More than just a tasty, hot beverage – it’s the lifeblood for many. Whether you’re an early-riser heading to the office at 7AM or you’re hitting brunch with the crew on Sunday, your daily agenda usually starts with a coffee at the top of the list (and sometimes spread throughout).
I have to admit – I wasn’t a coffee drinker until the last few years. I’d been around it; I understood the process and knew what to look for, but the desire just wasn’t there. Working in the craft beer industry, I often encouraged those that stated they’re “not really a beer person” that they just hadn’t found the right one yet. The same can be said about coffee.
With the number and quality of coffee shops in Charlottetown, I took heed of my own advice and jumped in. Charlottetown definitely punches above its weight when it comes to coffee – here are some of my favourite spots to hit when I’m looking for a caffeine fix.
Receiver Coffee Company
Starting out with a veritable institution of the coffee scene on PEI – Receiver Coffee Company is a combination coffee roaster, bakery, breakfast/lunch/dinner hotspot and hangout. Receiver (along with others listed below) has played a massive role in what it means to have coffee in Charlottetown. Great coffee, amazing food and some of the most friendly staff you’ll ever encounter – it’s easy to spend an entire day here. My go-to is an americano but make sure to grab a bag of beans to have at home.
Take a stroll over to Great George Street and grab a seat at Leonhard’s – a cozy cafe with some of the best decor you can find in downtown Charlottetown. You’ll be wishing your living room looked as good as this place does. I’ve been known to grab an espresso here to go along with their PEI-famous vanilla roll. Don’t sleep on that.
Located in the basement of a jail that was built in the early 1900’s (1911 to be exact – hence the name) bar1911 offers up the only slow coffee bar in town. Treat yourself to a pour over or an Aeropress coffee using Pilot Coffee Roasters beans – they’re definitely worth the wait. If you’re heading here in the Summer or just prefer cold coffee, ask for a Japanese-style iced coffee – I find the flavour can be a bit more dynamic than cold brew coffee, if you’re into that sort of thing.
The Kettle Black
Located on the corner of Queen and King, The Kettle Black is another downtown staple in the coffee scene. Also a combination roastery/cafe, The Kettle Black offers a close-by alternative for your coffee needs in an incredible space that begs to be ‘grammed. Grab a flat white and take a seat along the front windows – a great spot to catch the hustle and bustle in this area of town.
Riverview Country Market
Riverview Country Market has been around for years on the Charlottetown Bypass, serving up awesome local produce, cheese, meats and other goodies. The Market Cafe, however, is a relative newcomer to the coffee scene in Charlottetown but don’t let that fool you – they know what they’re doin’. They use locally-roasted, 100% organic beans from Caledonia House. Which leads to the next location!
Caledonia House at the Charlottetown Farmers Market
If you’re in Charlottetown on a Saturday and you don’t go to the Farmers Market, were you ever really in Charlottetown? The Market is the place to be on Saturday mornings and Caledonia House should be your first stop. Bring along your refillable coffee mug and get your first fix of the day while you enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of all the local produce, food and wares that fill this busy space. Caledonia also offers up fresh roasted beans to take home!
If you find yourself on the hunt for coffee in uptown Charlottetown, pop into Owl’s Hollow Toys & Games on Capital Drive. Well known for their amazing selection of toys and games, they recently added a coffee bar to their location (a brilliant move that is surely appreciated by many parents). I’d recommend getting one of their caramel lattes – they make their own caramel sauce and use beans from Just Us! Coffee Roasters.