Get to know Prince George from a local point of view.


Wake up Prince George! Your guide to local coffee shops

My last entry talked about some of the local beer and wine options, perfect for camping or a weekend party, so it seemed to make sense for this one to highlight some remedies for the next morning. Coffee lovers rejoice! PG’s got you covered.

It’s the mark of a mature city to go a little above and beyond the regular offerings of Starbucks and Timmy’s. Nothing wrong with those, of course, but to me those kinds of places say ‘on the go’, whereas an independent, local coffee shop is really the place to take some time and get the community vibe. It’s where we start our day, a chance to mingle with our fellow man before all the day’s worries start to slowly chip away at our sociability. Here are a few places worth checking out.

Ritual Coffee Bar

hot and cold coffees

A small selection of the coffee options at Ritual.

As suggested by the name, Ritual Coffee Bar is indeed a ‘coffee bar’ as opposed to a ‘café’. It is a very sleek, modern space, light and airy with plants everywhere, minimalist yet comfortable. It has a few lovely touches, like some old coffee grinders on display, as well as some funny signs about how coffee is the magical elixir that keeps us civilized; it also offers some books and board games, but on the whole it has a very clean feel rather than a relaxed, ‘mismatched furniture’ one. The coffee offerings are excellent and varied, both cold and hot brews. The almond horchata is delicious, the iced coffee very refreshing, and the ice cone latte (which I have not tried yet) sounds intriguing. A great little place downtown to have a coffee and perhaps people-watch from the neat little benches they have set up outside.  

Zoe’s Java House

girl drinking coffee while boy draws

Enjoying a coffee outside of Zoe’s Java House.

Speaking of mismatched furniture, that is exactly what you’ll find at Zoe’s. Also located downtown, it has a very different feel than Ritual, but it is equally awesome. Zoe’s is the place to go if you’re feeling artsy and bohemian. It has some very comfortable seating if you want to hunker down and write the next great novel (or the next great Netflix original series), and on a warm day it is open to the street. There is a large section of a wall filled with posters advertising local events – music, theatre, the potato festival – something for everyone. The drinks are fantastic, the London fog being a particular favourite of mine, and they also have a wide selection of very tasty food, including many vegetarian options.

Café Voltaire

coffee on a checkered table

Enjoy coffee in the eclectic atmosphere offered at Cafe Voltaire.

Cafe Voltaire is located in the Books and Company shop and also has a very eclectic feel, though less loungy than Zoe’s, and more ‘down the rabbit hole’; by this I mean that there is a trombone sticking out of the ceiling and a place where people can write down what conspiracy theories they would like to start. All their coffee is brewed using North Roast Coffee, roasted right here in Prince George. It’s a pretty intense but very tasty dark coffee, and the espresso is guaranteed to jumpstart every cell in your body. They also have very good food, but if you want breakfast you should get there early, it is very popular and gets quite busy.

The same building plays host to a performance space and in general feels very community centred. I was pleasantly surprised to see a gentleman sitting at a table with a couple of board games and a sign that encouraged people to walk over and play something with him.

Whatever the name…

It doesn’t matter what you call it – coffee shop, coffee joint, café, java house, coffee bar, mud house – every city needs a place like this, where you can get a morning brew, a treat, or a good breakfast, and take some time to reconnect with yourself and your community. In Prince George, we are lucky enough to have a few good places that offer different things for different needs.

Tag Archive: City Living Food & Drink

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