So many great local coffee shops with local roasters, and too many bakeries and sweet treats to choose from! Can there be too many? Nope. Just try them all…
Coffee…Nectar of the Gods
Cafe Oranje – International Village, Downtown Hamilton – a Dutch coffee shop makes its own traditional stroopwafels, soups and sandwiches. Chris and Kevin relocated to the ACTUAL Netherlands in 2016! And passed on the lovely Cafe to new owners who are taking good care of it
Smalls – Cannon & James North – A Tiny Take-Away Coffee Spot. If you’re trying to avoid dairy, they have a coconut / almond milk combo that is faaantastic
Saint James – beautiful space, hi-tech Steam Punk coffee machines, cereal marshmallow bars and that drive-thru sandwich!!
Democracy – Locke Street – this vegan coffeshop took over the space once housed by the beloved Locke Street Bakery – and you can still buy their bagels there!
Detour – Downtown Dundas – Detour roasts their own beans, and you can catch them at the cafe on King street in Dundas. In 2018 they got new owners and the Cafe got a facelift that is absolutely stunning!
Mulberry – James Street North – loads of Gluten Free options, hosts live music, local artists shows, is licensed to serve alcohol and you have to try the Hello Dolly’s
The Cannon Coffee Co. – Ottawa Street – you come for the coffee and stay for the waffles. Can I just add a shout out for that Vanilla Latte. And those scones.
Salty Espresso – John Street South – cute spot popped up in the spring of 2015 as Pinecone Coffee and has since changed hands and names. It is a welcome coffee addition to the Corktown neighbourhood
Vintage Coffee Roasters – King East – With the purchase of my own new home, excited that this is my new local. And damn those Avocado toasts! Their beans are served in a few places around town as well as their own cafe
Relay – #Market (Central Hamilton Farmer’s Market) and #Concession (on the Hamilton on Concession Street), these guys are always around
Durand Coffee – Corner of Caroline & Charlton – this neighbourhood spot boasts a back seating area AKA the living room which also works great as a space for you and your little ones
Ward IV – Main & Kenilworth – opened in October 2016 and damn, I am in love with the interior design of this place. Bringing the cool cafe vibe to the east end. The owner is active in the mommy community and hosts lots of kiddo oriented events
Steel Town Garage – Barton & James – Motorcycles and coffee, why not?? Beautiful use of a building long neglected
Emerald Coffee Co. – the newest addition to the Barton Village, it boasts a super cool vibe, has kombucha on tap, and is run but a lovely fella AND is open super hella early – thank its location close to the General Hospital for that
The Nook – James South & Bold – this socially conscious addition to the coffee scene is beautiful, and aware of its footprint, shooting for zero waste!
Synonym – located on James North in the old O’s Gallery spot, this place is all about coffee, art, books and excellent tunes. The tumeric latte is killer, and I had a fig cereal bowl that was uh-mazing.
Bakeries…sweet, sweet treats
Cake & Loaf – Kirkendall Area Dundurn & Aberdeen – one of the leaders, a must follow on their instagram to see everything you can get. Josie and Nickey won Food Network’s Donut Showdown in 2014. In 2016 they joined the family at the Hamilton Farmer’s Market with a brand spankin’ new space on the lower level by Pokeh. And if all that weren’t enough, these gals won $100,000 in the Globe and Mail’s Small Business Challenge
Bitten – Locke Street – whoopie pies. Nuff said. Call ahead to place orders for your favourites, or just pop in to see what they have from their extensive menu ready to go – have yet to be disappointed. As of Fall 2016 they are open Mondays!
Ola Bakery – James Street North – best Portuguese Egg Tarts ever! Cash only
Made for you by Madeleine – Downtown Hamilton King William – everything made from scratch including the house milled flour. They also offer different classes on a pretty regular basis
Donut Monster – born out of the Kitchen Collective, these amazing treats can be found in most of the local coffee shops, and Reuben outgrew his space, and opened a stand alone shop on Locke Street which is KILLING it
Sweetness Bakery – Ancaster – offers nut free custom sweets, cakes, cookies and cupcakes
Westdale Cupcakes – Village of Westdale – just cupcakes, what more do you need?
Hotti Biscotti – recently relocated from Westdale to James North, known for their “softer” biscotti
Caniche – Ancaster – French pattisseries? Don’t mind if I do.
Crumbuns Bakeshop Cafe – Concession Street – Close enough to Juravinski Hospital to grab a sweet treat if you’re visiting someone 🙂 Sweet and savoury treats, and a lovely story behind the Carter’s Button cookies in memory of a little one taken too soon by cancer
The Dessert Room – Westdale – A boutique pastry shop – incredible custom designs for cookies and wedding cakes
Hello Baked – Opened late December 2017 – Barton & Emerald – do you need custom sugar cookies? This might the place for you – they also have an awesome gummy treat wall!
The Hearty Hooligan – this Vegan café started on Main Street but has relocated to busy Ottawa street which I think is a perfect fit for it’s coffee and treats
Lick the Whisk – yay for spots on Barton! this 2 level vegan bakery and ice cream spot opened in 2018, it’s a passion project from a couple of local folks wanting to share the sweet treat love with the vegan community!
I scream, You scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! At least I do…
Henry Brown’s Small Batch – Launched in summer of 2015, Karen and Ed sell their unique flavours by the scoop, single serving or take home pints at the Hamilton Farmer’s Market (located downstairs at the markets west end) Personal favourite so far (and I stress so far…) is pecan buttertart or buttered popcorn…or Hong Kong Milk Tea…. 2017 is bringing changes to this favourite – Ed is opening his own ice cream spot in the east end of Toronto and Karen ran a successful crowdfunding campaign and reopened just inside the main doors next to de le Terre Bakery.
Foundry – Laurel came to the Hamilton area recently from BC where she mastered the art of delicious home made ice cream. You can find her at the local markets scooping and buy the beautiful glass jars of the sweet treats at Mustard Seed. Personal Favourite so far: Cinnamon Brown Butter
Rudy’s – she started with paletas and now offers non-dairy, all natural Vegan ice cream! Available in single servings on the cart, as well as at The Burnt Tongue, Piccone’s, and Denningers. So good. Personal Favourite so far: Chocolate Almond Sea Salt
Willard’s – part of the Kitchen Collective group, you can buy it at Candiwerx on the mountain, and from their soon to be open permanent spot near Gage Park! Personal Favourite so far: London Fog.
Earth to Table Bread Bar – known for its pizzas and savoury delights. But my favourite thing there is the smashed-in Ice Cream – don’t forget to leave with a container for home! Personal Favourite so far: Lemon Curd with fresh Blackberries
Panini & Ice Cream – wonder what they sell? Oh yeah, pressed panini sandwiches and ice cream! But not just any old ice cream – they use Hewitt’s to create amazing concoctions that range from the simple scoop, to the indulgent half & half (milkshake on the bottom, sundae with ridic amount of toppings on the top) AND an ice cream sandwich on a cronut. 🙂
Amo Gelato – opened on Locke Street summer of 2016 – this sweet little spot will wow you with its fun decor, and its amazing flavours of italian gelato, fresh roasted espresso, a gelato panini sandwich (this ice cream sandwich thing is getting out of hand – in a good way) Oh, and it’s open early and open late!!
Chocolat on James – handmade chocolate treats, saltwater taffy and they’ve gotten into the glitzed up soft serve ice cream game!
Sprinkles On Top – Stoney Creek’s answer to delicious scooped Kawartha Dairy, you can get it old school or fancied up on waffles, in donut sandwiches, topped with cotton candy and more!
Big Scoops – the name says it all. I have a big appetite, but I cannot handle more than the kids serving! So don’t say I didn’t warn you! This James St South spot is closed over the winter, and it’s just straight up scoops of Hewitt’s dairy
The Horn of Plenty – a health food store in Dundas since 1980, this shop has recently added D’Oh to it’s menu and been catching the instagram crowd – scooped raw cookie dough! They also serve up Kawartha dairy and the fanciest of Sunshakes
What People are Saying
- The Inlet – July 2018 – 14 Sweet Ice Cream Spots in Hamilton
- GlobalTV – November 2017 – Hamilton business advocates for living wage at final hearing for Bill 148
- Globe & Mail – Sept 2016 – Contest Victory Sweet for Bakery Founders
- The Culture Trip – May 2016- The top ten coffee shops in Hamilton
- Narcity Toronto – April 2016 – 11 Ontario Ice Cream Shops that are worth the drive
- The Spec – April 2016 – A Coffee Shop for Every Mood in Hamilton
- Escapehere.com – August 2015 – 5 Most Unique Coffee Shops in Hamilton
- This Must be the Place December 2014 – Cake and Loaf Confectionary
- BlogTO November 2014 – The top 10 Coffee Shops in Southern Ontario
- Hamilton Community News January 2013 – Stoney Creek Baker rebounds from loss to offer healthy alternatives
- This Must be the Place June 2012 – The Rise of Coffee Culture in Hamilton
- The Hamilton Spectator June 2012 – The politics of Coffee in Hamilton