Black Squirrel Books is a cute little used bookstore and cafe located in Old Ottawa South. It’s super close to Carleton’s campus (about a 10-15 minute walk) so it’s the perfect spot to hang out before class and study over some coffee while taking in the down-to-earth vibes of the place. There HAS to be a correlation between how effectively you study and how a e s t h e t i c your study venue is right? Either way, this certainly beats studying on campus, and it’s pretty quiet too!
Being the true Canadian that I am, I opted for an iced coffee despite the fact that it was cold asf and snowing yesterday. I was actually pretty disappointed to see that my coffee wasn’t served in a mason jar the way I’ve seen it served on their Instagram, but I was even MORE disappointed over the fact that I even got disappointed for such a minute reason in the first place. I’m being consumed by millennial culture, help.
As always, Ben just got a black coffee. L A M E
Both my coffee and donut were really good (when would they ever NOT be???), 11/10 would recommend.
The workspace tends to air on the crowded side, but we also showed up at a peak time (around 2pm). You can’t see it in the pictures because the coffee grinders are in the way, but if you gravitate towards where the bookshelves are in the back, there are more tables and subsequent spaces to study.
Aside from being a study and hangout space, this venue is also a used bookstore. Ben and I have gotten a bunch of our books from here. We’ve been to a couple used bookstores around town and I’d say that Black Squirrel Books has the most reasonable prices (that we’ve seen anyways). They also have a lot of modern and popular books like “milk & honey” and “flux” and all that tumblr shit here if you are into all that stuff. Man, how the FUCC does “milk and honey” have a 4.2 on goodreads WHILST ma boi Shakespeare over here rocking a measly 3.7 for “Romeo & Juliet” eh? Maybe the English-Lit snob in me rearing its ugly head when I say this but I just find that that is a GROSS injustice in the realm of literature. But I’ll save that unpopular opinion rant for a rainy day.
The one decked-out flower wall is the coolest decorative feature of the place in my opinion. It was put together by Leah Gibson, a really talented florist in the Ottawa area (check out more of her work here)!
Black Squirrel Menu
Here is a lil’ peak at their drinks menu! They have a HUGE assortment of teas and coffees, as well as beers and wines in case you want to get turnt while studying for finals. Jk, don’t do that shit, these beverages are probably for more refined folks or people attending Black Squirrel’s late-night live events and performances.
Not like our poor asses could afford a 40 dollar bottle of red anyways.
Much like all local Ottawa venues, this place sources their roasted coffee from Ottawa, their beers ciders and spirits are from Ontario and their sodas from Quebec.
Their Local Suppliers:
- Nona’s Bakery
- Strawberry Blonde (vegan & gluten free)
- Life of Pie
- Buttercream Bakery
- Doughbaby Doughnuts
Their Local Roasteries:
- Blue Barn
- Cloud Forest
- Little Victories Coffee
All in all the Black Squirrel is a super cute venue to check out, whether you are looking to study for a bit, grab a couple used books or hang out and eat local artisan goods with friends.