I am now happily exporing the city of Victoria while here for the next month for work. So many great new foodie destinations to discover!
I have been pretty busy with work since I have arrived so have not had time to do too much in the way of exploring, so when I found myself with a bit of free time this afternoon, I went on the hunt for th city's best coffee shop hangouts. During my a quick Internet search, the place that got the most hits was Habit, located in the heart of Chinatown, the more "hip" part of downtown Victoria.
Habit's exterior is rather unassuming and you would likely walk right by it if you did not know it was there. Inside, however, is another story. It is a big space with high ceilings that give it a very welcoming allure. The walls lined with mega-sized pieces of art. The bar is lined with benches so that customers can sit and chat to each other while watching the baristas work their magic. There is lots of additional seating for custumors to sit and take the time to enjoy their drinks, as is certainly recommended for coffee and expresso of this quality.
I chose the plain latte to really see what this place is made of. Lattes from the run-of-the-mill coffee shops are almost always tasty, but the greatest baristas, like those at Habit, now how to take the simple latte to the next level. This latte was so smooth, with the perfect amount of light-as-air foam. I sipped at it slowly for over an hour, savoring each last drop.
Habit also has a remarkable selection of baked goods, many of which are vegan and/or gluten free. Being the baked goods nut that I am, I purchased a selection of their offerings:
The energy bar- raisins, nuts, seeds and puffed rice:
The peanut-butter oat bar (I cannot resist anything with PB!):
The sesame square- puffed rice, kamut, peanuts, raisins, sesame seeds:
The pumpkin square- creamy pumpkin filling in an oat crust- sorry no pic, I devoured this one!!!
All of the above baked goods were delicious (yes, I have eaten all of them already!). Just the right amount of sweetness and baked to perfection. I will certainly try their selection of muffins on my next visit!
There is no doubt that Habit is doing it right- quality coffee prepared by expert baristas and a nice selection of goodies, served in an inviting space where you feel that you can really unwind. What a perfect way to spend a late fall afternoon.