Best Cafés (Coffee) in Downtown Vancouver

With so many java options at our fingertips, here’s a list of downtown Vancouver’s very best coffee shops.

Nemesis Coffee

302 W Hastings St | $$ | Coffee House and Kitchen

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It's tough to find great food and coffee under the same roof in Vancouver's downtown core, unless you're at Nemesis, the newest coffee house and kitchen in town. This bright, 40-seater space is run by a passionate young crew of espresso lovers, seven of them to be exact. Their beans are sourced from high-ranking roasters around the world and they make almond milk in-house. Vegan food options are slim, but the muesli (made with cashew milk) is seriously on point. Nemesis is as close to a Melbourne-style cafe as they get here in Vancouver.

Elysian (Burrard)

102-1100 Burrard St | $$ | Coffee House

@elysiancoffee | Visit website

Elysian's newest location at Burrard and Helmcken offers their usual award-winning espresso, Nuez Almond Cashew milk (for arguably the best dairy-free latte in the city), house-made baking and neutral-toned minimalist decor. A small brunch menu is an added offering, featuring avocado toast plus your choice of toppings.

Bel Café

Bel Cafe Hawksworth

801 W Georgia St | 604-673-7000 $ | Coffee Shop

@bel_cafe | Visit website

The sister cafe to Hawksworth Restaurant (named after Chef David's wife Annabel), Bel Cafe serves 49th parallel espresso, house-baked pastries (croissants, Valrhona cookies etc.) and gourmet sandwiches (try the Roasted Eggplant with spiced chickpea, almond and gouda) and more. Full table service is in effect, alongside a slew of to-go items.


1059 Alberni St | 604-608-6780 $$ | Bakery

@thierrychocolat | Visit website

Thierry is best known for their fine French pastries, but expert baristas and an organic, fair trade espresso blend, designed by Casa del Caffe’s Vincent Gentile, ensure consistently good coffee, too. Their beans are dry roasted to ensure freshness and a unique taste profile that’s strong and smooth with hints of chocolate, cinnamon and spice. Late night coffee drinkers will appreciate Thierry’s close time of 12am, and spiked drinks are available, too.

Café Medina

Cafe Medina Coffee Bar

780 Richards St | 604-879-3114 $$ | Belgian

@cafemedina | Visit website

Consistently great espresso is one Cafe Medina’s secrets to success. With a coffee bar dedicated to lattes, waffles, and a to-go counter, skip the 20-person queue for quick access to caffeine. A top-of-the-line La Marzocco FB/80 can be credited for their perfect 49th Parallel coffees, as can their talented, coffee-obsessed baristas. Owner Robbie Kane says ultra-frequent bean deliveries and an “off-gassing” period (so the carbon dioxide can disperse from the beans) is another reason behind their extra special espresso.