I’ll be honest, I don’t go to North Vancouver very much. You may actually notice that this is the first review of a coffee shop from that part of the city. It’s not because I don’t like North Vancouver, I just can’t really handle the fact that it rains there 366 days out of the year.
But what if I told you there was an oasis from the moistness? A reprieve from the damp. A solace from the downpours?
Lonsdale Market is that place and you’d be a fool if you didn’t visit C41 Coffee, right in the middle of it, because it’s honestly one of the best coffee shops in the city.
Flat White – $4 Price with Siply – $3.12 Beans – Pallet Benchmark
C41 are well known for this signature drink. This is for good reason, as it was bloody delicious! Smooth and luxurious milk, steamed to the perfect sweetness with a nice bite from the espresso (Benchmark from Pallet is one of the best roasts out there in my opinion). This goes down as one of the best places in the city to get a true, Aussie-style, flat white.
Filter Coffee – $2.70 Price with Siply – $2.10 Beans – Pallet Peru
C41 Coffee often switch up their filter options, so you’re not always going to get this bean on brew, but if you do you’re going to get a light, well balanced and smooth cup of coffee. The sweet notes of the coffee came through immediately with a lingering fruit finish. Really, really tasty.
I paid for both of my drinks at C41 Coffee with my Siply app and the process was a breeze, saving myself a couple of bucks in the process.
This thing was a cross between a cookie and some sort of a biscotti. It had a nice almond flavour to it and was a really great addition to enjoy with a filter coffee. Protip: Don’t “save the rest for the car journey home” unless you want to be vacuum cleaning crumbs off your seat before the missus gets home.
In addition to the cookie, they often have donuts, pastries and other sweet treats bought in from a local caterer.
C41 Coffee is smack dab in the middle of the Lonsdale market. It’s a well designed and good looking venue, with white walls, natural woods and a beautiful San Remo espresso machine front and center on the bar.
If you get to meet Andy, the owner, ask him about this machine as it’s really unique. It’s a collaboration between San Remo and barista champion Sasa Sestic. It’s an absolute wonder to look at, with an amazing custom blue paint job.
There’s a communal table in the seating area, as well as a few bench “window” seats that run alongside the market walkway, making them great for extremely up close people watching!
Protip: As the window seats have no glass, be sure to lower your voice when you’re judging people. The guy that walked past definitely heard me say “he has no business wearing those pants”. To be fair, he didn’t.
Location-wise it’s really simple to get to – there are a bazillion buses that stop outside the market, as well as a Sea Bus terminal pretty much attached to the building. For those of you that want to drive, there is lots of paid parking close by, but I’ve yet to find any unpaid parking in the area.
It’s in the market so you have to use their loo’s, as such I’m not giving a rating on this, as they’re out of the control of C41 Coffee. However, I can tell you that they’re clean and basic though (the ones I found were on the upper floor).
I mentioned the owner, Andy, earlier. He’s an amazingly friendly chap and his enthusiasm towards coffee pours out of him whenever we chatted. You’re immediately welcomed and guided through the available drink options with expert knowledge of his offerings and a deep passion in all things coffee flavoured.
His interactions with other customers were skilled, polite and friendly.
If you have any love towards espresso drinks, you owe it to yourself to try C41 Coffee. If you love Flat Whites you’re doing yourself a disservice by having not visited already!
C41 is the crown jewel of the North Van coffee scene and should be on every self-respecting snobs visit list.