November 21 2014
11 Signature Drinks to Try Over the Holidays
Written by Gastown Admin
Maple is a true Canadian tradition often neglected by locals. Play tourist in your own city and pop into Canadian Maple Delights to peruse a variety of kosher maple product and snacks. Take a break inside their bistro-café for a cup of hot maple-flavoured milk and try a warm pastry or verrine made with pure maple sugar. And if milk is not really your thing, they also offer coffee, cappuccino, and espresso beverages.
Trees Organic is a nice departure from the modern coffee shop. The European style café provides a laid back, bohemian atmosphere, perfect for meeting with friends or letting time pass while enjoying a warm drink. The menu offers an impressive range of food from decadent cheesecakes and fresh pastries to sandwiches and samosas. The wide selection continues into their coffee menu, which features holiday concoctions (like pumpkin lattes and peppermint mochas), and 100% organic fair trade coffee. If you need a break from your caffeine intake, warm up with the Hot Apple Cider made with all-natural ingredients.
There’s nothing like walking into a room with the scent of delicious cocoa. East Van Roasters is like a warm blanket that welcomes you with artisan chocolates and coffee. The social enterprise chocolatier offers single origin chocolate bars, hand rolled truffles and espresso drinks made in house with freshly roasted beans. And, the organic drinking chocolates are to die for. Come by for a sip and see how chocolate is made right from the bean.
Looking for a place to catch up with friends, old and new? Coffeebar is an urban meeting place with a stellar window view overlooking Gaoler’s Mew’s Courtyard and Water Street – perfect for people watching. The modern café raises the bar for coffee lovers serving fine specialty coffees brewed with local roasted beans. The Sunday Old School Espresso is a great pick-me-up for those times when you need caffeine fix. It’s made using 49th Parallel beans with rich crema and hints of salted caramel.
Like it bold? Milano has deep roots in Italian coffee craftsmanship. It’s not quite a café, but a boutique lounge with a state of the art barista bar. The sophisticated destination offers 8 varieties of espresso blends on tap – a result of skillful selection, blending and roasting of Arabica coffee into 9, 10 and even 12 bean per single blend. If the mood for something sweet strikes you, try the Hedgehog Latte.
Consider Nelson the Seagull your second home. The hip artisan café was designed for comfort, with its cozy sofas and open kitchen setting. Relax with friends or curl up with a book while sipping on a flat white – they are known for serving the best in the city. And if you need a snack, try one of their gourmet organic treats or poached eggs on house baked toast. When you’re done, pick up a freshly baked sourdough for the road home.
Everyone has a friend who claims to be a coffee connoisseur. Well, you can impress them with a visit to Revolver. The independent coffee shop serves a mean cup of coffee, made fresh to order using a traditional brew-bar style. The menu features a rotating selection of beans from world-class roasters that are carefully evaluated through a weekly blind tasting. Enjoy your cup while sitting in a suspended booth, or inside ‘Archive’, their extended room housing top-notch coffee equipment and curated book bundles.
Care for coffee with a side of sass? Smart Mouth is a funky coffee joint with a colourful loft-like interior and a sense of humour. But, there’s no question they’re serious about their coffee. Smart Mouth serves some of the best espresso in the hood, along with a delicious selection of gourmet sandwiches and house-baked pastries. Pop in for a Maple Latte and don’t forget to check their ‘joke of the day’ sandwich board on the way out for a good chuckle.
Avid coffee drinkers will be impressed here. Timbertrain brews a great cup of coffee using hand-selected beans roasted locally at their facility in Langley. At the slow bar, you can spot baristas demonstrating their brewing skills, or watch them master latte art designs at the espresso bar. Their signature latte is a local favourite, along with homemade potpies and matcha or maple waffles. Come by to engage in lively conversation inside their carriage booth, or sit by the storefront windowsill, a prime spot for people watching.
Bambo is a family-run café that combines owners Azar and Jeff’s memories of Europe and their love for food and coffee. Since its opening 11 years ago, it’s become a busy lunchtime spot offering fresh focaccia sandwiches, homemade soups and organic fair trade coffee. The cozy cafe has a warm atmosphere with its red walls adorned with retro artwork and brass instruments, perfect for curling up with a book while sipping a fresh cup of house blend.
There’s always something delicious cooking inside their kitchen. The café-restaurant serves Italian dishes with West Coast flare, and is a popular destination for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The selection ranges from homemade pastas to fresh baked pastries to decadent tiramisus. As for coffee, Brioche offers house blend Miscela Siciliana and specialty coffees. And, if you’re looking for a new date spot, the cozy, brick-lined interiors will set the right tone for a romantic night out.
If you’re running on the go or searching for new fitness gear, visit STR/KE MVMNT. The new retail store has a coffee concept bar where guests can grab coffee, espresso, Juice Truck’s bottled juices, Paleo parfaits and healthy treats from Caveman Grocer. Pop inside their communal space to enjoy a nice cup of Herkimer Coffee, a small batch roaster based in Seattle.