We are about to enter cozy season. Are you ready? This is a time to unpack your knitted toques, fuzzy blankets, and cinnamon spiced candles. It’s also the perfect time of year to visit your local café for homemade snacks and hot specialty beverages, both sure to warm you up on a chilly November day.
I think it’s about time that we normalize mid-week treats and afternoon Fika. Fika is a Swedish term that means making time for friends and colleagues to share a cup of coffee (or tea) and a little something to eat. I absolutely love café hoppin’ for yummy treats and finding a quaint little bench to sip on something hot and catch up with a pal or two. Whether it’s a flat white, pumpkin spice latte, or a London fog – I’ll take one to go, please. And if there are cookies, I’ll take a six pack.
Here are a few Grey County cafes to curb your sweet tooth. Perfect for the foodies who love a homemade taste, adventurers who love to warm up after a hike and local lovers who just want to support the small biz community. Make sure to research their weekday hours + in-store policies for minimal disappointment.
This is one of my fave shops in Markdale. Their menu is everchanging (which I love) but I can’t help but hope and wish that they have the banana cake on deck. It’s so darn good! Their fridge is always stocked with a melody of both sweet and savoury options – everything from carrot cake, brownies, Portuguese tarts, scones, bagels, to lattes, hoagies, soups and mean (that means good in my books) peameal breakfast sandwiches.
Amici Coffee Bar
– Shallow Lake
Although known for their OG spot in Sauble Beach, they have a new wicked space in Shallow Lake and it’s worth the visit if you’re passing through. Enjoy a coffee, baked good or lunch item on their spacious patio or cozy up at a table indoors. It’s the new locals hub, I’m calling it!
Sugar Dust Baking
– Owen Sound
With every good cup of coffee or tea there should be a plate of chewy, decadent and homemade cookies. Insert six pack. This is the spot to visit if you’re on the hunt for something sweet and incredibly delicious. Cookies, cupcakes, scones and tarts – it’s hard not to take one of each. That’s just my advice.
Located in the heart of Markdale and hugging Highway 10, this new café is a must-visit for their sweet treats, lunch fare and oh-so-yummy pumpkin spice lattes! I may just go ahead and say it’s the best that I’ve ever had. They pride themselves on using locally sourced ingredients and making things from scratch when possible, including their pumpkin spice syrup. It’s a game-changer.
Surf Café - The name makes sense being directly across from Georgian Bay. It’s the perfect spot for a post-surf coffee run, a mid-bike fuel up or a just-because morning treat. They offer a variety of caffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks, pre-made meals, and a desirable list of pastries, sandwiches and branded apparel.
Bread and Butter
Nestled on the corner of Bruce and Louisa St. in Thornbury, this café and soon to be vintage shop is one of my faves. It may be for their thoughtfully curated menu items, scones + goodies, or their wicked chai tea latte which is made with house made chai syrup. It’s a must-order! The perfect blend of festive spices and classic flavour and one you’re sure to savour. It’s the kind of chai latte that you tell your friends about.
I don’t care what anyone says, a cup o’ hot chocolate will make anyone feel warm and fuzzy. Just how I remember it, there is something so nostalgic about a decked out, whipped up hot chocolate from McGinty’s, located in the heart of Meaford. De-licious!
Close by you’ll also find The Kitchen – another Meaford location for coffee, tea and nibbles.
There is no better spot to grab a cup of coffee (or a s’mores latte) than at the Royal Majesty Espresso Bar + Bakery, located at the base of the Blue Mountain Village. This café is naturally lit and has the most gorgeous blue tile work done throughout the space. From a wide list of hot beverages to their oh-so-famous Homer Simpson donut, this café has all the treats to make a trip to the Village more than memorable – or at least a little sweeter!
Great Books + Café
Housed in an old 19th century gristmill, it's simply is a one-of-a-kind Grey County gem. With over 80,000 books to browse from all genres and some delicious eats to boot, you could spend hours in this enchanted space. Once you’ve found a book that sparks your interest, grab a seat, enjoy something delicious off of their menu and learn more about this wonderful historic place.
For something sweet, zip across the road and pay the Williamsford Pie Company a visit. We dare you not to get a pie!
Next time you enjoy a hot cuppa, I hope you think of me. Enjoy!
Originally published in fall 2021.
Guest Writer: Stef Richardson
I consider myself a small town gal (raised here in Grey County) with an interest in all things food, culture, community & people. Known for my clogging, blogging and vlogging, my work seeks to showcase the love and appreciation I have for all that is discoverable in Ontario. There is something equally invigorating and addictive about creating relationships with business owners across the region and getting a behind-the-scenes tour of all that they're passionate about. I'm all about digging lokal and sharing my discoveries with the adventurous + foodies at heart. Follow along @lokaldigs