Food & Wine Photo Credit: Fratello Coffee

9 Beautifully Designed Cafés You Need to Visit

You’ll want to order your coffee “for here” at these charming cafés found across the West.

Grab your lattes and books (or a good friend)! These nine cafés—filled with custom furnishings, pretty pendant lights and reclaimed materials—will make you want to sit and stay awhile.

Victoria

1. Discovery Coffee, 1011 Blanshard Street

Designed by owner Logan Gray, Discovery Coffee’s fourth location is filled with mid-century pieces—like the American Factory Stools and Gymnasium Clock from Restoration Hardware—and vintage treasures picked up from thrift stores and garage sales. It’s a far step from the look of their other three locations (the James Bay, Oak Bay and Discovery Street shops have a much more traditional style), but the owners were ready to embrace a more modern coffee scene; the Blanshard shop is also their first location to have a pour-over coffee bar. discoverycoffee.com.

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2. Habit, 808 Yates Street

Almost everything at Habit—from the Bows and Arrows Coffee to the reclaimed wood floors—was selected with sustainability in mind. The white light fixtures were salvaged from an old mine site and the granite benches (seen just outside the floor-to-ceiling windows that give patrons 360-degree views of the bustling business district) were recycled from the city’s old Telus building. To complement these salvaged materials, owner Shane Devereaux, along with Caleb Beyers of Caste Projects, selected the popular, industrial-style Tolix stools. habitcoffee.com.

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3. Caffe Tre Fantastico, 810 Humboldt Street

Owners Ryan and Kristy Taylor had been in the coffee business for more than 20 years when they decided to challenge themselves: How do you incorporate food, beer and wine into today’s coffee culture? Caffe Tre Fantastico proved to be the perfect solution. Tabletops crafted from live-edge wood, custom walnut shelving by Woodshop 506 and polished concrete floors by Stone Design combine perfectly and create a rustic-yet-modern atmosphere in which you can enjoy tre beverages (coffee, wine and beer) alongside their signature small plates. caffefantastico.com.

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Vancouver

4. Pallet Coffee Roasters, 323 Semlin Drive

Pallet Coffee Roasters moved into this East Vancouver warehouse last year and spent seven months doing renovations (the space was previously used as a fish packaging facility). Their reclaimed fir wall and whimsical lighting fixture are standout features, but the rest of the shop has also been filled with industrial elements and live-edge wood furniture, like the custom tabletops by Chapel Arts, that will please all the coffee-craving design lovers who walk through the door. Even their roasting equipment—which can be seen from the café through a huge, steel-framed window—looks good. palletcoffeeroasters.com.

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5. Revolver Coffee, 325 Cambie Street

Revolver’s interior takes full advantage of the 1880 heritage building’s exposed brick walls and high ceilings, but the space is also filled with a handful of custom elements, like the giant world maps made entirely of nails, the glass menu board designed by Post Projects, and the suspended booths that appear to be floating off the ground. Reclaimed fir countertops complete the look and lend a warmth that pairs perfectly with any espresso from their rotating selection. revolvercoffee.ca.

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Calgary

6. Cucina, 515–8th Avenue SW

Stepping into Cucina is like walking into an authentic European bistro, which is fitting, since most of its decor is sourced from oversees. The long community table is made from the shelves of a Dorset cheese factory, the Victorian-era lobby cupboard is from Shepton Mallet and the lights were found in Florence. Exquisite tile work and a custom milk bar (where cream, milk and water are dispensed from beer taps) complete the look—and make you feel as if you’ve stumbled into a café along the Via del Corso. eatcucina.com.

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7. Analog, 740–17th Avenue SW

The arrangement of pendant lights is enough to make us swoon, but combining them with an eclectic mix of art and vintage details (like the vinyl records on the shelves behind the bar) has us head-over-heels in love with Analog’s flagship store. This gorgeous shop is located on the main drive of Calgary’s retail and entertainment district, but their café at the Calgary Farmer’s Market on Blackfoot Trail also deserves a visit. fratellocoffee.com.

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8. Monogram, 4814–16th Street SW

Monogram is one of Editor-in-Chief Anicka Quin’s favourite spots to visit in Stampede City. Owners Ben, Jeremy and Justin regularly open pop-up shops in DaDe Art and Design Lab and Crave Cupcakes, but the Altadore shop is all their own. We love the community table and custom-made chairs, but small, personality-filled details—like the hand-painted aqua lights, monogrammed clay mugs designed by Rayne Maker Pottery, and patterned coffee bags—are what really brings the space together. Western Living also got a sneak-peek of their upcoming expansion, set to open this week; we’re already itching to take a seat at one of their new tables, with a coffee in hand of course. monogramcoffee.com.

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9. Vendome Café, 940 2nd Avenue NW

Much like Cucina brings Italy to downtown Calgary, Vendome brings France to the heart of Sunnyside. The custom millwork by Galidon Manufacturing is perfect for displaying freshly baked pastries and jars of ground coffee, while the marble backsplash, quartz countertops and Caravaggio pendant lights by Cecilie Manz add luxury to the historic Vendome Block. If you can’t make it in during the early hours for their organic fair trade coffee, stop by during the evening for a glass of wine and live music. vendomecafe.com.

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