I guess it’s time for a true confession. I’m a coffee snob. And when I travel, I have a passion for supporting local roasters and coffee houses. Let’s just say I’ve BEAN Around the World and I’m feeling like now is the time to start sharing the love… and caffeine, one city at a time. Recently, I had a fantastic week in Vancouver, Canada. And while I did touch on a few coffee places when I wrote See, Eat & Drink: The Perfect Long Weekend in Vancouver, Canada, I knew I needed to dig much deeper into the Vancouver coffee scene to really give you the full SCOOP! So during my recent trip to Vancouver, I drank plenty of coffee, talked with baristas, and I’ve got lots to share with you. Let’s open the TWG cafe society doors and talk coffee, Vancouver style.
When I travel, I only review and like to support coffee houses that roast their own beans or use locally roasted beans. This leads me to an interesting story about Vancouver. When I asked locals in Vancouver about the coffee scene and told them that I would be writing about it, the very first suggestion I received was, “You should try 49th Parallel.” I replied that I don’t care for 49th Parallel coffee. Surprisingly, they then tell me they don’t really like 49th Parallel coffee either! It’s odd and seems like people feel the need to tell me to try it because it’s local but it’s not really their first choice either. However, 49th Parallel coffee is carried by MANY cafes in Vancouver, so that eliminated many places that I didn’t need to review. I’m telling you this because you may want to try it for yourself and see what you think, and also so you’ll know none of the places I’m reviewing use 49th Parallel beans.
Another important point is that although many of the small roasters I’m reviewing do have more than one location, these days the hub for coffee is the Gastown area, with a few outliers in Chinatown and some just over the east side border of Vancouver.
I started by talking with Mark Neuman from Timbertrain Coffee. We talked and drank coffee for a long time. In general, I have somewhat of an idea of the places I want to check out, but often I’ll let the conversations I have with one manager or barista set the tone and flow to the next cafe, and that’s what happened in Vancouver.
Timbertrain Coffee Roasters sign in Vancouver, Canada
Please check out my first post: Vancouver Wonderful Walks #1: Seawall Loop through Stanley Park
You might say I travel a lot, and though many of those miles are spent in the air, if I kept track, I’d bet I walk as many miles as I fly! When I wrote about how to spend the perfect long weekend in Vancouver, I touched on my favorite walks, but didn’t go into much detail. Vancouver is one of my favorite cities for walking! During my recent trip to Vancouver, I took my favorite walks, only this time I made extensive notes so I could share them with you. Here’s one of my favorites, which I call the Gastown / Yaletown / False Creek loop.
I stay at the Hyatt Regency when I visit Vancouver, and it never disappoints me. As you’ll see in the photos, luck was on my side for this week because the weather in late October was amazing. Beautiful fall foliage everywhere. So let’s start this walk from the Hyatt. You’ll exit onto Burrard Street and head north towards the water. As you walk towards the water, you’ll pass a historic and architecturally stunning building, the Marine Building. The art deco details are worth seeing so make sure to go into the lobby of the building and look around. Take the elevator up a few floors and when you get out you’ll have an overhead view of the lobby. Beautiful! On the ground floor of this building, you will find one of my favorite JJ Bean coffee locations. It has seating on the second floor if you want to relax, read, talk, and stay a while.
Make a right on Cordova Street. You’ll be heading to Gastown. This area of Vancouver can be touristy, but many locals live/work/play here too. There are lots of restaurants and coffee shops worth visiting. The steam clock on the corner of Cambie and Water Streets is probably the number one site people come to see here and it’s a fun photo opportunity. You’ve actually walked two miles already!
Gastown Steam Clock. Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_clock
You might say I travel a lot, and though many of those miles are spent in the air, if I kept track, I’d bet I walk as many miles as I fly! When I wrote about how to spend the perfect long weekend in Vancouver, I touched on my favorite walks, but didn’t go into much detail. Vancouver is one of my favorite cities for walking! During my recent trip to Vancouver, I took my favorite walks, only this time, I made extensive notes so I could share them with you. Here’s one of my favorites, which I call the Seawall Loop. I stay at the Hyatt Regency when I visit Vancouver, and it never disappoints me. As you’ll see in the photos, luck was on my side for this week because the weather in late October was amazing. Beautiful fall foliage everywhere.
Fall has arrived in Vancouver
So here I am sitting at my desk on the 30th floor of the Hyatt Regency Vancouver and I’m reading about the American Express Be Vancouver sale. This hotel sale happens in Vancouver this time of year and runs through December 31, 2017. A few travel bloggers have already mentioned the sale and sure enough, it can be a great deal. I love Vancouver and spend quite a lot of time here, so no arguments from me about whether or not it’s a great destination. But I am advising you to check your other options first. Especially if you have the Citi Prestige Credit Card that comes with the 4th night free benefit and you’re planning a longer stay.