A morning that begins at one of Hamilton’s wonderful coffee shops is a morning done right. Whether you are just looking to fuel up on your own with some java, yearning to chat with a friend over a hot (or cold) drink, or searching for that perfect work spot with a cuppa and a bite to eat – the choices are many in our city. Here are just a few of our favourites.
Mulberry Coffeehouse is one of the Hamilton mainstays in the coffee community and has been around since 2010. Aptly named after the street it’s on – Mulberry and James Street North – the space absolutely stands out with its historic red brick and bold “coffeehouse” sign. The large interior space and great seating options make it a perfect place to meet up with a friend for a cozy cuppa. In addition to its coffee, the Mulberry’s food menu is delightfully extensive, especially for a coffee shop. Options include dishes such as the Mulberry Cubano sandwich, vegan power bowl and lots more. The walls inside are adorned with local artists’ work. Enjoy the great patio in warm weather.
Now with multiple locations in Hamilton – plus Hamilton airport and nearby Paris locations – you have the option of enjoying Detour Café either in Dundas or a new John Street South spot. Each provides a different ambiance, but they serve up the same great product – which they have been doing since 2009. Dundas is the original location and is the most bright and airy space. At this spot, you’ll find more sit-down food options like avocado toast, Detour breakfast and sandwiches. The John Street South location is more of a cozy coffee shop, offering some pre-made sandwiches and wraps that can be heated. Of course, the coffees they serve are locally-roasted from their own brand – Detour Coffee Roasters. Both locations also offer fresh baked bread daily from partner company Dear Grain Bread.
The Cannon is often busy with patrons, and with the food and drink offered, you can understand why. Its sunny corner spot at Cannon and Ottawa Street North is an ideal place to spend a bright spring or summer morning. Try an espresso-based drink, or tea latte, along with a savoury or sweet-topped waffle. You won't be disappointed. Join The Cannon's coffee subscription program, if you prefer staying home to sip your morning brew.
The RELAY team has undergone some changes recently, opening new locations to serve customers better and closing its longstanding kiosk at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market. But no matter where you find them, their spectacular product stays the same – delicious roasted-by-them coffee (small batch, organic and fairtrade), Rishi teas and good eats. RELAY gained popularity with its original location on Concession, which opened in 2008, but have since moved to the historic Staircase Theatre and its large location on King William. Be sure to try the baked goods as well.
This Locke Street staple stands out from the crowd because the entire menu at Democracy is vegan offerings only. Though with dishes like fries supreme, mac & cheese and Nanaimo bars, you may not realize it. It also proudly calls itself home of Hamilton’s best cauliflower wings. Democracy serves fair-trade and organic coffee from a local partner company: Coffeecology. It’s also a great place to get some work done during the non-busy hours.
Off the main stretch in Waterdown Village, you will find a local favourite – Jitterbug Café. The cozy vibes of Jitterbug Café are matched by the warm service that is provided here. Breakfast meals like bagels, bacon & eggs, omelettes and pancakes are served up alongside lunch items like chicken summer salad, soups and gourmet sandwiches. Try a latte and enjoy the peacefulness this little joint has to offer.
Located in the heart of the Old Ancaster Village, you will find a local favourite – Caniche French Bakery. Caniche is housed in a historic home right along the main strip of Wilson Street. Inside, the aroma of robust Balzac’s coffee, fresh-baked pastries and breads, and savoury scents linger in the air. Not only does this bakery offer the classic coffee-based drinks, but it also has seasonal lattes. (Be sure to check social media for details.) In addition to all the locally-roasted coffee drinks, Caniche also offers high-quality teas from Kusmi Tea. If you’re looking for something on the side, baked goods are done right, from croissants, tarts, galettes and biscuits to quiche, sandwiches and Hamilton Meat Pies. Caniche is more focused on the to-go food and drink options, but there is a small seating area to the back and more seating outside in the summer.
541 Eatery & Exchange is a café that not only serves yummy eats and lip-smacking drinks, it also serves its community. Located on Barton Street East, the large 541 Eatery & Exchange is a non-profit eatery that is best known for its button jar. At 541, you can purchase buttons for others that can be redeemed for a meal by community members in need. Dishes on the menu include breakfast sandwiches, French toast, morning glory porridge bowl, spinach salad and much more. With many vegan and gluten-free options, 541 has something for everyone.
No matter the weather, the bright and airy space of SYNONYM makes it feel like the sunniest days of summer. You'll want to spend time in this café, sipping drinks, eating pastries and chatting with friends. The terrazzo-topped counters are paired with skillfully made espresso drinks and locally sourced dishes such as squash and tahini tartine, smoked trout benny, pumpkin French toast, and pork belly hash. SYNONYM also doubles as an independent bookstore and wine bar/bottle shop. Pro tip: Try the salted honey cappuccino.
Cherry Birch General is a café that not only serves delicious drinks and pastries, but also doubles as a storefront of Canadian-made food products, including candies, hot sauces, spreads, candles, latte mixes, bitters and so much more. Owner Lisa bakes her pastries on-site at this Hamilton International Village location. Try the variety of creative muffins and scones, from peach cobbler and plum almond to cinnamon roll and coconut chocolate. And if you need a gift package, they are always ready to help with warm and friendly customer service.
Pet parents know the joy of bringing their furry friends along on a day out. Munchies Coffee House & Barkery allows for just that, all the while serving delicious drinks, fabulous food, and a cozy atmosphere. Munchies is a dog-friendly café that serves up all the classic espresso-based drinks, plus an extensive menu of creative options: Nutella latte, peanut butter latte, and maple spice mocha – to name a few. In addition to drinks, you will find food options such as from-scratch Belgian waffles, breakfast sandwiches, and a variety of egg bennys.
Durand Coffee may be a true-blue neighbourhood coffee shop, but it has attracted customers from across the city since its opening in 2016. This snug little corner café is a comfortable spot to spend time – whether you're meeting a friend, doing some computer work, or just celebrating self-care with a book. Though it does offer trendy seasonal drinks, the rest of the coffee menu is just like the space – no-nonsense or frills, just the classics done very well. Durand Coffee also offers courses for those looking to learn more about coffee and the work of a barista.
OTHER SPOTS FOR A CAFFEINE RUSH
170 James St. N., Hamilton
Copper Kettle Café
312 Dundas St. E. #4, Waterdown
Vintage Coffee Roasters
977 King St. E., Hamilton
Bring Your Dog Café & Pub
9 Richwill Rd., Hamilton
312 King St. E., Hamilton
Ola Bakery & Pastries
230 James St. N., Hamilton
Paisley Coffeehouse & Eatery
1020 King St. W., Hamilton
340 Barton St. E., Hamilton
Shady Grove Lukaya Café
592 Upper Wellington St., Hamilton
102 King St. W., Dundas
Tamp Coffee Co.
2049 Pine St., Burlington
480 Brant St., Burlington
8 Cannon St. E., Hamilton
Phin Coffee Bar
791 King St. W., Hamilton
One for All Coffee & Desserts
241 King St. E., Hamilton
28 James St. N. Unit 104, Hamilton
8 Barton St. E., Hamilton