Vancouver’s best indie coffee shops for inspiration

There are more than a few independent coffee shops – usually located in eclectic neighbourhoods – that are helping drive Vancouver’s growing coffee scene. Full of inspiration, minimalist decor, and aesthetically pleasing flourishes, these cafes are perfect for jump-starting your creative juices while getting your afternoon caffeine fix and some much needed work done. [Image of Matchstick Coffee courtesy of Rick Chung]

Revolver Coffee

1
325 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2N4

Amidst Vancouver's ever evolving coffee culture, Revolver Coffee in the heart of Gastown is probably the standard by which I usually compare all other local coffee shops. These expert baristas have serious attitudes when it comes to caffeinated beverages; watching them carefully brew your single cup of coffee – which is made fresh to order right in front of you with precision – is always a treat.

The Birds & The Beets

2
100-55 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1E9

Powell Street's newest café and eatery, the amusingly named The Birds & the Beets, is undeniably stylish and creatively inspiring. The open and cavernous space is filled with cool, inviting flourishes. There's a trendy-yet-relaxed-vibe mixed with a bustling energy that comes from the creative local neighbourhood.

Kafka Coffee

3
2525 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3E5

I find Kafka's Coffee & Tea one of the better and friendlier neighbourhood coffee shops around, thanks in part to its serious, no nonsense approach to coffee blends and reliable selection of baked treats. It's hard to be beat the central location on Main Street and East Broadway, which you’ll find squeezed in between other cafes and little shops and stores. In contrast to the brighter, more ornate cafes in the area, Kafka's is much more demure and utilitarian. Its basic-yet-hip design and decor reflects elements of the crafty and artistic businesses surrounding it.

Matchstick Coffee

4
213 Georgia St E, Vancouver, BC V6A 1Z6

The second Matchstick Coffee Roasters location has become a quick fixture in Chinatown, and is just as hip and bustling as the first. The Georgia Street outpost offers the same serious specialty roastery approach that we've come to expect from Matchstick. Each cup of coffee is brewed to order by hand while the stark white café interior is outfitted throughout with clean wood finishes. I especially love the creative way this local café has incorporated hanging lights into the space.

Liberty Bakery

5
3699 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3N6

Liberty Bakery on Main Street is a charming and quaint little eatery in Riley Park that serves up a variety of tasty treats. More than a bakery, Liberty also offers a small but tempting selection of homemade sandwiches and daily soups. The corner bakery has all the winning elements of a casual, neighbourhood café with good food, baked goods, and coffee.

Pallet Coffee Roasters Inc

6
323 Semlin Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 4H9

Over on the east side of town in Hastings-Sunrise, Pallet has already become known for its open and inviting warehouse feel. Full of character and charm, the café seating area overlooks the working kitchen and an obvious wood themed decor is present both inside and out. Pallet's around-the-corner location and subtle yet ornate style is authentically appealing, not to mention the good coffee and eclectic daily menu of sandwiches and quick bites.

Elysian Coffee

7
2301 Ontario St, Vancouver, BC V5T 2X5

Elysian's third location in Mount Pleasant features the same sleek, clean and timber look of its other spaces, but with a more open feel. It's an off-the-beaten-track location surrounded by light industrial and commercial outlets, yet the coffee shop is still feels central and is just steps away from the hub of cafes and shops a few blocks away. More spacious and roomy, the new Elysian has a stark, minimalist feel while incorporating the same design aesthetic. Coffee aside, it's also hard to beat the ceiling-to-floor windows, which bring in natural light and provide great people-watching opportunities along Main.

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