Reading Time: 3 minutes

Time to get to work with your friend Joe

Photos by Chelsea McManus

When midterms are haunting your dreams and papers are weighing you down, coffee is the one thing that will always be there to keep you going. Students tend to develop an unhealthy relationship with coffee quite soon after 101 Week, when they realize their professors were serious about all those readings. Next thing you know, it’s 9 a.m. on a Sunday, you have 200 pages of reading to do for Monday, and you’re sitting in the library hating your life.

But at least you have coffee. 

You can find a survivable amount of coffee on campus, but if you ever get tired of the same old Tim’s, Starbucks, Second Cup, and conveyer belt coffee, and you have some time to roam the city, it’s worth your while to check these places out. Bring your textbook, or a friend, and grab a cup.

The Ministry of Coffee


Located at Elgin and Somerset, it’s barely a 10-minute walk from campus, and worth every step. This narrow little coffee shop emits a warm, rustic feeling, which can be quite comforting as the cold rolls in. In addition to coffee and warm drinks, they offer a variety of baked goods and sandwiches. The drink menu is written on a roll of brown paper. The rest of the walls are covered in local artists’ photographs and paintings. Though it may be hard to get a seat, if you do, it is worth sitting for a while. 

Their coffee itself is quite good, but the real pièce de résistance is their Nutella latte, or for those non-caffeine-addicts, the Nutella hot chocolate. It may very well be the best thing that I have ever drunk. I wanted to chug it as soon as I took the first sip, but I had to restrain myself since it was hot and I didn’t want to make a scene.

Planet Coffee


This café, in a little side ally in the ByWard Market, is notorious for delicious coffee, funny writing on the wall, and keeping their massive windows open. More than once, I have looked up for inspiration, only to be met with the ceiling telling me to get back to work. Also, every now and then, a little bird is hovering around the pipes on the ceiling, which only further distracts me. 

Planet Coffee serves a huge variety of delicious baked goods, all made on site, as well as sandwiches, salads, and soups. Their coffee is delicious, especially with a shot of their maple syrup. I have yet to try the maple latte, but you will likely find me there this weekend guzzling it down. On the weekend, it can be hard to get a seat, but during the week, it’s an ideal place for reading. Planet Coffee does not offer wi-fi, which is really a blessing, since it forces you to actually do your readings or talk to the person sitting in front of you, instead of Instagramming your amazing coffee… or the bird under your table. 

Morala Coffee Shop


Next stop: the Glebe. This coffee shop is a favourite among many, and I can see why. As soon as you walk in to this cozy little shop, you feel welcome. The left wall is lined with one long bench, which is always full of friendly, chit-chatting locals and studying students. Known for having many options for lactose/dairy-free diets, they make delicious almond milk cappuccinos and lattes. Their empanadas alone are worth making the trip. 

With large windows in the front, it is the perfect place to sit and people watch. But watching the hustle and bustle of Bank Street in the Glebe can be quite distracting, so if you really need to study, I recommend sitting in the back.