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Best Cafe 

Gold Winner Java Blend Coffee Roasters

Silver Winner Two If By Sea, Dartmouth

Bronze Winner Lion & Bright Cafe Wine Bar

click to enlarge Best of Halifax 2015, Best Cafe, Java Blend - SAM KEAN
  • Best of Halifax 2015, Best Cafe, Java Blend
  • Sam Kean

Java Blend has good coffee (see Best Coffee, gold winner). It even has great coffee (see Best Specialty Coffee, gold winner). But it also has something coffee alone cannot provide, and that’s the perfect vibe that elevates a popular coffee shop to the city’s Best Cafe. Java Blend’s owner, Jim Dikaios, won’t take the credit—“I hide in the back because it’s better for business,” he claims—preferring to shift the glory to his staff. “We don’t get big turnover here,” he says, pointing out the three baristas working on a recent weekday morning who had nearly 20 years experience between them (see Best Barista, silver winner). With experience comes the ability to quickly figure out whether a customer is a coffee snob or a total rookie, and to tailor the service so that customer feels right at home. “The thing we’re definitely, definitely not is pretentious,” Dikaios says. “We want to try to be inviting for everyone who comes in.”

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