Vancouver: Where to go for coffee
I change when I get to Vancouver.
I'm as happy in the independent coffee shops as I am in the Canadian corporate owned chains.
Frankly, Tim Horton's is an institution and a day in Canada doesn't feel complete with out a visit. Here I change too; I have French Vanilla occasionally, especially as my late evening drink. And I bring a tub home. It may not be coffee but it's comfort drink!
But the difference in the corporate chains in Vancouver is that the staff offer the same Canadian warm welcome as the indies. Even in San Francisco last year, the chains were remarkably more friendly than the indies, many of which I'd never go back to.
In Birmingham, I stick to the indies (well, some of them) because I get the customer service I expect so I can't say with certainty what the corporates are like these days. Do they offer the same service?
I won't switch because I always want to support the local business. But in Vancouver, when I'm spending my money in a Canadian chain, it feels local.