When most people think of Nelson, BC, chances are that Oso Negro is near the top of the list. Spanish for black bear, this coffee roastery and café has been a Nelson landmark for more than two decades. It’s a genuine must visit on a cycling tour in the West Kootenays of British Columbia.

Walking in the door is a bit like entering a real life fairy tale. Whimsical wrought iron combines with warm wood finishes and rotating local artwork to create a magical ambiance. The café is almost always abuzz with locals and visitors, yet it’s rare to wait for a seat.

And as wonderful as the interior is, it’s the garden that really shines. Lovingly manicured with all sorts of plants, shrubs and trees, the patio occupies a prime location to take advantage of all day sunshine. Small water runs and pools add to the Japanese garden feel, making it the perfect spot to relax and refuel after a memorable bike ride.

The toasted focaccia sandwiches are not to be missed. Choose one of the three options and add a tasty baked good, such as the peanut butter energy balls – deelish! Fresh baked daily muffins, local juices and a variety of salads and energizing treats round out the menu.

Dedicated coffee fans would be wise to make a pilgrimage to this mountain town mecca. In fact, we like Oso Negro so much that it’s our final stop on our multiday West Koot Loop road biking tour. It’s just one of the many ways that we showcase our true local flavours to our guests, giving you the best of the Nelson and Kootenay Lake region!

Oso Negro Café is located at 604 Ward St, just one block up from historic Baker St. It’s open at 7am daily, and 8am on Sundays.