Salty Espresso is my neighbourhood coffee shop. It’s located in Corktown at the corner of John and Augusta and it is one of my Hamilton faves.
You might recognize it in its former incarnation as Pinecone coffee shop.
In early June new owners Dahlia Ishak and Ray Turner did a total redo of the menu and space with a fresh look and feel that is completely their own. After observing a slow decline in Pinecone over a period of time (when it changed hands from its original owners), I was so happy to see some real love and investment being poured back into the rebirth of this new coffee shop.
In addition to its new look and decor they’ve got some great coffee (49th Parallel – the good stuff). Take note of their specialty lattes (depending on the season); most recently the Fruit Loop latte, which is made from milk that has been steeped with those sweet rainbow loops and then add a shot of espresso to that heaven – mind blown. It takes a little while to steep the milk, so be patient if a fresh batch of that sweet sweet liquid gold is on its way into creation. In summer they had an Affagato-Cookie-Drink (espresso meets ice-cream plus a cookie smashed in there), also Aussie caps.
There’a a daily menu with great breakfast eats from items like the brekkie burger with egg, bacon, beer onions, house chutney on snack sized Bonanza bun, smashed avocado toast with feta on a De La Terre sour dough toast (add sides like egg, bacon, house beans or falafel hash). They’ve got lunch sandwiches like chicken with slaw, rare roast beef and gourmet grilled cheese with onions, red pepper sauce on a hot pressed sour dough. Lots of gluten free and vegan options are available too – just let them know.
The daily menu is crazy delicious but Brunch Club is ah-mazing. The weekend Brunch Club starts on Fridays (cause really Friday all-day should be part of the weekend) and it runs until Sunday. All day Friday to Sunday brunch so you don’t have to worry about missing out.
Owners (and life partners) Dahlia and Ray moved from Brisbane, Australia to Hamilton a year ago. Like many others that have made the move here, Dahlia had developed a mega crush on the city. While still living in Brisbane, she had had a short visit back to Canada that by chance brought her to Hamilton. Basically in the course of that weekend visit she’d decided that this was where they were going to move. “I felt a real sense of community and passion that the locals held for their city. I could see that there was a lot of bustling projects and creatives looking to make things happen”. Dahlia and Ray wanted to be a part of that.
Dahlia, who was born and raised in Sudbury, describes Brisbane as having a similar vibe as Hamilton from the time when she’d first moved there about a decade ago. “People were excited, driven and passionate business owners and artists who genuinely wanted to contribute to their hometown, make it amazing, and build into its culture”. Dahlia felt that same sense and buzz when she visited Hamilton.
Although, Ray and Dahlia are new to the city they are not new to the café scene, back in Brisbane they ran The Rabbit Hole, which was a hybrid public work space/coffee shop that was built into an old meat factory. Dahlia is a graphic designer by trade, so for her she describes their old space as a dream. “It was a mix of all my interests – shared studio spaces, coffee shops and community”.
Ray is the brains and man behind the food. He’s a super hard worker with a real appreciation for good food and subtle flavours.
Bottom line, Ray’s food is beautifully delicious, comforting, homey and feels good (in my tummy).
So very delighted that this gem exists on this stretch of John. Ray and Dahlia’s passion for loving what they do is ever present in Salty. And the food…
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
*open late Fridays until 8 p.m. for Novemburger (month of November only!)