For the Drama, Film, Music and Fine Art students that were given a new home at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts last year, there was one thing clearly missing from the beautiful new building: somewhere to eat.

After an hour and a half of class or a three hour rehearsal, all you want is a warm coffee and a hearty sandwich to get you through the rest of the day. Luckily, Juniper Café has arrived at the nearby Tett Centre to fulfill our needs and exceed our expectations.

Juniper café

Photo by Rose Ferrao

Juniper’s menu is small but always changing due to the fact that 70% of their ingredients are sourced from local farms and food producers.

On the day I visited, one of the breakfast sandwiches being offered was a buttermilk biscuit topped with Salt of the Earth Farm’s house-made bacon, a locally sourced poached egg, Black River cheddar and tomato jam.

The biscuit was thick, flaky and soft. All of the local ingredients inside the sandwich meant that it tasted fresh and levels above any of the mass-produced items at other cafés.

Juniper café

Photo by Rose Ferrao

The second breakfast sandwich offered was vegetarian and absolutely incredible. With thick slices of brie, roasted red peppers, Black River cheddar and a poached egg on a buttermilk biscuit, I didn’t feel like I was missing anything at all even with the lack of meat.

The breakfast sandwiches were also very filling, and along with a hot chocolate, one sandwich kept me satisfied from 10:30 am until an early dinner at 4:00 pm.

Juniper café

Photo by Rose Ferrao

On a chilly day, Juniper’s hot chocolate is the perfect drink to warm you up. Upon first trying it, I was surprised that it wasn’t as sweet as expected. Instead, it was rich and thick with the taste of real cocoa. None of that Nestle powdered fakeness here, my friends.

Bonus points for having mugs the size of my head and homemade peppermint marshmallows.

Juniper café

Photo courtesy of @junipercafekingston on Instagram

Lunch offerings at Juniper Café change along with the breakfast menu, but menu items in the past have included beet and horseradish cream soup and a veggie panini with roasted butternut squash, goat cheese, pecans and kale.

As if the appetizing local food and convenient location weren’t enough, the atmosphere of Juniper Café’s perfect for chatting with friends or doing some studying.

Juniper café

Photo by Rose Ferrao

Chandeliers and free-hanging lightbulbs are surrounded by plants and pieces of art— that is, if you can tear your eyes away from the gorgeous lakeside view through the windows dotted along the rustic brick and stone walls.

Whether you’re hungry after a class at the Isabel or looking for a special place to bring your parents when they visit, you can’t go wrong with Juniper Café.