Tag Archives: vancouver

Coffee, Tea or Meet

I end up visiting a lot of cafés and teahouses in Vancouver because I meet a lot of people – and I frequently meet with them in fun places that serve delicious drinks.  Here’s my list of cafés, coffee bars, and teahouses to meet and greet in the city:

  1. 49th Parallel, 2902 Main St. Vancouver, BC Canada V5T 3G3 – Opened summer 2012, beautiful décor and my iced decaf skinny latte was made perfectly every single time.  Electrical outlets next to the long table (on the right as you walk in) are handy.
  2. Mink Chocolate Café, 863 West Hastings Street  Vancouver, BC V6C 3N9 – Known for its super-cute and delicious mini chocolate bars, the rich drinking chocolate is an indulgence.  London Fog is quite nice too.
  3. Finch’s Tea & Coffee House, 353 West Pender Street  Vancouver, BC – On the corner of Pender and Homer, seating on the raised platforms by the windows are always popular.  Delicious masala chai (and their house salad with blue cheese, pear, walnuts, and white balsamic dressing is very yummy).
  4. Après-Midi Teahouse (changing its name to Gastown Tea Company), 1 Gaoler’s Mews, Vancouver, BC V6B 4K7 – Tucked away in a mews behind Carrall and Water Streets, this place serves the most amazing iced teas.  Enjoy the exposed brick walls, high-ceiling, and cute window-box seating and be helped by really friendly staff.
  5. Coffeebar, 10 Water Street  Vancouver, BC V6B 1A4 – Delicious coffee and open late.  The staff are friendly and accommodating here – I hosted a 12 person meeting here one evening.
  6. Nelson the Seagull, 315 Carrall Street, Vancovuer, BC V6A 0A7 – Cute country-kitchen décor, friendly staff, and deliciously yummy coffee and food.  Popular place with not a lot of seating – arrive early and stake your place.
  7. Revolver, 325 Cambie Street  Vancouver, BC V6B 1H7 – Awesome interior design with copper piping, wood tables, and flask-like drip coffee makers.  I feel bad asking for decaf at this place because I feel like they really take coffee seriously (but no actual need to feel bad, they do serve decaf!)  Not a lot of seating, arrive at the right time and nab a booth or a seat by the window and people-watch.
  8. Bean Around The World, 175 West Hastings Street Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4 – Kitty corner to Victory Square, gets great sunlight (when it’s sunny) in the afternoon.  Loungey seats by the corner window are fun.  Often have special coffee flavours.  Service always seem to be really slow, usually with only two staff (one on the till, one making coffee), but I like it here.  It has a friendly, neighbourhoody atmosphere.
  9. JJ Bean (Woodwards), 146 West Cordova Street  Vancouver, BC V6B 1E4 – Tucked inside the courtyard of the Woodwards complex, reliable coffee.  Fun, high-level seating and beautiful wood décor.  Busy in the mornings.
  10. Milano, 36 Powell Street  Vancouver, BC V6B 2J1 – Another place that feels very serious about their coffee.  Feels like they are at the eastern fringe of Gastown.  Sharp, slick décor.
  11. Chai Lounge / East is East, 4433 Main St – Hands down the best and only place to get real, spicy chai tea.
  12. Elysian Coffee, 590 West Broadway  Vancouver, BC V5Z 1E9
  13. Kafka, 2525 Main Street  Vancouver, BC V5T 3E5
  14. Caffe Artigiano
  15. Urban Tea Merchant
  16. Prado
  17. Turks
  18. Marché St. George
  19. Wilder Snail
  20. Everything Café

Vancouver Ghost Sign and a Piece of Archaeology Erased

It’s been a long time since I posted to Look Up, Look Around, but I am so disappointed that the Vancouver ghost is gone that it has prompted me to write.

The application for development sign had been up on the buildings at the corner of Granville Street and Robson Street in the heart of the entertainment district of Vancouver for some time.  I walked past it everyday on my way to or from home since I moved here in April 2011.  The corner building, low-rise and a bit non-descript, had either lost much of its character or had kept it quiet.  Its neighbour is beautiful and ornate with an Egyptian-like art deco pattern – designated as heritage, its façade would be saved no matter the fate of the corner building.

By January 2012, the buildings were vacant and boarded up.  The scaffolding was erected and in February the walls started to come down.

And then we were rewarded beyond expectation.  The writing was on the wall – or rather the advertising was on the wall.  The demolition of the corner building, revealed the former outer wall of its prettier neighbour and there was a 1920s advertisement painted on it.

The discovery should have been treated like uncovering an archaeological find.  Demolition should have halted whilst historians and archaeologists figured out how to preserve it.  But sadly, the vintage advertisement was not recognized as an important part of Vancouver’s history and was brought down in the name of property development.  I’m all for greener buildings that serve our current and future purposes, but don’t forget that we are also our history.  We revel in vintage, antique, and archaeological treasures.  We marvel at where our ancestors came from, the technology that was available back then – they tell a story that is captivating, fascinating, and enlightening.

The wall from the 1920s should have or could have been preserved much like some of the roman walls and arches have been saved in London.  A hundred years or more from now, we’ll be non-existent to our descendants.  The story that will be recounted, will be a sad one of how a selfish, uncreative, unenlightened society reduced its history to rubble, all for the sake of an ugly, cookie-cutter building decorated with a “For Lease” sign.

Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver Vol. 17 – West Coast Modernism

I went to my first Pecha Kucha Night – first one ever.  In Vancouver at the Vogue Theatre.  How many people were in attendance??  The Vogue was packed!

The theme was West Coast Modernism, back to PKN’s architectural roots (I’m guessing PKNVan had morphed into a series of talks about other subject areas too such as social enterprise, sustainbility, and community.)

I loved it.  It was timely.  As a new arrival to Vancouver, it was a beautiful introduction to another face of Vancouver which is celebrated, but somewhat hidden by the attention given to heritage houses and conversation.  Whilst I have an appreciation for our history, I like to remember that Modernist buildings will be the heritage of the future.