You’ll have no trouble getting properly caffeinated in Halifax. There are Tim Horton’s chain restaurants everywhere, and lots of major chains such as Starbucks and Second Cup have stores here, but we are blessed with an array of locally owned and operated gourmet coffee shops in the city. Here is a round-up of some of the best places in town to grab a latte or espresso. 

Fred is a North End hot-spot and gathering space owned by celebrity stylist Fred Connors (of X-Weighted fame), and successfully marries a hair salon/ cafe/ art gallery inside what used to be a bank building. The cafe, Whet, is run by Fred’s partner Joel, and uses a lot of locally sourced and organic products. The coffee here is great, and the cupcakes are legendary (and different all the time, but if you ever see the lemon meringue ones on the menu it would be a sin not to order one). The atmosphere is fun, friendly and funky, with Barcelona chairs and sofas as well as regular tables, and you’ll be surrounded by local art as you sip your coffee. Fred is located at 2086 Agricola Street, Halifax, 902-455-9438.

Coburg Coffee
Located in the South End, close to the Dalhousie University campus, this coffee house is very popular with students and profs. They have a great lunch menu, a big selection of yummy sweets (the carrot cake comes in huge slabs and is very good), and they hold lots of different events such as open mic nights and readings. Coburg Coffee is located at 6085 Coburg Road, Halifax, 902-429-2326.

Just Us
There is one Just Us location downtown (and several outside of the city), and their coffee is excellent. Just Us is locally owned, all their fair trade coffee is roasted in New Minas, in the Annapolis Valley, and they also import fair trade cocoa and make their own chocolate. Be sure to pick up a bag of their coffee to take home – you’ll find it sold in supermarkets here as well as their locations. Just Us is located at 5896 Spring Garden Road, Halifax, 902-423-0856.

Java Blend Coffee Roasters
This small North End roastery has been operating since 1938, and makes a damn fine cup of coffee. The coffee shop out front is small and very busy, hence great for people watching, and the staff are friendly. If you nip to the washroom, you have to walk through where they roast the coffee, which is pretty interesting. Java Blend is located at 6027 North Street, Halifax, 902-423-6944.

Cabin Coffee
This friendly downtown spot has great coffee, soups and sandwiches. The decor is rustic Canadiana kitsch inspired, the inside looks like a log cabin, there’s a giant moose situated over the fireplace and the walls are decorated with trophies and knick-knacks. There are big comfy leather armchairs for you to sit in, and the staff are very welcoming. Coffee Cabin is located 1554 Hollis Street, Halifax, 902-422-1830.

(This list is in no way exhaustive, there are LOTS of awesome coffee shops in Halifax! Have fun checking them out.)