Friday, April 27, 2012

First Impressions: Café Ninety7

I'm riddled with guilt, oh but definitely wide-eyed today. I usually make the household morning lattes. I didn't. I like being on time for book club. I wasn't. I responsibly pay for what I 'purchase'. I forgot.

What threw me off my game? Café Ninety7. I read about them recently on the internet. The available information actually being quite sparse. But what I was able to glean led me to wonder if there might be another wonderful indie coffee shop in the heart of Ottawa.

Café Ninety7 is located on the east side of Main Street, just south of Lees Avenue. It is not in my neck of the woods and barely on the way to anywhere I typically frequent. But I fixated on this place for the past three days. This morning I hatched a plan. If I took an alternate route to my literary compadres, I could squeeze in my first taste.

A late start to the morning left our Rancilio Silvia cold on the counter. I departed for book club with absolutely no extra minutes to spare.

My small latte was made with 2% milk. I chose no flavours, passing on the popular 'vanilla'. I stayed for a brief sit in their quiet, multi-windowed, well furnished back room.

I liked it. I do prefer a bean with a more caramel. Probably whole milk would make it sweeter still. The seating area has sanctuary qualities in this tranquil setting. Thankfully, there are a few spots for vehicles in the back, as street parking seems near impossible.

The beans are from Canterbury Coffee in British Columbia. The machinery to make that fine espresso shot is a big, shiny Nuova Simonelli beast of a thing.

They offer treats made by a local baker and they have cakes that are purchased. The industrial panini press awaits a lunch sandwich of choice and two large cauldrons stand ready for soups.

I realized midway through our dissection of Michael Ondaatje's The Cat's Table, that it is was quite possible during all the coffee chatter with the barista, I left without paying.

My return trip was just hours later to settle my debt and, of course, take one to go. [Mr. Barista rewarded my honesty with a latte on the house!]

Is Old Ottawa East your neck of the woods? You might want to check them out.

Café Ninety7
97 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario

Twitter: Cafe_Ninety7
Facebook: Cafe ninety7

Cafe Ninety7 on Urbanspoon


  1. One of the best Coffee shops in Ottawa. Very Cozy
    inside, lovely staff and service, and above all the coffee tastes amazing.

    1. Sounds like you know it well! Hope the neighbourhood checks it out.


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