|Cuisine Type |||Coffee Shop, Sandwiches|
|Meals Served |||Light Meals/Snacks, Dessert|
|Amenities |||No Alcohol, Coffeehouses & Desserts, Counter & Bar Service|
|Payment |||MasterCard, American Express, Visa|
|Neighbourhood |||Vancouver Lower Mainland|
|Getting There |||Bus 20|
|Cross Street |||William Street|
|Open every day; hours change seasonally.|
Profile Last Updated: May 07, 2009
A local hangout since the 1970s, Joe’s Café continues to attract an eclectic mix of customers. When artists, musicians and lefties started moving into the neighbourhood in the early ’80s, Joe’s quickly became the hot spot to hang out and talk politics and culture. Over the years, the cool, creative scene has attracted celebrities such as Sarah McLachlan, k.d. lang, Colin James and 54-40. The café has also been a muse for artists: Wyckham Porteous wrote and starred in his hit play Joe’s Café at the Arts Club Theatre, and the Ludwigs wrote a song about the café, Indecent at Joe’s Café, which appeared on their 1992 album, Idle and Undesirable. The man behind the business, Joe Antunes, can still be spotted in the shop with his brother and business partner, Antonio. The Portuguese pair help attract a strong clientele from their homeland, but on any given day you can hear about a half dozen languages spoken in this epicentre of multiculturalism.
Meet new friends
Joe’s Café is akin to a high school cafeteria, with a linoleum floor, bright lights and walls plastered with sports paraphernalia and posters for upcoming bands and events. But unlike high school, sitting at someone else’s table (even the cool kids) is encouraged with bright signs that read: “Please share a table and make a new friend!” And that actually happens at Joe’s. The space encourages socializing, with tables pushed together to accommodate big groups and plenty of diversions in the big space, which is split into two rooms. There are four pool tables, a pair of foosball tables, a few video games, pinball and a juke box. The café really fills up when there’s a big game on, with three big screens to catch all the action.
Classic coffees and satisfying snacks
The writing is on the wall — literally — and on the front window: Joe’s boasts the best cappuccino is town. It’s a bold statement given the number of coffee shops on the Drive alone, but the brew lives up to its reputation. In addition to classic European coffees, Joe’s offers a wide variety of cold drinks, including ice cream floats. There are also lots of snacks to choose from, such as chips, muffins and pastries. Joe’s is also known for its traditional Portuguese sandwiches, which you can build yourself from a selection of meats, veggies and cheeses.