In an attempt to find the best coffee shops on the Sunshine Coast, I’ve been hanging out in some of the local Facebook groups.
The main idea is was get an idea of the general local population and integrate a little… before I start talking smack about their prized cafes.
What I’ve learned is that there are two ways to describe the types of people on the coast:
1) People who you meet in person and are just about the most friendly people I’ve met in BC. I’m talking stop you in the street to tell you how nice your shoes are and “ISN’T IT SO BEAUTIFUL HERE” kind of folk (it is, it’s bloody stunning).
2) Batshit lunatic fucking nut cases that populate the local Facebook groups and insist on turning every conversation or question into a debate about how the NDP is trying to eat their children.
Enough foreplay VCS, Where is the best coffee on the Sunshine Coast?
With the aforementioned loony toons in mind, I should caveat this list with the following:
There are lots of coffee shops on the coast.
Many have things that make them great.
But this is a list of the best snobby coffee.
Come at me, “Islanders”.
The Best Cafes in Gibsons
Location: Gibsons Address: 264 Gower Point Rd, Gibsons, BC V0N 1V0 Beans: House Roasted Instagram:@beachcombercoffee
The first thing you’ll notice when you head inside this medium size café is that they have gone absolutely balls to the wall with their branding.
It’s truly a magnificent effort that has been put in to make this space a vibrant, welcoming and modern-looking café.
Their coffee offerings do edge towards the darker end of the spectrum, but they very recently released a really great lighter roast, that they have started to serve on pour over on Sundays (10-2pm).
For food you can find a massive selection of sugary treats, from the local legends Deadly Donuts as well as a variety of wraps on a daily basis.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommends: If you can, try to stop by the slow bar on Sundays for one of their excellent v60 pour overs. For any other day, consider asking them to make you a cortado in an ice cream cone!
Beachcomber To Go
Location: Gibsons Address: 900 Gibsons Way #6, Gibsons, BC V0N 1V8 Beans: House Roasted Instagram:@beachcombercoffee
Same branding, MUCH smaller footprint. Beachcomber to go is a micro-café that has the full lineup of Beachcomber coffee drinks as well as a small selection of donuts.
There’s no seating inside and there’s only enough room for maybe 2 people, so this is the perfect place to stop when you’re heading out of Gibsons, perhaps up the coast further.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommends: This is the perfect in-out stop if you’re on the way to the Ferry and want a sneaky coffee for the wait. Pop in and grab their medium roast filter coffee and bottle of cold brew for when you make it to Horseshoe bay.
Lone Wolf (Gibsons)
Location: Gibsons Address: 1058 Gibsons Way #101, Gibsons, BC V0N 1V7 Beans: House Roasted Instagram:@lonewolf_coffeeroasters
Lone Wolf Coffee is probably the consistently lightest coffee I’ve found on the coast. They have a full espresso bar as well as pour over options. They usually have a selection of 3+ different beans that you can take home in bags. All the coffee is roasted in small batches so they’re constantly changing their lineup, which makes it great for repeat trips.
Lone Wolf is primarily a bakery, so for food you have a selection of mind-blowingly delicious sourdough (seriously, this is in the top three I’ve ever tried) as well as fantastic pastries and sweets.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommends: They have a filter coffee on the menu that’s made with a Clever Dripper. Opt for the lightest roast they’ll give you for this one, as this is where their coffee shines. They do, however, make a damn good Oat Milk latte if you’re feeling decadent.
Location: Gibsons Address: 755 Henry Rd, Gibsons, BC V0N 1V2 Beans: Beachcomber Coffee Instagram:@the_shortcut_gibsons
OK, so the Shortcut most definitely isn’t a coffee shop.
But it is a fantastic little spot to grab some BBQ and diner breakfast style grub as well as a to-go cup of freshly brewed filter coffee. The coffee is always French press light or medium roast using Beachcomber Beans.
It’s location makes it the perfect spot to stop JUST as you’re leaving town.
Or if you’re entering town.
Actually, even if you live in town.
Or if you just like eating food.
Hell, just go if you like chatting to the incredibly friendly business owners.
Or if you like Mustaches.
Fuck it, this place is just such a lovely experience that you should probably stop off if you’re en route to Squamish from Vancouver.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommends: I always favour the light roast French press, then usually pair it with their Vegan Sando. Seriously, I’m a meathead but this thing is a work of art. My absolute favourite time to go is Sunday, after 1pm. This is the time they start their Sunday special which varies from Smoked Mac and Cheese to chocolate blueberry perogies
Smoke on the Water BBQ Shack
Location: Gibsons Address: 611 School Rd, Gibsons, BC V0N 1V1 Beans: Kafka’s. Instagram:@smokeonthewaterbbq
OK this place gets the award for the most surprising addition because it’s a BBQ joint not a café.
First off – I absolutely was NOT expecting it to be a Kafka’s joint.
In fact, this might be the only other place I know of that serves their coffee (other than Kafka’s of course, you smart ass).
The coffee is solid, with an espresso lineup only, but the food is NEXT LEVEL. It’s all smoked that day and they have a lineup of outstanding hot sauces to go with it.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommends: Americano all the way, with my personal preference for food being their smoky and mouth melting Beef Brisket or the intensely hot El Diablo chicken sandwich (pictured).
Location: Gibsons Address: 875 Gibsons Way #101, Gibsons, BC V0N 1V8 Beans: House Roasted Instagram:@myideasspace
Now this is most definitely a unique one! It’s primarily an education space, but has a fun little family-run coffee shop in the lobby.
The owners bring their coffee in from The Dominican Republic (where it’s roasted) and serve up a selection of espresso drinks, as well as this enjoyable little Moka pot thingie.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommends: They opened very recently, so I’ve only tried the above pictured Moka Pot, but it was a fun experience if you like your coffee very, very dark.
The Best Cafes in Sechelt
Lone Wolf (Sechelt)
Location: Sechelt Address: 5641 Cowrie St #102, Sechelt, BC V0N 3A3 Beans: House Roasted Instagram:@lonewolf_coffeeroasters
This is the OG Lone Wolf cafe. It’s not quite as fancy pants as the Gibsons location but has more space to sit, as well as being located very close to the beach.
Just like their other location, they have a full espresso bar, using house-roasted coffee. However, if you’re lucky, you’ll see their head roaster in the back, working his magic on their Bullet R1 roasters.
This location often sells made-to-order sandos. Check the menu for what they have available, but I can tell you that the ham-sam below was outstanding.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommends: They have a beautiful Rocket Espresso machine that pulls perfect shots for a damn good Americano. But if that’s not your thing, I’ve always enjoyed a straight-up cow juice cortado.
Location: Sechelt Address: 5685 Cowrie St #1, Sechelt, BC V0N 3A0 Beans: Timbertrain Instagram: @basted_baker
If you want a Vancouver Brunch experience this is the absolute best place on the coast for it. The food menu is huge, varied and the portions are massive.
One aspect of Basted Baker to consider is that they’re always totally packed.
As such, I feel this makes the coffee program suffer a tiny bit, due to the staff always being so busy.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommends: I’m a huge fan of their Huevos Rancheros, with my drink preference being an Americano with a tiny bit of salt to round out the bitterness. Yes that’s right, I’m advocating for salt in coffee. I plan on making a big stink about this in 2021.
The Best Cafes in Madeira Park
Location: Madeira Park Address: 12808 Madeira Park Rd #104, Madeira Park, BC V0N 2H1 Beans: Garibaldi Coffee
Holsem (pronounced ‘wholesome’) was formerly a yoga studio, but they pivoted into offering a small selection of espresso drinks because according to Adrian Dix, man buns have a 90% higher chance of spreading the ‘Rona.
They have plenty of parking out front, but stick to the allocated spots or someone might come out and shout at you (happened to us when we stopped to let someone back out of a space we wanted!).
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommends: Garibaldi roast fairly dark, so I always choose a slightly bigger Americano to dilute the toastyness. Non coffee drinkers will be really happy with their smoothie selection.
The Best Cafes in Powell River
32 Lakes Cafe and Bakery
Location: Powell River Address: 4707 Marine Ave, Powell River, BC V8A 2L2 Beans: House Roasted Instagram: @32lakescafeandbakery
32 Lakes is a roaster/bakery/coffee shop combo, slinging solid house roasted coffee and some damn tasty eats. They were actually the roastery behind the house espresso at Aubade back in the day!