I’m not ready to take my coffee black. In fact, only within the last few years have I grown to appreciate any type of coffee drink. I began my humble ascent into the coffee world by ordering 1/2 coffee and 1/2 hot chocolate at Canadian favourite Tim Horton’s. While I will always love my Timmy’s, I have grown to appreciate the many options out there and as luck would have it, Vancouver is not lacking when it comes to getting caffeinated! Here are five of my favourite places to get a great coffee in Vancouver:
Not only does a Spanish latte sound much fancier than a regular latte, it’s much sweeter! A Spanish latte is made with steamed condensed milk and gives the latte a extra thickness which is especially comforting in the morning. As for the latte art, that’s not something I’ll ever get tired of! It looks so effortless, but it’s definitely a skill.
Kafka’s has a great vibe and perfectly fits with the Main Street (Mount Pleasant) scene. They do coffee properly and you can smell that very fact as soon as you walk in off Main Street!
Where to find it:
2525 Main Street
For a different experience, Thierry is your choice. It’s a French pattisserie, chocolaterie and cafe all rolled into one. It also has an incredible heated outdoor patio that allows you to enjoy the sights and sounds of downtown Vancouver at any point during the year with a macaron or three of your choice!
Where to find it:
1059 Alberni street
JJ Bean is a Vancouver success story and worthy of any conversation about finding some fancy art in latte form. JJ Bean has been roasting coffee beans for almost 70 years and supplies cafes and restaurants across Canada. But when it comes to actual JJ Bean cafes, one can be found all over Vancouver. Although it’s a chain, it has that independent cafe feel with its rustic design and comforting feel. I had a great mocha latte at the Commercial Drive location.
Where to find it:
Multiple locations in Vancouver, North Vancouver and Port Moody
This next drink doesn’t quite fall into the coffee category, but it does have caffeine! A London Fog is a nice compromise to a fancy latte without the coffee taste. Consisting of steamed milk, boiling water, a shot of vanilla syrup and Earl Gray tea, it is a perfect lazy weekend afternoon drink but really, works at any time of the day.
A great London Fog can be found at Continental Cafe. My particular London Fog was at their new Main Street location, but they’ve had a presence in Vancouver for years with their Commercial Drive cafe being around since 1979. And it’s rumored that Vancouver is the birthplace of the London Fog!
While getting a bolt of caffeine in your day is much needed, sometimes there is nothing more comforting than a decadent cup of hot chocolate. Luckily Thomas Haas has settled in Vancouver and offers that and much more! It’s overwhelming (in a good way) to your senses when you step into his chocolate palace. Macarons, beautiful chocolates and a selection of various confections make you lose focus. When you gather yourself, you notice the cakes and the almond croissants that makes you forget all about the chocolate ones!
I went with the Aztec hot chocolate and an almond croissant. The Aztec promised to have a little kick as it’s made with chipotle and ancho chilies. The almond croissant had all the sliced almonds you could ask for. Inside was a rich almond paste that you wish you could have every single day on your morning toast. Needless to say, I was not let down. And that heart, that was the “pièce de résistance.”
Whatever your preference, fancy latte, fancy tea or very fancy hot chocolate, Vancouver has got you covered!
Dining in Vancouver, BC