Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Variety Coffee Roasters


Variety Coffee is a Williamsburg-born roaster that has 5 locations in New York. They opened in 2008 and have since expanded locations to serve coffee-lovers in Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Chelsea and the Upper East Side. 

The first thing that jumped out at me was the vintage lettering outside the Chelsea location. The inside is a beautiful large space with leather booths, and plenty of tables conveniently located close to outlets. I love the high, curved wood ceilings, gorgeous tile designs and the natural light that floods in through all of the windows. The wood accents, gold trim and long coffee bar added such a nice friendly and welcoming feel.

The day we popped in the vibe was a mix of young couples, older individuals and techie-looking people hammering away at their laptops. The coffee menu is short and simple. I had a drip coffee and Alan got a cappuccino which were both delicious. I really loved the graphic design on their cups too. Everyone online leaves reviews saying that their coffee is consistently delicious and that’s why it’s their go-to spot!

You can buy hand-brewing equipment and also subscribe for bi-monthly deliveries. They also sell their coffee at Whole Foods – just look for the package with lips and you won’t miss it!







Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Doughnut Plant


NYC is known for having some of the best food, dessert and coffee. I was so excited to discover a Doughnut Plant location right next door to me since it was referenced in a guide book of hidden gems that I received as a gift a few years ago!

The Doughnut Plant doughnuts are handcrafted every day, and do not contain eggs, preservatives, transfats or anything artificial . You can find so many different and original flavours and types so it’s a good idea to check out the menu online before you decide to stop by. You can find the following types of doughnuts:

Yeast doughnuts: light, airy, fluffy yeast-raised doughnuts with a slight chew

Cake doughnuts: Leavened with baking powder, the cake doughnuts have a texture somewhere near the intersection of a classic birthday cake and a buttery pound cake.

Filled doughnuts: Filled with their house made jams, creams and custards. Their filled doughnuts include flavours like Tres Leches, Carrot Cake and Black Seed (think chocolate on chocolate).

Doughseeds: Mini, filled doughnuts including flavours such as Creme Brûlée (the original), Rose (with a rose water pudding and dipped in a rose water glaze, topped with an edible rose petal), Hazelnut Chocolate, Matcha Green Tea, Peanut Butter & Blackberry Jam, Pistachio, Strawberry & Cream and Wild Blueberry & Cream.

Everyone who knows me well knows that I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I have to say, I am salivating as I’m writing this. Coffee and doughnuts are the perfect pair and I’m happy to say that their coffee was also delicious. It paired perfectly with the coffee cake doughnut. (Can you tell I like coffee?) If you’re not a coffee person, they have plenty of other drinks including tea and plant juices. If I haven’t convinced you to visit, then browse through these photos or take a stroll past a store in the morning. Maybe you’ll be drawn in after seeing the long lines and adorable doughnut themed decor!

Fun Tip from my guidebook: Visit the Chelsea Hotel right next door (currently under construction). This iconic hotel housed writers, painters, filmmakers and musicians for over a century. This is the place where Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road, Bob Dylan penned Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands, Madonna photographed her book Sex, Leonard Cohen composed Chelsea Hotel #2, Arthur C Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey and Arthur Miller recovered from his split with Marilyn Monroe.



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Ultimo Coffee



Ultimo Coffee was opened by a couple (the Ultimos) who met working in a coffee shop in DC! They decided to open up their own café in the Philadelphia area and opened their first location in Newbold. Now this location shares a space with Brew, a specialty bottle beer shop. They also have a roastery and lab at this location.

Today Ultimo has three different locations, Newbold, Graduate Hospital and Rittenhouse. I visited the newest location in the Rittenhouse neighbourhood and loved it! The location was small but cute and had just he right about of tables and bar seating. I especially loved the natural light here!

Ultimo offers public coffee tasting on Fridays on Bancroft street. You can also purchase merchandise and coffee brewing gear for the house!



Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Good Karma Café



Good Karma is a small café with three locations around Centre City, Philly. I found myself at the newest location on Walnut Street in the Schuylkill Banks neighbourhood. They serve delicious organic and fair trade coffee roasted by a Boston-based worker owned co-op called Equal Exchange. Learn more about it here.

This café serves everything from hot and cold drinks to salads and sandwiches. It's a very cozy spot with plenty of bar seating and tables with easy access to power outlets for those of us addicted to their technology (like me!). I loved the drip coffee and stayed for a few hours while catching up on some work.

Good Karma Café features local artists at all of their locations, and their work is available for purchase! Swing by for a spot to work during the day or a place to unwind after work because Good Karma is open until 10 pm every night!





Monday, March 26, 2018

Paris + The French Alps

They say Paris is always a good idea! I spent an amazing week in Paris and the Alps working on my skiing skills, eating all the cheese and charcuterie I could get my hands on, drinking the best wine and champagne, and wandering the streets looking for crêpes and croissants! Cheers to la belle vie! Santé!








Monday, February 19, 2018

Café Chiado



Café Chiado has been on my Montreal café list forever! This is a Portuguese café located in the Rosemont - La Petite-Patrie area, inspired by the Chiado neighbourhood in Lisbon which crossesTram No 28. This neighbourhood in Portugal is very artsy and was traditionally filled with a various merchants. Today it's a popular tourist spot, filled with good restaurants, cafés and shopping. It also has a number of historic monuments and theatres.

I enjoyed an americano with my friend C. They serve Portuguese roasted coffee, and offer hot and cold drinks as well as pastries including the traditional natas. Chiado is a beautiful bi-level coffee shop where you can catch up with friends and pretend you're in Europe for a day.


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Café Le Falco



I finally made it to Cafe Le Falco with my coffee buddy C! This café has been on my list forever, but the hours make it really challenging for a working professional. They're only open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.

Le Falco is located by metro Laurier on Ave Gaspe in an industrial and artsy area. The café is a bit out of the way, but once we made it there we stayed for a while!

The warehouse set up is very cool - industrial yet modern with a large open space. I liked the giant world map mural and the bicycle hanging above the long table. Le Falco has food options like Japanese rice bowls, as well as baked goods and coffee.

They use a Syphon coffee maker which is essentially a vacuum coffee maker. It brews coffee using two chambers and is based on the expansion and contraction of water vapor. Read more here. I enjoyed my syphon coffee and lemon poppyseed loaf. While I probably won't get a chance to go back, I'd recommend a visit here if you can make the hours.