● 49th Parallel (Kitsilano) – Where Vancouver’s coffee geeks get serious. Light on outlets, heavy on yoga mats, and you’ll have to hack around for wi-fi. NERD PRO-TIP: If she’s there, barista Mya can point you towards some old-school X-Files landmarks to satisfy your Mulder-and-Scully roleplaying needs. ● Re-entry Espresso (South Main) – Perfectly positioned between a thicket of antique stores, Red Cat Records, and a jumble of sidewalk activity, the espresso drinks and amazing fresh pastries here are great on the go, especially if your next stop is nearby Queen Elizabeth Park. ● Lugz (South Main) – Other places are grab and go, but Lugz is a place to linger. Comfy chairs for wi-fi users, internet stations for the laptopless, and a wide variety of food, beverage, and stimulation. From newspapers large and small to owner Jark’s keen support of local arts, the vibes here will warm you up even if your coffee is iced.
● Medina (Yaletown) – Brewing 49th Parallel Roasters coffee, nearby office workers are willing to take a few extra steps to get their takeout here. And even if you don’t go for the full fricassee, the dessert-y little waffles aren’t to be missed. ● Uva Coffee Bar (Downtown) – Placidly amid the noise and haste of downtown’s entertainment and shopping district, the Moda Hotel’s happening little nightspot sobers up by day into a great espresso bar for the weary, bleary, and not-yet-cheery. Starring an Italian-born barista and one of only two Synesso machines in BC. ● Abruzzo (Commercial Drive) – There’s a lot of contenders for best coffee place on Commercial Drive, but it’s hard to compete with Abruzzo’s devastating espresso and elderly European soccer fan vibe. It wasn’t always bongos and wet Huskies in these parts, and Vancouver’s East side Italian community still has some thriving outposts like this one. ● Finch’s (Gastown) – Finch’s brown-paper-and-string-wrapped sandwiches do not disappoint, nor does their beverage menu. If you’re done browsing at nearby secondhand book, music, magazine, and antique stores, grab lunch to go and have an effortless picnic in Victory Square, further east along Pender Street. ● 2 Chefs and A Table (Gastown) – Railtown isn’t traditionally an area you’d expect formalities like service in a French press, but the eponymous two chefs’ roots in catering have brought more than a few touches of class to make this suddenly the right side of the tracks. A couple of swigs of this brew will have you jumping boxcars in no time. ● Café Zen (Kitsilano) – Coffee competition in Kits is as stiff as the dudes watching women’s beach volleyball, but if you want to avoid the franchise beans, walk a little further up the hill to this bright patio to fortify with a latte and benny before your day in the sun. ●Mink Chocolate Café (Downtown) – Whether you come to indulge in chocolate or a precision brew from their state-of-the-art Clover single-cup vacupress system, you’re in good company. The Vancouver Canucks are fans of their hot chocolate, and actor Christopher Guest thinks their coffee goes to eleven, so wife Jamie Lee Curtis placed a standing monthly order.
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