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By Wade Kinley On a late weekend visit to Le Marché St. George, we shared the long table with two women who gazed about the cozy interior as they cupped their lattes in both hands. “Imagine if you lived in this neighbourhood,” one of the women said. “And this was your spot.” Indeed, it is the way this café-cum-general store makes you feel. Like that bistro you stumbled into on your first morning in Paris, or that bodega on your last night in New York. Like you are out in the world and at home all at once. Tucked into the bottom of a two-story mismatched-shingled building at 4393 St. George St, the café has captured the hearts of its Kensington neighbourhood, in part by fostering a feeling it’s been here as long as its hundred-year-old building, not just a near decade. Dark green paint that’s chipping on corners and weathered…

By Jenni Sheppard Whether you yearn for a single strong cup of coffee to start your day or you’re a caffeine addict who loves touring espresso cafes, we have one question for you–which coffee roast do you prefer? The answer might not be as simple as you think. Around Metro Vancouver, it’s fair to say we’re spoiled for choice with so many specialist coffee shops and roasters around town. One of these is Spent Grounds Coffee Roasters, a coffee bean roastery and tasting bar in Surrey, BC. Spent Grounds focuses solely on hand-crafted, hand-poured coffee that is freshly roasted weekly at their facility. To learn more about how to choose the perfect coffee roast, we spoke to Spent Grounds owner, Karen Lopez. What kind of coffee roasts do you produce? “We have light, medium and dark roasts available by the cup or by the bag. The Ethiopian is roasted light…

By Brittany Tiplady In search of the perfect cuppa, coffee connoisseurs generally flock to the many Vancouver cafes pouring quality espresso. Outside the city though, you can find some hidden gems. Black Tiger Coffee Co. a new Cloverdale haunt, is offering the city cafe vibe in Surrey’s burgeoning subdivision. You may have heard of the place: Black Tiger has garnered some significant attention on Instagram, posting frequent photos of their mouth-watering-Voodoo-like donuts, frothy lattes, and decadent sandwiches. “Black Tiger is a fun, relaxing, open atmosphere. This is a place for friends and young families in the neighbourhood to come, chat, and catch up,” says Black Tiger owner and operator Natasha Multani. “We have a lot of regulars coming in. We’ve been open only eight months and we’ve grown quite a bit since we [opened our doors] and I think we can still grow even more.” Multani, a chiropractor by trade,…

By Brittany Tiplady What comes to mind when you think of the North Shore’s Deep Cove? Hikes up Quarry Rock amongst a bustling crowd, paddleboarders gliding across the Burrard Inlet, kayaking, lush terrain, stunning mountainous views and a sweet small town-esque vibe. Heading west from the quay to the picturesque Indian Arm is Deep Cove, and at the centre of this cozy waterfront community is the beloved and highly acclaimed Cafe Orso, a local staple with big Italian influence that serves European-inspired food sourced locally. This brainchild of owner Jonathan Hayward and his wife Lori Steeves was conceived when they were on a European vacation enjoying an apres-hike coffee and cheese board. “We were [over] mediocracy in this affluent, high-end neighborhood of Deep Cove. And a lot of people in this area were expressing the need for a good coffee shop. So, we came up with the concept, and here…

By Jackie Dives  Our first stop in New Westminster along the Central Valley Greenway on our bike ride from Vancouver was Old Crow Café for a much-needed caffeine dose, where I ordered a flat white and Dan got an americano. You can enjoy coffee and breakfast here, watching the trains go by, or grab a croissant to-go and head to the water. The River Market is a great place to visit, especially on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month during the summer when there are crafters and artisans selling their goods. Make sure to stop by the Nuevo coffee stand and try these locally roasted, small batch beans. When you’re ready for lunch you can check out the variety of eats inside the market, or hit up Wild Rice. Alternatively, if you’re up for a good work out, slightly off the bike path, and up a bit of…

By Winnie Tam Attention coffee and dessert lovers! There’s a unique game in town that promises to change your perceptions of what a coffee shop is like. Faebrew opened in Richmond in August 2016. The first thing you’ll notice about Faebrew that’s different from other coffee shops is that there’s no menu. That’s because owner Vincent Wong says Faebrew exists to make customers happy, so he’s ready to make whatever they are in the mood for drinking, however weird or outlandish it may be. To illustrate, he’s made coffees that are fruity, coffees that are highly acidic, ones that represent depression…even one with a raw egg in it. And if you don’t like what’s presented to you, you don’t get charged for it, even though Vincent says he’s yet to encounter an unhappy customer. The name Faebrew comes from faeries, and the idea that each coffee served is magical and…

By Ashley Lockyer How fresh do you like your coffee? Each morning the scent of roasting beans spills out from Creekside Coffee Factory in Coquitlam. Here, you can sip a handcrafted beverage beside the bright red roaster where your drink started its journey, from beans to a piece of latte art. Owner and roaster Jay Lee had his own unique journey. It all began while he was a stockbroker in South Korea. He found himself daydreaming of owning a business while the numbers poured down the screens. When he moved with his family to Canada, Jay set off to master another market, something that interested him: coffee. Jay was mentored by a master roaster in South Korea. He then worked in a cafe to learn the hands-on craft of drink making. Finally, he heard famous coffee roasters spill the beans on their techniques while working at a coffee company and…

By Joyce Chua Vancouver Foodie Tours A stroll around Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood will tell you just how much locals love their coffee. Artisan cafes mark every street corner ready to re-fuel shoppers, wanderers and to tide over diners before their reservations are ready. You won’t find coffee like this in every city, let alone the passionate purveyors in Gastown who live and breathe quality beans. Here’s some places to start: Consider Purebread. The Whistler-born bakery entices patrons with piles (literally) of fresh pastries, cakes, brownies, breads and oversized meringues. Heaven would be envious of how the little bakeshop smells. It’s one of the only places in Vancouver that you’ll find Stumptown coffee – the sweetheart success from Oregon. In Gastown’s iconic Woodward’s Building, JJ Bean Coffee Roasters is simultaneously perfecting French-pressed single-origin coffee and freshly baked goods. With 18 locations in Vancouver, this family business knows the city inside and…

By Alexis Baran Coastal and multicultural are the flavours of Vancouver’s most recognized specialties. To get to know the unique bites (and sips) Vancouverites love to munch, start with these eleven favorites: JapaDog Vancouver’s original most-talked-about food cart serves Japanese-inspired hotdogs. Bask in the salty, sweet, and spicy tastes of seaweed flakes, teriyaki sauce, miso, wasabi and kimchi. There are multiple locations in downtown Vancouver, including an indoor location at 530 Robson. B.C. Rolls British Columbia’s signature sushi roll is done in many ways, but the one consistent ingredient is grilled savoury and chewy salmon skin. Get them at just about any sushi joint in Vancouver. Coffee Busy Vancouverites are often particular about their favorite liquid pick-me-up, and love their pour-overs and flavoured espresso drinks. Some local chains to try are Milano Coffee, 49th Parallel, and JJ Bean. But don’t forget the many cozy independent shops to be found who…

By Kathy Mak Coffee, served hot or cold, is arguably the world’s most popular beverage. In the ranking of best coffee cities in the world, Vancouver has become one of the undisputed top ten leaders. The obsession with coffee, particularly independent coffee shops/roasters, is a big part of what defines the city’s foodie culture, as much as craft breweries, food trucks, farmers markets, boutique eateries, etc. And, the love affair with java extends throughout the Fraser Valley. To truly appreciate the local coffee scene, grab your travel mug and follow this itinerary to sip on some of the best coffee, and special accompaniments, at a batch of unique micro-roasters in Greater Vancouver. As the saying goes, “life is too short to drink bad coffee.”  If you crave unique coffee flavours that are ethically sourced, then you may be part of a growing trend of coffee connoisseurs that support indie-owned coffee…