A killer sandwich in complete serenity at Finch’s Market
The majority of Vancouver’s coffee houses are packed virtually side-by-side on the city’s busiest boulevards – be it the string of old school roasters lining Commercial Drive, or the hipster-driven houses of Main Street. Very rare is the hidden gem tucked away in a side residential street, and of these, Finch’s Market in Strathcona is perhaps the finest.
A re-purposed early 1900’s corner store, Finch’s Market acts as the quiet, somewhat cozier compliment to the buzzing and beloved downtown Finch’s Tea & Coffee House upon which the proprietors have built their brand. Where that location captures the rush of Vancouver’s go-getter atmosphere, Finch’s Market gives a more accurate look into the relaxed side of life on the West Coast.
We entered to the sound of an antique copper coffee machine hissing, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ romantic ‘Maps’ pulsing gently on the speakers. We grabbed the bright corner window seat – somehow Finch’s has created the perfect amount of seating, ensuring the room is always full of people but, still, it’s never impossible to find a comfortable spot.
The room is filled with working antiques, and the focus on an inviting atmosphere comes across with ease. The fully stocked food wall is accessible by rolling ladder, and despite the small selection, everything on offer is chosen for it’s popularity, rarity or quality.
Food-wise, the house specialty is any one of the filling and flavourful sandwiches. My personal favourite – the Prosciutto Baguette – is stuffed with thinly sliced meat, fresh lettuce, Edam cheese, and balsamic vinegar (and in my case, sliced cucumber replacing the typical sliced tomato). Paired with an Almond Rooibos Tea from the impressive tea wall and a freshly-baked chocolate chip cookie, the afternoon was off to a perfect start.
My friend had the house breakfast, brightly coloured tomato and avocado with soft boiled eggs and crispy toast, and an Americano from the dependable copper machine behind the counter.
Entering through the front door gives one the sensation of stepping back several decades (albeit soundtracked by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) into the type of friendly neighbourhood market and café which has sadly become an endangered species in Canada. Finch’s Market is the type of place that makes a neighbourhood a neighbourhood, and despite its newness, it feels as though it’s always been there. During our visit, we not only shared a conversation with the baristas behind the counter, but also a quick friendly hello with two of the neighboring tables.
Finch’s Market embraces the adage that what isn’t broke doesn’t need fixing, turning back the clock and focusing on comfort and warmth. An inner-city escape – not to be missed.