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The Commercial Drive is a street located out of the center of Vancouver but is still easily accessable with a bit of walking or public transport. With a lot cultural and ethnic changes in the last century, it has evolved into a vibrant urban area with multi-cultural restaurants and a plethora of fun festivals. In particular, coffee shops dominate on Commercial Drive, here’s some of our favorite.
The giant Portuguese flag in the window of Joe’s Café Bar gives away the origin of its coffee. The coffee shop’s interior is a bit dated, but that doesn’t affect the quality of coffee, which is fantastic. In addition to coffee, Joe’s Café Bar offers ice cream and hot Portuguese sandwiches. Many of the local older gentlemen seem to utilize the place as a social club, and many of them can be seen playing pool in the back a lot of the time. Unlike many Portuguese coffee shops, Joe’s offers a great ice cream float.
Joe’s Café Bar, 1150 Commercial Drive Vancouver, BC, Canada +1 604 255 1046
Prado Café looks like a shop created by hipsters, for hipsters. Prado is a place where people come to work with their coffee and most of the customers can be seen with a laptop. The place has a great view of the Commercial Drive and is great for people watching. The interior is spacious with high ceilings and there is also a large table in the center of the coffee shop which serves as a communal seating area. The coffee is exceptional and Prado serves some of the best gluten-free muffins in the area.
Prado Café, 1938 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada +1 604 255 5537
The Drive used to be called Little Italy, and this place reflects the heritage. An Italian immigrant created Café Calabria in 1976. The coffee shop is massive, with ample seating. The Italian roots of the shop are really emphasized with the Italian music playing softly in the background and the décor that includes marble-looking statues, pictures, and small tables. Café Calabria offers great Italian coffee, paninis, pastries, and gelato. Perhaps one of the best things the café offers is the biscotti which is baked perfectly and, if nothing else has already, truly makes it feel as though you’re dining in Italy.
Café Calabria, 1745 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada +1 604 253 7017
Commercial Drive is the new location for the Moja Coffee roasters. It is fair to assume that the café side of the business was created to allow customers to taste the roaster’s product, and the coffee lives up to expectations. The roaster can be seen behind the counter, and the café itself is spacious, with a huge counter. Few tables and stark interior gives it a trendy feel. The pastries are exceptionally good and, like the coffee, are prepared onsite.
Moja Coffee, 1102 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada +1 604 879 6652
The Continental Coffee seems to be a very popular place, buy though the inside is packed, many just come in to buy bags of coffee. The place is big with a large window providing natural light and the rest of the decor is quite minimal, with a communal table and some smaller tables around the shop. In addition to great coffee, Continental Coffee also offers a phenomenal hot chocolate and a selection of savory pastries that aren’t frequently found in other coffee shops.
Continental Coffee, 1806 Commercial Drive Vancouver, BC, Canada +1 604 255 0712
If you like cozy coffee bars with exceptional service, then Turk’s Coffee Bar, a small, funky coffee shop on the Drive, is the place for you. The interior is decorated with cool cartoon images blown up on the walls and the dishes. However, seating is limited inside and there is more of chance of grabbing a spot outside on the patio. The reason for its popularity is quite simple, the coffee and pastries are great. The hedgehog mocha in particular, is a must try.
Turk’s Coffee Bar, 1276 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada +1 604 879 4468
As if coffee, pizza and gelato is not enough to make Abruzzo Cappuccino Bar feel Italian, European football games are always on show as well. The place is busy, with many older Italian men chatting away and watching the football. Abruzzo has a very authentic Italian feel to it, from the food to the company. Drinking some coffee and enjoying a slice of pizza whilst watching the game is exactly how an afternoon at Abruzzo is best spent. If time allows it, the tiramisu is not one to miss. Most importantly, the coffee is worth it as its rich, strong, smooth, and very Italian. Watch out for: tiramisu and the coffee