Contributor Hanna Dykstra takes a tour around Cottage Country in search of the best Muskoka coffee shops and cafés. Here’s what she found…
The cafe’s and coffee shops popping up all over the beautiful region of Muskoka Ontario are perfect spots to get away and enjoy a great cup of ‘joe’. In Muskoka, coffee snobs – the ones who care about quality, ingredients and the atmosphere – are most definitely welcome.
With the rising population of the beautiful Muskoka region – not to mention an increase in tourist visits – there are many reasons why some of the best cafés are opening in this part of cottage country. In fact, go into any of these cafés and see not only families, friends and students, but you’ll also find people working, laughing, and enjoying life. In the area you will also find some of the best lunches in Muskoka available alongside amazing coffee, tea, cold drinks… sometimes even butter tarts!
To give you an idea of what it’s like to walk into any of these amazing cafés, we’ve done the work for you. Take a peek at our list of best Muskoka coffee shops and cafés and see for yourself the local wonders that exist only in Muskoka.
(Editor’s Note: If you’re going to be travelling to the Huntsville area, be sure to check out our list of the top cafés and coffee shops in Huntsville and Lake of Bays.)
Camp Muskoka Coffeehouse (Bracebridge)
A warm and northern atmosphere is carefully curated in Camp Muskoka Coffeehouse. With a log and timber frame, large stone wood burning fireplace and freshly roasted coffee, this top-rated Muskoka coffee shop in Bracebridge is sure to make you feel comfortable. Camp Muskoka prides themselves in roasting their beans on site, creating fresh coffee, espresso and lattes. House-made baked goods are available year round, pairing ever so perfectly with that fresh cup of joe.
Only in Muskoka during the summer? Why not look into their ‘Roasted Fresh, Shipped Fast’ mail order coffee subscription. This allows you Camp Muskoka coffee lovers to have a pound of fresh coffee delivered to your door, anywhere in Ontario, for the same price as in store. We’re talking to you cottagers!
Visit their website at https://campmuskokacoffee.com.
Look no further for fresh, healthy, and delicious eats. Relish Kitchen & Market is a small family-run business in Gravenhurst, managed by a mother (Emily) and daughter (Jess). Emily and Jess make everything in house, including their incredible handmade baked goods. At Relish you can find options for all dietary needs – keto, gluten free, dairy free, vegan – and so much more. The ladies at Relish pride themselves in making all of their food at the highest caliber of quality. Lunch is not your only option, either, though we highly suggest it. You can take home frozen foods from the Market within the store and enjoy it at your home or cottage.
The atmosphere at Relish is oh so comfortable, too, making you feel like family. The ladies will always remember a face and name, making all feel welcome. Sit and have a coffee, made with the best Italian Espresso on the market. Enjoy the space of the renovated century church, and be sure to take something home.
Learn more from their website at www.relishmuskoka.com.
The Butcher's Daughters (Gravenhurst)
For a great handmade lunch and hot drinks, check out The Butcher’s Daughters in downtown Gravenhurst. Sit in and enjoy lunches prepared with the freshest ingredients, all made in house. Grab a coffee and browse through the store, which is full of high-end products. Their marinades, crackers, pasta and more would make a great addition to the cottage pantry.
In the summer, have your coffee and lunch on their charming alleyway patio. Inside, the rustic stylings alongside the vintage sign – a remnant from their former location in Huntsville – makes for a relaxing lunch or coffee break.
Visit their website at https://butchersdaughters.ca.
The Wheelhouse Café at The Shipyards (Gravenhurst)
If what you’re missing on the weekend is a bit of shopping and some coffee, this may be the perfect stop. Inside The Shipyards perched upon the southern point of Lake Muskoka you will find the coveted Starbucks coffee. Grab a caramel macchiato or a simple americano and shop till you drop. In the downstairs part of the Shipyards you can get a Muskoka hoodie or some beautiful jewelry. Upstairs, you’ll find local artisanal gifts, curated goods, and local products, earning The Shipyards a reputation as one of the best places to shop in Muskoka.
Enjoy your coffee inside at the coffee bar or upstairs in the lounge, where the view will inspire you. Visiting Muskoka in the summer? Why not have a coffee on the patio or dock. Here you can sit and watch the Muskoka Steamships, which are quite a sight to see. Come by boat or by car, either way the lovely folks at The Shipyards will be happy to see you.
Visit their website for further details: http://muskokashipyards.com.
Tea Beards (Gravenhurst)
Fresh and fun, Tea Beards is located in an historic building in Gravenhurst where they serve up some of the best espresso. The folks at Tea Beards order their coffee and espresso from the micro-roaster Pilot Coffee Roasters in Toronto, keeping it local to Ontario. Their teas? Also amazing. Men, if you like something on the more unconventional side then why not get a coffee and haircut? That’s right. If the name didn’t give it away, Tea Beards is actually a hybrid of two amazing local businesses.
In addition to their amazingly creative business, the folks over at Tea Beards have created quite the little community in their store. Board games line the walls giving the store an eccentric and funky look. Imagine this: you’re at your Muskoka cottage but it’s raining. You go to Tea Beards, play games all afternoon, get a trim and enjoy an amazing cup of coffee or tea. What’s not to love?
Check out the Tea Beards website at www.teabeards.ca.
This new Muskoka coffee shop in Bracebridge is one to remember. An eclectic store full of amazing local artistry and a comfy, unique style, the Annex is a true hidden gem, and is likely one of the only cafés in Muskoka where you can get both a smoothie bowl and a coffee. This sweet little spot on Manitoba Street offers amazingly healthy snacks, smoothies and drinks, and while finding fresh pressed juice in Muskoka can be a challenge, these ladies nail it. Though it may be closed throughout the winter, this is a great little café to keep in mind once the warmer months arrive.
The bring-your-own-jar aspect of the juices gives the Annex an environmental twist (though you could say the entire place is environmentally friendly). With most of their eats and smoothies being vegan or gluten free, these guys are not only making great moves, but helping the environment.
You can learn more by visiting their website at https://artannex.ca.
Muskoka Natural Food (Bracebridge)
Picture the most nutritious meal you can think of… can you see it? Chances are you are imagining something from Muskoka Natural Food Market. The team here creates the healthiest and most creative meals and treats you can imagine. From gluten free to sugar free they have it all. An energizing drink can be made to your liking, using alternatives to dairy. Not into coffee? Ask one of the employees and they’re sure to have something you’ll enjoy. Not only can you grab a drink and lunch, but you could get your shopping done, too.
With a bulk food section, produce, dry goods, supplements and so much more, you can easily spend lots of time within the market. The pleasant ambience within the store creates a comfortable and warm experience. A wall of greenery is the first thing you see when walking into the store. Behind the café is a mural that stretches the entirety of the store. This artsy, woodsy and creative space is sure to fulfil your every wish while out and about.
There’s plenty more info on their website at www.muskokanaturalfoods.com.
Cottage Cravings (Bala)
In the heart of Bala lies this sweet café, where you are as likely to find a group of regulars enjoying a cup of hot chocolate or coffee as you are a cottager or tourist. This is the quintessential ‘on route to the cottage’ stop. They have everything from ice cream (year round) to ready-made meals that you can simply pop into the oven. Cottage Cravings has a hot chocolate bar, too, that offers over 30 flavours of hot chocolate. Can you even imagine that many?
With Cottage Cravings being located in a convenient spot on the main road leading to Lake Joseph and Lake Rosseau, its atmosphere is bustling and exciting. Go next door to the Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce and grab a few local magazines, set up shop in a comfy seat, and take a break.
Visit their website at https://cottagecravings.com for further details.
Oliver’s Coffee (Various Locations Across Muskoka)
You could call this business a Muskoka staple, with locations in almost every town throughout cottage country. Oliver’s is a casual café serving up signature coffee and espresso blends roasted in Muskoka. Zip through one of Oliver’s speedy drive-throughs (available at select locations) or sit down and enjoy a cup in house. Oliver’s has created quite a name for themselves in the area, being the only cafe that has over six locations in Muskoka (you could say they’re the region’s home-grown version of Tim Hortons!). Oliver’s Muskoka coffee shops are located in Port Carling, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Bala, and Huntsville.
Contributor Hanna Dykstra is fueled by caffeine all over Muskoka. Hanna runs Cabin Creative Muskoka.