A Seattle Coffee Connoisseur’s Guide to Victoria’s Unique Brews

Photo: Natalie Collins

Seattle may be the known as the coffee capital of the Pacific Northwest, but when it comes to creating the delicious, life-giving elixir, Victoria is brewing up something new. From cozy neighborhood cafes and craft coffee bars to local roasters and homegrown chains, the beautiful capital’s up-and-coming coffee scene has an array of artisan brewers popping up all over the city. The next time you are in town, get your daily caffeine fix with these four coffee hotspots as soon as you hop off the ferry

Victoria, BC getaways

Discovery Coffee

Discovery Coffee's nitro cold brew is a refreshing choice on a hot summer day. Photo: Antonio La Fauci
Discovery Coffee’s nitro cold brew pairs excellently with the cafe’s wide selection of treats. Photo: Antonio La Fauci

If you are looking for locally roasted beans, look no further than Discovery Coffee. The cafe carefully selects beans from growers all around the world and roasts them in-house for the freshest coffee possible. With four locations spread around the city — two downtown, one in James Bay and another in Oak Bay Village — and a coffee truck, there are endless opportunities to visit. The most recently opened cafe is found in the heart of downtown on Blanshard Street, making it a great spot if you need a break after exploring the Inner Harbour.

Discovery has also paired with James Bay’s Yonni’s Doughnuts, meaning your accompanying treat is just as local and tasty as your cup of coffee. We recommend pairing a classic Boston Cream doughnut with a nitro cold brew for a unique and deliciously smooth experience.

Habit Coffee

Once you've had a Habit Coffee creation, you'll be ready to take on the day. Photo: Dean Azim
Once you’ve had a Habit Coffee creation, you’ll be ready to take on the day. Photo: Dean Azim

Founded on the idea that “coffee can be better,” Habit Coffee works closely with local roaster Bows & Arrows Coffee to serve up beautiful, refined beverages. Habit is also all about sustainability. Staff members frequently visit the farms from which their beans are harvested, and the cafe has an extensive training program to ensure their baristas are knowledgeable about their brews. Try the Nicolas & Maruja Clque Espresso from Bolivia if it’s available. With notes of milk chocolate, rose, caramel and Frangelico, the beans make for a decadent cup.

Bean Around the World

The coffee may be the star, but Bean's soups and sandwiches are the perfect supporting players. Photo: Bean Victoria
The coffee may be the star, but Bean’s soups and sandwiches are the perfect supporting players. Photo: Bean Victoria

A small BC chain, Bean Around the World Coffees is celebrated for bringing rich brews and locality back into the cafe experience. While there are multiple locations throughout the province, each shop evokes its own particular style and experience through local art and eats.

Bean’s Victoria location in central Chinatown is known for its killer food selection, deeply flavorful espresso and laid-back vibe. Try the Black Dragon organic espresso blend as either an Americano or latte along with the Garden Thief grilled sandwich. The combination of artichoke, sun-dried tomato, pesto and cheese on focaccia pairs impeccably well with the rich flavors of the coffee.

Street Level Espresso

Don't be fooled by Street Level Espresso's teeny tiny interior. Photo: Street Level Espresso
Don’t be fooled by Street Level Espresso’s teeny tiny interior. Photo: Street Level Espresso

A tiny coffee bar with a big personality, Street Level Espresso is easily overlooked due to its footprint of only 400 square feet. The cafe is the brainchild of master class espresso brewer Ken Gordon, who previously worked at other Victoria coffee hotspots such as Caffe Fantastico and Habit Cafe.

Two blocks away from the city center, Street Level is the go-to coffee spot for Victoria’s urbanites, but it’s probably better for grabbing and going than sitting and sipping due to its size. Check out the latest edition to the menu, Cherry Bomb Chai, for its spicy, floral flavor.

Despite its relatively unknown status as a purveyor of fine brews, Victoria is ready to impress with its local cafes and roasters. If you visit any of these cafes, you’ll be ready to head back to Seattle and rave about the coffee scene north of the border.

How to get there:

 Estimated Walking Time from Clipper Terminal

  • Discovery Coffee: 24 minutes
  • Habit Coffee: 21 minutes
  • Bean Around the World: 21 minutes
  • Street Level Espresso: 15 minutes

Book Your Victoria Trip Now

Clipper Recommends: 

  • Take your cup of joe to go and check out Victoria’s other popular attractions – The Butchart Gardens – and soak in the spectacular fall colors.

5 Comments

  1. “Despite its relatively unknown status as a purveyor of fine brews” This may be a true statement if you are from the northwest US but Victorians have known this for many years. I have been here since 2002 and have always found great coffee in small independent places. Granted there are many more now.
    Discovery’s are made by people who visit, locals take them for granted.
    I love all your stories and info keep them coming .

    • Hi Knut,

      Yes, we agree there some great coffee shops in Victoria. Thanks for the kind words, we’re glad to have you as a reader!

      Brenna

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