When I set out to visit the Innocent Coffee, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it had good reviews on the internet, there was a gallery upstairs and it’s in an area I haven’t been to yet. Good coffee, fun gallery, new part of the city; that’s really enough for me. Nonetheless, when I got to Innocent Coffee it was not what I expected.
REVIEW: Innocent Coffee
1340 West 4th Ave
Fairview Slopes Vancouver
Rating: 4 Stars
The café is on the ground floor of the building and the gallery is on the first floor. The first thing you notice when you walk in the door is that the café is small. Very small. Maybe half the size of my living room kind of small. There’s only room for 6 people to sit down and when I had to blow my nose, I was almost too embarrassed to do it. I felt like I was intruding on the barista’s personal space.
The décor reminds me of your hipster friend’s nicely decorated apartment; white walls punctuated with minimalistic furniture and simple but cute decorations (like a black framed print from Where The Wild Things Are). So in spite of it’s size, it’s a really pleasant space and the baristas are actually pretty friendly (and don’t scorn you for blowing your nose). Upstairs the Upper Room is a casual gallery that displays local artist’s work. When I visited, the exhibition was mostly portraits and entry was free. I’m not someone who can speak about art with authority, but I enjoyed the collection.
Most importantly, however, above everything I’ve written so far is the fact that the coffee is excellent. I can’t stress this enough: it was truly, properly good coffee. Creamy and thick, with a strong but unburnt flavour. It was an excellent coffee. I think Melriches has got real competition. But I guess what Melriches has is both good coffee AND the kind of space and atmosphere where you can spend a morning leisurely reading the paper or working on your next blog post. Innocent Coffee doesn’t have that. It’s a nice place to have a coffee, but not somewhere you can lounge around.