Main Street Eats: Roots Cafe

Overall Rating 4.5/5

6502 Main Street, Vancouver, BC

(604) 568-8303

Monday to Friday: 8am – 7pm

Saturday: 9am – 6pm 

Sunday: 9am – 5pm


Our first cafe along the journey was Roots Cafe. We actually made two trips to Roots Cafe because they serve breakfast and lunch so we had to try both.

Roots Cafe is described as a ‘homey Canadian cafe’ and that it is. A very relaxed vibe is obvious once you walk through the door. The feeling we got is that this is a very chill coffee shop where both local high school and college students come to hang out after school, construction workers come for their morning coffee and lunch, and local employees grab their coffee before work. A busy place at certain times of the day and quiet at other times.


We ate breakfast there at about 9:30am and it was clearly a quiet time. When we got there there was only one other person there. We had no issue with it as we got to enjoy a quiet breakfast as a family.

Their breakfast menu is brief with only 3 options. 2 classic breakfasts with eggs and the usual sides and one breakfast sandwich. I ordered the big breakfast (house made hashbrowns, bacon, turkey sausage, curried baked beans, toast, & 2 free run eggs, scrambled) and Sam had the breakfast sandwich (2 free run eggs topped with cheddar cheese, mixed greens, tomato, onion & mayo on Texas toast. Served with house made hashbrowns). Before we get into the details, let me just say, you need to eat here; everything we ate at this place is fantastic and we never left hungry.


The Big Breakfast ($9.95) had plenty of food as you can see from the picture above. The food was seasoned perfectly, this kitchen knows how to use and not abuse salt. The hashbrowns were delicious as they were crispy on the outside and soft cooked perfectly on the inside and seasoned perfectly with a flavour I’m not sure I’ve has before. It almost tasted slightly curried but I can’t say for sure that’s what it was. One thing I’ve never seen on a breakfast plate before is curried beans. Those were very interesting and I must say I enjoyed them although I didn’t finish them. It was such a unique taste that may tastebuds couldn’t take too much of it, but I suggest you try them yourself because it’s an experience in itself.


Sam’s breakfast sandwich ($6.95) was large. Large enough that she couldn’t finish it and I got to try what she couldn’t finish. It is presented beautifully with the marbled Texas toast and a side of their house made hashbrowns which was generous as usually breakfast sandwiches don’t come with a side in my experience. As a breakfast sandwich should be, the yolk was runny throughout the sandwich which is a must in a egg sandwich. The mix of the yolk and mayo made a perfect sauce that covered each bite.

Salted Caramel Latte (left) and white chocolate mocha (right)
Since Roots is a cafe we both decided to try a beverage with our breakfasts. Neither of us are regular coffee drinkers, however we gave their white chocolate mocha and salted caramel latte a try. I loved my mocha – which is saying a lot since coffee is not a favourite flavour of mine. Sam enjoyed the salted caramel latte, even though I found it too salty. I don’t believe the latte is available all year round, likely a seasonal beverage. Needless to say breakfast was a hit.


While there, we noticed an award for their butter chicken poutine ($10.95), and since we didn’t have room to try it after our breakfasts, we decided we would come back another time for lunch. The award was not lying. Sam and I shared the butter chicken poutine along with two more beverages – white hot chocolate for me and a dark hot chocolate for her. The portion was generous, we’re glad we shared, and it tasted amazing. The fries were nice and crunchy despite being topped with butter chicken. The spiciness of the butter chicken was above average and there was a paste in the middle that had an extra kick was was nice but overall a great balance of flavours and textures. We would suggest mixing the paste in with the rest of the butter chicken. It was the best thing we’ve eaten on this journey so far. We both loved our hot chocolates also, not to sweet but full of flavour.


Dark hot chocolate (left) and white hot chocolate (right)
Overall, this was as close to a 5/5 as you can get without being a 5/5. If I had to tell give a negative about the place it would be the lack of choice of bread. Usually with breakfasts that include toast you get to choose your bread. White seemed to be the only option here and I expected to have a bit more variety. One last thing was the lack of choice of jam for the toast; I was given strawberry which I quite enjoy but for someone who doesn’t like it I could see this as a problem for them. And, I was only given one thing of jam for 2 slices of toast. I’m sure if I asked for more I could get some but it would have been nice to be served with what was needed. One thought Sam had here was that the beans were meant to go on the toast. As this place is famous for their poutine, a french dish, and beans on toast is a Quebec thing. But again, for someone who doesn’t like that, sufficient jam should be available. Service wasn’t fantastic but as this is not an actual restaurant I’m not sure what was to be expected. Nobody asked us how anything was at any point during being there. After we ordered, we didn’t talk to another employee at all actually. That is just us nitpicking at minor issues, though, because overall everything we ate was fantastic and we left satisfied.

A couple final things to mention, they are licensed. They have Steel & Oak’s Red Pilsner and Blue Buck on tap. They also make all their sandwiches that you see in the case in house. Go check this place out and make sure to try the butter chicken poutine, you won’t be disappointed.


Food – 5/5 – can’t find a complaint about the food we ate

Service 4/5 – some sort of interaction after ordering would have been appreciated

Kid-friendliness- 4.5/5 – no kids’ menu but very accommodating of kids and had a high chair

Decor – 5/5 – modern, fun, homey feeling

Value – 5/5 – hot drinks were cheaper and better tasting than Starbucks or any other corporate chain and the food prices were comparable to most places with the added value of a home-cooked feeling

Never stop adventuring!