Last week, we brought you part 1 of this suburban coffee shop roundup, covering great independent spots in the western suburbs of Ottawa. This week, we’ve got a selection of awesome cafés in the southern and eastern suburbs. Enjoy!
Anabia Cupcakery Café, 3570 Strandherd Drive, Barrhaven
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Tucked away in a little plaza like a cozy refuge from all the big-box chain stores like Wal-Mart, Staples, and Loblaws, Anabia’s feature products are their beautifully made cupcakes, of course, which also include gluten and vegan options. They also offer other gourmet artisanal snacks—pretty much any baked sweet you can think of—and Beau’s beer. Sometimes they host an open mic, which would be fun to try out, especially since there is an upright piano in the corner. It’s conveniently located near bike paths and the local skatepark, offering a lovely little haven to relax in.
Café Cristal, 240 Kennevale Dr, Barrhaven
I was surprised to discover this Barrhaven café, an elegant dining room with charming Victorian decor that reminds me of a tea salon. When I went there, it was packed full of fashionably dressed patrons, even though it was 2 p.m. on a Monday. The café serves breakfast and lunch items, including crepes, and what feels like an endless array of sweets. This is a great spot that could serve many social functions, from impressing a date to catching up with friends while feeling a little classy or even meeting with coworkers outside of the office. I’d also love to treat my mom here. This is quite a unique spot—I have not seen anything quite like this in Barrhaven.
Café Qui Pense, 204 Main St, Old Ottawa East
Steps away from Saint Paul University, this little coffee shop sits between the Singing Pebble Bookstore and 3 Trees gift shop, which, honestly, is the perfect place to have a coffee shop. Once you order your vegan and gluten-free brownie and latte, you can go next door to browse the books, jewellery, and clothes. This café is small, with only a few tables for dining in, but still provides a serene ambience for enjoying your book.
The Art of Bean, 16-1439 Youville Drive, Orleans
The first time I tried to find this coffee shop, I drove right past it. It’s so inconspicuous from the outside that I joked to my friends that it’s a secret coffee shop. Located next to a music school in a plaza near a car dealership in the industrial park of Orleans, the Art of Bean opened late last fall. Once you step inside, you can’t help but ask yourself, “Am I actually still in… Orleans?” Besides serving tasty lattes, the coffee shop also serves as an art gallery (the Niche) showcasing inspiring local art on the walls. The owners hope to be able to use it as an event space to host performers as well. This is a convenient option to re-fuel yourself with caffeine and sweet treats after going swimming or shredding at the skatepark at the Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex, just minutes away. Fortunately, they just got a bigger sign last week, so hopefully other people will not miss it!
Café Latte Cino, 2020 Tenth Line Rd, Orleans
This is a popular meeting spot for Orleans residents on the weekends. It’s no wonder, because Café Latte Cino offers an expansive menu to address nearly any kind of craving. Are you looking for gelato to cool off on a warm day? Pastries for your sweet tooth? Waffles or crepes for breakfast? Sandwiches or salads for dessert? Café Latte Cino offers all of these things and more. I was curious about their savoury crepes and enjoyed their pesto chicken crepe with my latte. If you need a break while shopping in Orleans, this place is worth checking out—if you can get a spot. Of course, if you can’t find a table, all their items are also available to go.
Green Bean Café and Smoothie Bar, 1791 Kilborn Ave
This little café in the Alta Vista neighbourhood sits between a Lebanese grocery store and a video rental store, which I hadn’t realized was still a thing. It features a relaxed, down-to-earth setting, like lounging in a cabin, especially with its wood-themed interior décor. I treated myself to what was described as a cookies and cream-flavoured “cookie,” although it was so large and round like a ball that it seemed more like a tribute to a cookie than a conventional one. The Café offers coffees—including boozy ones!—and healthy smoothies, as well as breakfast and lunch items. There is also a fridge full of takeaway options if you want to enjoy dessert at home, perhaps with your rented movie from next door.