We are all familiar with the chain experience. A uniform cup of coffee or the same burger, in a place that looks like every other incarnation. There can be comfort in sameness, and if you want Starbucks in Vancouver, you have plenty of opportunities for it. But Vancouver has lots of other options too. I have at least a dozen coffee shops that I really like, some of which I visit only occasionally for logistical reasons (like lack of Sunday opening hours or being too far away). And there are plenty of other interesting shops too.
Here are a few:
I have yet to visit, but I’ve read the newsletters from this little Kitsilano shop for the last few months, and I know they offer a host of interesting activities to guests, including movie screenings, tea ceremonies, instructional workshops, and more. I’ll be visiting soon for their Kombucha vs. Mezcal Cocktail Evening on February 23, and I’ll learn more about this place. Their selection of teas looks fantastic.
And don’t miss the Kombucha Launch Party, which is being held March 1 from 3-9 PM. It will feature
Free Kombucha Samples
Juice Elixirs to Pair with your Kombuchas
A Free Kombucha Clinic – Get Your Scoby Diagnosis!
Limited Edition “Rare” Kombuchas
“Inspired by art, travel, philanthropy and the love of fresh home-made food”, the founders started this spacious, comfortable coffee shop in Gastown after returning from Asian travel. Their selection of travel books is excellent. They sell crafts made by locals in developing countries. The coffee is wonderful (they serve an unsweetened almond milk latté that is very hard to find anywhere), they have excellent, fresh baked goods, and good breakfast and lunch items (proper nourishing food like lemony lentil soup). Look up the Dirty Wall Foundation for more information on their philanthropic efforts.
This adorable chocolate shop is almost the spiritual home of BeyondYVR (one of us frequents this place very often and practices classical music on their grand piano, and one of us just visits whenever the opportunity arises). The ambiance and the chocolate quality, both for confections and drinks, are both stellar. You can’t make a wrong choice here, and it will take you months to work through the entire selection, so make sure you visit often and experiment. Cocoa Nymph often hosts concerts; check their website or Facebook page for updates. Oh, and they have workshops too.
I’ve only visited their Commercial Drive shop, and they also have one in Hastings-Sunrise. On a recent visit, I learned about their mission to help women and youth in transition. This is a delightful place, where you can find old board games, interesting dinnerware, just the perfect ’80s dress, and a bunch of other things too. Take a look.