Sunday, December 30, 2007

Aphrodite’s Organic Café

It was a clear, sunny, beautiful winter Sunday. We were bundled up in our winter biking gear and off for a bike ride around Stanley Park. We figured we had better fuel up before we went on our way. First stop: Aphrodite’s.

I am usually delighted in the food at Aphrodite’s and this morning was no different. In fact, the Mixed Grill Hash was incredible. A savoury mix of potatoes, spinach, tomatoes and organic Oyama sausage topped with two lovely poached eggs. We asked for the spicy version which came with bite-sized pieces of jalapeño. For breakfast ‘dessert’, we shared the daily special Sweet Apple-Pear Compote Crêpes. Topped with fluffy whipped cream.

P.S. If you go, remember to take some organic pie home with you – my favourite pie in the whole city!

3598 West 4th Avenue
Breakfast/brunch hours: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Daily

Monday, December 17, 2007

Nice Café

The name says it all. It’s exactly what it is – a nice café. Inside is cheery and bright with floor to ceiling front windows. It’s simple, it’s breakfast. There are obviously many regulars at this place, as customers were asking the waitress about her family.

The food is what I would call “truck stop classic”. My two eggs, toast, hash browns and sausage came to a whopping total of $4.15. It was worth every penny.

154 East 8th Avenue
Breakfast hours:
Tue-Sat: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sun: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Mon: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Elixir (CLOSED)

UPDATE (09/23/11): The Elixir has evolved into Cento Notti. ------------------------------------------------------------ The restaurant in the Opus Hotel is a French bistro/brasserie. By the way, what is the difference between a bistro and brasserie? I'll have to look into that. OK, I just did, here we go... Brasserie: an informal usually French restaurant serving simple hearty food. Bistro: a small or unpretentious restaurant. Anyway, the room is cozy and welcoming and does remind me a bit of Paris.

The menu has the usual breakfast items, but come with a unique twist. I had the Poached Eggs Catalan, which included perfectly poached eggs, a deliciously crispy toasted tomato bread, asparagus, lomo embuchado, piquillo-smoked hollandaise, and manchego cheese. I enjoyed it *a lot*! Enough that it overshone several other less-than-ideal details about the restaurant.

350 Davie Street
Breakfast hours:
Breakfast: Daily, 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Brunch: Saturday/Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Brenda’s French Soul Food (San Francisco)

I know, I know. The blog is called Breakfast in ‘Vancouver’, but I just have to write about the breakfast places I went to in SF because they were great!

This intimate spot (read: small but charming) is located just on the edge of a part of SF known as The Tenderloin. Let’s say that it is the equivalent of Vancouver’s downtown East Side. Colourful characters abound!

I LOVE the menu at Brenda’s, it’s so unique! The *must-have* is the Beignets (New Orleans style doughnuts). There are four kinds - Plain, Chocolate, Granny Smith Apple and Crawfish - yep, crawfish. Thankfully, they serve a sampler plate of all four because missing out on any one kind would have been devastating! They were one of my favourite food memories of SF, by far! Foodgasmic.

We also had the Hangtown Fry (scrambled eggs with bacon and oysters) and the Shrimp and Goat Cheese Omelette. There is a choice of hash or grits and toast or biscuit. Of course, we had them all. Fantastic all around, but the grits and biscuit were outstanding. Oh, I wish for everyone to have Breakfast in San Francisco at Brenda’s!

652 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA
Breakfast hours: Wed-Mon, 8:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Kate’s Kitchen (San Francisco)

Located in the Lower Haight district of SF, Kate’s was a great way to start our day. The place is a funky diner with a young, laid-back staff. The portions at this place are HUGE! They almost seemed a bit ridiculous, actually. Which for me to say that means a lot because I love large portions. I had the New England Flannel Hash which came with generous pieces of *real* corned beef, it was delicious! I was full for the rest of the day and I only ate about half my plate.

471 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA
Breakfast hours:
Mon, Fri: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Tue-Thu: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Sat, Sun: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Mama’s (San Francisco)

Locals and tourists alike line up out the door before Mama’s has even opened (as did we). We had a nice chat with a local couple while waiting in line. The owner taking the orders was very friendly and patient. People actually call all day long asking how long the line up is – imagine trying to answer that question every 5 minutes and be friendly about it, which he was. The service was stellar, which, even for a breakfast joint, can elevate the whole experience. I had the Californian M’Omelette, when in Rome, ya know. The bacon was definitely the highlight, it was thick, meaty and perfectly crisped. OK, I give you that the food is not “the best breakfast ever!” as some claim, but I had a *great* breakfast experience.

I’d go back to the down-home comfort of Mama’s in a heartbeat! Especially because we loved our hotel which was right across the street.

1701 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA
Breakfast hours: Tue-Sun: 8:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Little Nest (CLOSED)

UPDATE (08/02/14): Little Nest is now closed. :(
Little Nest, just off Commercial Drive, is a beautifully-designed space specializing in breakfast and lunch for BIG and LITTLE kids. Their menu is short, but well rounded. I had the Mushroom, Leek, Potato Fritatta with Pesto which comes with a simple side salad. A good deal at only $8. Other menu items include Rice Pudding, Muesli, French Toast and Eggs with Toasted Soldiers - all presented with a gourmet twist (such as bananas, coconut caramel and cinnamon whipped cream atop the french toast).

What makes this place so unique is that it is designed equally for parents and little ones. There is a play area with toys, lots of high chairs and room for strollers. Being someone who doesn’t have children, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the atmosphere was actually relaxing and comforting even in the midst of child haven – almost like being in the living room of Grandma’s house. I enjoyed a conversation with the family at the next table, especially because their daughter was so open and friendly. She offered me some of her goldfish crackers, very nice.

There are some fresh baked goods, as well. I took the Banana, Walnut, Chocolate Chunk Muffin to go – mmmmm. The menu also has a small, but tasty looking, selection of sandwiches all made organic white or multigrain baguettes, plus salads and a daily soup. I look forward to coming back for lunch!

1716 Charles Street
Breakfast hours: Daily, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Caffé Barney (Granville)

This is a popular weekend breakfast spot, lineups start around 10 a.m. They have a traditional menu. The restaurant is comfy, with just the right amount of energy - not over the top, but definitely not quiet.

2975 Granville Street
Breakfast hours:
Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday - Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Templeton

UPDATE (04/22/10): Granville Street has gone through a process of gentrification in the past couple of years, and it can barely be called “dodgy” anymore, alas. Still a fave, though.
The Templeton is a long-standing diner that is still going strong. This place is all about the atmosphere. It is always full of good energy, even if it is in the midst of a dodgy strip of Granville. Don’t get me wrong, the local businesses only add to the charm of the place.

Those susceptible to nostalgia will love the Little box o’ Kellogg’s cereal. Those who more appreciate the modern will find free-range eggs, handmade organic turkey sausage and organic hot oatmeal. I had the straight-up Truckers Breakfast which included 3 eggs any style, turkey sausage or bacon or veggie bacon, rosemary potatoes and toast. All for under $8 – great value.

1087 Granville Street
Breakfast hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Daily

Saturday, October 13, 2007

9th Avenue Grill

UPDATE: There is a second location at 1060 Howe Street, open 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. serving the same all-day breakfast menu.

From the outside it looks as though the inside will be cold and stark. But a nice surprise waits inside, it is clean, simple, yet somehow quite cozy. There was a small lineup, but it only took about 10 minutes to get a table.

The menu contains all the breakfast classics, and has a long list of omelettes. The food was standard fare. But all in all, a nice place to have breakfast.

1822 West Broadway
Breakfast hours: Daily, 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Edge Café

This spot is relatively new and the squeaky faux-leather banquettes attest to that fact.

They serve a variety of eggs such as Green Eggs & Ham or a Tex-Mex Scramble. Their baked goods look yummy, as well. Coffee by 49th Parallel Roasters and Tea by the “T” Company.

2450 Yukon Street
Breakfast hours:
Monday - Friday: 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Saturday, Sunday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Masa’s al à Carte (CLOSED)

Masa’s is a small cafe which seats about 12 people at a time. It’s a great place if you’re wanting just straight forward eggs, toast and home fries.

The service is always pleasant.

3689 West 4th Avenue
Breakfast hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Patisserie Lebeau

UPDATE: More inside seating has been added.
Waffles, anyone? Then you must go to Patisserie Lebeau. The Lemon White Chocolate and Apple Cinnamon Liege Waffles were my favourites! Order them with whipped cream and seasonal fruit to take it over the top.

Sit inside at the window counter or take your waffles to go.

1728 West 2nd Avenue
Breakfast hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Savary Island Pie Company

We stopped at Savary Island on our way to the ferry to the Sunshine Coast for the weekend. The breakfast menu is very limited, but the baked goods are the main attraction here. I had the Savary Scramble for breakfast and a Pumpkin Spice Muffin to go for the drive.

There is an eclectic collection of wooden chairs and tables. Settle into one and peruse the paper. Would be the nicest on a sunny day when the light pours in through the windows. There’s definitely a “warmth and charmth” to the place.

1533 Marine Drive, West Vancouver
Breakfast hours: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Daily

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dockside Restaurant at the Granville Island Hotel

UPDATE: It appears they are no longer serving a buffet brunch. Brunch menu only.
For some reason, I often overlook this location when thinking of a place to dine. It’s too bad, because it really does offer one of the best views and outstanding patios in the city. Lovely wraparound windows look out over False Creek.

The buffet brunch, while pricey, is still moderate compared to many hotel breakfasts. An added bonus is that children under 6 eat for free. But most exciting is the fact that many of the dishes are well executed. There are many stations: waffle, fruit, salad, eggs/sausage, eggs benedict. Also many lovely meat dishes: lamb chops, beef brisket, seafood thai curry.

The servers were all pleasant enough, they just seemed very tired.

1253 Johnston Street
Breakfast hours:
Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Sunday, 7 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Sunday Brunch: 11:00 a.m .to 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tomato Fresh Food Café (CLOSED)

UPDATE (05/30/11): The Tomato Cafe never recovered after its move from Cambie. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
While the new place is slick and modern, I miss the funky vibe from the old café on Cambie. However, change is inevitable and if I could adapt to change easier, I would be in the now and appreciate the Tomato for what it is and not what it was. It is a modern diner with cozy red booths, black-dressed servers and cream coloured walls.

Seems a good place for families as there is room for strollers and they provide cute canvas bags filled with plenty of crayons to occupy. Great covered patio site, as well.

2486 Bayswater Street
Breakfast hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Brunch hours: Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Café Salade de Fruits

Go early for breakfast and have your pick of tables in the small, cozy restaurant, outside on their streetfront patio, or in the reception area of Le Centre Culturel Francophone de Vancouver within which it is located. Although the service lived up to the French’s reputation – a little cool – that’s part of their charm, non?

My quiche was perfect. The crust was so buttery good and the crispy prosciutto layer took the flavour over the top. Yum! And of course, what else are the French famous for, but their frites! Make sure you order these shoestring fries which come with a side of garlic aioli. Spectaculaire!

Authentic french fare on the menu. Be sure to ask your server for the daily specials.

1551 West 7th Avenue
Breakfast hours: Saturday only, 10:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Seb’s Market Cafe (CLOSED)

UPDATE (08/21/13): Seb’s is now closed.
Seb’s is a perfect place to meet with friends on a rainy, cool Sunday morning. You walk in and immediately feel at home – comfortable and cozy. Settle into a table and relax. And make sure you are relaxed, because the service matches.

I was happy to find some not-so-usual items on the menu, for example, an elk benny with a blueberry-chipotle hollondaise, banana bread french toast, or a caramelized apple and bacon omelette. I went for the Elk Benny and the home fries were, by far, the best I've had at any breakfast location yet.

592 East Broadway
Breakfast hours:
Mon-Fri: 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Sat, Sun: 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

La Bohème Crêperie

I was so excited to find this husband and wife team at the inaugural date of the Kitsilano Farmers Market. With hungry diners waiting in line up to 15 deep, the coordination with which they turn out crêpe after crêpe is admirable.

Their buckwheat crêpe batter adds lovely texture and an earthy flavour to the crêpes. And their concoctions are gourmet. The La Chevre Crêpe comes with caramelized onions, olives, spinach and, of course, goat cheese. Divine. They also use a mix of spices on the outside that adds delightful crunch and taste.

Make sure you try some of the other amazing creations such as apple compote, ricotta and maple syrup.

Kitsilano Farmers Market (and others)
Parking Lot of Kitsilano Community Centre
Breakfast hours: Sundays, June to October, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Saturday, July 7, 2007

Crave on Main

Crave is located in one of the fun parts of town. Main Street has become (well, has been for a long time) a haven of restaurants, funky clothing shops and great antique furniture stores. And Crave fits right in. There is a nice, breezy patio out front and a delightful private garden patio out back. Be sure to ask if there are seats available.

I had a wonderful rendition of a benny and my dining partner had the daily special blueberry pancakes. The meals all around impressed and we were also impressed with our attentive and friendly servers.

3941 Main Street
Breakfast hours: Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Gypsy Rose Café

This is a great family-run café. The ladies making the crêpes obviously have made *many* before and are very adept at wending the batter on the turntables. There are over 50 different filling combinations to choose from. I had the Spinach with Feta Crêpe, which was great, but I want to try the bacon with maple syrup crêpe. The crêpe is generous in portion and the fruit salad and potato optional sides were both tasty.

Perfect for hanging out on a relaxed weekend morning.

2017 West 4th Avenue
Breakfast hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


They have the classic breakfast/brunch menu items – bennys, omelettes, waffles, etc. The bright note, the chocolate chip banana bread served as you sit down is fantastically moist and delicious!

4397 West 10th Avenue
Breakfast hours: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Diner

This is one of those places that doesn’t really draw me in as I walk by, but because it’s in my neighbourhood, I thought I’d give it a try. One thing truly impressed – the scones! Oooh, they were fresh out of the oven and delighfully light, tender and flavorful. Apricot and oatmeal. Mmmm. For the scones, I would definitely return again.

4556 West 10th Avenue
Breakfast hours:
Monday - Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.