The Elegant Café Life

Written by Lori Thiessen

When I was in Italy for a couple of months in 2006, there was a café near the Prato Porta al Serraglio train station that was exactly like my idea of what an elegant European café should be. The interior was beautiful; dark wood, white and black tile on the floor, white marble countertops, shining copper fittings on the equipment behind the counter. Gorgeous. I felt so elegant going in there ordering a caffe latte, per favore. The name of the place is Chocolat.

Here in Vancouver, there is only one place that reminds of that one. A little, narrow café on Howe Street called Mario’s Coffee Express. Not an elegant name, but the interior looks very much like the smaller cafes I saw in Italy.

There is a new chain in town called Caffe Artigiano and the décor is reminiscent of the more rustic variety of European café. It’s quite nice but nothing does it for me quite like marble countertops and bright copper fittings.

In Italy, the coffee drinking day goes something like this:

  • Early morning to 11:00 am – milky coffee drinks
  • 12:00 pm to early morning – espresso

It’s wonderful to have a cioccolata sacchettini (a little pastry filled with chocolate) with a caffe latte at 10 am. Talk about a caffeine chocolaty sugary energy boost!

If you are thinking of having a girls’ day out or impressing your date, I would suggest visiting one of the more upscale cafes. It’s a great start to a wonderful day, or night!

Here’s a little music to get you in the mood.

Q: What is your favorite upscale café and why?

Until next time,

May your coffee always be freshly brewed!


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