Independently-owned coffee shops are essential to Vancouver’s character. Design, charm, people, heart, community, locally-made baked goods and (of course) carefully crafted coffees are what make them special.
The two Musette Caffes are all of these and more. They’re also dream destinations for espresso-loving cyclists with cycling memorabilia, on-theme collectibles and antique spokes adorning the walls.
A passionate cyclist himself, owner Thomas Eleizegui is known to open shop before the crack of dawn to host viewing parties of big international races on satellite television. One is lucky to nab a seat on these mornings: the house is packed and the vibe is unlike anything else.
Trailblazing Thomas took the time to share his favourite North Vancouver cafe, where to go for a “to die for” porchetta sandwich and who he thinks serves the best French food in the Vancouver.Photo (from right to left): Thomas Elezegui, Thomas Haas and two friends
Your favourite cafe in Vancouver…other than your own?
Thomas Haas — great service, great food, and very consistent quality!
Your favourite restaurant in Vancouver and why?
So many!!! But one of my favs is Le Crocodile — again you get what you pay for and more!
The most “to die for” dish in all of Vancouver?
The Porchetta Sandwich at Pronto Caffé on Cambie. Again, way too many to list!
Your espresso drink of choice?
An espresso (no sugar, no milk) from Moja Coffee in North Van. I am not picky and don’t call myself a coffee guy. The only thing I look for is “great” body in my shot and not taste like an ashtray.
Best way to wake-up if you are somehow stuck without caffeine?
Lol I don’t need caffeine — I sleep with my window open and the fresh air wakes me up every day at 5am, no alarm.
Your baked good of choice to enjoy with coffee? …not counting To Die For Loaves!
Double baked croissant at Haas and the Pistachio macarons from Meinhardt on Granville St.
What makes your cafe stand out from the rest?
I think it’s because we let our beans cure for a few days before we use them, and go through the protocol that 49th Parallel does.
Funniest customer story?
When I showed the Paris Roubaix cycling race a month before being opened thinking no one would show up at 5am — I had a full house and was on my own. I took care of business though.
Any fun coffee facts you can share with us?
I don’t think there are any fun facts — it’s getting too scientific this coffee world and it’s losing its “fun” factor.
Why do you think it’s important to support local, independently-owned cafes?
To keep the small businesses alive and bring a certain culture to our city.
If you didn’t own your two Musette Caffes, which profession would you have chosen?
I’m still in the the clothing business as a buyer.
What’s new and exciting at the Musette Caffes?
We are months away to hopefully securing a new location and growing up a bit I guess — get in there with the big boys and start paying for a real lease.