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.
At the helm of one of these gems is East Cafe, the epitome of a family-run spot. Co-owner Dalyn Szilvassy is the quirky, drop-dead hilarious mother-of-two behind this character-rich cafe (her equally awesome partner in crime is husband Zoltan).
The quick-witted, Betty-Page-look-alike took the time to dish on her favourite cafe in Vancouver, the best Sunday morning hangover cure ever, and her and her hubby’s very particular coffee drink (that you better try).
Where: 2401 E Hastings St | Beans: Intelligentsia | Connect: @TheEastCafe
Your favourite cafe in Vancouver…other than your own?
Wicked Café at 7th & Hemlock. It’s unpretentious and they use Intelligentsia beans, too.
Your favourite restaurant in Vancouver and why?
Bon’s Off Broadway. Why? Because it’s Bon’s! An East Van institution we’ve been dining at for years. Bon’s is the answer to your worst Sunday morning hangover EVER.
The most “to die for” dish in all of Vancouver?
To be honest, I couldn’t get enough of the A&W Chicken Sandwich at 9am every other day (they’d make it fresh). But I was breastfeeding at the time, so scratch that choice. Hmmm, to be honest, what I make at home for us: homemade pasta and pizza, fresh soup, BBQ, smoked meat, big flavourful salads, lots of wine with friends over and our own music. We’d rather that than a restaurant dish any day.
Your espresso drink of choice?
My husband and I would both say “The R’Dub” — 10oz cup, half espresso, half micro foam milk, 1 tsp sugar.
Your baked good of choice to enjoy with coffee? …not counting To Die For Loaves!
Nutella filled cookies made by our friend Astrid!
What makes your cafe stand out from the rest?
We don’t try to be something our neighbourhood isn’t. We are family friendly and want to fit in with our community, not stand out but still offer quality espresso and eats. It’s a fine balance in our ever-changing Vancouver.
Funniest customer story?
We had just started getting in The To Die For banana bread and lemon loaf. After several mornings of seeing a repeat customer, we shared this exchange:
Customer: Do you make the lemon loaf yourself?
Me: No! I can’t take credit for that. Erin Ireland makes it. To Die For Banana Bread and Lemon Loaf. I pointed to the sign.
Customer: Okay, well that works out well for you as I want to strangle the person who makes this. Can you ask her to make a few sh&#y batches so I don’t come in here EVERY DAY for a slice?
Me: UM, I’ll see what I can do. But I doubt it!
Any fun coffee facts you can share with us?
Did you know that the light roast coffee has the most caffeine in it? So if you need to really wake up get the light roast drip.
Why do you think it’s important to support local, independently-owned cafes?
I suppose it really depends on what you value in your personal community. The one you walk around in day-to-day, do your shopping in, where you meet your friends for coffee or breakfast. What does that place mean to you? We know that the people that visit us daily or every weekend want that community feeling that big chain stores just can’t offer.
If you didn’t own East Cafe, which profession would you have chosen?
We both have no idea. We are ever-changing and so is our future.
What’s new and exciting at East Cafe?
We are open for evening rentals for private parties and/or shows!