Vancouver’s best under-the-radar cafés

Vancouver is big on coffee culture and full of cafés where locals can satisfy their caffeine cravings. There are some really well known coffee shops out there, and then there are some really great hidden gems that fly under the radar. Check out these lesser-known cafés if you’re on the hunt for a new spot. [Photo: Arbutus Coffee]

East Café

2401 Hastings St E, Vancouver, BC V5K 1Y8

East Café is a small and adorable café located in the Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood. Notable for its homey atmosphere, the cute coffeehouse is filled with vintage decor and staffed by incredibly friendly baristas. It might be a far trek out here if you don’t live in the area, but it’s definitely worth it!

Musette Caffe

75 Pender St E, Vancouver, BC V6A 1S9

If you enjoy their downtown location, check out Musette Caffe’s second outpost in Chinatown. Like the original, it’s dedicated to bike lovers with cycle-themed decor and bike races playing on the TV in the background. Located on Pender Street, this off-the-beaten-track café is quieter than its downtown counterpart and the staff are super friendly.

Beanery Coffee House

2706 Fairview Cres, Vancouver, BC V6T 2B9

The Beanery Coffee House is hidden in the Fairview Crescent residence on the UBC campus. This café doesn’t look anything like the other modern coffee houses at UBC, and instead features a cozy and rustic interior. The multileveled space offers plenty of seating with tables and couches on both floors, so you’re sure to find a seat for your next study session.

The Buzz Cafe & Espresso Bar

901 Homer St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2W6

What better place to make your artsy dreams come true than by drinking coffee in an art gallery? This Yaletown café is located inside the Harrison Galleries. Like a true gallery, the museum-like interior is spacious and features a variety of art exhibits on the walls. Seating is well integrated throughout the different corners of the space, so you can enjoy unique artwork from each of the sitting areas.

Kokopelli Cafe

4593 Dunbar St, Vancouver, BC V6S 2G7

Did anyone say family friendly? This café is perfect for families with young children. It has everything you would expect from a local coffeehouse (food, drinks, Wi-Fi) and an entire play area with toys for little ones. Kids can come together for play dates at Kokopelli, while the adults sit nearby and have their own grown up lunch dates.

Lost & Found Cafe

33 Hastings St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G4

Lost + Found is one of many indie coffee shops in Gastown, but it has its own distinct charm. The café focuses heavily on the Vancouver arts scene and supports a variety of local and international charities. There’s also a separate room that can be reserved for small private events. If you are planning a large event, consider booking out the entire café space in the evenings.

Caffe W

3646 Broadway W, Vancouver, BC V6R 2B7

With its woodsy interior and convenient location along the B-Line bus route, Caffe W is a great place to study or relax on a rainy day. They have pretty decent coffee, friendly staff and are open seven days a week. If you need to study or do work on your laptop, they have plenty of power outlets for you to charge your battery.

Arbutus Coffee

2200 Arbutus St, Vancouver, BC V6J 3Y1

If you like charming cafés tucked away in vintage houses, Arbutus Coffee is the place for you. It’s hidden in a residential area of Kitsilano, and would easily pass as a house if not for the sign hanging on its exterior. When the weather is nice, you can sit outside in their outdoor seating area and enjoy the quiet scenery of the neighbourhood. Go early if you want to sample their tasty baked goods, as they tend to run out fast.

There are always those days when you just feel extra hungry, or you need to find plenty of food to feed a large group of people. This list is here to help those of you who are looking for large portions to satisfy your big appetite. Whether you’re seeking towering stacks of pancakes, heaping plates of barbecued meat, or a sky-high slice of pie, these Vancouver eateries are sure to leave you feeling stuffed. Happy eating!
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