Food Fight: Cafe Deux Soleils is the ultimate veggie hipster eatery

The ambiance of Café Deux Soleils explodes out the doors onto their large, scenically painted entrance wall. It is easy to see that their goal is to make a healthy and trendy home-away-from-home aimed to be a hub for casual meetings, such as coffee catch-ups, study dates during the day, and relaxing nights out.

The presentation of the menu has to be my favorite part of this cafe. On a huge blackboard on the wall, colorful chalk professionally scripts the surface with vegetarian and vegan-friendly comfort food. Other things that I felt fit perfectly with the rustic and homely ambiance were the semi-open kitchen, the worn-down furniture, high warehouse style ceiling, and a children’s play area.

Almost every night, you’re in for a performance, whether it be local live music, a comedy show, open mic night, or a poetry slam. Whether you are interested in playing at Café Deux Soleils or showcasing your art, they are open to contact. These events and booking forms show that the cafe is as committed to building a sense of community and togetherness as it was when it opened 20 years ago.

I kicked around all day at this cafe to read a book and also meet a friend for a late lunch. The first thing I ordered was a soy mocha. It was average — I tasted more of the rich chocolatey flavor which overpowered the coffee taste. I had a feeling that their drip coffee would have been a better option.

For lunch, I ordered a basic veggie burger with half hash browns and half salad. The veggie burger was true to nature healthy, tasting more of chickpeas and veggies than some kind of suspicious fake meat. That being said, I found the veggie patty to be quite bland, needing a bit of a kick from either some hot sauce or jalapenos. Their hash browns were well-seasoned chunks, but what really impressed me was their salad — it was straight-up delicious.

The greens were fresh and not at all bitter, and the dressing had a zing without being wince-inducing. This is coming from someone who is very picky about their salads. I know what you’re thinking: how can a vegan be picky about salad? My friend wasn’t very hungry, so she opted for some miso soup, but instantly regretted it. She claimed that it didn’t taste very traditional at all and had a weird gingery aftertaste.

We both opted for fruit smoothies for dessert, and I swear I’ve never tasted a better smoothie in my entire life. This surprised me, because I live off of smoothies — how could a basic strawberry banana almond milk smoothie top every smoothie I’ve ever made or bought? I’m still mystified by it. If anything, I’ve vowed to go back and try more of their salads and order about a litre of that damn fine smoothie.

The service was nothing special, but nothing to complain about, either. It was almost fitting to have friendly but curt service, also quite understandable as a lineup formed every hour or so. I especially loved that everything was served on regular plates and everything was compostable — very sustainable.

Visit this charming cafe, and don’t forget to bring a book. Their breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus are extensive and creative; enjoyable for any Vancouverite.

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