From the clean,contemporary interiors of the café (wood table + black pendant lights = the perfect combination), to the perfectly roasted coffee beans, Moja Coffee has it all. It's even in the running for the city's best chocolate croissant in our opinion.

Moja was started by Doug Finlay and Andrew Wentzel, who taught themselves to roast beans in the basement of their North Vancouver home in 2003. The name moja comes from the Swahili word for "one", which represents their belief in offering single origin beans. In 2008, the pair opened their first café and roasting operation in North Vancouver on Rupert Street. They subsequently opened a second café on Commercial Drive, and we are sue glad they did! 

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In a neighbourhood otherwise devoid of independent cafes, Gigi Blin is a welcome sight.  Owners Mark and Iwona named the café after Mark's great grandfather, Gigi Blin. The café has been providing Marpole with coffee, baked goods, and artisanal groceries since opening its doors in June 2015.  

Despite its newness, Gigi Blin looks and feels like it has been the beating heart of the neighbourhood for decades. That feeling is due in part to its location in a historic building, but is further fostered by the warmth of the reclaimed wood interiors and the large windows that allow a glimpse inside. On the other side of the glass, those windows also allow for endless hours of people watching while enjoying delicious latte after latte. With baked goods from Baguette and Co., there's really no reason to leave.

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Bump N Grind Café is a real crowd pleaser. It's the type of place you could take everyone from a coffee aficionado to someone who just wants a really good cookie.

For the coffee lover, Bump N Grind really knows its stuff. With French Press, Clover, Aero Press and espresso on offer, it has just about everything you could want. Combine that with the rotating list of local coffee roasters available (including Matchstick, Timbertrain, Fernwood, and Bows & Arrows) and the options are infinite. 

And for the person who just wants a really good cookie, Bump & Grind has you covered. Not only is there a case filled with cookies, scones, croissants, and biscotti, there are also gluten-free options available. And if you're looking for something more substantial, there's a breakfast / lunch menu, too.

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Just like its name, The Birds & The Beets combines the familiar with the unexpected, creating a refreshingly unique coffee experience. Instead of the traditional model of coffee and baked goods, The Birds & The Beets focuses on local and house-made items prepared behind the counter - turkey is sourced from the Abbotsford's Rossdown Farms, pork comes from Chilliwack’s Johnston’s Farms, and the whole-grain granola and baked goods are made in house.

That’s not to say the same amount of care is not taken with the caffeine (this is Vancouver, after all). The coffee is from Victoria roasters, Bows & Arrows Coffee Roasters, and the local Matchstick Coffee Roasters. The tea is from Main Street’s Cultivate Tea Brew Bar.

The simple (but delicious) menu is on the wall behind the counter off the Powell Street entrance. If you aren’t pleasantly surprised by the personable, friendly staff when you walk in, you will certainly notice the café’s décor, which fits perfectly with its charm. The exposed old brick walls contrast the new white walls and millwork. Flowers and succulents adorn every nook and cranny, adding to its familiarity and unexpectedness.

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Situated on West Broadway, Aperture Coffee Bar is a quiet oasis on an otherwise very busy corridor. It's easily distinguishable by its location in a historic house, nestled its more contemporary surroundings. The character of its storefront is carried inside through the vintage furniture, exposed brick walls, and floor to ceiling bookshelf. Sitting here feels a little like having a cup of coffee at your best friend's parents' kitchen table. 

This coffee bar offers everything from cold to hot drinks, and sandwiches to baked goods. They serve Intelligentsia Coffee, which prides itself on working with the coffee growers to provide coffee that is, "revered, yet democratic, approachable and accessible" ( The staff at Aperture is friendly and unpretentious, and wifi is an added bonus - it's one of those places you may never want to leave. 

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If running a successful café is an art, Liberty Bakery takes the cake.

Liberty Bakery was originally established by  Swedish baker named Gunnar Gustafson and his wife, Liberty, as a 20-year long retirement project. In June of last year, artist Shannon Skansen, musician and photographer Scott Livingstone, and artist Rodney Graham took over the coffee shop, allowing Gunnar and his wife to enjoy their re-retirement. The trio renovated the space, giving it their own personal touch with tables designed by Livingstone and signage designed by Graham.

The artist touch can be seen in the baking, too - from gingerbread cookies shaped like Totoro (the cartoon character), to the chocolate cream puffs that look like oysters, to the sprinkle cookies probably modelled after a Pollock painting. And although we (clearly) have a sweet tooth, Liberty Bakery also offers beautifully (read: artistically) prepared salads, soups, and sandwiches. 

It's impossible to recommend only one thing from Liberty Bakery but we highly suggest accompanying any drink with a baked good. And if you eat it there, you will probably be able to feel yourself becoming more cultured as you are surrounded by the artistry of its three owners.

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Trying to find a seat in this tiny bakery and café off Fir Street is almost as difficult as trying to choose only one thing from the display of French-inspired pastries and baked goods. It's easy to understand why people flock to Beaucoup - with an extensive menu of nibbles (six different croissants alone!), Bellocq Tea from Brooklyn, and Forty-Ninth Parallel Coffee, the café has all the ingredients for an afternoon coffee with your in-laws, to discuss weekend plans with friends, or to spend time alone imagining you are in Paris. And when it's not raining, there is ample seating at the park across the street.

Beaucoup was started by Jackie Kai Ellis, a designer turned pastry-chef. Jackie studied the art of French baking at Paris Ecole Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil before returning to Vancouver in 2012 to open Beaucoup. Since opening, Beaucoup has won several awards and continues to be touted as a "must visit" in the big travel guides.

You can't go wrong with one of the croissants, but we usually bee-line for the peanut butter sandwich cookie and the Earl Grey financier (paired with an espresso and Earl Grey tea of course). Bonne appetite mes amis!

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Words can't even begin to describe the wonderfulness of Finch's Market... But we'll try.

It's located deep in Strathcona, on a quiet, unsuspecting residential street. Walking in is like stepping back in time, with its exposed beams, wooden shelves stocked with jars and cans, and long wooden counter. The food is fresh, unique, and thoughtfully prepared. And if you happen to have run out of milk at home, don't worry, they sell that too. 

We strongly recommend the pear and proscuitto baguette with a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. And if you'd prefer your food to go, have it wrapped to go in a brown paper package tied up with string.

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Now considered part of the Kitsilano neighbourhood, this quaint little café was once considered part of the Delamont Park area. The building was constructed in 1907 and was the home of Eureka Grocery, owned and operated by Thomas Frazer. The grocery store later became Arbutus Grocery Store, and is now Arbutus Coffee. Many of the building's original heritage features remain, including the fenestration and corner entry. It was named as one of the Places That Matter by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation in 2012 for its importance to the city.

Like the shops before it, Arbutus Coffee remains a neighbourhood favourite. All their pastries and dishes are made in house, and coffee comes from North Vancouver's Bean Around the World. The café's character and its charm make it worth a visit for breakfast, lunch, or coffee (or tea)!

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Nestled among the West End's heritage houses, apartment buildings, and tree lined streets is Greenhorn Espresso Bar, an independent café that has gained notoriety since opening in 2014. Owners Gango Jolicoeur and Walter Le Daca named the café after three Englishmen (William Hailstone, Samuel Brighouse and John Morton), who purchased the 550 acres of the West End in the 1860s for $1.00 per acre. They became known as the "Three Greenhorn Englishmen" because it was believed they overpaid for the land. 

Greenhorn marries vintage and contemporary décor, with its reclaimed wood bar and tables, glass beverage bottles and metal stools providing a contrast to the concrete floors, succulent plants and bright red chandelier. A mezzanine level at the back of the café is an art gallery and record shop with vintage bikes and poster art. 

The menu is written on brown paper affixed to the wall (and available online). For an espresso bar, Greenhorn features an extensive menu including a variety of brunch and lunch items made in-house. Of course there are also baked goods to accompany your coffee, which is brewed from North Vancouver's Moja Coffee Roasters. And in true Vancouver style, gluten free options are available. 

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Although not technically in Kerrisdale, Butter is close enough that if the wind is blowing east, the smell of its baked goods probably wafts over. 

Butter Baked Goods and Café was started by Rosie Daykin, an interior designer with a passion for baking. In 2012, Butter opened on Mackenzie Street and has become a popular destination for anyone with a sweet tooth.

The décor is the epitome of what little girls dream of when they think of tea - rose wallpaper, pastel coloured paint, whimsical lighting, and display cases filled with cupcakes, cookies, squares, and cakes. Lewis Carroll's characters would feel quite at home here.  

Butter is not only one of the best spots in Vancouver to push the limits of sugar consumption, it is also the official home of the number one selling cookbook in Canada, Butter Baked Goods: Nostalgic Recipes from a Little Neighbourhood Bakery. And if you'd rather leave the baking to the professionals, you can always take the baking to go - a full list of the goods is available on their website. We would strongly recommend The Chocolate Sandwich Cookie, paired with a tea or latte. 

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Life moves fast. Everything seems rushed under the guise of convenience and efficiency, though too often time is not being taken to do the job right. Revolver, however, believes in taking the time to craft the perfect cup of coffee. Apparently, that takes exactly four minutes. Each cup is brewed in its own glass chemex decanter, with its own timer. The precision pays off with delicious coffee that tastes like it's supposed to. 

Revolver offers a rotating cast of small roasters from around the world and the day's offerings are posted on their website. Regulars include Ritual from San Francisco and Anchored from Nova Scotia, though Revolver offers a special every day if you would rather leave the decision-making to someone else. A limited selection of baked goods are also available and make for a tasty snack. If you are lucky enough to be visiting in the summer, order one of the cold brews - it's perfection for any coffee lover.

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Platform 7 Coffee Brew Bar is best described as a truly unique coffee culture experience.

Walking into the café, you know you have entered a coffee addict's haven. Platform 7 chose Portland's Stumptown Coffee Roasters as their flagship coffee roaster. The Brew Bar provides hand crafted coffee in every possible variation: pour over, French press, siphon, cold brew, iced coffee, shakerato, martini style, shakuato, and even a tasting flight. They also offer espressos, prepared in their handmade La Marzocco Strata machine from Florence, Italy. French style baked goods are displayed on the behind a glass case, with gluten free, dairy free, and vegan options. Coffee is clearly a big deal here (in a friendly, unintimidating way).

The design of Platform 7 is as much a part of the experience as the coffee, reminiscent of a Victorian London train station with reclaimed wood floors, exposed brick walls, and bench seating. Combined with the backlit vaulted glass ceiling, you may think you have stepped into King Cross Station. Hidden at the back of the café is an urban version of The Secret Garden. Find a bench among the planters and pretend you are in some faraway country (it helps when the weather cooperates). 

On a sunny day, we recommend a glass of Stumptown's Nitro Cold Brew Coffee (the coffee is infused with Nitro and dispensed on tap to give it a creamy taste and a foamy head just like your favourite craft beer) with a chocolate cookie in the back garden. Close your eyes and you might start to think you're somewhere between Portland and London. 

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We were first introduced to Bâtard by a family friend who claims this is where to find one of the best croissants in the city. We went expecting a good croissant, but did not expect to find a French style bakery and café with so much more than croissants. 

Bâtard is the union of Chris Brown (the owner and baker of Rise Artisan Bakery) and Elsie Born (from Finest at Sea), who wanted to create a hub for all things 'food'. Located in a one-hundred year old building with exposed brick walls and antique furniture, this café prides itself on its old fashioned ambiance and quality edibles.  

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Elysian Coffee has been serving quality coffee from carefully roasted beans since 2000. The company has grown from its humble storefront on 5th Avenue at Burrard Street to include two additional cafés and a roasting facility. As a pioneer in Vancouver's speciality coffee scene, Elysian has always kept quality and customer experience at the forefront of their process to remain one of the city's favourite places to enjoy quality coffee.

Elysian focuses on creating connections with the people they come into contact with, starting with the coffee farmers that grow the beans and ending with the satisfied customer. This culminates at their newest location in Mount Pleasant where  their roasting facility is on full display (it's an interesting process if you haven't seen it before). Elysian encourages customers to engage in the process and understand where their coffee comes from, how it's roasted, and how quality is controlled.  

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If the bright yellow exterior doesn't catch your attention, then the cute little racoon face on the sign should be enough to entice you in to this independent coffee shop. And if the friendly staff behind the counter don't make you want to stay a while, then the coffee and food definitely will. 

Located on a side street just off 4th Avenue, Culprit Coffee Co. describes itself as Vancouver's first fully dedicated gluten free coffee shop. For those of you who say that gluten-free-anything must taste like cardboard, be prepared to swallow your words (excuse the pun). For those of you who are always searching for the best gluten free treats, welcome home. 

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