Filed under: Commercial Drive Restaurant Reviews. Tagged as: Best Vancouver Restaurants, Commercial Drive Restaurants, Vancouver Restaurants.
We love our Commercial Drive neighborhood and are very proud to be located in an area of Vancouver that so perfectly represents the Vancouver melting pot culture through it’s many diverse restaurants! As a B&B / Guest House only 1 1/2 blocks off the most vibrant area of “The Drive” , we are frequently asked for our recommendations on all those wonderful restaurants, coffee shops and pubs, which are all within easy walking distance of our B&B. Renovating an historic house, then managing a very busy B&B, has meant that we have, unfortunately, not had a lot of time to go out for leisurely dinners, while away evenings in the pubs, or sit on the many lovely patios drinking coffee or sipping suds. However, it’s time for that to change! How can we give good suggestions to our guests when we mostly frequent the same half dozen establishments whenever we need a quick bite?!
So, we’ve decided to make a project out of it (as well as giving ourselves an excuse to get out and enjoy the Commercial Drive “scene”!). For the next several months, or as long as it takes, we plan to once a week sample the bites and sips at every coffee shop, restaurant or pub between Venables Street and 12th Avenue, working our way South from Venables on the East side of the Drive to 12th Avenue, then back on the West side. A “Review” done by a “Bee” (and Thistle) should obviously be called a “Bee-view”, so this is our Bee-view of the Bump & Grind Coffee Shop located @ 916 Commercial Drive, Vancouver.
When we walked down to the Drive this morning it was a typical Vancouver weather day – i.e. bucketing down rain. So we didn’t really expect that a little coffee shop would be very busy – but it was packed! Obviously very popular, many people chatting with friends and/or enjoying the free wifi over coffee. We were lucky to find one table available so quickly grabbed it while we decided what to sample. They have a fairly extensive coffee menu (surprise – it’s a coffee shop!), plus a smallish selection of food items. We went for a breakfast burrito, a grilled brie & pancetta panini, basic black coffee and shared a gluten free brownie for dessert (we get many guests who don’t eat gluten so I wanted to try it). The breakfast burrito @ $4.50 was very good. Scrambled eggs, black beans, potatoes, etc. in a tortilla, grilled and served warm with sour cream and salsa. We thought the panini ($6.50), which sounded great and included slices of green apple, was just “okay” and maybe even a bit bland. They did also offer a vegetarian panini, which may be worth a try if we make it back this way at the end of our “circuit” of the Drive. The gluten/sugar free brownie ($3.00) was actually pretty good for a gluten free product (we bought one for a guest on a gluten free diet and she also liked it). Coffee is a serious subject for those of us who live in Vancouver – the city with a Starbucks or other chain coffee shop on almost every corner. But it’s also such a personal choice and we often hear our guests debate the question of which chain reigns supreme. For us, the coffee at the Bump & Grind wasn’t our favourite, but obviously that’s only our taste and the number of clients happily sipping their brew of choice suggests that our opinion is definitely not universal! Besides the food and coffee, we particularly appreciated the very attentive and friendly staff. Overall, we would say that you won’t go too far wrong if you pop into the Bump & Grind for a quick bite or a cup of your favorite beverage. Come on down to the Drive and check it out! Remember, this is only our opinion – we would love comments about the places we review or about your own favourite haunts on the Drive. Just one more thought – as I was thinking about the subject of best restaurants on Commercial Drive, I came across the Commercial Drive website: http://www.thedrive.ca/, which had lots of interesting information about our neighborhood, but also was highlighting two very interesting articles about food on the Drive. The first was the 2011 Georgia Straight’s “Best of Vancouver” list, which highlighted awards to Bandidas Taqueria (one of our favourites), Blenz Coffee, Continental Coffee, JJ Bean, La Grotta Del Formaggio, Little Nest, Memphis Blues and Uncle Fatih’s Pizza. The second one was the Vancouver 2011 Golden Plates Awards, which included Harambe, Szechuan Chongqing, Little Nest, Havana (of course), Bandidas Taqueria (again), the Libra Room, Belgian Fries, Vera’s Burger Shack, La Grotta Del Formaggio, Megabite Pizza, Fratelli Italian Bakery, Uprising Bakery, Waves Coffee Shop, JJ Bean, BierCraft Tap & Tapas Bar, St. Augustine’s and even Starbucks. Stay tuned for our review of Zawa Restaurant next.