An exceptional neighbourhood gathering place that has fantastic coffee, tasty tacos and an eclectic art gallery with ever changing presentations of the art of our time, periodic film screenings, readings, speaker events and more. Also caters.
North Vancouver's latest addition to the coffee shop scene has created its own niche that sets it apart Starbucks' cookie-cutter look and feel. I discovered the café (wittingly acronym-ed "cafca" by its staff and clientèle) while perusing a local coffee shop review blog. Being a fan of 49th Parallel Roasters and the Elysian Room on the West Side, I was really pleased to find a café on my side of the Burrard Inlet.
This is a place that definitely caters toward coffee geeks and aficionados (like myself). They serve up a rotation of 49th Parallel and Intelligentsia coffees, though they have brought in other notable guest roasters on occasion. I think they're the only coffee shop in North Van that brews coffee on the Clover, a fancy (and now somewhat rare) machine that brews coffee by the cup to exact specifications, maximizing the beans' potential.
Because the coffee is specially brewed on the Clover, the prices are about a dollar more, but it is well worth-it for those looking for a truly exceptional cup of coffee and don't mind waiting a couple minutes for it. Micro-lots from 49th are offered at a slightly higher price, but they're well-worth the cost. Warning: those looking for a quick-drip cup of Tim's, SB, or 7-11 to-go need not bother coming.
Like a typical café, light dessert/snacks are available, as well as a decent tea selection for non-coffee consumers. Also, panini sandwiches of prosciutto and Brie, salami, and vegetarian are offered Italian-style on ciabatta bread served with a side of olives.
I haven't even touched upon the espresso yet, but they use 49th Parallel's organic espresso blend in their coffee, and their staff are very competent when it comes to making drinks.
The staff as a whole are knowledgeable about their coffee, but they are in no way stuck-up or condescending as can be found in some higher-end coffee shops. They're fun to talk to, and they'll even give you a free coffee sample if they recognize you as a fellow "coffee geek."
Being a unique fusion of art gallery and coffee shop, cafca has a pretty unique environment. Upon entering, the store could look like an abstract VAG exhibit. The tables and chairs are mismatched to create a quirky feel, but not at all uncomfortable like the previous review said. Paintings of local artists adorn the walls, and there's even a small children's play area with an "easel" in one corner.
cafca has attracted its fair share of attention in the coffee community. Boasting superb drinks, a neat atmosphere, and great staff, cafca is definitely a place I will be coming back to often.
Very few coffee shops have coffee that is so good that you have to go there just to have a coffee. Café for Contemporary Art has coffee that is that good. If you are in the Lower Lonsdale area of North Vancouver it is a stop you will find yourself repeating.
Great coffee, funky atmosphere, and fine arts, makes this cafe very attractive! Who would have thought - an art gallery in a cafe. And this isn't your usual cafe with art on the walls. No. This is a space where an enclosed gallery space exists within the cafe space. I will walk an extra five minutes out of my way to get a coffee here, as it is a unique and original atmosphere - one step beyond the same old boring coffee franchises that land on every street corner of this city.
They feature local roasters 49th parallel, and for anyone who is interested in coffee, these beans are fresh, flavorful and unbeatable. Prices are competitive, the espresso is not bitter, but well balanced, and the milk steamed to silky sweetness. They also offer an array of teas, chai, matcha, and soy/almond milks.
The staff are friendly and will take the extra time to talk to you about the Clover machine (a machine that brews each cup individually) and the various beans they offer, to help you find the perfect coffee of your choice.
Not only do you have an array of designer chairs from various eras to sit your behind down into, you also have tables of various heights and sizes to select from to accommodate an intimate group, or a large business meeting. The wireless internet is free. The art in the gallery is socially stimulating.
The sandwiches are fresh, baked goods yummy, and art programming fantastic.
I love this place, bet you will too!