Since I moved to Vancouver, there have been many changes in the Vancouver food scene. The most noticeable change that I’ve seen is the gradual improvement of the coffee scene. In the past few years we have seen the introduction of many new coffee shops in Vancouver and I am now far more impressed with the coffee scene than when I first arrived in the city, more than 7 years ago.
I wanted to make it easy for you to find good coffee in Vancouver so I put together this list of coffee shops that I recommend (these are in no particular order):
UPDATE AS OF APRIL 27, 2014
The West End finally has a good neighbourhood coffee shop in Greenhorn Espresso Bar, which opened recently on the corner of Nelson and Nicola. A cute space with quite a bit of seating, but very popular so can be busy at times.
Another addition to the Gastown coffee scene is Timbertrain Coffee Roasters. I’m excited about this place as not only is their coffee done well, they are also open on Sundays.
I have recently been made aware of South Granville‘s Dose Espresso Bar at 1517 West Broadway (at Granville). This tiny coffee shop does a great brew. They have limited baked goods to compliment your coffee.
The new Matchstick in Chinatown (East Georgia Street) is a comfortable, large space to linger over a delicious cup of house-roasted coffee and some pretty good baked goods or toast. They are also licensed, although, I’m more keen for the coffee than a beer.
If you are in Kits and looking for a decent coffee hit, Momento Coffee House at 2766 West 4th (at MacDonald) has you sorted. Not open on Sundays.
JJ Bean, various locations: Good coffee to be had at JJ although the quality can be inconsistent. Their baked goods are made in-house daily and their muffins are absolutely huge! JJ cafes try to adapt to their location so the Alberni Street store is more chic for the downtown crowd, whereas the Commercial Street store feels more comfy.
Nelson the Seagull, Gastown: Any café in Vancouver that sells flat whites is alright by me! Nelson offers good coffee (although I’ve had a few sour ones recently) and I, personally, am a big fan of their lattes. They bake daily so you can grab yourself a muffin or a bacon and egg cup, or you can sit in and have something more substantial, like a sandwich. Nelson has the feel of a friend’s lounge room, with easy-going tunes, comfy couches and communal tables.
Breakfast at Nelson the Seagull
Revolver, Gastown: So hipster it hurts but these guys know their coffee. The space is well-decorated with lots of wood and exposed brick. I am almost intimidated with all of the coffee paraphernalia that covers the counters here. Limited snacks such as coffee cake and muffins are also available.
Matchstick, Mt Pleasant: Matchstick is reliable and consistent. Large windows, wooden commune tables, and a chic look encourage you to linger. The problem is can you get a seat? Matchstick has a loyal following and successfully fills a void in an area with few options. Pastries, sandwiches, and muffins are also available.
What are your favourite coffee shops? Send me some suggestions if you feel I’ve overlooked some good ones!