Best Independent Cafes in Lethbridge
Vancouver may be the king of Starbucks, but Lethbridge likes to keep things a little more local.
Ask any resident about the best cafe in Lethbridge, and you’ll get a passionate answer about why their spot –they show up for day after day – is simply the best in the city.
But don’t worry about favourites, simply pick at random from the list below and you’re bound to find a drink – caffeinated or otherwise – to suit your taste.
Where to get your caffeine-fix
Most local coffee shops are nested on the south side, but there is still some representation on the north side as well. However, if the west side is where you call home, then you’ll need to hop in the car for a quick drive – unless you prefer Tim Hortons or Starbucks!
The good news is: Lethbridge is small enough that you’re only ever a five to ten-minute drive (from most areas) from all the charming little coffee shops around town.
THE PENNY COFFEE HOUSE – DOWNTOWN LETHBRIDGE
The Penny is Lethbridge’s oldest cafe, serving up good food and great coffee since 1991. Its unique charm lies in its (mostly) unrenovated glory. It looks nearly the same today as the day it first opened – so you can enjoy a dash of nostalgia with your coffee.
The Penny, like many Lethbridge cafes, features its own unique, locally roasted blend you won’t find anywhere else. With their selection of in-house baked goods (for both sweet-tooths and savoury-lovers) and a long list of fresh sandwiches, soups and salads, the Penny is a must-stop on your Lethbridge cafe tour.
To go with your coffee (or London Fog as they’re divine at the Penny):
Daily homemade soup
Creamy dill pasta salad
BREAD MILK & HONEY – DOWNTOWN LETHBRIDGE
The trendiest downtown cafe, BMH (as locals call it) is always bustling. There’s plenty of room to sit inside and out, but beware: this cafe is one of the busiest in the city, so you may have trouble securing a seat.
A lunch counter for downtown denizens, and a cozy atmosphere for those looking to chat, there are tons of fresh-made food options, along with a wide range of coffees, teas – and a summer-favourite – bubbly Italian sodas.
To go with your coffee:
Bacon and egg tartlet
Aged cheddar scone
Cinnamon bun (bring a friend to share this behemoth with you)
JUNDAL COFFEE – PARK PLACE MALL
Right across from Galaxy Cinemas inside Park Place Mall, Jundal Coffee brings its own, unique flavour to Lethbridge’s coffee scene. The slightly Asian-inspired decor is emblematic of the cafe at large, combining great coffee with bubble tea and delicious Asian treats.
If you’re in the mall, Jundal is definitely the best place to grab some caffeine, be it a hot cup of joe, or a potent espresso drink. The cafe also offers some beans from some of the more well-known Canadian coffee roasters, like Calgary’s Monogram Coffee.
To go with your coffee:
A house-made egg tart
There is a Mr. Pretzels right in front of Jundal too...
ARISE – DOWNTOWN LETHBRIDGE
Wake up and “arise” to the occasion with arise’s vegan drinks, treats, and of course, coffee.
This Coffee shop and bakery offer more than just your regular cup of joe, with a wide range of baked treats and soft-serve ice cream to accompany their incredible caffeinated drinks. If it couldn’t get any better, everything on their menu is 100% vegan, that’s right, even the soft serve!
To go with your coffee:
A vegan donut
Iced Mocha made with plant-based milk
Vegan soft serve
LITTLE NICARAGUA COFFEE COMPANY – NORTH LETHBRIDGE
From a local family farm in Nicaragua straight to your cup, this little coffee company has the perfect coffee to offer! More than just coffee is available, however, with different tea lattes and tasty treats as well. When you have a cup of coffee from the Little Nicaragua Coffee Company, you’ll know just how fresh your coffee can be.
SONDER COFFEE BAR – SOUTH LETHBRIDGE
Sonder is a small and tasteful coffee shop situated along the busy street of 3rd Ave. South. The cafe arm of a local micro-roaster, Red Engine Coffee, Sonder only brews coffee they’ve chosen and roasted themselves. The fact that they also serve up the best waffles in the city is just gravy – or Hollandaise if you want to get technical.
Sonder’s real strength lies in focussing on doing a few things really well. That means great drinks, a few baked goods, and truly excellent house-made Belgium waffles. Offered with a variety of toppings, from sweet to savoury, these lovely waffles can sub in for lunch, or be shared for a sinfully sweet snack.
To go with your coffee:
Eggs Benedict Waffles with house-made Hollandaise (available only on Sunday)
Espresso Tonic (yes, more coffee!)
Savoury or sweet, the waffle is a must-order
CUPPER'S COFFEE & TEA – SOUTH LETHBRIDGE
If anyone is kooky for coffee in this city, it’s Cupper’s! Lethbridge’s very first independent coffee roaster, Cuppers is an equal parts roaster, specialty store, and cafe. Their user-friendly staff energetically welcomes each customer, and will likely offer you a free cup of joe while you browse their wide selection of coffee and tea-related products.
While there’s no seating or food offered here, you’ll have more than enough to keep you occupied as you sip on your hand-crafted drink. Cupper’s is a huge supporter of other local businesses in and around town and features a massive retail section for you to cruise at your convenience.
Be sure to try:
London Smog (a delicious Chocolate Pu Erh black tea latte)
FRANKS REDWOOD BODEGA CAFÉ - SOUTH LETHBRIDGE
Some might know this iconic Lethbridge shop as the Franks Deli and Convenience, but it has since undergone a major transformation into a beautiful local bodega café. Franks Redwood Bodega Café now offers a wide selection of delicious and decadent treats; Waffles, Croffles (Croissant Waffles), Slushies, Coffee, and more, this café is just as convenient as before. With just as many amazing flavours and options to choose from for each treat, there’s something here for everyone.
Be sure to try a:
SNOBOB (slushie mixed with soft serve)
CAFÉ NOIR - SOUTH LETHBRIDGE
Created not only out of necessity, but out of luxury as well, Café Noir aims to provide a luxury experience to its customers by providing delicious brews, alongside amazing hairdos. Located inside Monroe Salon Studios, this coffee shop is the perfect place if you’re looking for a delicious cup of coffee, specialty latte, milk tea, or even a tasty cream puff dessert; whatever it is you’re looking for, your friends at Café Noir have you covered. Open Tuesday to Saturday, Café Noir is ready to be the perfect start to your day, or the pick me up you need to make it to the end of the day. Order online or in-store, and don’t forget to include your favourite non-dairy substitute if you so choose!
While your stylist is busy, why not try:
Lavender London Fog
Black Tea Lemonade
The Collective Co-Working and Coffee Shop
If you need a good place to bunker down and get things done, with a great cup of coffee by your side, Collective is the place to be! One part full-service coffee shop, one half collective Co-Working space for all those put out on the streets without an office to world from. Whether you need to turn a paper out or you just want a nice place to catch up on emails. Collective has the space you need, and the coffee too!
PETALS PAWS AND BEANS - WEST LETHBRIDGE
At Petals Paws and Beans Coffee Shop, there is more than just a mere cup of coffee to enjoy. Whether you are looking for a specialty drink or tea latte, There’s something on the menu for everyone. If a hot drink isn’t what you’re looking for, there’s Foothills Creamery Ice Cream to savour. The café also features a Community library, with a small selection of books to keep you company while you sip away the day.
While you're there, why not try a:
Shot of Hope
CARVERY AND BAKERY - WEST LETHBRIDGE
Be it a fresh sandwich, or a delicious cup of coffee, you don’t have to worry when you’re near the Carvery and Bakery in West Lethbridge. This little café offers not only delicious deli options like sandwiches with your choice of fresh toppings, and of course delicious bakery treats and coffee. As an added bonus, this café is 100% nut-free; whether it’s a serious allergy or a slight aversion, there’s no need to worry about any of these tasty treats and drinks.
Fan favourites include:
CAMPUS COFFEE COMPANY - WEST LETHBRIDGE
There are two groups of people that need Coffee more than anyone; those two groups are: students, and everyone who isn’t a student. Luckily for both groups, there is the Campus Coffee Company, catering to all your on-campus caffeine-related needs. Whether it’s a mid-day pick-me-up you’re in search of, or fuel for the all-night writing session you’re about to pull, the Campus Coffee Company has you covered. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth as well, be sure to grab one of their delicious baked goods.
When you stop by, be sure to try:
Dirty Chai Latte
Freshly baked pastries
Blended Iced White Chocolate Cappucino