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Trains > Planes?

Yes you read that right, this review will be determining if the train station is better than the airport. This review will be comparing probably the two most important coffee spots in all of Ontario, the Balzac’s in the Billy Bishop Airport and the Ministry of Coffee in the Ottawa VIA Rail station. (Speaking about travelling check out for actual travel content).

Two weekends ago I decided to make the trek home to Ottawa for Thanksgiving. Usually, I would just take the train both ways, but I don’t know what has been going on with VIA Rail lately because when I looked at my trip home, it was 10$ more to fly out of Billy Bishop. If you haven’t flown out of Billy Bishop, I highly recommend for any short flight, I was through security in under 5 minutes. As you can probably guess I showed up like an hour and a half early just in case anything was wrong and that was a big mistake. There was no line and no waiting, just me and the beautiful underground path to the airport. As you can guess I decided to treat myself to an americano with a touch of oat milk.


8/10 – early morning first coffee just hits different, and this was much needed

Staff + Service + Vibe

8.5/10 – very friendly even for an early morning; not to brag but they even gave me a smile when making the americano.


6/10 – This was to be expected, airports charge ridiculous prices for literally everything, but a 5$ americano is kind of criminal.

Would this be a good date spot

1/10 – If your tinder date suggests this, run.

This gives a final score of 5.9. If you’re looking for a date spot I would avoid this, otherwise I would definitely check it out even if you have to buy a plane ticket.

On the way home I was not living the lavish life and had to take the train home. Sitting in the lobby contemplating if I should pretend to work on the way home, I looked to a coffee outlet for inspiration. I ended up grabbing a nice latte from the Ministry of Coffee. Quick and tasty, this gave me just enough energy to open my laptop and send a few emails on the way home. If only VIA Rail didn’t literally take longer than driving it would be an enjoyable experience. Somehow with zero traffic the train is still slower. Anyways, enough bashing VIA Rail and more about the coffee.


8.5/10 – Smooth espresso, helped me survive the depresso train ride.

Staff + Service + Vibe

7/10 – Staff was definitely friendly but they were vibing with each other way more than with me, I felt excluded :( If I worked there it would probably have been a 10.


8/10 – I was pleasantly surprised when the charge was less than actual coffee shops, I was expecting inflated prices.

Would this be a good date spot

2.5/10 – At least you can get to this coffee spot without having to purchase a ticket. Still not great vibes if this is the suggestion.

Overall, the Ministry of Coffee gets a 6.5 and beats out the Billy Bishop airport Balzac’s. Sadly, if the train station had any potential to be a half decent date spot this could’ve been a depresso recommended cafe and earned the first Sunday Salvation.

P.S. if a coffee shop gets above an 8 overall, it will be gaining a coveted Michelin-esque star known as a Sunday Salvation Star, the opposite of the Sunday scaries.

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