Caramel, Nut N’ Honey, Snickers and more. Morning Owl also offers a custom blend of Equator Coffee, which is roasted just 45 minutes west of Ottawa in Almonte, Ont. Their drip coffee changes seasonally or according to the taste of the featured weekly barista.
And similarly to Planet Coffee, you will find a good selection of breakfast and lunch items at this spot!
Located at 195 Bank St., Bread&Sons offers coffee as well as delicious homemade baked goods that are vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
Grab a latte and savour baked favourites such as Hot Cross Buns, brownies, crêpes and more. There’s even Baklava! Bread&Sons is Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
BLUE BIRD COFFEE:
If you’re up for a bit of a stroll, wander north down Dalhousie street to BLUE BIRD COFFEE. Located on the outskirts of the ByWard Market district at 261 Dalhousie Street, this micro roaster started up in 2012. Here, you will find coffees, lattes, tea and fresh baked goods. You can also buy bags of freshly roasted Blue Bird Coffee.
On your way to or from Blue Bird, consider stopping at some of the unique shops that line Dalhousie. Located at 242 Dalhousie St., Workshop Studio & Boutique offers handmade clothing and jewellery from female Canadian designers. They even print their own t-shirts in the shop!
Coffee is only one aspect of Ottawa’s bustling culinary scene. To learn more about the city’s fabulous restaurants and food shops, browse Ottawa Tourism’s website.