Brown Dog Coffee Shoppe 211 Locke Street South

I’ve been kicking myself about how terribly behind I am on posts – I’ve been exploring faster than I can document, these past few months! But I’m actually glad, in this instance. Since my first visit to the newest edition of franchise Brown Dog, I’ve been two more times, which allowed me to sample even more tasty bites and learn more about the coffee shop.


There’s a wall inside with the franchise’s history painted on it – founders Rosemary and Curtis Chandler opened Brown Dog in November 2008 in St. George, Ontario. They opened subsequent locations in Ontario: Paris, Waterdown, Cambridge, Brantford, and Oakville. I had heard great things about the Waterdown location and those famous fritters, so was pleased to hear about its newest location in Hamilton. I see on their website there are even more in the works – now there is also one in downtown Ancaster.

This Locke Street location is so perfect for another one. The space used to be a church and it was a studio after that. The high peaked ceiling and loft overlooking the main floor are just lovely. Such a great space.



My first visit was after dinner along Locke, so I only had room for coffee, but it was a delightful place to relax for a bit and take it in. I had a good peruse of the menu and made some mental notes for next time. I kept staring up at the impressive ceiling and elegant chandelier. Given the coffee shop’s name, there is also a dog motif throughout. They even sell dog treats, so you can get something for your critter, too!


By the time of my second visit, they had their alcohol up and running (the “Bootleg” part of Brown Dog), now serving their own wine and beer, I sampled the “Copper” brew and it was very good! It’s nice that they have both options to sip on, alcoholic and non – depending what you’re in the mood for.

On that second visit, I also couldn’t resist a fritter. The apple is their standard – they have the prices listed for one, three, six, or a baker’s dozen. There are a few more flavours that cost a few dollars more – banana split, cheesecake, Mars Bar, and you can also get fritters à la mode, with scoops of ice cream. So much to try! I had the apple and it was scrumptious.



Visit #3, just a couple days ago, I was there for breakfast and tried the Eggs Benedict Sandwich, while my dad had the Portager Sandwich. Well, technically we each had both, sharing half of our sandwiches with each other. When you think of egg on a breakfast sandwich, I was picturing a different type of cooked egg, but this was a hard-boiled egg sliced onto the sandwich. Great idea – I enjoyed it! They also have cold sandwiches, hot sandwiches, baked goods, salads, crêpes. Not to mention their extensive drink menu. So much to try!

The sandwiches were super filling, but I couldn’t leaving with, as I said to the barista, “Fritters for the road!” I got three to take home and this time I got to watch them being made. Behind the counter there is a glass window marked “Frittery Observatory.”

Fritters being made
Fritters being made
Apple Fritters
Apple Fritters

I chatted with the barista as she fried up the fritters. It was neat to watch them being made and I appreciated their freshness even more, seeing them come out of the fryer piping hot, rolled in the cinnamon and sugar, and placed in the box. The barista told me they once managed to fit 48 fritters in the fryer, when a customer made a huge order. Fritters, galore! It’s just fun to say fritter, isn’t it? (I started a new hashtag – when you post a photo of a fritter – #fritpic)

Brown Dog is a lovely addition to the street – welcome to the ‘hood!

– Kristin

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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