2021 saw Modus truly solidify themselves as one of the best brunch destinations in the city.
Of course, their coffee game is still as strong as ever, with a focus on lighter and bright coffee. But we also saw the launch of their Coast roast, which is an astonishingly accessible coffee, as well as their beer collab with Studio Brewing.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: As much as I love Coast, a Modus experience for me is all about their LATIF or HIRO roasts. Always, always, always on pour over.
You can expect a bright, airy and welcoming venue, with a great selection of house-roasted coffee. Their bean selection ranges from darker and accessible, all the way to light and bright.
Food-wise they have a great selection of locally created pastries, as well as house-made sandwiches. These are all served up by some incredibly friendly and talented staff.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: Their Tanzania on filter was a bloody revelation. But if you can snag the owner, Brandon, get him to pour you a fancy latte art cladden milk drink.
6. Harken Coffee
338 Powell St, Vancouver
Harken is what happens when you mix a team of preposterously skilled coffee nerds and give them a big fat roaster to play with!
The end result is a sleek and well-designed coffee shop with a roasting program that creates some truly mind-blowing coffee.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: . Their head roaster, Stacey, seems to have the magic touch with fermenty flavours. So if there’s a natural process coffee on bar, I always favour that on pour over. That being said, their house-made alt-milk makes a wildly unique cortado.
In 2020 I had a cup of coffee in Craft Cafe (a Panama Geisha from Gardelli) that still goes down as one of the top 3 cups of my life.
The venue is bright, welcoming and has a huge patio by the water for the summer months.
Their coffee selection is so vast that you’d expect this cafe to be in Gastown. But it’s not, it’s in New West!
Food wise, they have some of the most delicious breakfast sandwiches and grilled cheeses I’ve ever stuffed into my greedy face hole.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: Craft often have very high end coffee available at extremely reasonable prices. Their stance is that it’s a great opportunity to get amazing coffee into peoples bellies without the crazy price tag. For that reason, ask the barista for a recommendation, then sit back and enjoy the ride (with a Canele of course).
980 Howe St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1N9 2002 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6J 1Z4 3820 Oak St, Vancouver, BC V6H 2M5 1398 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5V 3E4 323 Semlin Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 4H9 395 Alexander St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1C4
Arguably one of the most iconic coffee brands in Vancouver.
Pallet has six locations around Vancouver, as well as the eye wateringly beautiful Palate Kitchen. This cafe, by the way, scored a whopping 97% on my review last year.
I think my favourite location, however, is their HQ. It’s a sprawling warehouse/cafe/roastery, with the finer details created by my favourite interior designer, Alice D’Andrea.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: At HQ they often have a single-origin espresso on bar. At any other location hit me with a cortado. If I’m sitting in their downtown location, I’m always going to favour a pour over.
2021 saw Kafka’s move their entire roasting operation from the US into Canada. The result is that they’ve been able to refine their already great roasts and focus on working directly with farms to buy green beans.
They have three locations across Vancouver, with their Main Street location being one of the OG third wave coffee shops in the city.
At each location, you can expect fantastic pour over and espresso-based drinks. In summer they introduce cold brew drinks too.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: I have a real soft spot for the innovative design of their Gastown location. While I’m there, it’s always going to be a juicy, bergamot forward Ethiopian on pour over.
Prototype are the one coffee shop where I consistently have my mind and my taste buds blown. Every. Single. Visit.
From their innovative ways of steaming drinks (see recommendation below) to the fact they often have 15-ish different coffees available for you to try. Oh and if you like one, they’ll roast you a bag to order while you wait.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: Their steamed nitro cold brew is such a unique drink that my mind often can’t really process what I’m drinking, so definitely start with that! Their pour overs are always amazing, so I often ask the barista what their favourite is at the moment. When I leave, I always leave with a bottle of their Oatmilk Flat White.
To the surprise of no one, Nemesis reclaims the crown of the number 1 spot on The 10 Best Coffee Shops in Vancouver 2021 list.
Why is it not a surprise? Just look at the above photo. That is the coffee shop they opened this year.
Aint it pretty?
Their new GNW location is an absolute feast for the eyes. It merges possibly the most unique building shape I’ve ever seen, with impeccable interior design. But their Polygon and Gastown locations are not be downplayed either. Both are amazing.
The food and service program is, in my opinion, Michelin star quality.
From a coffee perspective, it’s all house-roasted and direct to farm sourced, with a focus on transparency and fair payments.
Honestly, you just have to go to experience it.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: I always go for a pour over at any of their locations, with the Indian Ratnagiri being a real surprise of flavours. If I’m at GNW I’ll favour anything with duck in it for food. Polygon is always a to-go breakfast sando, to enjoy by the water.