Thursday, 9 May 2013

MUNCHIES: Coffee House & BARKery

1000 Upper Gage Ave, Hamilton
visited Thursday May 9, 2013

I needed a mid morning java this fine Thursday morning and wanted to check out this coffee house I'd been eyeing for several months but have just never gotten around to it.  I'm kinda kicking myself now for not having followed my gut and gone in earlier because this little place is a hidden gem here on the mountain.  There are almost no independent coffee shops with character and charm here on the mountain and I always find myself driving downtown if I want that experience.  I like a good latte, for a decent price without all the big franchise hoopla if i can get it.  This is the place!!!

(Sorry, as much as I'm the 'hungryHAMMERgirl' Tim Hortons just doesn't float my boat...maybe it brings back too many traumatic memories of my first job there and coming home smelling like a coffee pot?!?! And as yummy as Starbucks is I can't justify the overinflated price.  And Second Cup...well luckily you're Canadian so i got your back!)

This quaint not-so-little coffee house (read: there's tons of seating for large groups to small intimate couples) has an interesting twist to it.  Its the first dog friendly restaurant in the city.  I love the play on words in their name, BARKery.  Luckily though you don't have to stroll in with a dog to be welcomed.  Rosie and Gary, the owners, greeted me at the back of the store with friendly smiles and calm spirits.  I ordered a large latte and they offered up almond milk and my choice of sweetener if I so chose- honey please!

Rosie mentioned they don't do the espresso thing since she thinks its a bit overplayed, which I thought was interesting and slightly rebellious.  Instead they use strongly brewed fair trade organic coffees from around the world, turkish coffee & terra teas.  My latte was delicious and tasted like I make at home with my almond milk and honey.  It was a comforting cup of caffeine that's for sure and for $3 and change for a large it was well made and affordable.  And i should've asked what kind of honey she used because it was strong but delicious.  I'm kinda a honey freak; the one thing i buy around the world on my travels is always a jar of honey.  I just finished a jar from Italy and cracked open my Mexican honey last week. 

Alongside my beverage I had a piece of housemade baklava.  Rosie's mom comes down to make it for her since she does it best.  And boy was it yummy.  Crunchy phyllo dough in a million layers, a good dose of honey, but not overly drenched and a yummy nutty interior...pistachios? walnuts? i couldn't tell actually.

The menu boasts hot breakfast items like eggs n toast, light lunches like grilled cheese and soups and freshly made desserts like brownies, muffins and cookies.  They pride themselves on simple fresh and healthy ingredients and Rosie tries to make as many things vegan as possible.  Rosie is always adding new items and lets her creative juices flow to whip up a batch of whatever she feels like that day.  They offer Hewitts ice cream and milk and will have protein shakes and iced coffees this summer too for cooling off.

Of course they have homemade organic dog treats for your four legged friend and even offer "Ruff Cakes" to order that you can eat and share with your pooch.  I'm a dog lover, but not a dog owner, and can imagine my friends who own dogs just loving this place. 


Although the place was empty except for me, Rosie and Gary were very inviting and we had good conversation during my short visit there.  The kitchen is all open concept so you can see Rosie working her baking magic right in front of you.  She was in the middle of a batch of chocolate chip muffins when i arrived.  The decor is fun, trendy yet calming and the atmosphere is spot on coffee shop lounging. 

I bought a fairly large bag of lychee loose leaf tea to take home for $8 which was a steal in my opinion.  I'm excited to try it this weekend when our weather decides to revert back to spring temps instead of summer.

Food/Drink 5*, Value 5*, Service 5*, Ambiance/Decor 4.5*
Overall 4.8  This place is my new found mountain coffee shop.  I'll be bringing a dog owner here soon enough (Sarah thats you!!!) and trying some breakfast or light lunch options.  This place is fun, kitchy and serves great drinks with a cheery attitude to go along with it. I do like my coffee shops to have lots of patrons in it just for a buzz and good vibe, but that didn't ruin or deter from my experience here at Munchies.  Skip Timmies and get your but here instead!

Munchies Coffee House & Barkery (Dog/Pet friendly Restaurant) on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm was rescued from Tim's one morning a few months back...Rosie answered the phone, heard my desperate plea for more than sludge on a plate and I've been a Munchie's convert ever since. It's home away from home for me, my daughter, our friends..and next time, our cat Angus!

    A great review for a great place and amazing owners!


  2. Fantastic review! We visited Munchies when we were in Hamilton this summer, and I wish we could have brought the place (and the people!) home with us.