Looking for a break from school or a different spot to catch up on your reading, work on a paper, or ponder the meaning of life? Luckily Halifax is a big coffee shop town. And we’re not talking Tim Hortons and Starbucks (although there are plenty of those around)—no, we’re talking the awesome local cafés where you can truly experience the Halifax coffee (or tea) culture. Here’s a rundown of some of our favourites.
6085 Coburg Road (@ Henry)
It may have a new name, but it’s still the same great spot on the edge of campus. Good coffee, great food, and now more drinks to choose from. Inside you’ll find an array of Dal and King’s students, staff, and profs, plus a lot of our local neighbours. Drop by and feel like part of the neighbourhood!
6100 Quinpool Road (@ Vernon)
It’s in a space that used to house Second Cup, and Starbucks is right across the street. But our money is on Dilly Dally outlasting them all. It’s cozy, quiet, and has amazing food. Seriously, try out their sandwiches—many of them are made on great Montreal-style bagels made down the street at East Coast Bakery.
Glitter Bean Cafe
5896 Spring Garden Road (@ Carlton)
The newest kid in the ‘hood, Glitter Bean opened up this summer by a group of workers who were disenchanted with the coffee house that used to be in the exact same spot. That one closed, so they opened up Glitter Bean to be what they envisioned: a cozy LGBTQ2SIA-friendly spot that serves great coffee and tasty food!
Lion and Bright
2534 Agricola Street (@ Charles)
A quick venture to the North End along Agricola Street will land you at the front doors of Lion & Bright, a must-visit shop for coffee lovers looking to unwind in a unique atmosphere with tons of study space. Above and beyond their premium coffee, the shop also offers a variety of delicious snacks and lunches. Check out the amazing grilled cheese.
5570 Fenwick Street (@ Queen)
Like the name indicates, Narrow Espresso is a tiny coffee shop squeezed between two large buildings (one of them being Darrel’s Restaurant) on Fenwick. It’s the type of place where you grab a drink and go, but there is a small seating area inside and a great patio outside. On the menu they serve a Canadiana and a Canadiana misto. I personally haven’t tried either but they both sound like a patriotic twist to the classic Americano!
The Nook Espresso Bar & Lounge
2118 Gottingen Street (@ Cornwallis)
The Nook is exactly what its name implies: a cozy little spot to lounge over a drink. But it’s also a fantastic place if you’re looking for a bite at lunch. It’s a great place to feel like you’re in another city and right in the middle of north end Halifax at the same time.
Seven Bays Cafe
2019 Gottingen Street (@ Cogswell)
Are you into bouldering? Then this is definitely your place. The cafe part of Seven Bays Bouldering can give you your caffeine fix after you tackle some climbing in the other part of the space (or perhaps you’ll need it before you take on the boulders?).
1536 Brunswick Street (@ Spring Garden)
Steve-O-Reno’s is one of the granddaddies of the Halifax café scene—here for over 20 years and an influence on many of the newer spots. They once even had a small drive-up hut on Robie Street! Now it’s just the downtown location and a spot at the Seaport Farmer’s Market. Great coffee and all of the treats are made from scratch every morning (try the Egg-O-Reno!).
Two if by Sea Café
66 Ochterloney Street (@ Wentworth), Dartmouth
While this one isn’t near our Halifax campuses, it’s a great excuse to take the ferry over to Dartmouth. Besides the great drinks, Two if by Sea has the biggest and most delicious croissants you’ll find. I think each one is made with a pound of butter. I had their chocolate croissant, which was topped with powered sugar and stuffed with dark chocolate. There are no words to describe that experience…
Weird Harbour Espresso Bar
1656 Barrington Street (@ Sackville)
This place has one of the best names of all the places in town, and quite possibly the coolest location. Wedged into a tiny space in an historic building downtown (it used to house one of the country’s great record stores), there’s not much to it other than tasty, tasty coffee in all its glorious liquid form.
The Wired Monk Coffee Bistro
5147 Morris Street (@ Barrington)
The Wired Monk has two floors, the first one housing small tables and comfy couches—the perfect place to sit and catch up with a friend. The lower level is a room with large tables—perfect for studying with a group. As for treats, there are so many to choose from! (The blueberry oatmeal muffin is amazing.)
Coffee at Dal
Racing to get to class or a group meeting? Don’t forget there are plenty of places on Dal’s Halifax campuses to grab a coffee or tea. In the SUB, there’s Tim Hortons and ToGo, the Life Sciences Centre has a Tim’s, there are Second Cups in the Killam Library and the Goldberg Computer Science Building, and a Starbucks in the Tupper Building.
So where’s your favourite place to get your caffeine fix? Which spots have we missed? Let us know where you like to relax over a good coffee in the comment section below!