Cafe Medina is a unique breakfast, lunch and weekend-brunch destination that effortlessly blends eclectic bistro fare, connoisseur-savvy coffee and sweet nourishment via their signature Belgian waffles.
This could be one of my favourite places for breakfast. Is it expensive? Probably. But is it one of the best in town? Also, most likely true. There is usually a bit of a wait especially on weekends to get in but in my opinion its worth it.
Every time I come here, I feel compelled to get the Fricassé and usually do. There is something irresistible about short ribs for breakfast. Its served in a skillet and has 2 fried eggs, braised short ribs, roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, arugula, applewood cheddar with a side of grilled foccacia.
Again, at $16 its not the cheapest breakfast in the world but if you are looking for cheap, then there are tons of 3.99 breakfast specials to be had all over the city. Medina is about interesting, unique and tasty breakfasts and they do it well.
The service is usually very friendly and prompt even though they are always slammed. When there is a wait, they do a good job of giving you an eta of when you will be in.
Definitely recommended and I will return often.
I came here for lunch with my father, they are located very close to the skytrain which was convenient. Upon arriving there was a line up of about 10 people waiting to get in. We gave our names and had to wait between 5-10 minutes and we were seated. I ordered the $16 Fricasse
2 fried eggs, braised short ribs, roasted potatoes, balsamic onions, watercress and smoked applewood cheddar. Grilled Foccacia.
This was a good dish with lots of different flavors. I also had a lavender latte which was tasty. The food here is good, the place is kind of small and cramped, service seemed rushed at times.
No reservations here, so it's a wait. A potentially long wait. If you get in within 15 minutes, consider yourself lucky I guess.
It looks like a small place on the outside, but there is quite an expansive back room, so there is more space than you think. Which makes the wait even more unbearable after the fact. To top it off, the staff just don't seem to care. Another group who came much after us got a table ahead of us (same size) because the servers didn't pay attention to the list and they shoved themselves inside, after we were requested to wait outside.
The ambience is not bad, that's probably one of the high points, because the service wasn't that impressive either. We waited quite a while before we even got water, some more waiting before they came to get our order and even more waiting for the bill. In fact, they forgot our request and we had to flag down another waitress ... who also somehow got tied up so we actually had to go to the register to pay. Seriously?
Now let's get to the food. Kind of rustic style, breakfast or brunch, it seemed like almost everything was served and cooked in small cast iron skillets. (That's not always a good thing, for some dishes with lighter flavours, you can taste the iron, blech). If I made this at home, or it were much less expensive, I'd be a happy man. But it wasn't. We had the cassoulet and the paella. Much to my surprise, the paella wasn't made with rice (which was not advertised on the menu) but pasta, orzo I believe. It's not the same.
It's difficult for me to say, especially since we had good experience at Chambar before and because the food is actually quite good, and we did have a pleasant morning, but I wouldn't recommend a trip here. It's not worth the food or the wait or the mediocre service, not at the prices they have. I would say the only people who would be impressed with this place are if you happen to have too much time on your hands, have too much money in your wallet and you can't cook. These are good dishes, but I would qualify as "low skill", they are easy to make. We could, and we have, made very similar dishes at home ourselves at the same level of quality. I don't need to wait and pay relatively exhorbitant prices to enjoy this stuff.
We visited Cafe Medina on a busy Sunday but still managed to get seated right away. This quaint little spot is relaxed and serves up great food (which deserves 3.5 stars by the way).
I had the salmon fume which was very well done with a great balance of flavours (I was worried the smoked salmon would over power but it complimented the greens and tanginess of the artichoke very nicely. The egg was cooked to order and salad was very fresh. One thing that really stood out above the rest of the brunch spots was their organic juices - possibly the best grapefruit juice I've ever had.
Service and ambiance are so-so and what's expected of a cafe. Our order took a bit longer that expected, but the food was well worth the wait.
Will be back.
I came here today with my mom for brunch. We were seated immediately and we each ordered an Oeufs Cocottes and Les Boulettes. The Oefs Cocottes is actually whisked eggs with cream / milk roughly mixed with small slices of smoked black cod ( which is a little fishy) with potato bits and crumbled feta and baked. It's served with asparagus salad and foccacia bread. The baked eggs were pretty good, the egg mixture was smooth and the fish not being too fishy. My mom's Les Boulettes is actually 2 poached eggs with 4 moroccan meatballs ( a little dense texture and spicy) smothered with spicy tomato based herbed sauce and it also comes with yogurt and grilled focaccia on the side. This tasted pretty good also, a very different way to incorporate poached eggs into meals and it was successful, just a bit filling for my mom. Afterwards we ordered a plain waffle for take out so that we can enjoy later on for snack as our stomach couldn't contain anymore food. When we had the waffle 3 hours after, it was good, a little heavier than the waffle at "patisserie lebeau" on burrard st but very good. N, for all these good food and my mom's enjoyment the damage to wallet was $40 inc. tax & tips, which is not bad. I'll definitely come back again for more.
When we arrived there around 12:30, the place was almost full house and by the time we almost finish our meal today it was fully packed. I guess this place is like the only place where people can have eggs cooked in a non conventional way, not just omelettes, scrambled eggs, & bennys. My only complaint is that the tables are too close 2 each other and it was difficult to get in and out from the tables.
The value is pretty good, depending on what you get.
I had the raspberry caramel latte and it is SO worth it for $4.50!!
I also had the tagine, which was really good and full of flavour but a little pricey. It includes 2 poached eggs with vegetable stew, 2 sausages, and chickpeas. It's a really filling dish.
There are always A LOT of people in there and there's always a wait, which is the only downside. However, when you are seated, the wait for the food/drinks is not long!
Dropped in for some waffles, coffee, and juice. Lovely room, nice waffles BUT hirer some staff! The lone French server, waffle maker, and busser ran the room himself. Not cool. Waffles tasty but small for $3 per piece. The sauces are way too sweet. The server was friendly and efficient and made up for the waffles and dipping sauces. good coffee and not bad smoothies. Lack of service staff/management ruins the concept.
Why is it that Medina is always packed? Lunch, brunch, weekends, or weekend, they just keep coming. I blame it on the fact that this establishment really has no competition. Where else can I go to get hot chocolate that melts my worries away? Where else do I look to find Lavender Lattes, that calms better than yoga? How long will I need to search before I find waffles which the perfect blend of googey-ness and crispness?
Please please, anyone, if you know of any another cafe that does just this, please send their name this way.
As for everyone else - stop going, you don't want to get in between Medina and me!
poor service, long waits and honestly, do you want to wait an hour to get breakfast? ultimately dining must also be enjoyable and no food is worth the wait. the waiters don't give a damn about you and you are treated like cattle. so give it a pass. go to pastis / raincity grill / DB and at least get some value for money.
This place is nice if you can get there early so you don't have to wait. If you have time to wait in line for over 45 to 60 minutes for a brunch, then try this place. The food is decent but not outstanding as per the other reviews. Service is typical of a busy place with lineup - they don't give a crap if you wait or not. There's a long waiting list on a piece of paper and they don't bother to tell you and don't even seem to want to talk to you. I didn't see any smiles in there. The place is cramped. Pretty soon the hype will die down and there will be the next hot spot and people will move on.
I have been told my a few friends and relatives how good this place was for their waffles. I found them okay but nothing over the top. My friends who I went with though seemed a bit chewy but still tasty- a bit expensive also.
The other brunch items seemed interesting and what we ordered was a good size and tasty.
The room seems narrow but then they have a back dining area that faces the skytrain area with lots of light, this was a nice surprise.
I love a good brunch and Medina, in my books, has one of the best in the city. Sucker for the location and room, though it can be busy and noisy, I have always found the 'vibe' to be good. Menu highlights include the waffles, fricasse, tagine, and cassoulet. Waffles are my favourite, although usually can't get more than one as they aren't cheap. Fricasse is a hearty mix of fried egg, flavourful short rib, arugula, fried potato and onion, and cheese -- pretty much the best breakfast ever. The tagine offered a nice twist on classic breakfast plate and the cassoulet has a meaty goodness not found in many brunch plates. Impressed that the grilled foccacia and fruit salads we get on the side are always top-notch and not an afterthought. Some of the servers I have seen working have been so-so (likely since they are slammed for seven hours straight), but the owner/manager is great and has always taken care of us. It can run on the high end of price scale if you go for the full experience, but it is well worth it. Coffee is up to the task but the food is the real star here.
I've come a long way from $3.99 breakfast to $10+. But it's assured this place offers a unique twist on my favourites. The omlettes (more like a frittata) was absolutely amazing. Definately a great way to start the day (especially when you got up on the wrong side of the bed). If people have time to meet friends for breakfast, this would be the ideal place to be.
This was by far the best breakfast I have ever had in Vancouver. The service was outstanding, the food was fresh with vibrant flavors, and they pull a mean espresso. I had the fricasse and my partner had an egg souffle thingy with smoked black cod. This is unlike any other place I have been to for breakfast and far exceeded my expectations. I will be a regular.
Went to this place last year, I am trying to get caught up with my reviews. I went to this place with my significant other last year for breakfast.
Food: The food was pretty plain, nothing very special. Just a waffle with toppings or granola oats with yogurt and fruits. Nothing here you can't do at home if one isn't lazy to do it.
Service: Pretty good service I would say, but yet again have to place order at cashier and they bring it to you. Is this how eastern culture is? I need to check this out. Been to another eastern culture restaurant and one has to place order at the cashier and they bring it to you. Hmm....,
Ambiance: Everything inside is new, and it looked more like a design for lounging at night more than breakfast to me that is. Maybe my taste is more on the conservative side.
Overall: I have tried, and I wouldn't go back.
Came here on a Sunday morning, before lining up for Olympic pavilions. They opened promptly at 9 am and we were seated beside the window. Beautiful little cafe. Great friendly service. The Belgian waffles stacked beside the windowsill had our names all over it. Ordered waffles with dark chocolate and matcha sauce (sauce base is condensed milk). It was sooooooo delicious. Not too sweet. Mmmm.
For a savoury dish, we shared a fricassé, which was two fried eggs over braised short ribs and arugula salad sprinkled with apple and cheese chunks. Very very tasty. Came with a piece of toasted foccaccia to dip into the drippings from the beef.
For drinks, ordered hot chocolate and mocha. Divine! Just the right hint of sweetness (which is not too sweet).
Portions are not huge but the quality and flavour of the food is excellent. Total bill for two people came to $42.06, which included an 18% mandatory gratuity (for the Olympics). Would definitely return again.
We were delighted to see and taste a different spin on eggs for breakfast and brunch -- not just the regular egg dishes you see in most places. We tried the cassoulet and the omelet (cooked like a frittata), which were both flavourful and generous in portion size. My husband thought the omelet was too salty because of the salt seasoning in addition to the feta cheese in the dish (although he still enjoyed it). Also, my husband thought the Americano coffee was excellent (he had two), but wished that they had the usual drip coffee so that one could get refills at no charge; here he had to order two individual coffees and wait each time for them to arrive -- expensive and on the slow side service-wise for breakfast. The cassoulet had perfectly cooked eggs with soft runny yolks on top of beans, andouille sausage, and bacon. Dishes are served in cast iron ware which keeps the food extremely hot. We found the place quite cozy -- diners need to move the tables to get in and out of their seats although, again, perhaps too cozy as privacy is non-existent with the man next to us easily looking at my husband's wallet as he paid. The place gets noisy once the restaurant is filled making it difficult to catch a server's attention. Service is not a forte, and the servers looked like the patrons. There is hussle, but it doesn't translate into actual service, it seemed. Who were the employees, we wondered. We left around noon and the place was extremely busy with patrons waiting out the door: come early. We would go back, but expect these caveats.
love the waffles. the lavendar milk chocolate sauce was to die for!! creamy and soothing... same goes for the lattes :) great unique flavour combinations.
I would have given this place a much higher rating had I been satisfied with my other orders. I had a pork sandwich on one occasion (didn't even want to finish it- unappetizing taste) and on another occasion I tried the fricasse. not to say the fricasse was horrible, but it was certainly wanting. i just wasnt satisfied.. I guess I'm just more of an old-fashioned sausage and eggs kind of girl when it comes to breakfast food. my friend had the cassoulet (again, unappetizing) and granola with yogurt (nothing to write home about).
I would definitely go again since i live conveniently closeby, and the waffles and hot drinks are worth the trip. :)
Went with some friends to Cafe Medina a few weeks ago. There was about a 20 minute wait, but it was completely worth it.
The restaurant itself is beautiful. If I lived closer to this area, I would try to make it in at least once a week. I ordered an omelette with sausages, potatoes and goat cheese - I believe it was a daily special, as I cannot find it on the menu. At any rate, it was delicious, and presented (as were almost all of our dishes) in a piping-hot mini cast iron frying pan. I also ordered a Lavender Mocha, which was perfectly rich and a nice balance of chocolate/milk/espresso.
All of the dishes that my friends ordered were declared excellent, and the portions were perfect, as everyone went away completely full.
My only little complaint was that I ordered a waffle with raspberry caramel topping, which never came. Aside from that, the service was perfectly cheerful and welcoming.
I am already looking forward to the next visit.
I work just up the street from Chambar, so when I heard they were opening a daytime coffee shop, I was excited. It lived up to my hopes.
Medina specializes in coffee and waffles--for $6, you can get coffee and a waffle with one topping. I had a mocha (which cost a little extra) and a waffle with blueberry vanilla compote; total with tax: $8.15. Everything's made fresh and tasty.
The service is very friendly and quick. They're still working out a few of the kinks, so I'm leaving it at 4* for now; the mocha was a little off and the staff had to keep checking to figure out how to work things. But this is what you expect when the place just opened two days ago, and I'm sure they'll get it worked out in time.
The space is small, intimate, but nicely decorated and very comfortable. The music was unobtrusive, and having the window street to watch people moving about on Beatty was nice.
I'll definitely be back. A lot.