Settle arm-wrestling scores over sips and scones with The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver's afternoon tea for two ($36 per person), currently themed as "The Princess and the Tea." Guests will sit in the wing-backed chairs of the hotel's 900 West Lounge and be treated to fine finger foods made in-house and tasty teas, blended exclusively for Fairmont guests by the Metropolitan Tea Company. Delectables arrive on a three-tiered platter in an arrangement so appealing that Busby Berkeley's ghost's mouth would water—current bites include freshly baked plain and raisin scones, tea sandwiches topped with goodies such as chicken salad or cucumber, and pastries including lemon cheesecake and fruit tarts. Teawise, Fairmont's 14 flavours include the caramel notes of Maple Maple, the stress-reducing Egyptian chamomile, the green goodness of Jasmine Butterfly #1, and the limited edition 1907 Centennial Blend, drawing from a Harlem Globetrotter's passport's worth of international influences.
Ripple Rock Cafe starts off mornings with the rich aromas of freshly brewed coffee and warm pastries, and greets the afternoon with healthy salads and hearty sandwiches. Like a tropical beach created by covering the bathroom floor with sand, the bill of fare is both homey and exotic—smoked meatloaf and cold turkey sandwiches are served alongside quinoa falafel wraps and sandwiches stuffed with prosciutto, fig, and goat cheese. Breakfast finds guests leisurely sipping lattes and frothy cappuccinos, or fuelling their bodies for work with wild mushroom omelets, eggs cooked any way, and homemade granola bars.
With a simple, soothing interior and a large menu of coffee, bubble tea, shakes, and pastries, it's clear that the owners of Tasty Life Cafe know what their customers like. Their formula isn't complicated: supplement a calm atmosphere with coffee, a sprawling variety of teas, and desserts that include custards and fruit-heaped cakes, and watch as the caf? becomes the go-to oasis of myriad locals. Reading a book on the leather sofa, sharing cookies in the glow of a table lamp, or consulting a crystal ball to decide between tea with tapioca pearls or agar jelly, customers can appreciate the cafe's generous menu and warm environment.
The decadent side of Belgian cuisine comes out at Leonidas Chocolate Cafe. There, chefs use slabs of melted Belgian chocolate to create a creamy counterpoint to the crisp sweetness of liege waffles and the sweet juiciness of whole, dipped strawberries. Chocolate isn't the only flavor they use, however. They also serve cups of tea, brightly colored macarons, and cafe fare so authentic it encourages exclamations in French, Dutch, and German.
All diners are welcome at Fynfood, especially those with special dietary needs. The kitchen whips up vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, including burgers and lunch-ready sandwiches and wraps. But you don't need to be on a special diet to enjoy their menu?anyone with a mind to eat more healthfully can stop by for a nutrient-rich smoothie or a lighter vegan dessert.
After baking cookies at the Cookies of Course storefront for 29 years, Alan Boysen recently turned to delivery as a means to supply his customers with fresh-baked treats. Despite losing their beloved retail space to a renoviction, the Cookies of Course crew now serves up more than 20 styles of cookie from their delivery Prius, ferrying everything from tubs of cookie batter to dozens of peanut butter chocolate chip treats straight to doors. A rotating menu of cookies du jour keeps customers guessing with options such as peanut butter milk chocolate and Kona cookies made with coconut, macadamias, milk chocolate chips, and ground organic coffee beans. Staff can even accommodate orders with a day's notice if placed before 8 a.m., and deliver treats for a forgotten birthday or impromptu Cookie Monster shrine.