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Mar 31, 2009 09:48 PM

Vancouver and Victoria Coffee

Hey BC folks! In an attempt to procrastinate, I have compiled a list of my favorite cafes from Vancouver and Victoria. I'm sure a number of these are on the top lists of a lot of folks here so I thought it would be good to have a decent list for folks who are looking for a good cup when they're in town.

EDIT: 49th Parallel is now on the list... guess the database took a bit of time to populate.

Suggestions and criticisms are more than welcome!

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  1. You covered all my faves (including 49th). Bump n Grind, JJBean and Prado are my usual haunts with Bump n Grind as my current fave.

    For a different take on coffee - have you been to to La Cuisson in RIchmond for an Asian (Taiwanese) take on specialty coffee?

    I get differing quite polarized opinions on this place, but have you tried the La Futura roast at Milano?

    Nice intiative!

    2 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      Hey fmed, I've never been to La Cuisson before, though I've heard about it and love vac pot coffee. I should try to get down there this summer (along with hitting up all the places in Richmond that I've... er, never been to).

      I've not tried Milano before. Those shots look a little on the thin side... still always worth a try though. They brew their coffee at a few UBC food services locations. Might stop by the cafe in the library for a cup.

      1. re: peter.v

        Those shots were not great (the guy who pulled them was not the barrista, unfortunately)....but I've had Futura from a friend's machine which turned out quite nice.

        Turk's on the Drive is part of the group (Brian Turko owns both places). It is had been getting some bad reviews of late - generally for poor service. I don't like the coffee there as well. No reason to go there when Bump n Grind is a mere couple of minutes away.

    2. Neat, peter! I didn't know about lists- I should compile one for coffee in Cgy..

      12 Replies
      1. re: John Manzo

        Yeah, it's a cool little function if used right. I was thinking of doing one for Calgary too... but I can only procrastinate so much the night before my thesis is due!

        1. re: peter.v

          Great list Peter. Hey, I was in London Drugs at Broadway & Cambie today and there is a Caffe Artigiano opening in there! So...I think that will bring the block to about 25 different coffee shops! Exaggerating I know, but not by much!

          1. re: ck1234

            All those medical professionals need their caffeine! The new Elysian Room is almost across the street.

            1. re: fmed

              I had to check out the Elysian Room today...great coffee! Only thing I didn't like is they only had Sweet 'n Low - the pink stuff for fake sugar. I hate that stuff! I need my Splenda! The coffees being delivered to tables were beautiful & my Americano was fantastic minus the sugar problem!

            2. re: ck1234

              Yeah! Artigiano is really expanding. I hope they can keep the quality up since a new shop just opened in Kits too (and they've expanded to the Okanagan too). So long as they're using 49th Parallel, they should be safe. That block is a bit excessive though. I'm surprised that Artigiano and Blenz are essentially in the same building. One would think that Whole Foods will have its own in house cafe too.

              1. re: peter.v

                In Calgary too but as it happens they only have two, not three, new sites in the works- the one in Mission is off the table.

                Where in the Okanagan? Kelowna could use better coffee...

                1. re: John Manzo

                  The Okanagan shop is in Westbank, so unfortunately not directly in Kelowna, but close! Coffee, post-wine tasting would be a good idea.

                  And wow, I must have overlooked that other one in Fairview. They're really making a push into the market!

                  1. re: John Manzo

                    Doh, I'm sad to hear that the one in Mission is a no-go. What other locations are they working on?
                    Heading to Van tomorrow, so looking forward to the coffee, foodie scene and maybe if we're lucky.....SPRING!

                    1. re: cdn

                      Shell Cente, 2 blocks north of current one, and in the former Second Cup on Stephen Ave (the one that fronts right on the street by the Unicorn)

                  2. re: peter.v

                    When I was commenting to the cashier at LD about the new coffee shop, she said another Caffe Artigiano just opened up by Shoppers Drug Mart further west down Broadway a couple of blocks!

                    1. re: ck1234

                      I'm sure these expansion plans were made before the economic s**t hit the fan. Let's hope they do well.

                      1. re: fmed

                        The standalone Artigiano on Broadway has been busy from the 2nd day it opened. I don't think they will have to worry.

            3. Great list! In Vancouver I would add:

              Re-Entry - 4363 Main St. - Best coffee I've had in Vancouver, Thomas Haas pastries, free wifi
              Gene - 2404 Main St. - Excellent coffee, cool space, free wifi
              Dolcetto - 2967 West Broadway - Excellent coffee, amazing sandwiches, nice sunny little patio (same owner as Cru restaurant)
              3436 Coffee Lounge - 3436 West Broadway - Great coffee, comfortable lounge, fireplace, fresh baked cookies, free wifi
              Agro Cafe - 1201 Hamilton St. (also Granville Island) - Great coffee, fair trade and organic, free wifi

              2 Replies
              1. re: digitalsparks

                I second Dolcetto (it's my "local" now) -- be sure to try the breakfast muffin with pancetta if they have it along with your 49th Parallel.

                Also don't forget a slice of the housemade cheesecake at Agro -- mango is the bomb (do people still say that?)

                May I also suggest (with some trepidation) adding the coffees at Medina to this fine list, Peter? I know they are a little unorthodox (white chocolate lavendar, anyone?) but yowza, me likey. And of course it doesn't hurt that they are using 49th Parallel...

                1. re: grayelf

                  No trepidation necessary! I'm a fan of Medina, though I haven't been since the introduction of more food items. I'd love too, but the student budget won't let me. Haha! I'm a firm believer that Medina is probably the best looking cafe in the city. It reminds me a lot of the well designed cafes in Seattle (Stumptown comes to mind) and SF (4 Barrels, Ritual, etc).

                  Digitalsparks... thanks for reminding me of Re-entry. I rarely get that far down Main, but I'm definitely a fan. Best coffee south of the JJ and Thomas Haas is always a plus.

                  Dolcetto is now on my must visit list. Sounds like it is excellent... I've always liked Cru (albeit from a purely spectator's standpoint... they used to come to Wicked for coffee).

                  Haven't been to either Agro, 3436 or Gene. I've only been out of the industry for 8 months and I'm already behind! I haven't even heard of 3436 or Gene.

                  Keep the comments coming folks!

              2. Victoria - Caffe Artigiano on Bastion Square in the lobby of the Bedford Regency. 2% Jazz. Caffe Fantastico. Discovery Coffee. Habit. So many coffee shops, so little time ;)

                1 Reply
                1. re: victoriafoodie

                  My infrequent trips back to the island are pretty much exclusively coffee crawls (with a lunch stop at Choux Choux). I need to go visit soon! I went to school for a couple years just outside of Victoria, and it's where my love for a lot of good things in life got started, especially coffee.

                2. There is also a new Cafe Fantastico open at the Dockside Green on Tyee Rd in West Victoria. It's sort of around the corner of the first light south of Bay and Tyee and there's a Fol Epi bakery attached to it.