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Photos: Kim Wiens.

Coffee. For many students it acts as their life support during midterms and final exams.

The University of Ottawa campus boasts a lot of places to get a cup o’joe, and each of these places specializes in something different. So here is your guide to coffee on or near campus.








Go there for:

Specialty coffees—everyone knows what they go to Starbucks for.

Avoid the roasts. Their medium roast is too bitter and, when sugar and milk is added, too flavourless.

Accessibility and pricing:

There is only one located on campus (in the Desmarais building), which means you will have to deal with long lines.

Be forewarned, their speciality coffees are pricier, but that’s not unexpected in the caffeine world.

Tim Hortons







Go there for:

Do I really need to convince you? As quintessentially Canadian as maple syrup and hockey, everyone loves Timmies. It’s your best choice on this list for a regular coffee on campus.

Unfortunately, if you’re a coffee connoisseur you might not find that perfect roast to satisfy you on the limited Tim Hortons menu. But in the end, it’s coffee, and it does the job.

Accessibility and pricing:

With two locations in the University Centre, one on the main floor, and one near the 1848, and another location in SITE, it’s the most accessible for all U of O students.

Just keep in mind that these are kiosks and are very limited in terms of variety. In addition to this, the hours at the UCU kiosk can also be very limited, so be sure to fuel up at a different coffee shop for late nights at the library.

Second Cup







Go there for:

Second Cup boasts a menu of 16 different roasts along with the standard lattes, espressos, and cappuccinos. If you have an active sweet tooth, you’ll be happy to know they offer a plethora of delectable goodies.

Accessibility and pricing:

Both Second Cup locations on campus (one on Laurier avenue and the other in Morisset Library) are located near great places for sitting, doing homework, reading a good book, or connecting with friends. Prices are not unusual for a coffee shop.

Dining Hall







Go there for:

There’s plenty of food there, so make use of it. But don’t expect a stand-out coffee experience. The coffee machines are rather hit and miss, and when they miss, the results are undrinkable. Both the cheapest and costliest choice for students.

Accessibility and pricing:

With dinner setting students back $13 at the door, it’s far too pricey an option for those without a meal plan. For those with the meal plan, this will probably be the coffee you’ll be drinking to get you through the day.

Café Nostalgica






Go there for:

A purely U of O experience, Café Nostalgica probably serves the widest selection of food, so it’s a good place to get an actual meal with your caffeine fix.

Accessibility and pricing:

Located right next to Morisset Library, Café Nostalgica is located centrally on campus. Its specialty coffees are among the priciest on this list, but it is also the only place you could get a little Bailey’s added to your coffee while enjoying some open mic action.

Café Alt







Go there for:

The best kept secret on campus, Café Alt offers great speciality coffees (vanilla lattes, chai tea lattes) at great prices. You should come for the coffee but stay for the atmosphere, since this spot flaunts friendly staff, lively shows, and delicious food.

Accessibility and pricing:

Accessibility might be an issue. Unless you’re an English student, you might not know where Café Alt is located, since it’s tucked away in the basement of Simard. Specialty coffees are still pricey, but don’t cost as much as Starbucks.

Première Moisson







Go there for:

Definitely appeals to the hipster in all of us, with its focus on French artisan baking and fair trade coffee. A great spot to sip your java and feel socially progressive at the same time.

Accessibility and pricing:

The convenience factor is definitely high. It’s located in the lobby of FSS, so students in Social Sciences don’t have to travel far to get their fix. Coffee is a little bit on the expensive side, but that’s the price you pay for an environmentally responsible cup of joe .