Medina Cafe

Mmm, Medina! One of the best, if not the best, brunch spots in Vancouver.

You’d think that it’d help that Vancouver’s not really a brunch city, but no, Medina is on an entirely new level that they deserve to be recognized for regardless of what city they might be in.

There is, of course, a downside to their popularity. Despite upgrading this summer to a space twice the size of the old, the wait time for a table in Medina is ridiculous. MA arrived first at 10:30am, putting his name down on the wait list (Medina doesn’t take reservations).  The wait time was and hour and a half to an hour and forty-five minutes.

This is not atypical for weekends.

Luckily, once your name is down, you’re free to roam. Don’t worry about them calling your name in, say, an hour, while you’re still out and about–they’ll just keep your name and move down the list.

With time to kill, I suggest wandering around. Sure, it’s 10:30am on a Sunday and most stores haven’t opened yet. But the library is literally a block away, so why not wander around there? Go say hi to Stubby, the one and a half-legged pigeon for me while you’re at it.


After some hot chocolate and a chat with the boy (he works part-time at a store in the VPL area), we headed back to Medina. (They discussed menswear. Both of them have at least three times as many coats as me respectively, so I have every right to suggest I could use a few more myself, right? … Right?)


The waiting list off to the side of a pretty decorative typewriter.

Our names had been called a little while ago, so back we were, waiting for the next table to clear. We eventually hopped up on some bar stools.


AM ordered the Moroccan Mimosa. Fresh orange juice infused with Sumac, star anise and fig mixed with sparkling. Sounds delish, right? … I, the plebe, had water.


Note that Medina’s menu is egg-centric: virtually everything has eggs in them. That being said, the eggs can easily be removed without affecting the flavour of the rest of the ingredients too much. Not that I would recommend that, unless you’re allergic to them–I’d say the eggs enhance the dishes entirely.

We soon set about ordering food, casually chatting about blogging and throwing around pretentious inside jokes all the while.


 My pick of the day!

I tried out the Paella this time. No seafood as you might expect, but yes was it spicy. A little spicier than I expected it to be… but not in a bad way. I’m just awful with spiciness.

I’m also one of the world’s pickiest eaters, so I asked for my eggs to be scrambled instead of fried.

Overall, the meal was bursting with flavour (and spice). The mix of orzo, chorizo, summer vegetables, Grana Padano, avocado, and tomato salad went excitingly well together. Admittedly, it’s not my favourite dish, but I’ll chalk it up to my own personal taste rather than a quality issue. Recommended!


Look at that.

MA ordered the fricassée. It’s Medina’s most popular dish, and is hands down one of my favourite brunch dishes of all time. It’s aesthetically beautiful and tastes even more so.

Braving the wait for Medina for the first time? Reward yourself with the fricassée. Just do it. Braised short ribs, roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, applewood smoked cheddar with grilled focaccia, and the best damn sauce you’d never think to find flavouring a dish like this. SO. GOOD.

Wash it down with something that has a punch to it, then pick a few dips for your post-brunch waffle binge.


I was pretty full, so I went with just one sauce: the peach bourbon. My favourite.

IMG_0191If you don’t mind long waits, I highly recommend a trip to Medina.

Hint: go with people you like. That makes the time pass more quickly. Also, it’s just good practice for enjoying your food. Now I’m going to end here before I start waxing poetic on how the experience of sitting down to a meal matters just as much as the food itself….



Café Medina on Urbanspoon


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