It is no secret that I love a good cup of coffee. Here in Calgary, I seek it out from the best in town – my favourites being Monogram Coffee Co, Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters and Analog Coffee. That being said, I’ve been known to drink instant coffee and can be found frequenting my neighbourhood Starbucks (their gluten-free marshmallow dream bars are SO good, sue me!). I like to call my coffee palette a nice balance of high-low taste; just like how I might wear designer shoes with Gap jeans. It is just how I roll.
Anyways, on a recent trip to Edmonton I re-discovered my love of truly incredible coffee thanks to their high-level offerings. Seriously, how did I not know about Edmonton’s coffee scene until just recently. While researching coffee shops to visit, I was overwhelmed with choices and recommendations – each one sounding better than the rest.
The weekend ended up being a seriously caffeine-fueled adventure leaving me with withdrawals symptoms for the entire week after. I went with my friend Lori Andrews (aka @theoriginal10cent) who is known for her #needscoffee series on Instagram. It was incredibly fitting that we took this journey together. I discovered five amazing coffee shops (plus one cafe that has the BEST chai in town) and I can’t wait to share my findings with you. If you are a coffee aficionado then I highly recommend booking a weekend (we stayed at the Matrix Hotel) and touring as many coffee shops as you can – we didn’t even make it to all of the ones we wanted to check out!
Transcend Mercer Cafe: I had originally heard about Transcend from the guys at Monogram Coffee; their beans are roasted by Transcend. I knew it was going to be great before we even got there. The cafe is located in the Mercer Warehouse building (home of Rostizado!) and is a sweet and humble spot complete with exposed wooden ceilings and minimalist decor. The baristas were friendly and happily gave us some more recommendations. They also had some excellent gluten-free baked goods that we enjoyed with our Americanos. As we sipped our coffee we wandered through Vacancy Hall, a self-proclaimed space for creators. It was really inspiring to see so many entrepreneurs and small business owners in one place. Edmonton really has a strong community for start-ups and entrepreneurial support. 10359 B – 104 Street (Lower Level)
Coffee Bureau: Coffee Bureau came highly recommended as THE best place to get a cup of coffee in YEG. We just happened to wander past it on our way to dinner the first night we were in town – it immediately caught my eye with their great signage (which was unfortunately vandalized recently). The next morning we made it our mission to go there first and we were pleasantly greeted by the owners. This tiny cafe is absolutely charming and we instantly fell in love with the entire place. It was definitely my favourite spot on the whole tour and I kinda wish they could clone it and bring it to Calgary. Their name is inspired by the Pan-American Coffee Bureau who came up with the concept of the coffee break in 1952. I found a bit more information about the history of the coffee break here. 10505 Jasper Ave
Little Brick: After touring Pura Botanicals (more about this in an upcoming post!), owner Lane Edwards sent us to Little Brick to try their amazing bourbon-infused vanilla latte. I am so glad she did. Little Brick is a quaint brick converted historic home located in Edmonton’s Riverdale community. When we were trying to find it we weren’t sure we were in the right place because it seemed to be completely surrounded by residential houses and townhouses. Little Brick was definitely a treat and I can see why so many Edmontonians pop in there on the regular for coffee, lunch or to shop in their adorable General Store. 10004 90 Street SW
Barking Buffalo Cafe: Located in a shared space with the adorable indie boutique Salgado Fenwick, Barking Buffalo Cafe is a charming spot to grab a great cup of coffee and bask in the creativy energy of the space. I ordered an Almond Milk Latte (they had a great selection of non-dairy milks on hand) that was brewed with Pilot Coffee from Toronto. Plenty of bites to eat on hand, I’ve heard really great things about Bloom Cookie Co which makes vegan cookies. Salgado Fenwick is the perfect spot to browse while you sip your coffee – it will be hard to leave without spending some cash on some locally made art or designed clothing! 10824 124 Street
Iconoclast Coffee: We didn’t actually make it to Iconoclast during our coffee tour because they were closed for renovation. Lori had visited on her last trip to Edmonton and had a great time. Not only is the interior of the coffee shop very cool but they also have their roastery on site. If you live in Edmonton they actually offer free home delivery of beans – what a great service to offer to your loyal clients. They also offer lots of great craft beer events and activities – because if you love great coffee why wouldn’t you love great beer as well?! 11807B 105 Avenue
Chai Latte Award!
Remedy Cafe: Last but not least, I had to include the delightful Remedy Cafe in downtown Edmonton (they have five locations in total). Several people had recommended we pop in and we were pleasantly surprised by the amazing gluten-free menu as well as the epic chai lattes that they offer up. The Kashmiri Chai Latte was incredible – soft and floral, the latte is made with a splash of rose water and is topped with rose petals and crushed pistachios. The combination of flavours is pretty mind-blowing and goes perfectly with their delicious Indian food menu. Beyond the delicious vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free Indian food options, they also have tons of great baked goods like gluten-free cakes and tarts. It is literally a dream for anyone with dietary concerns! 10279 Jasper Avenue
Coffee Bureau photos by Lori Andrews // Iconoclast Coffee photos courtesy of Iconoclast