The coffee scene in Vancouver is quite grand, with tons of local roasters and brewers spotted all over. Chinatown in particular, has a handful of cafés all located nearby, and when I found myself in the area just the other day, I figured that I should check out some of the good coffee shops in Chinatown.

As someone who just loves a well-brewed cup of coffee, I couldn’t help but take the time to visit a few of the shops I found. Here’s a quick description of the three shops I ended up visiting, and my two cents on them all.

Matchstick Coffee Roasters

coffee, pizza, beer
Kris Liu

The first café I dropped by was Matchstick, which is a very well-known Vancouver-based company with two other locations. The shop was well-decorated with plants and other wooden decor, giving a very calming vibe along with the relaxing music being played.

pizza, coffee, tea, beer
Kris Liu

I had a cup made with their Santa Rita beans, which carry an underlying caramel-like taste. The comfortable lighting and tables made a great study space, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I knew I wanted to visit other shops, I would have stayed there for the rest of the day.

pizza, wine, tea, beer, coffee
Kris Liu

Do give a visit to Matchstick or any of its other locations sometime and see for yourself how you like it.

Address: 213 E Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6A 0B1

Hours: Mon-Sun 7AM-9PM

Aubade Coffee

pizza, cheese
Kris Liu

The next spot I visited was Aubade. The venue is extremely unique, as it shares its location with two other separate businesses: an antiques shop and a barbershop. Aubade is located at a small bar right at the entrance of the room holding these three businesses.

beer, coffee
Kris Liu

The owner is a very friendly man who brews his coffee very methodically using an Aeropress. You can certainly sense his enthusiasm towards his craft just from watching him brew your cup and listening to his describing of the process.

alcohol, beer, espresso, wine, tea, coffee
Kris Liu

The coffee is amazing, and if there is a downside to this place, it would be that it's a rather small space with few seats. That being said, this café isn’t exactly one where you would take out your laptop and get some work done, as it’s much more personally interactive with the owner. Aubade was a fantastic experience, and I would definitely come visit again.

Address: 230 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T3

Hours: Wed-Sun 10AM-6PM, Mon 10AM-3PM

Propaganda Coffee

pizza, beer, coffee
Kris Liu

The third café I visited was right across the street from Aubade, and it was Propaganda Coffee. It was a well-sized shop that was similar to Matchstick, but while Matchstick had a more natural aura, Propaganda had a more industrial vibe with less plant decor and more exposure of the pipes along the rooftop and some of the tables.

espresso, beer, coffee
Kris Liu

While Matchstick has its own roasters, Propaganda produces coffee from a variety of other local roasters, including Timbertrain, Bows & Arrows, and Phil & Sebastian, among others. I had myself a cup of Colombian beans from Timbertrain, and decided to get some studying done here.

Address: 209 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T8

Hours: Mon-Sun 8AM-6PM

I would have went to a fourth shop, but decided to settle down after noticing that my hands were shaking from having three cups of coffee in one hour.

The three cafés I visited in Chinatown certainly had their own separate qualities. Aubade was overall the most enjoyable, with a unique experience and being more of a place for “nerd-ing out” about coffee compared to the other two spots. Matchstick and Propaganda are better locations for getting to work on your laptop, and the two locations differ in design and coffee supply. 

If you find yourself in the Chinatown area sometime soon, drop by these shops and experience them for yourself.