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Great coffee shops on Commercial Drive

I have been working at DOXA Documentary Film Festival as the Social Media Coordinator / Blogger for the past two months. The office is on Commercial Drive, one of the funkiest neighbourhoods in Vancouver. One of my favourite things about this block is the number of fantastic coffee shops I have to choose from.

Yes, I can go to the most recognized, corporate shop with the green awning and mermaid in the logo if I wish, and often do. This morning rather than heading there for my usual latté and an apple fritter I was introduced to Fratelli’s bakery by my co-worker Desirée.

While I was eating two ham and cheese croissants and drinking a dark roast coffee at my desk I got to thinking. I realized that some folks, perhaps in town for the 2010 Olympics, may be looking for a more authentic Vancouver coffee experience. So, here I am dioing a quick post about Fratelli’s and the other two fabulous coffee shops nearby Continental Coffee and Café Calabria.

Literally two doors down from Fratelli’s is Café Calabria where if it’s authentic Italian coffee, cuisine, atmosphere and service you want, this is the place to go.

Years before the airing of The Sopranos series on HBO, my wife Carol and I had an argument about the existence of the Italian mafia while drinking coffee and eating paninis at Café Calabria. She has since become a believer. The argument had nothing to d with the family that owns and runs Calabria who happen to be very nice folks, it just took place there.

Finally, kitty-corner to Fratelli’s is Continental Coffee. I am drinking a latté from there right now. It’s pretty tasty, but they are best known for their amazing café mochas made with with real chocolate and lots of freshly whipped cream.

In the above photo you can see the aforementioned green awning of the evil corporate giant directly across the street. As well, is the fine young gentleman who, upon seeing me taking photos along the Drive, called me an “Olympic rat-bag”. That’s him in the red baseball cap with a skateboard at his feet drinking water in front of the shop. I am unsure what would have set him off other than my camera as I am not wearing anything even remotely Olympic. And if you look at me lately athletics are clearly not something I’ve been participating in.

They can’t all be winners.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jasmine Guevara February 11, 2010, 11:22 am

    Look at all these coffee shops! Never been to Vancouver but one of these days, if I ever do, I’d love to sample some coffee from these coffee shops…especially the mocha’s from Continental Coffee. Thanks for posting/sharing!


  • Mike Browne February 11, 2010, 11:37 am

    Thanks for commenting Jasmine. Let us know if you’re in the hood and we’ll buy you a cup of joe. 🙂

  • Teresa February 13, 2010, 10:06 pm

    I love the wacky interior Cafe Calabria. Had a rude awakening in Italy when ordering cafe: learned there is a certain time of day you should drink cappucino vs latte, was embarrassed to ask for an ‘american’ cafe, and found out ‘take-away’ coffee is a no-no

    • Mike Browne February 13, 2010, 10:41 pm

      It’s true! The atmosphere in Calabria is even better than the coffee. Sometimes it is really the little things that make a place great.

  • Jess June 2, 2010, 4:31 pm

    Commercial Drive is jam packed with so many incredible coffee shops – it’s hard to choose. I’ve been loving the service at JJ Bean lately. Not only do they have incredible coffee and food, but they are just so freaking friendly, cool, and personable it makes me want to live the barista lifestyle! 😉

    You’ve inspired my next post!