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coffee

Hot Drink Hot Spots

By Joseph Mathieu

These aren’t your grandma’s coffee shops. Although she’ll probably like them too. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the more unique and fun spots to warm up as the spring slowly comes around.

 Photo by Laura Jasmine

The Vanitea Room

The gilded mirrors, regal chandeliers and plush chairs make every visit to The Vanitea Room an opulent affair. The atmosphere is Victorian flair with a modern twist, epitomized by a large flowery mural. The salon serves afternoon tea five days a week, with a dazzling array of over 150 teas from around the world. Teatime isn’t complete without their elegant three-tier serving tray teeming with edible delights, from macarons to panna cotta. They also offer breakfast, lunch, and tea parties for kids, as well as an all-day brunch (bubbly, anyone?) with savoury meals like eggs benedict or French toast and sweet goods like scones and cakes baked in-house. 551 Somerset St. W., thevanitearoom.com

Sutherland

Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this hybrid cafe is quite versatile: appealing to those looking for a casual space, one area has a cozy nook, a wall bench, and a pastry case full of freshly baked goods, while the remaining space is dedicated to the dining room where Ottawa-renowned chef, Warren Sutherland, serves up his eclectic take on South American, Asian, and Caribbean dishes. For lunch, try the eggs of North Africa, served with a chickpea stew, and the smoked salmon toast makes for a hearty breakfast. They serve many hot drinks, but their Jamaicano is the surest way kick start a drowsy day: made with steamed milk and two espresso shots sweetened by an ounce of condensed milk. 224 Beechwood Ave., sutherlandrestaurant.com

Feline Café

A great way to enjoy a coconut oil-infused bulletproof coffee or a matcha latte is with the companionship of rescued cats. The Feline Café has three separate sections: the entrance with a barn-board wood counter from which to order, another filled with cubbyholes and scratching posts for cats to play with the public, and a third just for cats to sleep or hide. There are on average six cats at the café, and every single one is available for adoption. A bulletin board displays all adopted cats that went on to their forever home from here. The café supports the foster operation, so feel good about ordering an organic tea, a vegan-friendly dishes like the jackfruit taco rice bowl, or any baked goods from several of local bakeries. You can bring food into the public cat lounge, but keep the kitties from taking nibbles! 1076 Wellington St. W., felinecafeottawa.com

Dreamland Café

This Italian food counter feels like a little oasis with its cloud-like lamps and wispy hints of pink, purple, and yellow. Though it specializes in homemade pizza and pasta, Dreamland is always creating new syrup-based coffees and teas to go or enjoy at their window bar. They have familiar flavours like mint cocoa latte and a classic matcha, and those looking for a health boost should try their hot lattes made with beetroot or turmeric — both root-based drinks are high in antioxidants. Run by two local sisters, their amazing sauces, like pancetta pesto and shrimp lemon garlic, are based on their grandmother’s recipes. 200 Laurier Ave. W., dreamlandcafe.ca

The Ministry of Coffee

This duo of coffeehouses are both built to be cozy and chic, with wood-wrapped espresso bars and several two-seat tables. Elgin’s spot is intimate and low-key while Hintonburg’s is more spacious and communal. The latter is known as The Ministry of Coffee and Social Affairs because of its liquor license, later hours, and events, concerts, and fundraisers. Both aim to serve the best coffees from around the world, and to showcase some of the finest Canadian roasters. They regularly feature coffees from the likes of Burlington’s Detour Coffee Roasters, Calgary’s Phil & Sebastian, and Anchored Coffee from Nova Scotia. 297 Elgin St. & 1013 Wellington St. W., theministryofcoffee.com

A post shared by blumenstudio (@blumenstudio) on

blumenstudio

This friendly café and flower shop feels like a private greenhouse, with a myriad of shelves and tables covered in plants. It’s owned by a second-generation flower aficionado from Dresden, Germany, and managed by Klaus, her mini schnauzer mix (seen napping, above). The owner changes her floral wares each season, but her yummy coffees remain consistent. Every espresso is made with a certified organic and fair-trade coffee bean blend that’s roasted with green technology. The studio serves a great Americano with only one or two ounces of water, and claims to be the first in Ottawa to pour cortados: half espresso, half steamed milk. On top of selling planters and cut flowers, the shop also hosts floral arrangement workshops such as making succulent gardens and seasonal bouquets. 465 Parkdale Ave., blumenstudio.ca

 

Unique Finds at Banff & Lake Louise Shops

Feb. 16, 2016
By Ashley Materi & Olivia Grecu

Banff’s shopping scene goes beyond generic gift shop finds. Pick up something unique this season!

Shopping

Love for Local
Owner Gary Schultz stocks Banff Provisions with local and regional goods. Shop for coffee beans from Banff Roasting Co. and Canmore’s Rave Coffee. From BC’s Okanagan Valley, find fruit snacks and preserves, and Taste of Okanagan bacon ketchup. Try Kootenay Bayou hot sauce if you want a kick!

(more…)

May Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

BEST IN BEAN

trident-storefront-sourced-from-FB-web

•A favourite place for downtown coffee aficionados, The Trident on Hollis Street roasts its beans on-site, offering an array of hot drinks, loose tea and pastries. After you recharge, browse the eclectic mix of used books.

•Veteran coffeehouse Java Blend on North Street has been in the bean business since 1938 and roasts all of its coffee on-site. Unique coffee memorabilia and an old (but still working) coffee roaster add to the cozy, laid-back feel of the café.

•In Dartmouth, Two if by Sea Café is the go-to spot for coffee fiends, offering not just fabulous coffee but also indulgent fresh-baked croissants that can stand in for a meal. The café has a second location on the Halifax side in the Historic Properties near the Halifax Transit ferry terminal.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Bistro-le-Coq-web

Offering French-inspired cuisine, Bistro le Coq on Argyle Street has the atmosphere of a Parisian bistro, with an ornate tin ceiling, elegant artwork and plush booths. Service en français is always available. Choose from tasty French classics like steak frites and glazed duck. There’s an extensive list of wines, with many served by the glass (including champagne). For dessert, try the layered Nutella crêpe cake.

SAVOUR SPRING

The-Canteen-tasting--11-web

The brainchild of award-winning Chef Renée Lavallée, The Canteen on Ochterloney Street in Dartmouth serves up flavourful sandwiches, salads and take-out dinners. Lavallée changes the menu daily to highlight fresh local ingredients. Breadmaster Jessica Best bakes all the bread on-site, including tasty gluten-free options.

SPLASH OF LIFE

Photo: Janice Hudson

Photo: Janice Hudson

A newcomer on Halifax’s vibrant diner scene, Robie Street Station has become the it-spot in Central Halifax for all-day breakfast and comfort food with a global twist. Colourful murals and local artwork decorate the charming eatery, located near the Halifax Common on Robie Street. Hit up Robie Street Express next door for a coffee and fresh baked-goods to go.

IN VINO VERITAS

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A stylish yet intimate space, Obladee on Barrington Street offers a range of stellar, hand-chosen wines, including special local vintages. Try the monthly cellar wine special: staff uncork top red and white vintages for customers to enjoy by the glass. Pair your choice with charcuterie from the local artisanal producers.

7 Father’s Day Gift Ideas For Calgary Dads

 

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Hanson’s Fishing Outfitters is the shopping destination for dads who love the outdoors. Photo: Adele Brunnhofer.

Dads are notoriously difficult to shop for, but these seven papa-approved local shops offer something more than the standard “zany” necktie or drab coffee mug.

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The Roast with the Most

Head to Bridgehead Roastery, which recently opened in Ottawa’s Little Italy neighbourhood, to see the inner workings of this fair trade café.

Over the last decade, Bridgehead has gone from a little-known cafe to a major presence in the city. The fairly traded, organic coffees it serves are delicious, and the food is equally enticing (and healthy, to boot): breakfast offers staples such as steel-cut oatmeal, while sandwiches, soups and salads are available for lunch. The baked goods are hard to turn down; the carrot cake especially is to-die-for. A massive new roastery was recently opened in Little Italy, and it’s worth a visit just to see the inner workings — and try a mug or two at the roastery’s brew bar, of course.

130 Anderson St., 613-233-1221, plus 14 other locations; www.bridgeheadroastery.ca.

Master The Perfect Cup of Coffee

When Calgary’s coffee-lovers look for a sophisticated cup of joe, they head to Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters. The local company is known for their coffee’s complex aromas, exotic tasting notes and creamy cappuccinos. (more…)

Hot Dining: Now Open: Parlour Coffee

Inside Parlour Coffee, no ordinary cup of joe will do. The new Exchange District coffee house serves 49th Parallel and Phil & Sebastian beans, which are roasted and shipped in weekly from Vancouver and Calgary. Beans are ground to each coffee order. Coffee connoisseurs will also delight in specialty brewing methods. Take a seat at the sidewalk-facing bar, with a view of Main Street. While coffee is definitely the star of the show, tea and pastries are also sold. 468 Main St, parlourcoffee.ca.

4 Coffee Shops We Love in St. John’s, Newfoundland

Rocket Bakery. Photo by Matt Jiggins.

By Candice Walsh

For such a small city, St. John’s has a surprisingly large number of cafés around town. Many of them are downtown along Water Street and Duckworth Street, and each has its own distinct vibe and personality. The following are four of the best bets for espresso, light bites or a straight up cuppa joe. (more…)

Many Mouths to Feed: Our 2011 Dining Guide

Whether your palate is daring or demanding, Toronto’s incredibly diverse dining scene satisfies every craving.

Toca

FOR TRUE NORTH TASTERS
With the continuously growing influence of North America’s local- and slow-food movements, it’s only natural that sustainable, regionally appropriate cooking has taken hold in Toronto.

On the menus of many restaurants you’ll now find a profusion of Canadian-sourced and responsibly farmed ingredients, from Alberta’s renowned beef to East Coast seafood to vegetables harvested in Ontario’s fertile “Greenbelt.” And though simple meat and potatoes still offer us comfort on a plate, Canadian cuisine can also be very classy. (more…)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner: Windsor, Ontario

Taloola Café

By Waheeda Harris

Breakfast

Bring your appetite to The Lumberjack, a friendly spot tempting diners with country breakfasts, omelettes, sweet offerings from the Sugar Shack or the make no decisions option with the specials – the Timber Special offers a bite of everything – eggs, bacon or ham, flapjacks or French toast, home fries and toast. With a bottomless cup of coffee, a stop here will make a morning even better.

The Lumberjack, 475 Tecumseh Road East, Windsor ON 519-254-5538

Lunch

Healthy, organic, fair trade and tasty – these words are the mantra of Taloola Café, located near the historic Walkerville neighbourhood. Whether it’s one of the hearty grilled sandwiches, rice bowls, or small  plates featuring a mini antipasti selections of cheese, dip and raw veggies, from ominivore to vegan, anyone can find several options to satisfy midday cravings on this comprehensive menu. And if gluten, sugar or dairy are diet enemies, not to worry there are sweet options made just for you too.

Taloola Café, 396 Devonshire Road, Windsor ON 519-254-6652

Dinner

Locals will encourage a visit to Via Italia, a Windsor nabe dedicated to all things Italian. Indulge in antipasti, primi and secondi with Nico Chefs Nick Politi and Joseph Graziano who focus on culinary traditions from Calabria and Sicily. Selected imported ingredients and several house specialities are must haves, such as grilled squid with arugula, radicchio and mixed greens or house-made gnocchi with ricotta, asiago, mozzarella and parmesan cream  – bellisimo!

Nico Ristorante, 851 Windsor Street, East Windsor ON 519-255-7428

Hot Shopping: Osborne Village

It’s one of Winnipeg’s oldest ‘hoods, yet Osborne Village, with its one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants and specialty stores, is alive with new business. Check out these newcomers and old favourites along the three-block strip.

At Out of the Blue (pictured), vintage-inspired dresses in floral prints live alongside porkpie hats and girly costume jewellery. Down the street, pick up a pashmina and a purse at Mode, a one-stop accessory shop. Across the way at Luxe and Charm, chic cocktail and club wear from L.A. satisfies any woman’s nightlife needs. Rhinestones, peek-a-boo cut-outs and hip-hugging frocks are all priced at $135 or less. Fill your closet with on-trend mini-dresses, hair rosettes and feather earrings at Dream Closet. Then stock up on a wide selection of loose tea and coffee beans, along with pots and grinders, inside The Canister, a coffee and tea lover’s oasis.

Bloom Ring

Beautiful bloom ring from Osborne Village's Out of the Blue

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner: Stratford, Ontario

Photo by Mandeep Flora

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner is our series highlighting the best local restaurants across Canada. Today we are featuring top restaurant picks in Stratford, in southwestern Ontario, known for its picturesque streets, Shakespeare festival and modern-day Romeo, Justin Bieber.

Have a tip for your city? Let us know on Twitter or on Facebook.

By Waheeda Harris

Breakfast

Despite this resto’s moniker, the first meal of the day can be savoury and sweet at Let Them Eat Cake. Choose from a multitude of options such as the de rigeur eggs and toast, eggs benedict, waffles, pancakes or Stratford scrambles to make sure you get protein, carbs, vitamins and minerals in one bite. Head over to the town’s main street, Ontario Street, pick up a Balzac’s Coffee and stroll the strip of boutiques and galleries.

Let Them Eat Cake, 23 Albert Street, Stratford, 519-508-2253

Lunch

For the midday break, choose from the sustainable and tasty fish and seafood options at Simple Fish and Chips. From the traditional battered halibut or haddock, diners can also choose from Ontario lake yellow perch and lake pickerel, lobster risotto, mac ‘n’ cheese, pot pie or halibut dishes inspired by spicy Indian, Thai or Jamaican influences. Walking along the Avon River and admiring the swans will be a perfect post-lunch afternoon excursion.

Simple Fish and Chips, 118 Downie Street, Stratford, 519-275-0400

Dinner

Reward yourself before or after a visit to the Stratford Festival with a sumptuous meal at this modern French bistro. The daily menu reflects the seasonal offerings of Perth County and the inventiveness of Chef Aaron Linley, and the pretty interior and excellent service is sure to put any diner at ease. Save room for a sweet treat to finish the meal, made in-house by Chef Bronwyn Linley (Aaron’s wife).

Bijou, 105 Erie Street, Stratford, 519-273-5000