Note: This is a review written by a coffee-loving digital nomad with other remote workers in mind. I’m experimenting a bit with my posts, as I have a lot to say about the independent cafes in Vancouver. The first part is an overview of the coffee, space, and suitability for remote work. The latter part is more about the coffee and why I like the cafe.

Barista at 49th Parallel Coffee on Main St Vancouver

Behind the bar at 49th Parallel Coffee on Main St

You may have seen the distinct turquoise blue 49th Parallel coffee bags on a smattering of shelves throughout Vancouver’s stores and cafes. For the amount of distribution they have, I am happy they still only have two branches.

I prefer this Main Street branch over the West 4th one. For one thing, it’s in the convenient Golden Main Street Coffee Triangle that roughly begins at Kingsway and Main and runs up to at least 15th. For another, I like the cozy, wooden interior with several seating sections.

Luckys Doughnuts Passionfruit Flavour at 49th Parallel on Main St

Passionfruit flavour from Lucky’s Doughnuts

It’s better if you come with an appetite so that you can have a doughnut and coffee combo. Freshly made Lucky’s Doughnuts are sold here and the flavours go from traditional to more adventurous like Passion Fruit. The texture of each doughnut is slightly different and often compliments the flavours.

Macchiato at 49th Parallel on Main St Vancouver

Macchiato that comes with a summer cordial.

Have either a single origin roast or an espresso-milk drink. The flavour extraction for espressos is always top notch and the milk-to-foam ratio is precise. The macchiato is 2 oz espresso, milk, and foam each, which basically means a traditional cappuccino. The foam wet and well mixed without covering the last fruity notes of the beans. I’ve had lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos over the course of my visits.

49th Parallel Main St Vancouver Seating Space

Communal table seating space on one side of the cafe.

Even though there is steady traffic and the cafe can get busy on weekends, there is always a spot for a solo worker. Seating options include a communal table, window bar seats, individual tables, and an outside patio. I’ve noticed plugs at the communal table. This place doesn’t have Wi-Fi.

49th Parallel Macchiato and Luckys Doughnuts

49th Parallel Macchiato and Lucky’s Doughnuts via Instagram

49th Parallel is one of the reasons I fell in love with independent roasters, not just cafes. Roasters like them often source directly from their producing partners. This close partnership allows a roaster to understand the beans better, and a producer to improve their harvesting methods. The result is better coffee for a consumer like me, while ensuring that the producers in developing countries are getting a much better price for their quality products than random spot market prices (coffee is like gold, a traded commodity, and the prices crashed in the 90s which means farmers struggle to sell at prices that can support their families). 49th Parallel also has a great blog series that shares everything from technical details about burr grinders to their launch into Small Lot roasts.


Good For:

  • Coffee: Espresso and pour-over single origin
  • Food: Doughnuts!
  • Cafe Space: Communal table, individual tables, window bar tables, patio seating
  • Friends: Hangouts & catching up
  • Workspace: Great for reading and and work. Some outlets. No Wi-Fi
Address: 2902 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3G3
Hours: Monday to Saturday 7:00am – 10:00pm
Sunday 7:30am – 10:00pm

If you liked this post, check out my list and map of Vancouver’s Best Independent Cafes.


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