Out and about exploring our beautiful city? Jumping Bean is an excellent place to stop, whether you’re on campus or downtown. This is my go-to place for grabbing a quick caffeine fix, so I’m ready to tackle the day. They have two locations on campus, which are located in the QEII Library and Hatcher House. If you’re staying on campus, the Hatcher House location is wonderfully situated as you don’t even have to see the outside world before you get your caffeine. You can access the building from our Paton and Macpherson College residences through the MUNnel system. Granted the same can be said for the QEII location, which is also wonderful, but let’s be real, in the morning we want our coffee and we want it fast. If you’re looking for a place to stop and enjoy your surroundings, Jumping Bean can be the place for that as well. Their shops offer a variety of comfy seating, with a mixture of sleek minimal design and Newfoundland atmosphere. The highlight, for me, is the Atlantic Place location downtown, which has barstool seating overlooking St. John’s harbour. The view is spectacular! Hikes are great, but so is comfort. Who says you need to go on a grand expedition to view the sights St. John’s has to offer?
Locations: Memorial University, Water Street (Atlantic Place), and several other locations across the city.
This location is small and quirky, but one of my favourites! They have the option of indoor or outdoor seating. The inside has a crisp white and cool blue feel, with lots of interesting decor – everything from decorative spoons, leafy plants, to kitty figurines. I have visited several times now and though the cookie selections change each time they are always delicious. It does not matter what’s in the display, treat yourself because you deserve a cookie. You won’t be disappointed. My personal favourite is the chocolate sprinkle cookies, and I also get a Café Mocha for dipping! They also have yummy vegetarian and vegan options, but my brunch-time choice is the bacon, avocado and swiss grilled cheese. I had never tasted avocado before I tried this sandwich and now I’m a little obsessed. Fixed is my go-to choice, when I’m in the mood for something a little different, as their menu options are unique yet homey, giving me old favourites and a taste of something new at the same time.
Locations: 59 Harvey Road and 183 Duckworth Street, St. John’s
Rocket Bakery & Fresh Food:
The Rocket is my favourite place to visit during a shopping outing on Water Street. All the hustle and bustle, and mismatched seating, combine to create a wonderful atmosphere. They also separate the food displays and cash from the seating area, housing these in different rooms. I find this helps to quiet the atmosphere, as you’re not surrounded by people loudly ordering, but those doing the same as yourself -enjoying their coffee and croissants. I say coffee and croissants, but if you’re are going there and it’s during the winter months, I cannot recommend enough, getting the orange hot chocolate. It is delicious! Also, let’s not forget about their shortbread cookies, various fresh baked breads, in addition to the yummy croissants. If you are looking to catch some local events, this is a great place to do so. They have something for everyone from live music performances to swing dancing practises to craft fairs.
Location: 272 Water Street, St. John’s
Another one of my favourites! Coffee Matters has a formal, almost restaurant setting. Excellent service, and any meal-type food is brought right to your table. Drinks and pastries are not brought to you – pro-tip wait for these items at the counter and then grab a seat. I got a delicious salmon club wrap which came with chips, a cafe mocha, and a turtle cheesecake piece. The highlight was definitely the meal itself. The salmon was paired with a partridge berry mayo (a berry common to Newfoundland), and it was amazing. I have to admit berries and mayo made me a tad sceptical at the beginning, but I was oh so glad I tried it! They have a large lunch and supper menu, so make sure that you’re hungry when you visit so you’re able to fully enjoy their selection. They also have a large selection of beverages, pastries, cakes and cookies, for the more traditional café goer. Coffee Matters has found the perfect blend of restaurant service and selection, with the comfort of a traditional café.
Location: 1 Military Road, St. John’s
Georgestown Café and Bookshelf:
If you love books then this is the place for you! They have a selection of books to browse, while you enjoy your coffee and sandwiches. This place offers the opportunity to explore the residential side of St. John’s, bringing you near to some of the older Jelly Bean style houses, and Bannerman Park. So why not take a cup to go? Or you can eat in and enjoy a build-your-own sandwich or wrap. Georgestown Café allows you to customize your sandwich so if you having dietary restrictions, it’s quite easy to work around. This is my place to go when I have a specific hankering and don’t want to be limited by a menu. Also if you’re stopping here, you should also visit its sister bakery across the street. Their bagels are fabulous. I could eat them without spread, fresh out of the bag. But arrive early, as they sell out fast.
Location: 73 Hayward Ave, St. John’s
The Battery Café:
The Battery Café may be small, but they utilize their location. Located on the very end of Duckworth Street, they are one of the first places you hit coming down from a day of hiking Signal Hill or visiting the Johnson Geo Centre, and what better way to be greeted with a walk-through take-out window! You don’t even have to go inside to get their delicious coffee, and tea or coffee infused muffins. They do have seating inside, but it is limited. However, they have a solution for this as well. Their tables are adjustable, so they can be made to be larger or smaller depending on your needs. They use this feature to host open mics, paint nights and other activities. In terms of eats, my favourite snack to grab from the Battery Café, before I explore Signal Hill, is a Café Mocha and a Mocha Pecan Muffin. (Could you tell I like Mochas?) But not to worry, if a hot drink sounds too extreme for your hike up Signal Hill, they can ice any hot beverage on the menu.
Location: 1 Duckworth Street, St. John’s
Newfoundland Chocolate Company Café:
If you are a connoisseur of hot chocolate or if you just enjoy chocolate as a concept, then this is the place for you! They have FIVE different types of hot chocolate. FIVE! They have milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate varieties and they are all delicious. My favorite is the Smiling Land which has dark chocolate and wildberries. The cafés also offer a selection of gelato and freshly made panini. For those of you who are like me, and had never heard of gelato before now, it is a thick creamy ice cream that is made Italian style. These products feature- you guessed it -chocolate! They also feature local flavors such as yummy partridgeberries! If you are hiking around Signal Hill, I would definitely recommend dropping into the the Visitor information centre to treat yourself at the café. After all that sightseeing you deserve to treat yourself! This recommendation also applies if you’re out shopping at the Avalon Mall, as they have a location in the food court.
Location: Signal Hill National Historic Site Visitor Information Centre and 8 Kenmount Road, St. John’s