Where to eat and drink in Coal Harbour

For downtown workers, casual strollers stepping off the Seawall, or just folks with a taste for good meals and drinks, look no further than these Coal Harbour spots. These inviting cafés and eateries are all ideal destinations to chill out while consuming tasty fare. Whether you’re an overwhelmed tourist, a panting jogger or a backlogged businessman, you can’t go wrong with these daytime establishments.

Giovane

1
1038 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 0B9

Housed in the swank Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel but very accessible to visitors of all varieties, Giovane Café is a thriving spot for diners, coffee drinkers and those who are just looking for a quick bite on the go. The vibe is upscale, and a panini will set you back more than $10, but there’s nothing imposing or pretentious about the place – it’s part of Vancouver’s great café tradition, recalling Bread Garden in its inclusiveness and good hot fare.

Villaggio Cafe

2
1506 Coal Harbour Quay, Vancouver, BC V6G 3G1

A coffee shop with a liquor license – yay! This cozy little spot on the waterfront has good service, even better coffee, and hot specialty drinks to die for. By “specialty” I mean booze, of course; the menu offers Bailey’s, Kaluha and more spirited add-ons to get that coffee on its feet. They’ve also got some nice beer and wine in stock. As far as food goes, Café Villagio has all you’d expect from a café – breakfast dishes, sandwiches, baked goods – and the quality is great.

Take 5 Cafe

3
683 Nicola St, Vancouver, BC V6G 3J2

Near the edge of Coal Harbour, this popoular café is well-used by urban pros on their coffee breaks and by the usual motley of neighbourhood folks: moms with strollers, rollerbladers and cyclists fresh from a Seawall workout, retired folks looking to while away a pleasant afternoon. The distinction here is one of ethics. “You can just drink coffee. Or you can think coffee.” That’s their motto, and it speaks to the high – really high – standard of the brew on offer.

Prestons Restaurant + Lounge

4
1177 Pender St W, Vancouver, BC V6E 2P4

The menu at Preston’s gives you the promise that certifies high-end food in our age: made in house and locally sourced. These guys walk the walk, though, as your taste buds will testify. Prices are just a little steep, but for that family dinner, power lunch with the boss or tentative first-date, this place is perfect. My personal favourite from the menu is the West Coast chowder featuring mussels, clams, ling cod, fennel and more. These folks know what they’re doing.

Bella Gelateria

5
1001 Cordova St W, Vancouver, BC V6C 0B7

In need of a sweet treat? This is the real deal right here: an old school Italian gelato shop. Maestro James – that’s right, they have a maestro – is an exacting man. He and his team use the finest local ingredients to handcraft their delectable frozen desserts, even changing flavours to accommodate the seasons! If that meets your definition of “awesome” as it does mine, well, there’s little left to say, except that they also make cakes!

SMAK Healthy Fast Food

6
1139 Pender St W, Vancouver, BC V6E 2P4

Okay, so you want fast food on the run, but you want to eat healthy? Tough luck – unless you’re on Pender Street in Coal Harbour, in which case you’ve got SMAK. These guys are out to fill a niche: their deal is fresh, nutritious and filling food at fast food prices. Again, it’s a matter of ethics: the food is locally sourced (that phrase again!), it’s 100 per cent gluten free, and it even comes in compostable containers! Try the green detox juice – trust me.

Cardero's Restaurant & Marine Pub

7
1583 Coal Harbour Quay, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E7

Location, location, location! Situated right on the water at the Coal Harbour Marina, Cardero’s offers a prime spot to drink and dine. Look out at the boats and the mountains, then look down at your plate and marvel. This is seafood par excellence, with Oceanwise fish and delicious recipes. The location gives it a romantic, out-of-the-way feel, and there’s live music to boot. All in all, this is my favourite Coal Harbour spot.

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