Are you ridiculously good looking? Do you have chiselled abs and stunning features? Do you drive a Lamborghini? When you walk your dog are you constantly concerned it’s going to be eaten by an infant raccoon, because it’s a Chihuahua the size of a hamster? Do your jeans have sparkles on them and is your lipstick worth more than my home espresso machine?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these things you might find that you also like in Yaletown, home to Matchstick Yaletown, one of the most goddamn beautiful coffee shops I’ve ever seen.
Cortado – $4 Beans – Matchstick House Roast
Cortados are my thing. It’s what I’ve been practicing at home more than any other drink. So I’d like to first call out the barista for ANNOYING THE HELL OUT OF ME.
Allow me to explain – when I make drinks at home I can’t do anything else other than intensely focus on what I’m doing. I daren’t so much as momentarily look away from the cup, lest the whole thing bursts into inexplicable flames.
The barista at Matchstick Yaletown effortlessly poured my drink, whilst chatting to me about alt milk and I swear he didn’t even look at the cups, pitcher, espresso machine or grinder. Also, whilst I’m at it, he had a better beard than me.
“So the drink sucked?”, is what you’re thinking, right? NO! It was a damn symphony of flavours. The milk was perfect, the espresso bit through the dairy nicely and the temperature was ideal, letting the sugars in the milk sweeten the whole thing
My conclusion – the barista is a sorcerer and I’m totally not jealous of his multitasking skills and manly face.
Pour Over – $4 (feature coffee is usually $3.50) Beans – Matchstick Ethiopian
Different barista this time and my beard was definitely better than hers… which was great because I don’t think my ego could take another bitch slap as it had with the cortado.
This coffee was made in a Chemex, which is not my goto brewing method. Additionally, the metal filter is not my goto either. However, this was a solid effort, with a bigger body to the drink than I expected (probably due to the filter) and some fruity stuff happening as it cooled down.
Tuna Melt – $8
I’m a sucker for a good tuna melt and Matchstick Yaletown has created a salty, sweet, rich and crispy open-faced version of my favourite sandwich. The photos make it look quite small, but given how intense the flavours are, it’s actually a great size. Big chunks of tuna, sharp cheddar and some salty capers thrown in for good measure, all served on their absolutely incredible homemade bread.
Ginger Cookie – $3.20
Sweet, chewy and delicious. I like that the cookie is thin, which seems to be rare in the Vancouver coffee scene, as cake-like cookies seem to be all the rage these days.
The only improvement would be that I could take a lot more ginger flavour. But it was still delicious, so no points lost. (side note, if anyone knows of a truly, face-meltingly spicy-hot ginger cookie, let me know).
OK, I alluded to this earlier, but I think that Matchstick Yaletown is an absolute FEAST for the eyes. If you’ve been to any of their other venues, especially Riley Park, you’ll know that the owners love wood and light colours. Yaletown is no different. However, you can tell that their design skills have grown over time, as their fourth venue is a definite step up.
Firstly there are about 15 individual chairs on a huge bench that are clearly designed for people with laptops / on their own.
The bar is a nice size, with a full view into the barista area, to watch your drinks being made. The real star of the show is the area I like to call the “living room”, with several 2 person tables, a nice area with couch style seats and an awesome communal/shared seating pod in the middle.
Note that despite all this seating, it’s always a bugger to get actually get a place to perch your cheeks, as it’s always so busy! My recommendation is to be ruthless when someone goes to leave and shark the spot immediately!
It’s definitely not in the thick of the Yaletown drag, but it’s in a great location for veering off the seawall if you’re thirsty, or if you happen to live in one of the many high rises close by.
There are loads of paid on-street parking spots and there are buses close by on Pacific. Yaletown SkyTrain station about a 5 minute walk away and there are also more Mobi bikes in the area than you can shake a stick at.
If you’re ok with the occasional barista being involved in witchcraft, you’ll find an amazingly talented team that make you feel welcome as soon as you walk in. They’re very knowledgeable about their products and take the time to answer all your questions, even when it’s busy. The one time I caught the place empty enough to have a proper chat with them was at 7 am and they laughed and joked with me as if I was an old friend. It was awesome.
Yaletown has only really had two truly snobby coffee shops – Small Victory and Rocannini. With Matchstick now completing the trifecta, I finally designate Yaletown as a decent area to live if you like coffee!
The team at Matchstick have created a warm and inviting oasis in the concrete jungle, with fantastic food options, a killer coffee program and super friendly baristas trained in the mystical arts. This is a place go if you have a Ferrari and a small dog, a Toyota and a Labrador or a coffee blog and a skeptical cat called Deborah.
The Matchstick team don’t care, they’ll treat you like family, regardless of who you are. Unless you’re Dr Strange, in which case, all bets are off.
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