The East Exchange is a real grind
Sip your way through the East Exchange, where warm drinks and cozy cafés are aplenty
It’s a pretty sweet deal when your neighbourhood has not one but four coffee shops within an easily walkable radius, each locally-owned and offering everything from flavoured lattes, teas and juices to bagels, healthy donuts and even a full vegan food menu.
That’s the case in Winnipeg’s East Exchange District, a mix of heritage buildings and newer developments along Waterfront, where you’ll find breweries, theatres, museums, restaurants and four separate spots to satisfy your caffeine cravings all within a few short blocks.
With two new cafés in the area alongside a few existing favourites, the East Exchange is absolutely rich with roasts, jam-packed with java and brimming with brewed beverages. Take yourself on a coffee crawl or just grab a cup and explore the neighbourhood this fall.
Harrisons Coffee Co.
106-270 Waterfront Dr.
Newly opened in August is Harrisons Coffee Co., taking up a sunny spot on Waterfront Drive across from Stephen Juba Park. The new kid on the block is no newbie to the coffee scene though - they’ve been at The Forks since January (taking over Espresso Junction in the Johnston Terminal.) What makes Harrisons so special is the roasting of their own beans onsite at The Forks, alongside a drink menu of unique offerings like the Canadiano, which puts two shots of espresso inside a drip coffee (#buckleup) and the Gibralter, containing equal parts espresso and steamed milk (essentially a stronger version of a latte.) Although the café is new to the neighbourhood, they've been busy since day one - laptops line the bartop, friends meet for coffee at one of three tables inside, and dog-walkers take a quick caffeine break at the outdoor seating area before continuing on.
Open Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m, Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Colosimo Coffee Roasters Café
145 Pacific Ave
A few blocks north you’ll find CCR Café, which opened inside the Sport Manitoba building in June. Owner Jay Colosimo is a long-time roaster, providing coffee to many businesses and companies across the city, but this is the first storefront for this coffee enthusiast who believes coffee should be talked about like wine and has plenty of stories to share about your drink's origin, roasting and brewing processes. If you stop by for a cup, chances are you'll leave with a heck of a lot more knowledge on things like micro-lots and green beans (not the vegetable).
The café also offers an incredible selection of healthy, local lunch options including sandwiches and pastries from La Belle Baguette, Montreal-style bagels and spreads from Bagelsmith, jam-packed protein donuts from Pronuts, and on Fridays (the cafe's "cheat day") focaccia pizzas and pastas from DeLuca's.
Open Monday to Friday 7:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m, Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
171 B McDermot Ave
Creatives, rejoice! Forth Café is once again open, giving you the inspiring, sun-soaked setting you’ve been craving. The coffee shop/art studio/dreamy minimalist space has returned, and with it brings locally roasted Dogwood coffee and Tall Grass Prairie pastries, so you’re sure to be well-fed while you work on your screenplay or dream up your latest entrepreneurial endeavour. Choose to sip your drink on the quiet, scenic patio (it’s one of the city’s dog-friendly spots!) or grab a table inside underneath local art decorating the walls, which rotate frequently, adding pops of colour to an otherwise purposefully minimal design.
Open Monday to Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
433 Main St.
Nestled inside the enchanting eco shop Generation Green is the all-vegan Acorn Café, which provides a plethora of plant-based goodies from turmeric lattes to immunity-boosting teas and activated charcoal lemonade. A fresh-focused food menu offers up vegan versions of fan favourites, including a cashew cheese grilled cheese sandwich, yogurt parfaits, smoothies (including a pumpkin pie one for fall), hearty salads, wraps and more.
Open Monday to Friday 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. , Saturday 11:00am to 3:30pm.