Walking into Finch’s tea & coffee house on West Pender is like walking into my Scottish grandmother’s wooden kitchen. On a block next to a run down hostel, one would take the said coffee house as some place to get a $3.00 all day greasy breakfast (sorry, Bon’s). Instead, if Finch’s were a toiletry item, I would compare it to a lavender bar of home made soap that leaves you feeling soft, smooth and moisturized even hours after use.
On a cold, rainy Thursday Finch’s seemed like the perfect place to grab some grub. We sat on one of the elevated window seats on the Richard’s Street side. At this point it was about 3pm, and we were the only customers there, save for the couple of staff members on lunch break having some food themselves and talking about their drunken night before chowing down on Vera’s bbq sauce (I’m a guilty eavesdropper).
I decided on the avocado, edam, roasted-walnut, cucumber, lettuce, and dijon-mayo baguette and cup of coffee from Vancouver’s JJBean. While waiting for my sandwich to be made, a few late lunchers trickled in and filled up the quiet coffee house, which is usually packed with business people on a quick lunch break or VFS and SFU students on a cute lunch date between classes.
Finch’s is delicately decorated with dried flowers, old hard cover books, and even a vintage hockey game; the kind your parents probably used to play in Winnipeg. The ceiling is covered with old, cracked, moss green wall paper, and the kind of wooden furniture one finds at an antique store on Main Street. Seating is limited and at times one finds themselves standing and loitering near the doorway waiting to pounce on the next available spot and eyeing those just finishing up.
The menu board is made up of old picture frames and chalkboards with Finch’s offerings written in cursive, reminiscent of elementary school teachers teaching spelling in the fourth grade.
My sandwich came on a “paper plate”. Literally, a piece of brown wax paper. The baguette sliced open with what seemed an entire avocado stretching the length of the baguette. Lettuce was layered under the avocado and the entire sandwich was sprinkled with a generous amount of walnuts and coarse salt. The cucumber was a tasty addition to my lunch and gave the sandwich a satisfying crunch.The total of my lunch came to about $15.00 with tax ($14.14 to be exact).
If you’re looking for a cute place to lunch Finch’s is great. If you’re looking for something quick because you’re starving and you need something in your aching belly immediately, I’d suggest going somewhere else. This cute restaurant appears to be the perfect place for breakfast and lunch. Unfortunately, the hours and limited seating makes it difficult to go on a whim. One needs to take into consideration its popularity and also have enough patience to deal with lines and customers who have no problem taking their time and enjoying their food. Finch’s seems to pride themselves on beauty, freshness, and quality. It is open Monday to Friday, from 9-5pm, Saturday 11-4pm, and closed on Sundays.
Photos by Beatrix