Monday, June 17, 2024

Our Guide to the 10 Best Cups of Coffee in Vancouver 

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Vic Quinlan
Vic has worked in feature writing and journalism for the past twenty years. He hails from White Rock, but moved to Vancouver thirteen years ago. He's a father of two and a proud grandfather of one.

Vancouver is renowned for its coffee, and any caffeine lover would be happy to explore this city’s top cafes and roasters. There are tons of coffee places around the city to check out, with a wide variety of drinks that will satisfy those with even the most complicated order. 

If you’re looking for amazing coffee, the Vancouver coffee scene will definitely not disappoint. The city and neighboring regions are home to great espresso drinks, cold brew, and other delicious coffee options. You can go to Downtown Vancouver, East Vancouver, Commercial Drive, and practically any area in Metro Vancouver. There’s always a great selection of great coffee for you somewhere in the city.

Ready for a perfect cup of joe? This is our guide to the best coffee shops Vancouver has to offer!

1. Prototype Coffee

Prototype Coffee


Prototype Coffee is an upscale coffee bar and micro-roastery that takes a unique and artisanal approach to serving up a morning brew. This hipster’s paradise features a tasting room similar to what you might find in a microbrewery, winery, or distillery. Except for the beverage of choice served, there is carefully sourced, top-quality coffee! 

Something that sets Prototype apart from other upscale coffee houses is the scientific approach they take to roasting and brewing. As Prototype’s expert roasters design their roast profiles, they take time and special care to learn about how each of their coffees interacts with their equipment. Once they understand a new roast inside and out, they create a unique profile for it and present it to the customers.

Address: 883 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1R8.


2. Nemesis Coffee

Nemesis Coffee

Nemesis Coffee is a high-end coffee shop, roastery, and bakery best known for its monthly coffee subscription service. The coffee fiends at Nemesis work off a weekly schedule, roasting on Monday and shipping the fresh beans on Wednesday. 

Nemesis is no ordinary coffee house. The proprietors take the phrase “upscale coffee house” to the logical extreme by offering 2-hour evening reservations for dining experiences that include fancy plates and wine.

Locations: 302 W Hastings St, Vancouver; 555 Great Northern Way, Vancouver;101 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver.


3. Timbertrain Coffee Roasters

Timbertrain Coffee Roasters

Timbertrain Coffee Roasters is a Vancouver-based roastery and chain of cafes that are sure to please even the pickiest of coffee drinkers. 

Their selection of flavors and blends vary from “classic” tastes like Swiss decaf to “wild” and experimental roasts like the Gold Bourbon El Paraiso 92. Likewise, if you are the indecisive type, Timbertrain will send you a 6-bag sample pack of their most representative roasts and blends.  If you decide to visit one of Timbertrain’s 3 locations in person, the staff will proudly offer you a tour of their facility to see the coffee roasting process up close!

Locations: 311 West Cordova Street Vancouver, BC; 551 McLean Dr. Vancouver, BC.


4. Propaganda Coffee

Propaganda Coffee


Propaganda Coffee keeps it simple and classy. This cafe is known for its minimalism and menu packed with locally roasted coffees, specialty beverages, high-end teas, and tasty pastries. 

Propaganda is no-frills and spacious. If you’re bored by the idea of booking a reservation or touring a roastery– but you still want a top-quality cup of high-end coffee– then this is the place for you.

Address: 209 E. Pender Street, Vancouver, BC.


5. Modus Coffee Roasting Company

Modus Coffee Roasting Company

If you want to shop for your coffee by flavor profiles, then you want to shop at the Modus Coffee Roasting Company. Their seasonal roasts range from the “sweet and familiar” Dom to the “exotic and crisp” Opus and everything in between. The Modus cafe also offers fresh baked goods, daily lunch, and a full brunch menu if you’re looking for a sit-down dining experience.  

The people at Modus pride themselves on building long-lasting relationships with their coffee producers. Their approach is ethical, and it also has the bonus of favoring the freshest seasonal beans.   

Address: 112 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC.


6. Kafka’s Coffee

Kafka’s Coffee

Kafka’s Coffee spans three locations across Vancouver and includes a roaming food truck too. Each Kafka’s location has a unique menu. This variation is baked into the look and feel of each location, all of which are as inviting as they are different from one another. 

Kafka’s is more than a coffee shop: it’s a community hub. Aside from its high-end food and drink, Kafka’s Coffee is best known as a venue for local artists and arts-based events. There’s no better place to seek out the local flavor of Vancouver– we mean that both literally and figuratively.

Locations: 2525 Main St.; 120-577 Great Northern Way; 151 W Hastings St.


7. Milano Coffee

Milano Coffee

The people at Milano Coffee pride themselves on their artisanship. All of their coffee is hand-roasted and blended on location. They are also diligently committed to buying ethically sourced, fairtrade organic beans from small farms. 

Aside from their fervent commitment to high-quality, ethically sourced coffee, Milano’s claim to fame is the espresso tasting bars found at each of their locations. These are the only espresso tasting bars in all of Vancouver, and each offers eight different espressos at any given time.  

Locations: Turks, Gastown, West 8th, Courtenay, Comox, Victoria, Calgary, Denman.


8. Elysian Coffee Roasters

Elysian Coffee Roasters

Like many of the shops on this list, Elysian Coffee Roasters is both a brick-and-mortar coffee shop as well as an online subscription service. Along with their vast array of coffee blends, Elysian also carries high-end teas and brewing gadgets that will please any caffeine enthusiast.

Of this local chain’s four storefronts, the Mount Pleasant location on 7th and Ontario are their most spectacular. This cafe is kitted out with both a tasting room and a roastery! 

Locations: 2301 Ontario Street; 1778 West 5th Ave; 590 West Broadway; 102 – 1100 Burrard Street.


9. 49th Cafe & Lucky’s Donuts

49th Cafe & Lucky’s Donuts

This entry holds a special place in our hearts, and it’s easy to see why: donuts! 49th Cafe & Lucky’s Donuts combines expertly brewed coffee from 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters with fresh, hand-crafted donuts. 

These donuts are baked daily and on-site across all three Lucky’s locations. If there is a better breakfast than warm hand-made artisanal donuts and fresh, locally roasted coffee, we’re hard-pressed to think of what that might be.

Locations: 2902 Main Street; Vancouver 689 Thurlow St.; 2198 West 4th Avenue.


10. Kahve


Last but not least on our list is Kahve Coffee. The people at Kahve pride themselves on their modern interior design, in-house-made menu, and of course, their high-quality single-source coffee beans. 

Kahve stands out for collaborating with a rotating roster of local roasters, including Monogram Coffee, Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters, and Moving Coffee Roastery. No wonder why it’s on our list of the best coffee in Vancouver! They update their menu every few months, so if you are feeling adventurous, Kahve will likely have something new and unique on offer. 

Address: 1822 West 1st Avenue.


Other Honourable Mentions

  • Prado Cafe
  • Modus Coffee Roasters
  • Revolver Coffee
  • Milano Coffee Roasters
  • Pallet Coffee Roasters
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