Spectacular vistas, secluded swimming holes and dramatic summer storms… what’s not to love about BC’s Interior and North Coast? If you’re planning a road trip this summer don’t forget to schedule some caffeine pitstops to keep your motor running. There are lots of cool cafés north of Kamloops — if you know where to look. Check out these local hot spots for perfectly pulled espresso, and lots of local flavour too.
Chartreuse Moose, 3-150 Birch St., 100 Mile House
If you’re cruising north of Kamloops and losing steam, 100 Mile House will give you a boost. Pull off Highway 97 and explore the murals and shops along Birch Street, then pop into the Chartreuse Moose to pick up food and drink for the whole family. Don’t forget to check out the products and souvenirs near the cash for a bit of local flavour. Order online from the highway, and your meal will be ready when you pull into town.
Q Brew Coffee, 3979 Hwy 97, Lac la Hache
Right on the highway so you won’t waste a minute, Q Brew Coffee is seriously surprising. Look for the inviting porch decorated with burlap coffee bags across from the Rangeland Motel. If you’re in a hurry, get your caffeine boost from the take-out window, but it’s worth popping inside to see the gallery space stocked with creative pieces from local artists. The owners of Q Brew are fellow travellers and great conversationalists, if you have time for a longer chat.
Granville’s Coffee, 383 Reid St., Quesnel
A downtown Quesnel hub for more than two decades, Granville’s Coffee is always bustling with local chatter and great energy. Take your espresso on the patio, or wander over to Spirit Square to stretch your legs. The funky interior is lined with neon signs and memorabilia, and the friendly staff always work hard for regulars and newcomers alike. With a full menu of breakfast bennies, soups and sandwiches and fast service, it’s a great pitstop at any time of day.
Bugwood Coffee, 1206 Main St., Smithers
Timber-framed storefronts and craggy mountain vistas make downtown Smithers inspiring at any time of year, and the cornerstone of coffee culture is Bugwood Coffee. The stand-alone wooden hut feels more like a backwoods ski cabin than a coffee shop, but the locally roasted beans do not disappoint. Savour your microfoam on the patio if it’s sunny, or take your cappuccino to-go. What’s in a name? Bugwood honours the Mountain Pine Beetle, which chewed through much of BC’s forest in the early 2000s. The Main Street shop is made of beetle-damaged lumber, just one example of the cafe-roastery’s commitment to sustainability.
Cowpuccino’s Coffee House, 25 Cow Bay Rd., Prince Rupert
Nestled in funky, walkable Cow Bay, Cowpuccino’s shows off the best of Prince Rupert. Even if it’s grey outside, it’s always cozy in Cowpuccino’s weathered wood interior, decorated with mementos from locals and travellers. Sip on a latte and while away the hours if you’re waiting for a ferry, or grab a quick bite before heading out for a hike. The café is also a great hub for local music and community events if you’re lucky enough to be in town when they’ve got something going on.
Plan more adventures here and throughout the West Coast at westcoasttraveller.com.