Coffee, cake, and community spirit make me very happy to visit the Lucky Bean Cafe in Montague, Prince Edward Island.
Every now and then when I travel, I come across a little cafe that I love so much, one that makes my travels so much better, that I can't help but write them a bit of a love letter here on the blog. Remember when I found the latte of my dreams in Maun, Botswana? Prepare to meet its Prince Edward Island match, so to speak: the Lucky Bean Cafe in Montague
This charming, delectable little spot has become my go-to cafe whenever I'm leaving or entering PEI via the nearby Wood Islands ferry terminal. It's too good not to share! If you're taking a family trip in the area, or perhaps hiking the Island Walk and need a little fuel, or you simply just want a darn good latte on Prince Edward Island, this is your spot.
I should note that the Lucky Bean has a second cafe in Stratford, PEI, which I haven't visited yet - another spot to add to my travel list! All the photos used in this post are from Lucky Bean's Facebook page (and used with permission). As I never seem to have my camera with me when I go, I appreciate having access to their images.
Whether you're in Montague for several days or just blazing through on route to the ferry, here are nine things you'll appreciate about this cozy cafe.
Delicious, oversized baked goods
Massive blueberry cinnamon buns, giant chocolate biscotti, plump pieces of coffee cake... need I go on? The baked goods at Lucky Bean are wildly tempting and definitely sized to impress.
Fast food alternative (and breakfast!)
The very first thing I noticed about Montague is just how many fast food and convenience stores there are, their success no doubt driven by the huge amount of traffic that goes through town to get to and from the ferry terminal. Now, I'm no stranger to a deep-fried breakfast hash brown but it's so much nicer to have some real, homemade, non-fried food in your stomach when you're going to be on a boat or in a car for a long period of time. On our last dash for the morning ferry, Ryan and I were thrilled to have breakfast to go from Lucky Bean, him with a breakfast sandwich, me with avocado toast. Plus you'll felt like one last "local" travel-ish thing (because it was!) an experience I definitely don't get at a chain restaurant.
Really, really good coffee
As someone who grew up in the Maritimes, I have a real bone to pick with the local coffee scene. Why does it so often feel like you have to go to a provincial capital to find killer espresso drinks or milk alternatives? I was thrilled that Lucky Bean offers a long list of coffee, tea, and espresso based beverages, all done well, as good as you'd find in Charlottetown or Halifax.
Option of chips or veggies with sandwiches
Little things matter in this world and I, for one, love the little touch of having just a few potato chips or veggie sticks included with sandwiches. It feels like a balanced lunch, with the crunchy side and the soft bread - a totally different feel than just eating a sandwich. On its own. Like a peasant. A crunchy side is cozy and fancy all at the same time.
You can find vegetarian and healthy options
There are plenty of options here for those looking for a healthy or vegetable-filled lunch, as well as a selection of vegetarian and gluten free options. (But you can still stock up on giant cookies if you want).
Good for heavy or light appetites
Sometimes you just want a sandwich and lunch doesn't have to be any more complicated than that - and yet it often is. Do you know how hard it is to find just a regular ol' sandwich done well when you're travelling? I also appreciate that, if you want a bigger meal at Lucky Bean (I see you, Island Walkers - one sandwich just won't do!), you can add on a hearty soup or sandwich or snack plate. In other words, a bigger meal doesn't mean a big pile of greasy fries. Don't get me wrong, I have no frie-based objections but I like it when they're not the default option for a large lunch.
Amazing community commitment
During my visits to Lucky Bean, I've noticed that patrons both young and old are welcome here and that everyone tends to linger. Fun activities like boardgames are a big part of that and there's often fun offerings like live music. But the best example of how committed this cafe is to supporting the local community is found in a little key chain. It's actually a gym pass and one that anyone can borrow. Set up to honour the late Joel London, it's just one way that the community and cafe work together.
Lucky Bean is located on Montague's Main Street. Why does this matter? Because it's directly on your path as you go to and from the ferry terminal and it's easy to find if you've entered the town as a hiker doing the Island Walk (and you don't want to hike any more than you need to before getting lunch!)
Sure, it's not a hugely exciting thing but free parking matters - especially when you're on route to the ferry and keeping a close eye on your schedule. There's ample free parking for Lucky Bean behind the cafe and there's a back entrance as well so you don't have to walk around the block to the front door.
I hope that you get to pop into the Lucky Bean on your next trip to PEI. I know I will!
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