The winter months can be hard. Sometimes the weather does not cooperate and it’s tough to get outside for a walk. Maybe you’re leaving home in the dark and coming home to the same light. At this time of year, it’s can be helpful to focus on the little things – the small joys in life that bring pause to your day and make you smile.
In early December, we sat down for some festive treats and started talking about our favourite local cafes that serve excellent food and drinks and provide a warm, comforting atmosphere. These are a few that we came up with.
What are some of your favourite cafes? We’d love to hear from you!
1412 Rupert Street, North Vancouver
A few years ago, I tweeted my three favourite places to buy an Americano in Vancouver. Moja Coffee noticed and asked if I’d tried theirs. I hadn’t. I couldn’t believe there was a small, locally owned coffee roaster and cafe in North Vancouver! I tried one of theirs and three years later, it remains my favourite. Moja is my go-to place for buying beans. Their staff are friendly and knowledgeable and you can peak through the window at their roasters and see piles of burlap sacks waiting for the machine.
105C-4390 Gallant Avenue, Deep Cove, North Vancouver
Sunnyside opened last Summer in Deep Cove. The cafe/store has a delicious variety of loose-leaf teas which can be ordered by the cup or bag. The tea takes a few minutes to make, which is not a problem since the time can be spent browsing the beautifully curated collection of ceramics, books, textiles, homegoods and bath and body products. Sunnyside does not have the space for a large amount of seating, but if it’s a rainy day and you’re lucky, you can snag the cushioned window seat and watch the Deep Cove traffic. If you’re willing to brave the weather or the sun is shining, the ocean or forest is only steps away.
Our shop was originally inspired by the idea of discovering an abandoned cottage somewhere in the dense woods along the sunny side of Indian Arm. We loved the idea of bringing it back to life, filling it with things we loved and inviting our friends for tea.
998 Harbourside Drive, North Vancouver
I’ve spent many a happy morning luxuriating over hot chocolate (smooth, velvety) and an almond croissant (pure decadent indulgence!) at Thomas Haas Patisserie.
Thomas Haas himself is an interesting man. Europe-born, an avid cyclist, he is quoted as saying: “no dream, no life.” I often remember this quote, when I look for inspiration.
Best not to leave your trip to Thomas Haas too late in the morning as it tends to get busier then. Parking can also be a challenge, so why not bike or walk there? Good way to make up for the calorie-laden croissants. I believe they are closed Sundays.
639 East 15th Avenue, Vancouver
Matchstick has a cozy atmosphere with a modern West Coast flair. There is a bustling, European feeling to this café in the Fraser Street neighbourhhod. Join into the friendly, easygoing atmosphere of this little gem of a place!
At the core of Matchstick is our desire to take that which is common, like a daily mug of coffee, and produce it with the highest level of care and attention. We believe that something familiar can still be special. Perhaps we would go so far as to say that it must be special; for it is the everyday, simple, common experiences that tie together the rest of our hectic, fumbled, and unpredictable lives.
Coffee has an outstanding capacity to connect people.
319 Carrall Street, Vancouver
I am very fond of this little café, a vibrant coffee shop with extraordinary chocolate and cookies made in-house. Friendly staff, heritage tile work, and neat signage make this an uplifting place to relax with a drink and sweet snack.
Designed to provide training and employment to the women residents of the Rainier Hotel, East Van Roasters creates organic ‘bean-to-bar’ chocolate and coffee roasted and prepared on site.
Come in and see how chocolate is made right from the bean!
Words by KD, Calm Pond and Cassandra Van Dyck