COMMERCIAL DRIVE COFFEE CONUNDRUMS
Waking up on the weekend in the Commercial Drive area of East Van poses some potential problems: Where does one go for a good coffee when there are just so many places to choose from? This variety stems from The Drive’s historic Italian roots, where the longstanding purveyors take their coffee with varying degrees of seriousness.
I live near Trout Lake, a pet name for John Hendry Park; where the south end of Commercial Drive gets a bit more sparse for options. I like to walk down East 14th Avenue, where the real estate has me dreaming of the brightly-colored, craftsman character homes in my future. Big porches, tall trees, kids playing in the streets; I am reminded I have found the neighborhood feeling I was looking for in Vancouver since leaving my small town. I arrive on Commercial and I must decide, head south to Commercial Street, stay in my little pocket near East 12th Ave & East Broadway, or walk north to Little Italy where the smell of fresh ground coffee and baked bread fills the streets on every block.
Commercial Street Cafe, in the heart of blossoming Cedar Cottage, between the Victoria Drive Diversion and Lork Selkirk French Immersion Elementary, is one of mine & Corey’s favorites. $5 organic breakfast sandwiches and the staff recommendation “Dirty Chai” (Chai tea latte with a shot of espresso) are my frequent cravings. However the new Bakery Sate on East 14th and Commercial holds their own as a real contender. A beautiful new space filled with light coupled with a gorgeous dessert selection makes me think staying close to home is the best idea on a lazy Saturday. Cream Puffs for breakfast anyone?! Walking north to East 5th Ave just West of McSpadden Park, you’ll find another one of my long time faves: Cafe Deux Soleil. I maintain they have THE BEST veggie burgers in town (try the home made Pesto!) but their fresh coffee sipped sitting on the patio bench watching the world go by is not without it’s charm. If you want a real, authentic Italian experience, head to Cafe Calabria near East 2nd Ave. As the oldest Italian eatery in Vancouver proper, you better believe their coffee is as rich as their love of yelling at the TV during footie games. Now because I don’t mind the colorful walk, I tend to frequent Uprising Breads on Venables, at the very North end of Grandview near Hastings-Sunrise. They have an incredible bakery selection and I swear by their iced mochas every summer for my afternoon jolt.
I know no matter where I decide to sip on a Saturday, I will enjoy my stroll through the tree-lined streets to get there. As a Realtor in the neighborhood, I love observing the colorful real estate that make this community unlike any other. And at the end of my walk I will sit with a vibrant outlook into the neighborhood I love with it’s wide variety of residents going about their business. Commercial Drive in East Vancouver has more options than most any other community in Vancouver. I can’t think of another place that services people from all walks of life so well. Next time you want a coffee in Grandview, think about all the options to fit your mood before you head back to Starbucks. If you want to move here, give me a shout!
– Buyer’s Realtor Willo Jackson @ 778-554-9557
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