Vegan Friendly Cafes and Espresso Bars

Vegan Friendly Cafes

Black Squirrel Books

1073 Bank St

Newly nested in the heart of Old Ottawa South. This is a used book store and amazing little cafe serving amazing espressos and local coffee (Equator Rosters), Kusmi tea by the pot or glass and for sale  as well as vegan treats from Strawberry Blonde. (2 doors from Panago + coffee + books =heaven, hunh!). The atmosphere changes a little with the art on display but I’d call it turn of the century meets Harry Potter. There are walls of books crammed on bookshelves with cult classics, poets and new series, old suitcases displaying art that looks like a 1910 ladies catalogue and old typewriters and shabby caouches to complete the look. This is totally the kind of place you’d want to hang in a thunder storm in the evening- and you can since they have great hours (till 9pm most nights).

Arlington 5

5 Arlington Street

This little gem just recently opened as the sister of Wilf and Ada’s Diner. It has a sweet and slow life vibe from the street view and a feeling of transportation back to the mid 20th century with restored brick and an old fashion type writer and other decor inside. The have a delicious selection of high quality coffee and espresso bar creations with soy and almond milk and a deliciously spicy and flavourful roasted squash and olive sandwich which is vegan. They also feature several vegan baked goods from Strawberry Blonde such as squares and brownies. Right down to the sunlit plant filled windows and dreamy Alice in Wonderland-like washroom (low ceiling!), you will fall in love with this little place to stay or take out.


Bridgehead Coffee

Various Ottawa locations

Ottawa owned roastery and cafes. Organic fair trade top quality coffee and soup, sandwiches (try the sunflower seed pate!), fresh pressed juices and baked goods with vegan options. Artisan coffee and various brew options such as Chemex, french press etc. Beautiful open concept roastery location open to public just off Preston Street. Serves soy and almond milk. Many locations with patios, outdoor seating and public use blankets!



465 Parkdale Ave. (Hintonburg)

Very unique and chic flower boutique and coffee bar. If you like to be surrounded by gorgeous and artfully displayed plants and flowers among shabby chic couches and a typewriter, you’ll love Blumenstudio. I love this establishment and much of this guide was written there! Flowers available for order and high quality fair trade coffee. They serve soy, almond and coconut milk and have sparkling artisan water and fruit drinks. Outdoor seating decorated with seasonal offerings and bouquets like Queen Anne’s lace and lilies in summer to rose stuffed pumpkins in fall to Christmas trees and magnolia leaf wreaths in winter. 


Cafe qui Pense

204 Main St. (St. Paul’s University)

Little coffee bar Inside Singing Pebble bookstore (a great resource for vegan literature). Serves delicious Equator roasted coffee and soy and almond milk and Green Door vegan desserts. Stay and feel like you’re sitting in a little cottage or perhaps a sailor’s cafe by the sea (okay my imagination is pretty vivid…go see for yourself!)


Stella Luna

1103 Bank St. (Old Ottawa South)

An incredibly popular, traditional and award winning gelato and coffee bar in old Ottawa South. Features live music and loads of gelato flavours (usually a good half dozen of them are vegan) with flavours such as coconut-lime and merlot. Neighbourhood families park skateboards, scooters and bikes at the door and couples on dates share small tables or sit on the front stairs. So beloved, expect a line up! They have dairy alternatives for coffees and specialty drinks.


Equator Roasters

451-A Ottawa Street Almonte ON

412 Churchill Ave N

The original location in Almonte is a big, cozy coffee bar which serves SweetCheeks vegan and gluten free baking. Stay and sit a while if you’re in town. The Westboro location is a minimalist, kid friendly and hip joint up beside Lululemon on Churchill. The coffee is amazing and personally a favorite tied with Bridgehead. Even the decaf blend is smooth, nutty and delicious. Both locations serve soy and almond milk. Also has SweetCheeks baking. Go sit under the big gaslight “coffee” sign and do some work or just chill.


Red Door Provisions

117 Beechwood Ave

This is a great little find in Ottawa’s North East New Edinburgh Beechwood neighborhood. Beautiful Coffee, bright, minimal atmosphere to stay inside or outside on patio. They make their own preserves for sale (jams and pickles). The soy and almond lattes are great and they have a vegan tofu sandwich on the menu which reminds me of a western (curried tofu). They also have a vegan chia pudding. Take it to go and walk around a personal and secret fav the Rockeries park in Rockliffe park neighbourhood.


Raw Sugar Cafe (Now Closed)

692 Somerset W

A shabby chic retro-esque little cafe in Chinatown. So wabi sabi and miss matched I don’t think you could expect your latte art to be symmetrical. They have magazines and books and the atmosphere is so your granny’s back room you just want to stay. Have live music and other events to entertain you. Vegan chili, appetizers and dairy alternatives for coffees and teas.

The Ministry of Coffee 

279 Elgin St

The Ministry of Coffee and Social Affairs

1019 Wellington St W

The original location on Elgin is a really well designed coffee bar complete with modern wood sides and benches and piping as shelves. They offer almond as vegan milk option and grind amazing and top notch brews like Forty Ninth Parallel. The Hintonburg location has the same modern vibe and hip graffiti type art on the walls. Meant to be a coffee and standard bar hang out. Serves food and alcohol. Working on getting them to offer a true vegan item, but as ever, the coffee is delicious (and it’s right next to Cafe My House!)


The Tea Party

119 York Street (Byward Market)

The Tea Party is a quaint vegetarian cafe in the Byward Market. Of course it should be Alice in Wonderland themed! Some vegan options such as dahl, tofu sandwich and hummus appetizer. This is one cozy and cute place and it’s small so best to go on a date or small friend crowd. They have a selection of high quality teas and coffees to drink and buy in bulk.

The Tea Store

53 York St

Wonderful selection of black, green, oolong, herbal and other teas as well as high quality brands like Kusmi tea. Has soy milk for teas in store. Sip on the pretty patio or colourful fresh store or take home.

Planet Coffee

24A York St

That lovely courtyard with the metal cafe tables. A bit like Paris in Ottawa? One of it’s kind coffee bar with indoor and outdoor seating. Very occasional vegan menu item such as a soup. Could modify a sandwich for you. They do have a vegan espresso brownie which is massive and delicious. Serves almond and soy for coffees and lattes. Perfect for a chill morning or afternoon downtown.


Oh So Good Desserts and Coffee House

25 York St

261 Richmond Rd

The busting and fun place in the market and second location in Westboro have vegan cake! Always one vegan cake option on the menu (gluten free option isn’t vegan). You get to go to the fridge and eye the full cake which you’re getting a piece from. So appetizing! They have dairy alternatives for tea and coffee. This has served me as a date spot or friend party location for years. 



Various locations

Most vegans can navigate their way through a menu pretty well. Just in case, Starbucks vegan products include: all drip and espresso coffees made with soy, almond or new coconut milk. flavours in syrup form are vegan (vanilla, etc). Dark chocolate shavings are vegan. The teas and tea lattes are vegan (with soy etc). None of the food is vegan but the newest quinoa and veggie bowl creations are very close; one of which is vegan except for the honey in the dressing. Maybe we can petition for a minor tweak? The Peppermint latte made with soy and no whipped cream is vegan!


Second Cup

Various locations

An Ontario creator with many locations around the province and Quebec. Vegan stuff includes: all drip and espresso coffees made with soy or almond. flavours in syrup form are vegan (vanilla, etc). The teas and tea soy/almond lattes are vegan and the green tea latte is while the matcha latte is not (sweetened with honey). Vegan mints available.


Simply Biscotti

354 Preston St

307 Richmond Rd

A classic Italian style coffee bar and bakery. No vegan baking as of yet, but an occasional vegan item such as a soup. Dairy alternatives for coffees and espresso creations. Has italian brands such as Illy and Lavazza. Great shop for press pots and italian espresso percolators!


Nordstrom Coffee bar

50 Rideau St inside the Nordstrom store near the Mackenzie King Bridge

The Nordstrom coffee bar is a walk by and order or small sit down inside the store at Rideau Centre. They serve almond, soy and coconut milk as dairy alternatives and have a selection of small food items, some of which are vegan such as the edamame as well as the Pro Bars, Luna Bars and Cliff bars in baskets near the cash. An empty handed vegan can scarf something here while shopping until they can get there hands on a real vegan meal. The store itself has some surprising vegan options such as the BP brand shoes, Havaianas flip flops, Toms, Sorrels, Ted Baker bags, Butter London nail polish, Moroccan Oil products, Voluspa candles, synthetic material clothing and more. Norstrom may seem uppity but hey, so are our tastes sometimes, certainly with regards to the animal free products we will use.