980 Howe Street
Pallet Coffee Roasters (Downtown)
You look down at your desk. Your Mont Blanc fountain pen catches the light as you type www.importantbusiness.com into your obscenely expensive Macbook Pro. Goddamn, life is good when you’re this successful. After all, you work downtown. You also wear a tie. It has one of those silver clip things on it. Your shoes cost more than your car. Also, your phone has a headset with no wires. Your blazer is part of a power suit. You’re a VIP and your shoulders pads know it.
But wait. You have an important meeting coming up and you need to have it at a coffee shop. Koffie is too far away and the client loves pour-overs so 49th is out of the question. You could walk to Yaletown, but you’re concerned that crossing Granville St will give you hepatitis. Maybe you can Uber to Gastown… except for the fact it’s not September yet and Uber is more illegal than heroin. You’re screwed. You lost the customer, your boss has taken away your Amex card and you’ve probably made climate change worse somehow.
But wait, my Indochino clad friend, I have a solution for you. Pallet Coffee Roasters (Downtown) just opened and it’s about bloody time that this area of Vancouver had a decent coffee shop. Wait, not decent.
Pallet roast all their coffee in-house. For good reason, they were the recipient of my 2018 Roaster of the Year Award as well as being third in the 10 best coffee shops awards. As such, you can expect masterfully created coffee drinks.
Oat Milk Cortado – $3.75
Beans: Pallet Coffee Roasters Benchmark
Pallet used Minor Figures oat milk for this one, which paired nicely with their new blend of Benchmark espresso. Nutty notes with a big caramel punch, as well as some oaty-goodness from the perfectly steamed milk.
Pour Over – $3.80
Beans: Pallet Coffee Roasters Brazillian
If you enjoy clasping a nice handful of nuts, then this is for you. I mean hazelnuts, you dirty bugger. It’s a delightful, easy-drinking, juicy but nutty coffee, with a syrupy mouthfeel. Ben, who made this for me, swears it tastes like melons. I didn’t get that tasting note myself, but I’m ok with that because melons are the worst fruit ever (except Watermelons which are amazing).
Pallet Coffee Roasters (Downtown) has taken a new approach to food at this new location. They have a massive amount of new dishes available, including a full-service menu as well as loads of ready to go sandwiches for the grab and go downtown crowd. If you order anything to stay, it’s all bought to your table, so you can get on with that meeting. Their food program really is taken to the next level though, especially with their dine-in menu being closer to something like the lineup at Nemesis than your average coffee shop selection.
Belgian Waffles Eggs Benedict – $16
First thing you’re going to need to do is cast aside any ideas you have about what this is going to taste like by looks. This is because it’s a huge surprise to the taste buds. The waffle is intensely sweet, maybe too sweet if you had it solo. But the addition of savoury pesto, Proscuitto, eggs and fior de latte cheese mixed in with this made it a salty/sweet taste bomb. It was intense and almost certainly a billion calories of deliciousness.
This is just one of the options available on their special dine-in menu, but there are loads more to choose from:
This one is unique to this location, which is why I tried it. Truth be told I’m pretty ‘meh’ when it comes to Cinnamon scrolls. But I have to say that this really was tasty. Not too sweet (which is my biggest reason why I don’t care for them) with a very tangy cream cheese frosting. I ate this almost immediately after the waffles, which I wouldn’t recommend if you have anything other than napping planned for the next 5 hours.
New shop, new crew! Well except Jarred, who I’ve seen before at Jammer, but all the rest are new faces to the Pallet scene as far as I’m aware (ok there were a few old faces there temporarily). You know what to expect here by now. All of them are well trained, know their products inside out and are always keen to chat.
I watched them on their opening day as they got busier and busier and none of them skipped a beat. I also love that they bring the food to you, as well as being really efficient in scooping up your empty plates and cups when they’re empty.
I have a real soft spot for their Kits location but I think this actually might have taken the lead now. It’s a huge space, with loads of light and the usual wooden pallet and exposed light bulbs theme running throughout.
There’s about 15 two-person tables, a large communal table as well as a window bench with some really convenient plug sockets located on it to work from. The whole venue feels comfortable and spacious to be inside.
A really great spot to hang out is at the end of the bar, where you can watch the baristas at work on their fancy KB90 Espresso Machine as well as doing their pour-over thing.
Smack dab in the middle of downtown. It’s got loads of buses stopping nearby, there’s Mobi’s everywhere, Car2go’s and Evo’s are in abundance and both Skytrain lines are within five minutes walk.
Two bathrooms, nice and spacious, nicely appointed with the choice of a hand dryer and paper towels, which is awesome. No codes or silly keys to get in. Love it.
Alright, alright I might as well just hit copy and paste on these Pallet reviews now, we know how it’s going to be. Killer service, amazing food, outstanding coffee and a stylish venue. Pallet really has taken their game to the next level here though, with absolutely the best offering of these things in this downtown area. Pallet Howe Street is almost certainly going to be packed every day, so I’m really excited to see them open up in an area that really needed something decent.
This is the cream of the crop ladies and gentlemen. Put your power suits back on, dust off your leather briefcases and go close some deals, you downtown titan of industry, you.
If you’re interested in their other venues, I have the Oak Street, Kingsway and Kitsilano locations reviewed too.