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3.5
  • Food3.5
  • Service3
  • Value3
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews54

Cafe Medina

780 Richards St
Vancouver, BC V6B3A4
Tel: (604) 879-3114
Neighbourhood: Central

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 54 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Everybody Stop Going!
By Feed me a kitty cat of Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 1:58pm [Dine in]

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!

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One of my favourites for breaky
By thecritic of Vancouver (376 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, December 3, 2010 - 1:54pm [Dine in]

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.

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Good food
By jennko of Vancouver (86 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, July 11, 2009 - 11:57pm [Dine in]

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.

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Some important elements missing
By business1 of Vancouver or area (3 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, July 22, 2011 - 2:04pm [Dine in]

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"

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Great place for upscale brunch
By zach_food of Vancouver (33 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 6:00pm [Dine in]

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.

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nice work medina
By food_lover_van of Vancity - east (6 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, September 26, 2011 - 9:10pm [Dine in]

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!

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is this worth the hype?
By Asnfoodie of Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, June 2, 2010 - 2:17am [Dine in]

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.

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Fancy Breakfast!
By Poppy of Downtown, Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 5, 2009 - 2:25pm [Dine in]

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.

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Best of Vancouver
By koshfoodie of Kitsilano, Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 18, 2008 - 6:52pm [Dine in]

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.

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Great Breakfast, Great Coffee
By carlyanderson of Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, May 9, 2013 - 12:45pm [Dine in]

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.

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Best brunch spot in Vancouver
By nicansyz of Vancouver, West End (6 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, May 24, 2010 - 11:14pm [Dine in]

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.

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A fantastic place for breakfast
By black_siren of Marpole (16 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - 12:16am [Dine in]

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.

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Worth a try
By Dan_Frost of Vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, May 3, 2008 - 3:45pm [Dine in]

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.

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A Must visit no matter where you are from
By I_Like_Food of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, August 2, 2010 - 11:50pm [Dine in]

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.

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Great little brunch spot!
By cherrybomb143 of Surrey, bc (218 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, April 12, 2010 - 9:27pm [Dine in]

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.

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What is the big deal
By karledice of vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 26, 2009 - 1:00am [Dine in]

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

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How Many Ways Can You Cook Eggs?
By dinnerguests of vancouver (27 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, August 9, 2009 - 6:35pm [Dine in]

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.

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I expected more on the waffles
By diningd of vancouver (35 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 1, 2009 - 3:57pm [Dine in]

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.

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Expect a wait, but REALLY GREAT good!
By crazee_turtle of Richmond , BC (38 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - 1:02am [Dine in]

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!

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Worth The Wait
By sublime_eater of New Westminster, B.C. (5 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 5:03pm [Dine in]

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.

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