As the leaves turn to gold, orange and red, so too do our shorts turn into sweaters, our sunglasses into umbrellas and our beach days into cozier (and warmer!) interludes. In fact, one of the best parts of chilly autumn days is shacking up for the afternoon at an atmospheric café with a steaming cup of coffee. So grab a friend – or a laptop, or a stack of books – and check out one or all of the coffee shops below. Catch you at the latte bar!
Platform 7 Café Care for a cuppa in an old-fashioned train station? Kitsilano’s Platform 7 is designed in the manner of a Parisienne station (the East Vancouver location is modelled after a Victorian London station) with rural murals, old-fashioned clocks, a cheerful blue “sky” painted above and wizard-like coffee gadgets cluttering the shelves and counter space. The café features Espresso, Brew and Cold bars that efficiently serve up cold brew on tap, nitro coffee, cortados, brew flights and every other manner of handcrafted beverages to appease guests’ every whim. Pull up a chair and stay awhile.
Revolver A staple among any Vancouverite’s arsenal of café favourites, Revolver is revered for its emphasis on coffee making and drinking as a holistic experience. Every single cup is made fresh to order, and the list of beans spans the globe from Guatemala and Kenya to Portland and Bellingham. Brush up on your bean know-how with a Brew Flight – one coffee brewed in three different styles – or a Tasting Flight, featuring three different coffees brewed in the same style. You’ll taste for yourself the surprising impact of brewing technique on flavour profiles, and maybe even identify a new favourite bean or roaster. Education + coffee + escaping the rain = a satisfyingly productive afternoon!
Nemesis Coffee Relatively new to the Vancouver coffee scene, Nemesis is your best bet during high-traffic need-coffee-NOW times thanks to its 40-seat room and an aesthetic design you can admire while waiting for your brew. The massive bar is filled with serious coffee-making machines, all of which are constantly in use as baristas crank out savoury drinks for waiting caffeine lovers. Try the pour-over, an intensely flavourful method of brewing whose preparation is satisfyingly meticulous (if everyone were as serious about their jobs as these baristas, we would live in a Super World!). Nemesis has a healthy, wholesome food menu as well – pair your drink with the savoury muesli, or go to town with the duck and waffles.
Lucky’s Donuts by 49th Parallel Coffee is like peanut butter – sometimes it’s perfect on its own, but other times you crave a jazzy addition. Enter Lucky’s Donuts, adjoining 49th Parallel’s West 4th locale, and serving up handcrafted delights ranging from Cold Brew Crullers to PBJs to classic Long Johns. The coffee itself is sourced directly from farmers with an emphasis on each cup reflecting the region in which the beans were cultivated.
Aubade Coffee Widely considered among the best coffeeshops in Vancouver, this unassuming Chinatown café targets aficionados and casual caffeine addicts alike who are keen to expand their coffee palates. Part café, part antiques store and part barbershop, the space offers plenty to explore after you’ve selected your brew. Choosing your blend is half the fun – the menu’s descriptions of different coffee varietals is guaranteed to make your mouth water. Current roasts hail from Ethiopa (blueberry pie flavoured with Pepsi and liquorice) and Guatemala (praline, caramel and green grape), among others. Vegans or those with dairy allergies, rejoice: here you’ll find many more options than mere almond and soy, including coconut milk, rice milk and a buckwheat milk blend. Try a long white with your “milk” (or milk – we don’t discriminate) of choice.