Five Coffee Bars We Love
Written By Liane Faulder, Alberta Food Tours Inc. Tour Leader and food writer for the Edmonton Journal
Photos By Karen Anderson, Alberta Food Tours Inc. President
Edmonton has a terrific independent coffee culture that’s built up over the last decade. Here is a whiff of the caffeinated landscape in our city for visitors and hometown coffee lovers alike.
Owned by local lawyer turned coffee aficionado, Poul Mark, Transcend lead the YEG movement towards independent operators with his first store, launched in 2006. Mark now has three locations in Edmonton (Garneau, Mercer Warehouse and Argyll) and a fourth on the way – all built on the development of strong relationships with international coffee growers. He and his baristas provide not only a quality cup of joe for customers, but also pride themselves on offering education through coffee tasting courses, an on-line video series, or quick tips at the counter.
Argyll – 9869-62 Avenue
Garneau – 8708-109 Street
Mercer Warehouse – 10359B-104 Street
Don’t get co-owner Peter West started on the importance of coffee culture. He opened Coffee Bureau in 2015 as a way to infuse Edmonton’s downtown with diverse spaces and a way to connect downtown dwellers and office folk.
The result is a tiny enclave, inspired by a mid-century modern aesthetic, with coffee by Ace Coffee Roasters in the Italian tradition. It’s bright front window overlooks Jasper Avenue and it’s easy to envision Mad Men’s Don Draper walking through the door, and tossing his hat on the nearby rack before grabbing a newspaper and a coffee to stir the creative juices.
10505 Jasper Avenue
Enter Credo’s downtown location (one of two in the city) and you’ll often find the quietly capable proprietor Geoff Linden behind the espresso machine. His personal stamp is on the business, and it’s near impossible to find a seat any morning at the buzzy café on 104th St.
Certainly the brew (by Intelligentsia) is to blame. But customers also enjoy a tasty selection of in-house baked goods, some of them featuring chocolate from another nearby local legend, Jacek Chocolate Couture. A second Credo in the increasingly popular 124th Street strip is part of an expansion of the independent coffee scene outside of downtown and the south side.
Downtown – 10134-104 Street
124 Street – 10350-124 Street.
Remedy Chai Bar
Remedy Café is a gigantic success on the chai and coffee scene in Edmonton, and expanded to five locations in 2016 – with two on the south side alone. Proprietor Sohail “Zee” Zaidi, a former New York cab driver who came to Edmonton for love, is the inspiration behind the café, which also offers vegan and vegetarian snack and meal options in addition to a wide selection of coffees, teas and chai.
Whyte Avenue – 10404 Whyte Avenue
South side – 8631-109 Street
Downtown – 10279 Jasper Avenue
124 Street – 10310-124 Street
Terwillegar – 1709 Towne Centre Boulevard
Located in an historic house in boho Riverdale once owned by J.B. Little (a brick manufacturer in Edmonton’s early days), Little Brick is one of several stylish coffee shops owned by local entrepreneur, Nate Box.
All the cafes – including Elm Café, Burrow, and District Coffee reflect a slightly different look, but offer the same commitment to quality baked goods, sandwiches, snacks or brunch (depending on the location). Coffee is at the heart of the business, though, which began in 2010 in a 200 square foot-niche located in the heart of the Oliver district.
Elm Café – 10140-117 Street
Burrow Grab and Go Café – Central LRT station – Jasper Avenue and 101 Street
District Café and Bakery – #101, 10011-109 Street
Little Brick Café and General Store– 10004-90 Street NW