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.
My boyfriend and I had a great experience. Seating is first come first served and we'd heard that lineups on the weekend can be huge so we tried our luck on a weekday and it wasn't too bad.
I was impressed by the choice of latte flavors, the Lavender Vanilla combination was delicious.
My boyfriend had the Tagine and I had the La Sante, both great choices.
The service was friendly and both food and drinks arrived in good time.
We'll be back for sure.
Like I've said before... I like cafes, especially those that offer a modern interpretation of classic flavours and Cafe Medina takes the cake, or waffle as the case may be.
I went in for brunch with a friend, who is a model and is very careful about what she eats so I was a little worried about what Medina had to offer her but she smiled as soon as she looked at the menu so my mind was at ease.
I ordered the cassoulet and she had the "libanais". They were both excellent. The cassoulet had a slab of smokey bacon and three healthy chunks of sausage. The eggs were a decent sunny side up but could have set the whites a little more but I am ok with it. The beans were perfect, the seasoning was perfect and everything was hot.
The Libanias was excellent as well and we polished the skillets down to the last swipe of bread.
The coffee is good (not the best but very good).
The service was good, not as exceptional as at their sister restaurant Chambar but that is a tall order as they did seem to neglect us a bit on one of the outside tables. Not too bad as we were in a great conversation.
Over all I would give it a 4.5/5 with just a little more attention to service and a perfect sunny side up egg and this could be my favorite place for brunch in Vancity.
Nice work Medina!
Medina's webite promotes with many interesting positive reviews from various publications. I get the feeling that these reviews are from a while ago, because I have eaten authentic food and it is much better than anything I had here. I had the crepes which were too garlicy and salty, I tried the dough which texture wise was bad but also very salty. The whole breakfast was very boring. The whole meal in fact was about as exciting as eating in a cafeteria, luckily the company was good. As pretty as my morning after date was it is always good to find some cute patrons or leggy waitresses. None of that here. Thats not pleasant! The waitresses here were in a rush and not dressed cute. I guess I will have to look elsewhere to fill my craving for real gourmet breakfast, oh and by the way to quote from my breakfast companion: " I wouldn't say it was bad but, there is just no reason to go there"
First Visit: Sept 2009
I decided to head over to Medina’s Cafe on Saturday before tackling my ‘wonderful’ paperwork. Since Chambar is my favourite restaurant hands down, I was curious what Medina would bring to the plate. First impression: Full house, buzziness of the place gives it a nice atmosphere for those who want to get lost in it. Narrow space but designed with intent. Beautiful colours of blue in a wavy pattern accents the bar counter. Warm, attentive staff. Service was great and good looking. You can tell this place is run efficiently and professional staff is respectful and communicates well to eachother.
The space really mirrors Chambar like a ‘bright-eyed and bushy-tailed’ version of the restaurant. Have a one too many the night before~go for a hangover brunch with a mimosa at M’s.
I ordered a mimosa and Les Boulettes: a morroccan inspired dish with baked foccacia bread( I would’ve liked four pieces- not two) hummus, with fresh salsa-cucumber, tomato and herb/spices. It was nice and mild to accompany the savoury beef meatballs swimming in fresh cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, crushed whole pitted olives, with two poached eggs in the middle (I think the Chef was reading my mind, as I love my eggs poached hard), garnished with fresh cilantro . The presentation was simple and elegant.
I would love to come for a coffee and read a few chapters of my book on a slower day or moment.
Plus, I’m glad I got to walk it off, as the meal was filling, flavourful, and fantastic.
Second visit: Nov 2010
Came again on a Saturday; this time to meet with friends. Was prepared for a wait, as I know this place is a hotspot for breakfast/brunch. I think it really depends on what mood you are in when waiting to dine in this place. Knowing what it’s like in the hospitality industry, I knew the staff was doing the best they could to accommodate their patrons. I thought the service was consistent; attentive and pleasant. Although we waited 45 minutes in the first coldest day of the winter, the lavender latte (delicious~ my first. I didn’t even have to add sugar, which I usually refrain from) and the company I was with made the wait more bearable. It helps to do scissor kicks or whatever it takes to stay warm.
Food: I was going to order the same thing as my friends, but a dish with chorizo called to me...The Paella was lovely. Served in a small skillet with a fried egg nestled in nicely seasoned, well cooked orzo rice, corn, chorizo and some greens. The only criticism I had was that I felt they skimped on the chorizo which should be a highlight of the dish. The chorizo pieces were thin slices and I maybe received 5 in my dish. For $12, one should be able to see the sausage. Otherwise, the dish as a whole was good. I’d order it again if they had better portions of the chorizo.
Great food, great servers, and great place for breakfast.
My best friend and I decided to meet there for a breakfast date last Monday. I was confused as to where the front door of the restaurant was; the sign was in front of the wrong door.
I was immediately greeted by a server. My friend had gone early so she flagged me to our table. Shortly, our server came and introduced their specials. My friend ordered a Lavender Latte and I was fine with water. Our server suggested the "Tagine" to me when I tried to order something off the lunch menu (yeah, it was early...I had not entirely woken up).
The Lavender Latte came and my friend commented to me how dark the foam looked. I smelt and sipped the drink and it did seem off (I used to work at Starbucks). Plus there was no Lavender in it. Our server came around and we told her about the too-bitter latte and she realized that there was no Lavender in it. My friend sipped it again after they had put the syrup in and commented that it still tastes wonky. The server made no fuss and promptly brought another one back for us. This one tasted amazing, just like how we had expected.
Then our food came and let me just say, I should've ordered a lighter meal for breakfast because Tagine was way too flavorful for my morning stomach. My delicious mistake, however. Then we had the waffles which were decent. My dark chocolate sauce was separating; the chocolate and the butter I'm guessing.
Pleasant experience. Do not order such a heavy meal, delicious though, this early in the morning next time. Two thumbs up overall.
My friends recently brought me to Medina for their weekend brunch and am I ever glad they did! We started out with a much-needed coffee - I went with just a regular americano, but they have so many options, like lavender raspberry caramel. I'll definitely be back for those, and for the legendary waffles, I was just too full this time.
On the server's recomendation I had the fricasse. She said it was everyone's favorite, and I can see why! Delicious short ribs with melting cheddar, roasted potatos, and 2 fried eggs. How could I resist?
I also had the most amazing ceasar ever, the girl told me they make their own ceasar mix. Just what I needed to recover from the night before. I tasted my friend's mimosa - they also make a special juice for that - and it was super refreshing too. Yum!
Our server was really sweet and helpful, and her recomendations were spot on. I can't wait to go back, braving the weekend line up was totally worth it.
Seriously folks best brunch spot on hand bar none. I travel a lot and have eaten in many cities and my last experience at Cafe Medina was on Par with some of the best meals I've had in any genre. Yes I had to wait for 30 minutes. Truly no big deal based on the experience. I now understand why there are line ups at this place on the weekends. Totally merited. I was greeted warmly and entertained by the host while I waited. When I was sat I was promptly informed of the must haves and thankfully listened to our waiter who was more than accommodating with every request (including the allergies my travel mate had). I had the Paella it was mildly spiced and delicious. Totally worth the bang for the buck. Good value here foodies. My friend is still talking about her lavender latte hours later not to mention the meatballs and the waffles.
True its not the biggest place around so it wasn't to difficult to eavesdrop on our neighbours conversation but I'm fine with that. As far as I'm concerned good people watching is part of the dining experience and this place was chalk a block full of good people watching. Super funky stylish place in every aspect form decor to music. The service was exceptional from start to finish. I hope these guys open more places in town.
Encore and Thank You! Can't wait to revisit.
Went for Sunday brunch. Wait for a table was about 20 minutes which doesn't bother me for brunch and it looked like the wait got much longer after we were seated. The space is very warm and inviting. It is the nice cozy type of place you would like to have a leisurely brunch. That is of course if you don't mind ignoring to poor people waiting outside for your table.
The menu may be the most adventurous I've ever seen for a brunch joint we had the tagine and the fricassee. Both were very tasty and well presented and you can't go wrong with short ribs for breakfast. If you have room having a waffle for dessert isn't a bad idea either.
While I don't expect the highest level of service for brunch I did not find the staff very attentive at all. Coffee refills were not very easy to get which might be just as well since you have to pay for each one (there's no regular coffee only espresso drinks). They seem more interested in turning the table than serving the customer.
The bill was in line with many dinners I've had. Brunch with a couple of coffees and tip came to almost $60. Way too much for brunch. Unless I was entertaining out of town guest I don't think I would go back.
Medina is a place for interesting Moroccan breakfasts & brunches and great waffles. As I said in the title, it's the best I've found in Vancouver. Unfortunately, thousands of others have too.
It was Victoria Day today and Medina was open from 10am - 3pm for an all-day brunch. We arrived at 10:40 and waited for just over an hour to be seated. We forgave them when the food came.
You arrive to a throng milling outside the funky cafe (next to Chambar: the owners' other joint). You walk inside to write your name on a list, depressing in its length and the number of names before yours.
When we finally sat down we were given our coffees. They were great. Coffee is so vital to a good breakfast cafe and Medina understands this. There are few places that understand this in Vancouver. Starbucks doesn't. Cafe Artigiano does. So does Cafe Medina.
The food was rich and quite heavily spiced. I had Le Chasseur - fried eggs atop bison sausage from Oyama, wild boar bacon, braised potatoes, watercress and roast tomato with grilled focaccia on the side. Despite its full-flavour, it was not overpowering. Sourcing their meat from Oyama is a good move: there is no better sausage.
Three fellow diners all had different and equally satisfying meals. We finished with waffles. The waffles come with dipping sauces. The marmalade, lavender milk chocolate and the white chocolate pistachio were all appreciated.
All in all, this is not breakfast that you could eat every day. It is special occasion breakfast and I commend it highly. My only advice is arrive early and a little before your appetite catches up with you.
I visited this restaurant with a friend for brunch one morning and we both ordered the omelette and waffle. the omelette looked good and it was ok but i didn't like it too too much because of the herbs used. very filling dish but i won't be reordering on my next visit. I also ordered a hot chocolate but felt that it wasn't hot nor sweet/flavourful enough.
then there was the waffle. oh my i didn't know a waffle could be so scrumptious! it was a bit crispy, sweet...simply outstanding. I loved it so much!! we ordered milk chocolate lavender and white chocolate pistachio rosewater sauce to go along with our waffles. both are highly recommended!
overall i would definitely visit this place again. I do think that it's overpriced but...the waffles are definitely worth it.
Just wanted to drop a note and say what a lovely experience we had at Cafe Medina today. From the moment we arrived until the minute we left we were so nicely taken care of. Starting with the Coffee. I had the Lavender Latte (what a wonderful way to start the day) and my friend, a tradionalist had an espresso and commented on how good it was. I had the Sante and it brought me right back to my trip in Europe. My friend had the Fricasse, which he always does and loved again. We finished with some waffles. I absolutely loved the raspberry caramel. The atmosphere was also European, warm inviting yet bustling. Even though we had to wait a few minutes it was totally worthwhile. Will be back next week for sure.
I absolutely love this place! The atmosphere, the food, the feel are like nowhere else in the city. It reminds me of the places I used to go to in NYC. If you're looking for a place to hang out in for hours on end, this is not your spot, but if you're looking for great fresh food, great coffee and good service, Medina can't be beat. The Lavender Latte and Tagine are awesome. And don't even get me started on the waffles...
What is the big deal with this place that people talk about? The last thing you wanna do during brunch is to wait 40 something minutes to get in! I mean it's brunch.
The food was meh, the short ribs fricas dish was too salty and the waitress said they couldn't do anything because the salt was in it already???
No privacy, overpriced and cramped, we were always rushed by the owner, can't even flag down the waitress. Oh it's special alright...What other breakfast place you have to wait 20 mins for a coffee!!!
Overrated at best. Try Edge if you want a real healthy, cheap brunch
For the first time in more than 10 years I didn't finish breakfast when eating out. I had the cassoulet. It was simply way too salty. The bacon was yesterday’s leftover and the Americano, although strong, was worse than any mid range gas station would serve. I had high hopes of finding another Café Zen equivalent, or Sebs or Edge. It certainly has the ambiance, nice open layout etc. At $15, the food should be outstanding, akin to Raincity Grill. This was just not in the ballpark.
Went here last weekend for breakfast after wanting check it out for quite a while.We weren't disappointed.We were seated immediately and got a nice little table in the front corner.We had a few different servers throughout the meal but they were all friendly and helpful enough.Price wise they are a bit higher than average for breakfast but the quality makes up for it.
My partner and I both started with one of their waffles.Hers came with a really good fig and orange marmalade and mine with a raspberry caramel.Highly recommend the fig orange one. She then had a tortilla skillet with shrimp,peppers,chorizo and avocado and I had les boulettes which were awesome.I have never really thought about having meatballs at breakfast but these tasted amazing.They came in a spicy tomato sauce and had two poached eggs.Also came with grilled foccacia and hummus.
Getting hungry just thinking about it...will def. be back to try more of the menu.
Knowing that there is a dearth of proper brunch places in Vancouver (with the exception of hotels), I was happy to discover Café Medina. Overall, I enjoyed my visit and will return – though I may wait a month or two.
Our server was polite and friendly; but I felt that on the whole, service was a touch on the slow side, given the small size of the restaurant. I ordered tea with breakfast, and waited some time to get a water refill. I can't entirely attribute that to service, though, as using a single-serving teapot is probably placing an unfair demand on the servers.
Which brings me to my only complaint: the tea came in a French press. (Why?) It seemed at odds with the rest of the food presentation and the overall ambiance of the restaurant. While it allows the use of loose tea – I didn't check to see whether it was, in fact, loose tea – it prevents you from pouring more than once, as the tea remaining in the pot becomes too bitter. Unfortunately, the tea itself – which I am considering as part of the "food" – brings the food rating down to a 3, as it was passable, but nothing special.
The food itself was tasty. I had les œufs en cocotte with asparagus, and my sister had l'omelet du matin. No complaints there; the asparagus especially was excellent.
I think the value rating was determined in whole by the saucissons [there's a typo on the menu, btw]: $5 for three small slices of sausage. Delicious? Yes. $5 delicious? No.
Ambiance-wise, the cafe is attractive and pleasant. The design is very clean, and integrated well with the structure of the building.
Used to be my favourite cafe downtown, but seems to have lost it's shiny appeal. The les boulettes (meatballs), seemed to not be as tender as when I first had it, though the flavours were still delicious. Even more disappointing was that waffle wasn't cooked through properly. I will wait awhile before I venture back to the cafe.
Although often busy and will often result in long wait, this is a definite place for great brunch. They don't offer the typical eggs and bennies type of brunch/breakfast, but rather Moroccan-influenced breakfasts.
Had the pistachio white chocolate mocha, pistachio white chocolate belgian waffle (good, but definitely and probably not analogous to the ones in Belgium) and the ever-so-lovely "Fricasse" - which was 2 fried eggs on braised short ribs, roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, arugula and smoked applewood cheddar. Amazing, amazing amazing..not to mention the grilled focaccia that accompanied it. Mmm...will definitely return to satisfy future brunch cravings!
I went here for the first time last weekend and ordered one of the baked egg dishes, without knowing it was going to be similar to a quiche, which I hate. Turns out that it was really good and I really liked it. The service was very attentive and friendly. We had a crappy spot by a door that people were going in and out of, but it wasn't too much of a nuisance. I also ordered a London Fog, which wasn't on the menu, and it was amazing! I think they may have used an actual Vanilla pod to make it. I'd come back just for those...
I've been a loyal Cafe Medina visitor since the joint first opened with a skeleton menu of waffles, yogurt with fresh fruit, and amazing coffee. Now that they've got full on breakfast, brunch, and lunch I'm a regular, and I can tell you that in my mind there's no better brunch in the city. The shortrib-ladden fricasse with apples and smoked cheddar is among my favorites, as is the antipasto for a lighter lunch. Brunches are always packed and rightly so. I don't know how Robbie keeps such cool under pressure and the rest of the staff are always a treat. A tip - if you go early on the weekends (around 9AM) there's no wait.