Coffee culture has grown to so much more then just a cup of coffee. It has turned into finding a quaint place to sit, enjoy a drink, maybe order some food and observe the world around you. Cafes are my top 'thing to do' while traveling or even just around the city of Vancouver. Whenever I get a chance to try and new café, I take it. In many instances, I even try to incorporate my work schedule meetings as either just a quick coffee meeting or over breakfast. A few of my favourite local North Vancouver spots are; Café Orso, Bluhouse Eatery & Cafe and Buddha-Full. A few other favourites around Vancouver are, Heirloom, Honey's , Caffè Artigiano, and Thierry Café. These are the ones I have been to with so many more to explore. So stay tuned to find out where I go to next.
A coffee, croissant, fresh strawberries and yogurt is my typical on the go breakfast on the road, but I always like to sit and enjoy the first few sips and bites. For some reason there is something about the atmosphere inside a coffee shop that makes me savour the rich flavours rather then devour whatever I order and be on my way. Since I started my current job, I've had to venture out and find new places to have business meetings which can make it challenging when there is a Starbucks on every corner. Instead, I like to try and find cafés that have healthy menus and are somewhat quiet so we can discuss and review spreadsheets. One of my go-to spots in Deep Cove is Café Orso, almost eveytime I go there I get one of their coconut Macaroons with my coconut latté. Their coffees are always good and can be made with non dairy milk (Flat White, Latté's or cappuccino are what I normally order). Most places now will always have options of coconut, almond or soy (This is my biggest complaint with the chain Tim Hortons as they do not have anything non-dairy). For their breakfast menu the strawberry waffles at Café Orso are such a treat! They are sweet, crispy and flavourful with a drizzle of berry coulis. You are able to get just one or the full plate with 3 if you are really hungry. Another delicious option is their signature avocado on toast or the tomato melt. The avocado toast is two large piece of toast with smashed avocado and their signature coconut chutney, is delicious. However, the bread they use is hard and very chewy. I would only order it again if I am able to change the type of bread they use. Overall, I like the flavours and portion size of their snacks and meals and would recommend to check out Café Orso if you are ever in Deep Cove.
Bluhouse Eatery & Café has two locations on the North Shore, the first on Gallant in Deep Cove and a second location on Forester St. off of West Dollarton in the Maple Wood area. I love the story behind Bluhouse, they source organic and local. I read a quote once that said 'You don't have to cook fancy or complicated you just have to make good food from fresh ingredients.' This is so true, keep things simple, delicious and fresh.
My first visit was to the Maple Wood location for a lunch meeting on a chilly day so I was torn between a savoury crape or home made soup. What I really liked about Bluhouse was that it had a larger menu with both breakfast and lunch options. The variety was nice but watching other's lunches come out made for a tough decision. Since the restaurant is vegetarian they only have non-dairy options for coffees which is fantastic for anyone else that suffers from a lactose allergy. I went for their home made carrot and ginger soup while my partner had a savoury crape. I tasted the crape and it was well made and delicious. My soup had so much flavour and on a cold day it was just what I needed.
More recently I visited the Deep Cove location for a breakfast meeting. This location has a quaint cottage café decor where at Maple Wood with the bright blue walls and large glass floor to ceiling windows and modern decor to it. The food at both are very good, although this time I went for the Aloha crape for breakfast. I was a bit disappointed there wasn't any actual fresh fruit on top, just mango puree. The crape was nicely presented and the coffee was delicious. Overall my experience was good and I would go back to either location and try a few other items on their menu.
Buddha-Full has two locations both in North Vancouver, Lower Lonsdale and the Northwoods Village. I have been to both locations but prefer the Northwoods Village for its larger location with the open concept and larger menu option options.
Buddha-Full is another vegetarian restaurant with some great options for both breakfast, brunch or lunch. They have a lot of smoothie, cold press juice, bowls, salads, wraps and more. The morning I went in, I was craving a healthy smoothie bowl (the menu reads 'Sweet Bowl'). Since Hawaii is one of my absolute favourite places to travel to, I ordered the Ohana luv açai bowl. It was a tropical dream of a smoothie bowl. It had açai, mango, pineapple and banana, goji berries and coconut. Since it was 8:30am on a week day, it was not busy so a great place to pull out the laptop and get to work. I know they can get quite busy with the lunch rush, where I noticed they also have pre-prepped salads and wraps to those that need to grab and go. This location has an open concept with a bar and the seating are swings instead of bar stools and in the back of the restaurant there is a three tier wood bleacher style seating with medication cousins to make your bum more comfortable. They have also incorporated a plant wall for lots of greenery as well on each table a small plant or cactus. With all of the natural light coming in the large wall of windows they have created a space that feels like an outdoor experience. Its green space meets coffee house and has created new idea to café. I would highly recommend checking out the Northwoods location just to sit on one of their bar swings while you wait for your order to come up.
All three of these places I will be going back to for sure! Please comment below on what you like or don't like or any suggestions you may have of new places to go check out!
Until next time.
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