What better way to enjoy the sunshine than a relaxing stroll through Vancouver’s residential neighbourhoods? Dodge the busyness of the city with these hidden cafes that’ll satisfy every craving with a distinctly local touch.
1. The Federal Store
This local favourite has been serving its Mount Pleasant neighbours since November 2016 when owners Colette Griffiths and Chris Allen converted a decaying, old-school corner store into the bright and vibrant shop it is today.
Located at the corner of Quebec Street and 10th, The Federal Store specializes in handmade baked goods, coffee, and an assortment of local groceries. While their infamous Grilled Cheese with Fig Jam is a close rival to their vegan Roast Yam and Black Bean Sandwich, food-lovers of every dietary restriction can find an array of items to enjoy. Craving something sweet? The Federal Store makes a variety of cakes and cupcakes (even vegan ones!) that are decorated to perfection.
Check out their instagram page, @federalstorevan to see their daily specials and discover why their baking is an art.
2. Le Marché St George
Another general store/cafe, Le Marche St George is home to some of the best French-delicacies in the city. Tucked into the corner of St George St and 28th, this hidden shop has a distinctly European-vibe. Whether it’s the delicate crepes and quiches, the ambient music or the round marble tables outside, enjoying a slow morning at this neighbourhood joint can make you feel like you could be anywhere in the world.
Janaki Larsen, a local artist, and her husband Pascal Roy, a French doctor, opened up Le Marche over ten years ago to be a family-friendly and beloved neighbourhood spot. Since then, locals and visitors alike join the queue outside to enjoy coffee, sweet treats and freshly baked bread on the quiet street, just minutes away from Main Street.
Follow their instagram, @lemarchestgeorge to stay up-to-date and to see what local favourites they might be featuring that week.
3. Finch’s Market
Conveniently located in the quaint Strathcona neighbourhood, Finch’s Market is a go-to cafe for insta-worthy sandwiches. This local spot also offers the finest coffee, soups, salads and baked goods with vegan and gluten free options for everyone. Probably their most beloved dish, their Pear and Blue Brie baguette might take the cake with layers of fresh prosciutto, walnuts stacked on-top.
On a sunny day, lounging on their Italian-style pale blue and white lawn chairs with an iced coffee is the perfect way to soak up some Vitamin D and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Their E Georgia St and Jackson Ave location features their market but also be sure to check out their Teahouse downtown at W Pender St and Homer St.
4. Arbutus Coffee
A little less off-the-beaten-path, Kitsilano favourite, Arbutus Coffee, regularly features a steady flow of locals rain or shine. Located at Arbutus St and W 6th Ave, this quaint heritage coffee shop not only serves the tastiest latte in the area but also has the classic local feeling with the well-used wooden benches outside.
Just last week they launched Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches, a decedent treat that goes along nicely with a walk at Kits Beach. If you’re craving something savoury, sweet, or just wanting to see some friendly faces, Arbutus Coffee has that authentic small-business vibe that’ll keep you coming back.
Even better, their instagram, @arbutus_coffee features both their beautiful latte art and the many loved dogs of the neighbourhood, lounging on their front steps that necessitates a follow.
5. The Mighty Oak
Cafe and grocery Store, The Mighty Oak, is located at W 18th and Columbia St, nicely situated in the neighbourhood between Cambie St and Main St. Serving all things local, you can find some of the best espresso and pastries in the city at this little cafe. The Mighty Oak features local products like @therealdumplingking, @sugosauceyyvr and @hoochyboochy for you to stock up your kitchen while taking a coffee to-go.
A neighbourhood favourite, their freshly-made banana bread or blueberry coffee cake are the perfect cure for week-day blues. Be sure to stop by and meet the regulars at this local staple and follow their instagram @themightyoaakcafe to see what products they’re featuring this week.