The current Vancouver cafe landscape is a strong point of pride for locals and absolutely lives up to the hype: this is simply one of the best cities in all North America in which to drink coffee.MoreLess
Now with four locations across the city, 49th Parallel has for a decade been synonymous with Vancouver’s cafe scene, and their coffees can be found on shelves across North America. Expect expertly crafted drinks, from espresso to filter coffee, plus excellent doughnuts from the brand’s own in-house bakery, Lucky’s Doughnuts. The West 4th location makes for a perfect pit-stop whilst exploring the Kitsilano neighborhood, whether you’re window shopping or heading off to the beach.
This hometown roaster favorite offers four distinct locations around the city, from the charming secret side patio at Broadway & Ash to their chic downtown spot in the Burrard Hotel. The very first Elysian location, at 5th & Burrard, offers standards and specials in a cozy location, with classic styling and a charming wood-drenched interior.
Another Kitsilano haunt, and the cafe where you are perhaps most likely to encounter the Vancouver Lululemon cliche, but the coffee is excellent—they serve Heart Roasters of Portland, OR—as are the housemade selection of pastries and alternative milk. This place offers quintessential Vancouver coffee vibes.
When Nemesis opened in 2017, we called it “Vancouver’s newest world-class cafe”—and a few years later, the shoe fits better than ever. Now with two locations, including Polygon and Gastown, Nemesis sources a world-beating array of specialty coffees from roasters across the planet, including recent features like Colonna (UK), Five Elephant (Berlin), and Audun (Poland). The food is no slouch either. When coffee obsessives from around the world travel to Vancouver, this is their first stop.
This is another excellent example of the multiroaster cafe style, serving coffees from some of the finest roasting experts across Canada, including Phil & Sebastian (Calgary), Transcend (Edmonton), and Pilot Coffee (Toronto). The shop’s audiophile stereo system is typically playing jazz; patrons are stylish and in-the-know. The coffee here is great and so, too, is the people watching. Be sure to try their cold brew on tap.
Timbertrain’s original location in Gastown is part of that neighborhood’s rich tableau of excellent coffee, but it is their Depot location, in East Vancouver, that truly stuns and surprises. This is a working industrial coffee warehouse, with bleacher-style seating from which to watch it all happen whilst enjoying a cup of Timbertrain’s own immaculately roasted and prepared coffee. As far as roastery cafe experiences go, this is the city’s best.
Sustained excellence is the watchword at Revolver’s Cambie Street cafe, which has become a benchmark for cafe-quality across the city over the last decade. This is yet another multiroaster coffee, sourcing from the likes of The Barn (Berlin), Gardelli (Italy), and a slew of others from near and far. Revolver’s influence on a generation of Vancouver coffee shops and baristas is legendary, but this cafe remains utterly current, an expression of a coffee-loving city at its very finest.