My Local Café moves into Point Grey

New vegetarian café breathes fresh life into otherwise sleepy Point Grey.

New vegetarian neighbourhood café breathes fresh life into otherwise sleepy Point Grey


After two years of living in Point Grey, I’ve come to appreciate this functional albeit somewhat sleepy neighbourhood and have accepted that it just isn’t a Vancouver area likely to develop a rich and unique sense of community. Recently, however, some new additions in the form of cafés and choice yoga studios have altered my staunch perception of Point Grey as a dull but comfortable place to live.


My Local Café

3770 West 10th Ave, Vancouver


When a place opens up four blocks away from you and calls itself My Local Café, one has expectations. Under new ownership, the recently opened café formally known as Lavender Lotus is an all-vegetarian establishment with options for celiacs, vegans and anyone who appreciates food made from quality ingredients.


My Local Cafe, Vancouver
New neighbourhood hangout, My Local Café, moves into
Point Grey.
© monique cheung 2010

As you might expect from a “café,” My Local Café has a full list of espresso drinks as well as some sweet options, but it also offers much more—a selection of full meals made of exceptional ingredients.

My Local Cafe, VancouverMy Local Cafe, Vancouver
My Local Café goes beyond the usual café fare, offering vegan and
gluten-free desserts and goodies in addition to
fair-trade organic coffee
roasted in Vancouver
. © monique cheung 2010

Situated near the Alma/Broadway B-line bus stops, My Local Café is an ideal place to stop en route to or from UBC. Choose between at least three weekly special entrees, two soups or create your own delicious sandwich, and find myriad gluten-free and/or vegan baked goods that are as decadent as they are healthy.

My Local Cafe, Vancouver
Friendly front counter and specials board. © monique cheung 2010

As a vegan myself, I am utterly elated when an establishment understands the concept. When I expressed this to the owner, Shafique Shivij, he explained that he wanted to open the café partially due to his own quest for a good lunch in Point Grey, and he clearly recognized the demand for gluten-free and vegan offerings. That said, I’d actually be surprised to discover anyone who actually notices that My Local Café doesn’t serve meat, with so many hunger-satiating, revolving menu options.

My Local Cafe, VancouverMy Local Cafe, Vancouver
Left: Deli case with daily salads, vegan treats, rotating entrees and
the sandwich of the week.

Right: Lia Miekle, the official “ingredient enthusiast,” dishes out her grandma’s

cabbage rolls. © monique cheung 2010

Most likely you’ll enter the café to be greeted enthusiastically by the smiling Lia Miekle, the resident “ingredient enthusiast,” as declared on her business card. Lia learned my name after just a couple visits, and though I usually prefer to remain anonymous when dining alone, the friendliness of the café embraces me into feeling as though this actually is my local café. They remember what you like and are eager to offer recommendations for the daily specials tailored to your own tastes and/or dietary preferences.

My Local Cafe, Vancouver
Throw on a record or grab some sustainable to-go birch cutlery! © monique cheung 2010

The décor is understated with somewhat-retro tables and furniture, a collection of records to browse and a classy deli/bakery case. My Local Café doesn’t (yet) have Wi-fi, nor are there many power outlets available, meaning you won’t find the long-parking UBC students with their heads buried in laptops so ubiquitous to the area. Instead, the atmosphere is decidedly lo-fi, with a large pile of magazines and newspapers for you to peruse while taking a welcome break from your computer screen.

My Local Cafe, VancouverMy Local Cafe, Vancouver
Left: The café’s veggie burger with handmade patty and artisan bun.

Right: The classic soup and sandwich combo never dissappoints (they even serve it with homemade gluten-free bread!).

© monique cheung 2010

The rotating entrées can be anything from spring tacos, cabbage rolls, house-made veggie burgers, quiches and more, while the soups generally include a dahl along with the seasonal selection of the week.

I often opt for a sandwich, simply because the house-made gluten-free bread is so delicious and the staff are not afraid to pile it high with fresh veggies, avocado, grainy mustard and hummus. The sandwiches come with a side salad selected from the three daily offerings. The roasted veggie salad seems to be a mainstay, but I’ve tasted delicious Asian slaw, white bean and arugula, Vietnamese noodle, and more. Everything is always exceedingly fresh and made daily.

My Local Cafe, Vancouver
Breakfast at My Local Café: Himalayan cracked wheat with roasted rhubarb, nuts, and seeds. © monique cheung 2010

My Local Café could improve by expanding their hours beyond 6 p.m., given that the more hearty entrees like the veggie burger and cabbage rolls are fully satisfying for a dinner on the go. Otherwise, the café is a precious addition to Point Grey and the kind of place that brings a neighbourhood together and attracts appreciative and loyal customers.

The offerings for special diets, the focus on fresh and organic ingredients, and their attention to ecologically-minded business practices are just icing on the vegan cake!

My Local Cafe, Vancouver
The staff of My Local Café. © monique cheung 2010



Gabrielle Pope

Gabrielle Pope blogs about the vegan lifestyle in Vancouver. Dividing her thoughts between literature and the Vancouver Canucks, she is currently writing a novel for her thesis at UBC’s MFA Creative Writing program.


Monique Cheung Photography

Monique Cheung is a freelance commercial photographer who is returning after a decade away living on Vancouver Island and in Seattle. Vancouver’s amazing food scene has lured her home and she’s having a fantastic time rediscovering the city and capturing it all on film. Website | Twitter