Caffeine Craze: Local Coffee Shops in Victoria’s Downtown Core

It's that time of year again: Final Exams. Soon we'll all be studying, surrounded by scattered papers and textbooks, with our heads in our hands to the sound of another pot of coffee brewing. Another pot of very mediocre coffee that tastes awful. Why force yourself to drink it? Next time you need your caffeine fix, take a study break and head downtown. There are so many unique and amazing coffee shops around Victoria. If you can't part with your studies, bring them with you! Coffee shops offer a relaxed atmosphere perfect to study in. But most importantly, the coffee they serve is spectacular.  Here are four local coffee shops that are definitely worth checking out! 

1) Street Level Espresso

714 Fort Street

Located on the quieter side of Fort street, Street Level Espresso is carefully tucked away between book shops and bakeries. The new owner took over in September of this year and business is doing great. While the Americano is their most popular drink, many people flock to the small shop for their signature Lavender Mocha. Brought over by their main barista from Vancouver, the drink packs a punch of chocolate but is complimented by a soft lavender that truly sets it apart from other specialty drinks that I’ve tried. Make sure to check them out on Facebook and twitter @STLevelEspresso.

2) Wild Coffee & Bistro

632 Yates Street

If you’re looking for a huge selection of gluten free snacks, plus great tasting drinks then look no further. Wild Coffee & Bistro, located on the south part of Yates, is known for their delicious in-house baked goods (mostly gluten free), freshly squeezed juices and of course, coffee! Their signature drink is the White Coffee Coconut Latte. With plenty of space inside, the shop is perfect for an afternoon with friends or even to study for finals. You can check these guys out at www.wildcoffee.ca where you can find their menu, daily specials and hours of operation.

3) Union Pacific Coffee Co.

537 Herald Street

If you keep walking just a ways past Chinatown, you may stumble upon a gem of a shop called Union Pacific Coffee Co. Opened in 2006, Union provides a truly unique coffee shop experience. Walking in almost instantly changes your mood as you revel in the high ceilings, exposed brick walls and beautiful woodwork. Large tables inside provide excellent work space and the patio out back makes for great evenings with friends. Though they don’t have a specific signature drink, Union does boast daily features and latte specials on Tuesdays. They also only serve fair trade organic JJ Bean Coffee. It’s a cool place to hang out and provides great food and drink as well. Check these guys out!

4) Shatterbox Coffee Bar

950 Yates Street

Conveniently located beside bus stops, Shatterbox Coffee Bar is a not only a must-visit location for caffeine lovers, but is also a proud contributor to the local community. The shop opened in 2012 and has been booming since. Local art is displayed on-site and the shop provides an intimate environment, perfect for stopping in and grabbing a cup before work or for having a chat with a friend. The outdoor patio in the front of the shop is ideal in the Spring and Summer. Look for Shatterbox at most local events around Victoria! You can follow them on twitter and instagram @sbxcoffee, as well as on Facebook.