We’re lucky this winter hasn’t been harsh like the Big Freeze that hit us last year.
All things considered, it’s still the winter and with it brings a often felt uncomfortable chill.
Gastown has an abundant cafè culture where baristas and coffee lovers make some of the best hot drinks in the city. Each place has its own vibe, preparing and serving different coffees and teas in their own unqiue way.
When the cold bites, get into Gastown for a nice hot drink!
Arguably the best affogato in the city; Di Beppe (an abbreviated form of Guiseppe) serves the Italian classic which is simply espresso poured over ice cream (it actually comes with soft serve gelato here). As Gastown’s newest eatery, Di Beppe is old world Italy at it’s most authentic. During the day, the café serves espresso, salads, sandwiches, al taglio pizza and baked goods and at 5pm the restaurant opens for dinner service.
East Van Coffee Roasters are genuine artisanal crafters of chocolate. A vintage inspired, social enterprise, they employ local residents and craft right from the bean. If you’re intent on spoiling yourself with true hot chocolate, order their Single Origin Drinking Chocolate. And why not perch on the side one of their in-house made chocolates (among the usuals, they may still have some of their delicious seasonal truffles on hand including: Tahini gianduja and sesame nougat, Cranberry pate de fruit and Spruce tip ganache, Hazelnut gianduja and salted caramel). Yum!
Chai Latte @Smartmouth Café
If a good, strong Chai is your thing, Smartmouth Café makes a killer Chai Latte, made in house from real spices and ingredients. For maximum flavour, they start with premium whole spices and then give them a good smashing with a hammer. It’s the perfect winter warmer!
Variety of Lattes @Coffeebar
Coffeebar on Water Street has lots of opportunity for people watching and a pleasing selection of lattes and other hot cups. The varieties include: Spanish, Chai and Matcha as well a robust London Fog.
8 Different Espressos @Milano Espresso Lounge
Milano are bona fide coffee experts when it comes to striking the perfect balance of body, flavour, sweetness, acidity and aroma. Their primary focus is on the miscela or blend, often combining more than ten premium 100% Arabica coffee bean varietals from around the world in a single cup. Unique to Vancouver coffee culture are Milano’s espresso tasting bars, where you can sample 8 different espressos at any given time. Come to the lovely big Gastown location and savour the varieties with a fresh baked treat to go with it.
If the smell of fresh baked sourdough doesn’t get you, everything else at Nelson The Seagull will. This is independent coffee shop culture at its finest. A home, a nook, a sanctuary, the vibe is relaxed and communal. Most popular is the avocado toast (served on housemade sourdough). Add a strong frothy cappuccino and you’re in heaven.
Revolver takes it to the next level not only with their selection of beans but the precision and care that goes into each cup. All drinks are made fresh to order – after you’ve ordered it, never before with coffee from a rotating menu from world class roasters around North America and beyond into Kenya, Eithiopia, Mexico, Guatamala, Panama, Costa Rica and Honduras. Order a latte and just sit in the magic for awhile.
This is the place to come to, to relax, work on the laptop, chill with friends or just enjoy your own company for awhile. It’s dreamy, warm and full of life. One of Gastown’s favorite café haunts. Sipping coffee is wonderful here as is enjoying a nice hot cup of tea. Choose from Green, Black, White, or Herbal.
Pour Over @Timbertrain
If you have the time, a pour over brewed coffee at Timbertrain is worth it. Ever popular, yet surprizingly simple, a pour over is made using freshly ground coffee within a stand alone brewing system. Hot water is slowly poured over the grinds producing a custom made cup of coffee. Orginally hailing from Japan, the pour over coffee method is desired by afficonados as it allows one to control factors such as taste and strength which other methods do not.
London Fog @Bambo Café
Bambo Café makes excellent soup and sandwiches and they are conveniently located right on the corner of Cordova and Cambie. They pour a fine Chai Latte as well as a strong Matcha Latte and a dense London Fog.
Matcha Latte @Buro Espresso Bar
Buro Espresso Bar, situated between two streets (Water and Cordova) pours a delicious Matcha Latte. There’s plenty of window seats and space to set up camp with your laptop and other implements of design.
Unique Teas and Matchas @David’s Tea
David’s Tea is the neighbourhood purveyor of all sorts of wonderful blends, mixes and combinations. Their winter lineup includes: Forever Flawless (a beautifying blend of sea buckthorn, ginger and blackberry leaves), Lemon Cayenne Clense (tart lemon and a hint of cayenne; the master of all cleansing teas), Gaba Guava (a tropical treat made with GABA, a next-level green tea thought to boost focus) and the matchas include maple, honey dew and strawberry.
Green Teas @Trees Organic
Come for the cheesecake, stay for the tea. Trees is known throughout the city for it’s fantastic cheesecake. In house, Trees roasts single origin, organic fair trade coffee and serves a variety of high quality loose tea blends – Black, Herbal and Fruit and Green Teas – which include Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose Tea – A blend of high quality green tea, sweet cherry blossom and morning rose flavour, Japanese Fukujyu Tea – made with young tender leaves, this tea has strength and a captivating fresh green tea aroma, and Jasmine Chinese Tea – Green tea with the enchanting flavour of spring jasmine blossoms.