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Canada’s cycling cafés: Musette Caffè

These shops have more than great coffee. If you want to really know what’s going on in a city, stop in, get caffeinated, and then head out on a ride

by David McPherson

Coffee and cycling share a long love affair. Java is part of the sport’s culture. Across Canada, there are cafés that build on this crankarms-and-caffeine connection. But they do more than hang a few bikes on their walls (although many do just that). Some are part museum – showcasing vintage machines and other memorabilia. Others sell cycling gear and offer repairs while you enjoy a cortado. Some have been around for decades, others are just a few years old. All of these places are hubs that foster the passion of the riders in their communities. So, grab a coffee – espresso, cappuccino, latte, drip, americano, whatever you like – and take a tour of the best cycling cafés in the country.

Musette Caffè

Location Vancouver
Owner Thomas Eleizegui
Website musettecaffe.com

What’s your favourite coffee drink?

Espresso is my personal favourite. When I was riding a lot in Europe, especially Italy, that is what we had before we went on the rides. Coach would say, “Let’s have an espresso.” It’s part of the culture. An espresso before a ride keeps your metabolism going even afterward.

Tell me about the café.

I did a lot of cycling in Italy, where I grew up. Opening this café was always a dream of mine. It took 20 years to collect the memorabilia. Then, it started as more of a hobby. Ten years ago, I watched a lot of cycling on TV. I thought I would open a café to have friends around to watch with me. A lot of people think we are just a cycling café, but we cater to many folks, not just cyclists.

What’s the local cycling scene like?

The local cycling scene is quite big. We had club rides in the beginning, then gave them up, and then started them up again this year. One of the favourite rides of our customers is the Quintuplet, where you do all five mountains on the North Shore. There is also the Triple Crown: Cypress, Grouse and Seymour Mountains. Horseshoe Bay is my favourite. You ride along the ocean the whole time. It’s such a beautiful setting, especially early in the morning.

What’s new at the café?

We’ve launched a high-end bike rental business, along with offering mechanic services.

Have any notable cyclists paid you a visit?

Rigoberto Urán, Axel Merckx, Christian Meier and Phil Gaimon to name a few.