Aperture Coffee Bar (Main St)

Cafes Vancouver

Main has a ton of great restaurants and cafes that stretch as far as the eye can see. A great addition to this neighbourhood is Aperture Coffee Bar, which opened its second location in October 2017. They offer drinks ranging from drip coffee (pour-overs will likely come later) to Iced Fermented Lemon Tea and Ginger Root Beer. Menu selections are short and sweet, with crowd favourites like Grilled Cheese ( with additional toppings of bacon, ham, or avocado), Breakfast Egg Sandwiches, and an assortment of baked goods.

Aperture Coffee Bar (Main Street location) interior has two large rooms.
Aperture Coffee Bar (Main Street location) interior.

For those who are familiar with their Broadway location (243 W Broadway), the cafe size seems to provide limited seating for visiting customers. I am happy to say that this issue has been resolved in their Main Street location (4124 Main St), with high ceilings and not one, but two massive conjoined rooms. There is ample seating, with plenty of free space, and the cafe maintains its comforting, clean aesthetic with wooden decor, potted greenery, locally-inspired art, and old-timey relics like vintage motorbikes and a well-loved piano.

Vintage motorbikes and helmets decorate the cafe.

Vintage, worn piano as cafe decor.

Wood-carved hawk and Gastown paintings decorate the cafe.

Black and white old photos of musicians decorate the cafe walls.

Outside, I can see a busy road with bustling streets, but all I can hear is the soft music playing overhead. The atmosphere is quiet and casual, and it feels like a breath of fresh air. The sensation is similar to that of coffee, wood, and leather; it has a masculine, but comforting feeling, as the heaters blaze on to stifle the winter cold.

One of my favourite aspects about this location is how friendly the service is. The girl who works behind the counter during evenings always remembers our orders, which was surprising since I am not a regular. The coffee is served quickly, and the place is always kept clean. So far, I’ve tried their Matcha Latte, Latte, Hot Chocolate, London Fog Latte, and Drip Coffee.

Matcha Latte. (12oz. $5.00, 16oz. $6.00)
Matcha Latte. (12oz. $5.00, 16oz. $6.00)

The Matcha Latte comes unsweetened, and has a stronger green tea flavour than a lot of other coffee shops. It doesn’t have a grittiness to it as some of them have, and they also offer milk substitutes (soy and almond, I believe) for those who are lactose intolerant. I was pleased with my drink, although it would be nice to let the customer know that it is unsweetened at default prior to payment.

Latte. (12oz. $3.50, 16oz. $4.50)
Latte. (12oz. $3.50, 16oz. $4.50)

It is important to note that rather than serving the Intelligentsia (for their Broadway cafe), this location serves Timbertrain coffee. They do, however, continue to serve Cannele & Honeybun‘s tasty baked creations at the counter, which dedicates themselves to natural and fresh ingredients.

Their Latte has a light milk and pronounced coffee flavour that isn’t watered down by the dairy. Keep in mind, though, that the larger the size you get, the lighter the coffee will turn out.

Hot Chocolate. (16oz. $5.00)
Hot Chocolate. (16oz. $5.00)

This was a lovely mug of Hot Chocolate that suits the weather. I chose to go with a vegan milk, since they only offered it in the largest size, so yours might look and taste a bit different than mine if you get the standard version. The chocolate is perfectly sweet and blends well with the soy. It wasn’t too rich at all, and I found it easy to finish. The cocoa flavour is light and reminds me a mix of a hazelnuts and milk chocolate.

London Fog Latte. (12oz. $4.50, 16oz. $5.50)
London Fog Latte. (12oz. $4.50, 16oz. $5.50)

I was surprised with how much I liked the London Fog Latte. I think I forgot how lovely the combination of Earl Grey tea and (soy) milk tasted. The tea flavour remained quite prominent, and the milk was but an accent in the drink, despite how milky it looks. It had soft floral notes, and it felt like a nice big hug after the rain. A quick note, though, that this seems to be also unsweetened, so you may love this if you like your teas black.

Drip Coffee. (12oz. $3.00, 16oz. $4.00)
Drip Coffee. (12oz. $3.00, 16oz. $4.00)

Drip Coffee was light and fruity, making it very easy to drink for those who love sweeter, lighter-tasting coffees. I don’t generally add any extra milk, cream, or sweeteners to my orders, but you can change the flavour up to your liking if you wish.

Next time, I hope to try their hot foods!

 

Overall

  • Friendly service
  • Roomy interior
  • Timbertrain roasters
  • Longer cafe hours
  • Expressive decor, quiet ambiance
  • Food uses natural and fresh ingredients
  • Hard to park, easier to transit

 

Aperture Coffee Bar (Main St)

4124 Main St,
Vancouver, V5V 3P7
(604) 620-8056

Hours
8:00am – 9:30pm

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