There’s something special about the constantly changing vibe of a café. At times it is a interesting spot to people watch over coffee with friends, other times it is a quiet nook to read while sipping a flat white. How we choose a favourite café has a lot to do with how it makes us feel. And of course, how good the drinks are! Some places specialize in a range of teas; some have super unique beverages and others just do the classics really well. Regardless of what you’re in the mood for, there are dozens of amazing cafes in the Windsor-Essex area begging to be explored. How many of these spots have you visited?
The Coffee Exchange – 266 Ouellette Ave – Downtown
A downtown staple for many years, this café has changed locations a few times but always manages to remain consistent with its vibe and level of quality. Open and airy, this café is a magnet for locals, students and office workers throughout the day. While they offer a few staple sandwiches, their baked goods are a constantly revolving delight so there is sure to be something new and delicious to experience each time you stop by. The chocolate peanut butter bars, date squares and morning glory cookies are always a great choice. As for their coffee? It’s a solid daily go to. For those not of the coffee variety, they also offer an assortment of other drink options including their unique blend of flavoured lemonades – a perfect refresher on a hot afternoon.
Riverside Pie Café – 5560 Wyandotte St E – Olde Riverside
If you’re a pie person you can’t miss this place! Nestled in the beautiful neighbourhood of Olde Riverside, this local spot is bright, welcoming and quaint. With a rotating selection of featured monthly pies along with staples like tarts, cakes, scones (and so much more!), it’s an obvious choice when searching for that perfect sweet treat to pair with coffee. Seasonally, they also offer ice cream and a small menu alongside daily boxed specials for lunches. This place can fill up fast at peak hours, but you can never go wrong grabbing lunch and a coffee or treat to go!
Shway Shway Café – Ottawa Street & Forest Glade
A bright little spot at the core of Ottawa Street, Shway Shway boasts some of the most unique café food you’ll find in the city. Their Mediterranean breakfast and lunch options are crazy delicious paired with a cup of their great tasting coffee. It’s also a solid spot to get some work done, catch up on reading or as a launching pad to explore the rest of the areas shops on foot.
Café March 21 – 480 Pelissier S – Downtown
Quickly becoming a hot spot in the downtown core, this small and unassuming café is a high rated yelp superstar with quality food, drinks and a vibe that really delivers. The warm wooden interior is perfect for relaxing, catching up with friends, working or reading solo. Their menu includes all the standard café beverage options one would expect mixed with unique choices you won’t find anywhere else in Windsor. Have you ever tried a sweet potato latte? What about a coffee beer? No matter whether you’re feeling adventurous or are in need of the familiar, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. Swing by and pick-up a homemade cookie or brownie with a side of ramen for lunch. Simply because you can.
Taloola Café – 396 Devonshire Rd – Walkerville
A local classic, this small café is an excellent place to grab lunch, dessert or a beverage. Known for its vegetarian and vegan cuisine, it’s often bustling with entrepreneurs, musicians as well as neighbourhood regulars. As a super trendy spot that also offers a lovely patio during the warmer months it’s become a comfortable spot to enjoy year round. Their Vietnamese iced coffee is a fun option when it comes to caffeine and their house made seasonal lemonades are always a refreshing treat!
Green Bean Café – 2320 Wyandotte Street West, Lower Level of UCC – University of Windsor
This hidden gem only a stone’s throw from The University of Windsor may be lesser known to most, but it’s definitely no secret to students as a lively place to eat and socialize during the school year. This hip spot located in the basement of a church boasts a full menu of sandwiches, salads, soups, bowls, burgers including vegan and restrictive dietary options. Being a licensed establishment they offer some really unique beverage options both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. They’re open later than most cafes in the area and are always hosting super cool events, musicians, movie nights, fairs and more. If you’re looking for a café with a little something extra, you won’t want to miss this spot!
Anchor Coffee House – 2187 Huron Church Rd #230 & 543 Lincoln Rd (Walkerville)
With two locations, this local cafe has minimalistic breakfast and lunch menus, served up with a variety of fancy espresso based drinks alongside killer complimentary baked goods. Their first location, on Lincoln Road, is in the vibrant neighbourhood of Walkerville within walking distance to plenty of charming local must see shops. So if you’re a must see kind of person, this is a great place to start your exploration of the area. Their second location, on Huron Church, is tucked away among a string of other shops within a simple looking corporate plaza, but don’t let their basic store front fool you – inside is a group of lively staff waiting to serve you exceptional food fare and beverages!
Wizards of Walkerville – 1295 Ottawa S – Ottawa Street
If you’re looking for a little something more than the usual people watching sort of entertainment then this is the spot for you! Grab a fancy dessert drink named after a famous magical character, order a snack, a whole meal or just a basic coffee and then take your pick from hundreds of board games with unlimited play for a tiny fee. Bright and laid back, this is a great atmosphere if you’re looking for a unique date night idea or to catch up with friends.