You have most likely seen them on Instagram by now; the eye-pleasing SYNONYM is the latest coffee-shop and late-night hang out on the scene, located in the former Oswald’s Gallery space on James Street North just past Barton.
Their all-white space with light hardwood floors and tables, terrazzo countertops, and tons of natural light is perfect for those Instagram aesthetic shots.
By day, SYNONYM is a coffee shop and curated book store, serving up fresh food items for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and hot and cold drinks like: coffee, espresso-based items, tea, cold-pressed juice and on-tap kombucha.
Of the book shop aspect, owner Sid Singh says “It always felt like a missing link when coffee shops didn’t offer a book shop component”. The café partnered with a company that offers a deep inventory and archival books from the 60s and 70s; the company has also partnered with Museums like the Guggenheim and MoMA, plus have done book curation for stars like Kanye West.
By night, the team is positioning themselves differently; offering extended hours, alcoholic drinks, and evening music – perfect for a chill night out or date-night.
Popular items on their menu include their Samosas and Empanadas, as well as their kombucha on tap, but the team definitely believes the Lentil Soup is a sleeper, stating that “people are always pleasantly surprised”. Both Sid and Ayisha are of South Asian descent and wanted to feature a special chunky, hearty and flavourful soup that reflects their cultural food, thus came the Lentil Soup. Everything on the menu is vegetarian, but they don’t want to be too in-your-face about it. They just want to make great food that just so happens to be plant-based, as this is how they both eat at home.
So how did SYNONYM begin?
Owners Sid and Ayisha found themselves in a world that was beyond their reaches; Ayisha working as a marketing agent for Ferrari North America, and Sid as an Art and Branding Director. They found they were missing the sense of community, honesty and unpretentiousness that they say have now discovered in the Hamilton community. It had been Ayisha’s life-long dream to own a coffee shop someday, and Sid (as a big interior design and architecture fan / photographer) had a goal to design a coffee shop interior. From there, the idea of SYNONYM was born.
Despite only being open a few short weeks, they have already hosted a few events, launches and listening nights with local DJs. Stay tuned to their social media for more details on upcoming events.
328 James Street North, Hamilton, ON
Website | Instagram
Tuesday + Wednesday 8AM – 8PM
Thursday 8AM – 10PM
Friday + Saturday 8AM – 11PM
Sunday 8AM – 8PM