Discover Victoria's indie coffee shop culture

When it comes to cool places to hang out, indie coffee shops are pretty high on the list. Whether you enjoy the ambiance of these unique, usually small, cafes, or simply need a good cup of coffee, Victoria seems to be particularly conducive to coffee culture. Take advantage, and check out these independent cafes.

Bean Around The World Coffee

533 Fisgard St, Victoria, BC V8W 1R3

Try out coffee beans from countries around the globe at this indie coffee house. The shop roasts its own beans for the best possible flavour and serves a variety of prepared drinks from the many beans it offers for sale. Enjoy a pastry alongside your cup of joe, and relax for a bit.

Jazz Espresso Bar 2 Percent

105-740 Hillside Ave, Victoria, BC V8T 1Z4

If you’re looking for some strong coffee, 2% has plenty to spare. The tiny coffee shop may be short on space, but it most certainly makes up for it in flavour. The company roasts all its own beans and then blends them seasonally for the perfect beverage for your cup.

Cornerstone Cafe

B-1313 Gladstone Ave, Victoria, BC V8R 1R9

While this café looks like any other coffee shop outside, it’s actually a social enterprise that focuses on reinvesting its profits into the community. In the second level of the Cornerstone building, there are affordable apartments for families. The entire business aims for zero waste, and even the cups are biodegradable. You get more than just a coffee here; you get a sense of doing what’s right.

Caffe Fantastico Specialty Coffee

965 Kings Rd, Victoria, BC V8T 1W7

Live music, in-house roasted coffee and baked goods . . . There’s not much else you need to be happy in this world. Caffe Fantastico is a quirky little coffee shop in Quadra Village where everyone from hipsters to motorcycle fanatics hang out. The coffee is delicious, and the wall gallery is intriguing, making this a fun place to spend some time.

James Bay Coffee & Books Etc

145 Menzies St, Victoria, BC V8V 2G4

You’ll find an eclectic collection of books and old vinyl records at this coffee shop, which looks more like a used bookstore from the outside. Despite the stacks of paperbacks, the coffee here is delightful, and the atmosphere pleasant enough to spend a few hours as you chat with the barista and skim through a book or enjoy the live music that is often featured.

Wild Coffee Inc

632 Yates St, Victoria, BC V8W 1L3

You’ll instantly feel relaxed when you step into this light, comfortable coffee house. The pleasant atmosphere is enhanced by the big windows and amazing coffee aromas that infuse the air. Aside from drinks, there is a full lunch menu. Try the chicken panini if you want something filling along with your choice of coffee.

Eating out can be a challenge when you’re gluten-free, unless you know where to go. Many of Ottawa’s cafes and restaurants offer gluten-free options and some stand out for doing them particularly well. Try these options for an enjoyable lunch with your friends or a romantic dinner with that special someone, all without having to settle for just a salad. [Image credit: Bossert]
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