Canadians are tough and know how to make the best of harsh winters, which is why there are so many different places for coffee drinking and socializing to fight the bite. Whether you are from Canada or are just visiting, be sure to check out at least one of the multitudes of cozy localities to help keep you warm and toasty.
When the chill starts to creep in and the days get darker, here are 13 distinctive options to try out across the great north that serve specialty coffee, teas, treats, and merchandise. They are all options away from the norm that is defined by Starbucks. Many of these franchises started in Canada and are exclusively Canadian. Some are even province specific! See which shop is near you or has the right vibe for your discerning tastes.
19. Balzac’s Coffee Roasters
Named after Honore de Balzac, a dedicated coffee enthusiast and famous French novelist of the 19th century, Balzac’s Cafe was created to reflect the je ne sais quoi of the French cafe. The owner spent time in France absorbing the strong cafe scene in France, before bringing the magic back to home.
Based out of Stoney Creek, Ontario, this shop is committed sourcing all ingredients from organic, local where possible, and sustainable suppliers. With 11 locations, all styled to perfectly reflect the surrounding neighborhood, settle in at Balzac’s for a salted caramel latte or one of their French pastries.
18. Bridgehead Coffee
Originally started as a business supporting small-scale coffee farmers in Nicaragua in 1981, Bridgehead Coffee was the first company to bring Fair-Trade coffee to Canada. In 2012, they opened their own coffee roastery, which supplies coffee to each of the 16 storefronts across Canada.
They further demonstrate their commitment to sustainability by using a waste streamlining protocol to recycle or reuse items as well as compostable take away cups and packaging for customer convenience and earth-friendly practice. In addition to traditional coffee and tea offerings, they have a bakery that produces treats such as French viennoiserie; the category of pastry made famous by the croissant.
17. Cinnzeo Bakery Cafe
Officially known for their giant cinnamon buns and related pastries such as the cinnamon twist, Cinnzeo also has brewed coffee and espresso drinks at participating locations. You are most likely to run into one of the 14 stores at the mall, where it is a great place to stop for a warm sticky cinnamon pecan roll coated in Philadelphia cream cheese icing. You can also get your hands on packaged buns for your next friends and family gathering.