Bel Cafe Review – Rosewood Hotel Georgia

First opened in 1927, the recently renovated Rosewood Hotel Georgia is the city’s most historic retreat. While walking through this luxury boutique hotel, I marveled at its beautifully designed and gorgeously styled lobby.

Located inside the Rosewood Hotel Georgia is the equally sleek and sophisticated Bel Cafe. Situated in the perfect downtown Vancouver location, the cafe is right on the corner of West Georgia and Howe.

Conceived and operated by famed Chef David Hawksworth, Bel Cafe features patisserie-style baked goods, specialty sandwiches and custom-roasted 49th Parallel coffee.

Bel Cafe’s ambiance exudes the casual and chic flair of a contemporary European-style cafe. Exquisitely decorated using relaxing muted tones, rich dark wood paneling, chrome accents and honed black granite floors – all reflecting the cafe’s soothing elegance.

We ordered a couple espresso beverages, some pastries and of course I had to sample every flavour of macaron available. With three cash registers, customers don’t have to wait more than a few minutes to order at the counter. We placed our order and were kindly directed to have a seat and our items would be served to us promptly. What cafe/coffee shop do you know of that provides linen napkins and table service? Impeccable. Fresh flowers on each table is also a nice touch.

My 12oz latte ($3.75) was smooth and rich – I wouldn’t expect anything less from 49th Parallel coffee. The sweet espresso flavour was even more prominent in Gary’s 12oz Americano ($2.68). Overall, really superb beverages. My croissant ($2.59) was buttery and flaky, while being rich and fluffy inside but not overly sweet or salty. The chocolate croissant’s ($2.95) interior had an adequate amount of rich dark chocolate, again with just the right amount of sweetness.

Their white cups, saucers and plates are adorable, with lovely turquoise dotted line trim, and are each adorned with the Bel Cafe logo.

Having had a plethora of French macarons in Vancouver – some great, others unsatisfactory – the macarons ($2.00 each) at Bel Cafe are actually quite nice. Bite-sized and very fresh with delicately crisp outer shells, I appreciate their natural looking colours, as opposed to more radioactive/food colouring-laden Thierry macarons. Bel Cafe’s macarons possess subtle flavours, but you can easily distinguish between the tastes of the six varieties: rose & raspberry, passion fruit, vanilla bean, dark chocolate, pistachio, and black sesame & yuzu.

Non-pretentious, first-class service was demonstrated by all friendly staff members. Our smartly-dressed server provided observant and swift table service; plates were cleared and a quality check was conducted. Prices are not exorbitant at Bel Cafe and are comparable to other luxury hotel cafes like Fairmont Pacific Rim’s Giovane Cafe (although Bel Cafe provides more service). I even enjoyed Bel Cafe more than our experiences at other Vancouver cafes such as Innocent Coffee, Caffe Artigiano, Milano Coffee, and even 49th Parallel’s flagship cafe. Bel Cafe exceeded my expectations. I can’t wait to return.

Bel Cafe on Urbanspoon

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About Taya & Gary

Gary and Taya Ng are the Founders of Eating In Vancouver & the World. This husband and wife team search for the best dining experiences - including restaurant launches, new menu tastings and culinary events. Learn more about the couple here and connect with them on Twitter and Facebook.

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