I’m always on the lookout for cool spots to feature in my Hidden Ottawa series, and I think that I may have stumbled upon my favourite place yet! Here’s the thing: this place is very much catered to a niche market, and if you aren’t an animal (or cat!) lover, you may not appreciate how amazing it is. But I will say that even if you are NOT a cat lover but enjoy finding cool new places to enjoy a delicious beverage and a snack, this place is pretty great!
The Feline Café on Wellington Street West is one of the quietest, coziest little nooks that I have ever been to. They are just celebrating their one-year anniversary, so they are fairly new to the scene. They are a cause focused business, dedicated to supporting rescue cats and helping them to find their forever homes. They have helped 150 cats to be adopted! For those who may be unfamiliar with the concept, here is how the Feline Café works: You enter the café, and order a drink or a snack, or both, or some merch. Then you have two options: you can take it to go, or you can pay a small fee ($3) to sit and enjoy your purchases in the cat lounge area. Alternatively, if you don’t want to purchase anything, you can still enter the cat lounge area, for a fee of $5.
The food and drinks offered are amazing, and the café really caters to specialty diets, with a range of gluten free/vegan options available, if that is something that you require/prefer. The treats that can be found include pastry/dessert type pastries, and standard coffee shop drinks. The ambience is incredibly calm and welcoming, with a few small tables with chairs, a small loveseat and chair, and then lots of play structures for the cats. There were a number of people in the café when I was there, but it was almost completely silent. People were reading, studying, or visiting quietly, and I even saw one girl curled up in the corner sleeping with the cats.
The Feline Café isn’t inexpensive, but there is something about supporting a local, cause driven business that makes that seem not very important. I love knowing that the money that I spend at a business is being used to make a difference in my community.
If you are a cat lover, or even just someone who really appreciates quiet, serene places with great food and drinks, I would highly recommend visiting the Feline Café!