It feels really strange writing The 10 Best Vancouver Coffee Shops of 2019 list without including Aubade in it this year. But 2019 has been a wild ride for coffee lovers. We’ve seen several shops close their doors and even more open them.
Prototype got nominated for a Sprudgie. I lost count of the number of shops Sammy Piccolo and the Prado team opened and we saw the return of Beanstock Festival.
Overall I think we did alright.
But that’s not why you’re here. You’re here because you want to know, out of the massive public vote I held, who is the best coffee shop in Vancouver in 2019.
This list is bought to you by Siply
Siply is Vancouver’s biggest and sexiest coffee shop app. Using Siply you can find the best coffee shops in town (which you’ll see I’ve tagged below). Then you can use the app to buy coffee in those shops. If you use Siply to buy your drink you can save a dollar on each one.
Is it a coffee shop or is it a coffee window? Perhaps a coffee stand? Who the hell cares, it’s incredible! This has to be one of the most talked-about coffee shops of 2019. With its small window facing the street to serve people from and no other public access areas. It’s a unique spin on a coffee shop in a city where rents are high and space is at a premium.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: I’m a huge fan of their flat whites, with Oatmilk being my preference. Their coffee is amazingly high quality which matches their amazing service levels.
I have a theory that the owner of Prado, the legendary Sammy Piccolo, doesn’t sleep. Also, he’s got an identical twin that he shares the workload with. I say this because they opened their EIGHTH coffee shop this year, which is an incredible feat that probably involved staying awake for six months!
Prado is well known for their amazing ability to foster a community spirit and give back to the areas they’re located in. Their coffee is on the darker end, using beans from 49th Parallel and their food game got them into the Top 10 Brunch list this year.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: I’m always a fan of their batch brew filter coffee, opting for the medium roast whenever it’s available. Espresso-wise I think they’ve mastered the old school Italian style latte.
They’re on every list imaginable in Vancouver and for good reason. This OG coffee shop blends New York style aesthetics with a friendly team and a massive selection of coffee. They get really busy so try to sneak into their side room, Archive, to avoid the crowds.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: They’re constantly changing their lineup, so I always enjoy straight espresso here. I often opt to have a macchiato or pour over when I feel fancy.
I don’t do an award for best-looking coffee shop but if I did, I’d bet The Garden would win. It’s a stunningly well-designed space with a fantastic coffee program from Agro Roasters, a food lineup that landed them a place in the Top 10 Brunch Spots and service that puts most other coffee shops to shame.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: My goto is either a cortado or their medium roast batch brew. DO NOT LEAVE WITHOUT ONE OF THEIR VEGAN CHOC CHIP COOKIES.
Interlude from The 10 Best Vancouver Coffee Shops of 2019!
The 10 Best Vancouver Coffee Shops of 2019 will continue after this quick ad break!
For the last year, I’ve been working on a project called Siply. You might have noticed that throughout this article I reference whether a shop is part of the Siply network or not.
Siply is an app that gives you a curated list of the best coffee shops in Vancouver. Then it gives you amazing deals on drinks. Simply put – you can’t get better prices on your drinks anywhere else than this app. I made a little calculator to show this. Have a play with it and see what you think:
If you’re keen to take it out for a whirl, you can download it by visiting the website here.
6. Agro Coffee Roasters
550 Clark Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3H7
Agro placed 2nd on the Top 10 Best Roasters list, so it’s fantastic to see them in this top 10 too. You can expect a world-class coffee program, some light food to eat and a bright airy venue with some of the most welcoming staff in the business.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: Their Roasters Choice on pour-over is usually bright, light and very tea-like… it’s a sensation. They’re also kings of cappuccino. Make sure you get it with a dusting of chocolate for extra Instagrammy goodness.
2525 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3E5 577 Great Northern Way, Vancouver, BC V5T 1E1
Fun fact – Kafka’s on Main Street has been open for 8 years and they’ve never been closed for a single day of that time period. You can expect amazingly friendly baristas at both of their locations, who really know their coffee. Their food program got them onto the Best Brunches list and their venues are bright, airy and really comfortable to sit in.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: They have one of the best darker roast espressos in the city. It’s is fantastic when made into a smaller cappuccino size drink. My real goto is their pour-over though.
Modus is one of those shops that I go to and almost always run into someone from the coffee industry. And for obvious reasons – it’s incredible here. The quality of the coffee is impeccably high, the staff are always keen to sit and chat with you and their pastry cabinet is always full of amazing treats.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: A pour-over with their LATIF bean is usually my goto. However, I favour their DOM roast when I want to keep it simple, rather than fruity and bright. Their fruited espresso tonic is an amazing summertime drink if you find yourself in there when it’s hot.
Prototype had barely opened their doors before they got a nomination for a Spruge award for best global coffee shop. What you’re going to get is a jaw-droppingly stylish and well-designed coffee shop. In my opinion, it’s less of a shop and more of a coffee experience. There are a huge number of fancy coffee brewing tricks they utilize. Plus they’re one of the only places in town that will roast coffee for you to order while you wait.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: There’s usually 14-15 different coffees on the menu so I recommend you talk to the barista and tell them what your preferences are. They can advise you what to buy. But if I had to recommend something, have the steamed nitro cold brew. It’ll melt your brain!
Pallet has been going from strength to strength this year, with the opening of two new shops… well, I’m not sure you can call their new HQ and Roastery a shop, more of a cavernous and sprawling warehouse of delightful coffee fun. They took the number one spot on this year’s Top10 Roaster list and for good reason – their coffee is incredible. There’s a massive variation on beans, a huge food program (that got them second place on the Best Brunch list) as well as a curated team of coffee nerds that will give you an incredible service experience.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: Pretty much any pour-over choice is going to leave you happy, but I’ve been really enjoying their straight espresso this year. This is especially the case at their new HQ, where they have up to five different beans on ‘spro available at any time.
1. Nemesis Coffee: Winner of The 10 Best Vancouver Coffee Shops of 2019
302 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2N4 101 Carrie Cates Ct #110, North Vancouver, BC V7M 3J4
Hot on the heels of their brand new coffee shop in North Vancouver opening up, Nemesis take the number 1 spot again for the 10 Best Vancouver Coffee Shops of 2019 list! They’ve carved a niche for themselves as an outrageously welcoming coffee shop. In addition, they have an extremely varied high-end multi-roaster coffee program and a massive selection of food via their Dope Brunch program. Oh and don’t forget the pastries at their new Dope Bakehouse. The Nemesis experience has been painstakingly crafted to ensure every step of your visit is enjoyable and it bloody well shows. When you’re in either of their shops just look around at customers’ faces, that should tell you all you need to know.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: I’m all about the pour-overs at Nemesis. They have a constantly rotating menu and I usually opt for the fruitiest coffee they have on bar (Ethiopian usually). That being said, when I want to be a basic bitch I go all out with a latte… then sit there sipping it, wondering how the fuck they managed to make a latte taste so complex!
Well, that’s it for another year my friends. The public vote snobbies are over and the only thing left is “The Rest of the Snobbies” which really aren’t awards. They’re more like the ramblings of a madman, but I enjoy writing them so you’re stuck with them. Those will come soon, because I need to give my fingertips a rest after this epic few days.
Congratulations to everyone that got voted for. You’re all winners in my eyes. Except for those that didn’t win. You’re definitely losers. But I still love you anyway.