the travel geek

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Coffee Around Canada

I seem to have collected a small mountain of “coffee shop” photos on my iPhone (photos taken while enjoying coffee); not sure why I started to take coffee shop photos, but in discovering these I decided to share a snippet or two from good cafes around Canada:

Perks Cafe, Halifax, Nova Scotia


Who in Halifax doesn’t know about Perks? I think Perks was in Halifax before Starbucks became a franchise (Starbucks has been in Seattle since 1971 but didn’t expand until the 90s). I know that when in Halifax and I want coffee, I head down to the waterfront / N.S. Crystal building / Ferry station — because Perks is there and it’s probably bustling with activity.

Coffee Merchant, Wolfville, Nova Scotia


“We brew organic fairly traded coffee,” is the sign that greets you when you head into the Coffee Merchant in Wolfville (Main Street). Beside the vintage and slightly spooky Library Pub, it’s your last stop for a GOOD latte as you head into the Annapolis Valley and the land of Tim Horton’s coffee. It’s also the only place within 100km where I could find a wireless internet connection that’s open to the public, set-up correctly, and works with a Linux machine. The Coffee Merchant has been around FOREVER (at least since my days as a university student in the ’80s), which is something that I find extremely comforting (the donair pizza shop is now gone and the Anvil is back to being the Anvil until it changes hands again).

Caffe Amantes, Comox, British Columbia


On the exact opposite side of the country is this small little cafe called Caffe Amantes on the main strip in Comox (Comox Avenue) that makes terrific hot chocolate, lattes and baked goods. If you like baked goods, this is a great place to go — and when you ask for a kids “hot chocolate” they know you mean a “kids- warm- chocolate- with- whip- cream- and- chocolate- and- a- ginger- snap- cookie.” I’ve written from Caffe Amantes before and recently La Niña and I were able to hang out there once again and catch up with Nate and Debbie over a brew.

Mudsharks Coffee Bar, Courtenay, British Columbia


Mudsharks is a rather wonderful “good karma” coffee bar we found on a recent sojourn to Courtenay. Again, it’s on the main strip of old Courtenay (5th Street), kind of tucked in towards the top of the 5th Street hill. It’s a good karma shop because La Niña found a penny on the floor and put it in the tip jar; the immediate response from the barrista was to give her a “karma” button for passing on the good luck.

Heartland Cafe, Sunnyside, Calgary


Ah, Heartland. Another shop that never really changes and if you live in Calgary most people know where this is. It’s an old stand alone building tucked away in Sunnyside. If you were to get off at the Sunnyside C-Train station instead of heading towards Safeway, head across the tracks in the opposite direction one block. On a recent coffee expedition I forgot to check and see if Heartland still had my favourite type of muffin — a dark chocolate muffin with cream cheese ball in the centre.

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