You may have already heard of Medina, as it frequently wins “best brunch/breakfast” awards in city polls. So it’ll be no surprise to find out that we, at VancouverCoffeeSnob, LOVE this place! Impeccable service, amazing food and outstanding coffee make this one of our favourite places in Vancouver to visit. Just be sure to get there early, as the lines for tables are colossal!
12oz Latte – $4.05 I don’t care what barista you get. I don’t care what time of the day it is, or how busy Medina is. I don’t care how picky you are with your coffee drinks – you’ll always get an amazing latte. Perfectly steamed milk, a great espresso to milk ratio (49th Parallel Beans) and usually some latte art.
Syrup Addition – 50c Lavender Raspberry Caramel Salted Caramel Vanilla One of the more interesting parts of the coffee experience at Medina is their selection of house-made syrups. I’m usually not a fan of syrup in my coffee; if milk is steamed correctly its natural sugars should make it sweeter, however, the syrups at Medina are not too sugary, so they make a nice addition to the drinks. My preference is the lavender syrup, which is their specialty.
Les Boulettes (2 Poached Eggs. Spicy Moroccan Lamb Meatballs, Roasted Pepper, Black Olive & Tomato Stew with Raita and Grilled Focaccia) – $17 Sherry Roasted Mushrooms – $5 In this snobs opinion, Medina has the finest brunch menu in Vancouver, hands down. There’s definitely a Mediterranean / North African feel to a lot of the food, which also makes it one of the more unique places to eat at that time of day. The “Les Boulettes” are a particular favourite of mine, marrying perfectly poached eggs with delicious tender lamb meatballs and a fantastic spicy stew. It’s highly worth adding a side of Sherry Roasted Mushrooms to this dish to mix into the stew once you’ve scarfed down the lamb!
Medina is right beside the giant Telus Gardens collection of buildings in an area known as the Library District. As such, it’s a breeze to get to. There are loads of on and off street parking, two SkyTrain lines stop a few blocks away, as does pretty much every bus in Vancouver.
The venue is bright, large and has plenty of seating. There are two bar areas, one for coffee and one for alcohol. The design is clean, airy and well appointed. Please note though – the lineups to get in are arguably the longest in Vancouver, so get there early or prepare to wait. They’ve made the decision to do everything manually (rather than by text message) so it’s not recommended
Given how busy Medina gets I expected the fact that there are only three bathrooms to be an issue, however in all my visits (and trust me, I’ve been to Medina a lot) I’ve never had to wait in a line. The bathrooms are always clean and tidy, well designed and well appointed.
Overall the staff at Medina score high, but they often suffer from being overwhelmed when the lines are huge. That being said, they’re courteous and polite when dealing with the riff raff at the door.
My tip to you would be to sit at one of the bars to get a much more personal chat with the servers. I’ve experienced all sorts of situations their staff have had to deal with, including a boisterous guest accidentally knocking a waitress over and sending a latte onto my lap! This situation was absolutely nothing to do with the waitress but they still comped my entire meal and were profusely apologetic. Overall I think I’ve experienced enough sides of Medina to know that their customer service is good.
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