Coming Home Cafe is zany, colourful and lovingly retro

A cash-only diner with serve-yourself coffee ready to pour from a hot plate, the Coming Home Cafe may be low on frills but it doesn't skimp on the flourishes. Homey meals like mac 'n cheese are spiced up with gourmet additions like chorizo, and on that hot plate coffee is Kicking Horse Coffee - quality stuff. Inside, the decor is the kind of thrift-store chic you'd see in an art-school major's first college flat. It's zany, colourful and lovingly retro.

The Coming Home Cafe
The Coming Home Cafe

A cash-only diner with serve-yourself coffee ready to pour from a hot plate, the Coming Home Cafe may be low on frills but it doesn’t skimp on the flourishes. Homey meals like mac ‘n cheese are spiced up with gourmet additions like chorizo, and on that hot plate coffee is Kicking Horse Coffee – quality stuff. Inside, the decor is the kind of thrift-store chic you’d see in an art-school major’s first college flat. It’s zany, colourful and lovingly retro.

I’ve heard a lot of people rave about the Coming Home Cafe, but I’m not often around that part of Sixth. Until recently I’d only stopped by for a brief coffee on the patio, but after seeing a bunch of people mention the cafe on Twitter and in the comments on various posts, I made a point of coming by again.

I’m using Coming Home’s free wifi to write this post now on my second visit this week. Last time I had the divine pulled pork sandwiches (flavourful, topped with coleslaw on a just-crispy-enough bun). Today though, I’m trying the mac ‘n cheese special mentioned above. The nostalgic classic is decadently creamy and cheesy, and that chorizo gives it a nice touch of spice. The prices seemed a mite high at first glance until I tasted the quality ingredients – and saw the note on the board that all prices include HST. Mains range between about $6-8 for the most part, and the coffee starts at $2.75 (but includes a free refill with meal).

I haven’t tried the all-day breakfast yet, but the menu looks great, and I would expect the quality would be as good as lunch. There are also a few nice options like gluten-free bread and options like adding tofu or sauerkraut when you build your own breakfast.

As an aside, if I ever write a post on remarkable bathrooms of New West, the Coming Home Cafe would make the list. Their washroom is a cheeky corner featuring decoupaged paper with bathroom trivia and a few hilarious diagrams. It’s not the fanciest washroom in New West, but it’s definitely memorable!

I have only three quibbles with the restaurant: like most mom-n-pop stores in New West, it’s closed on Mondays (annoying to discover when you’re standing outside the door, as I did on my first attempt to revisit this place), there’s no debit or credit card processing (if you bring out the plastic you’re directed to the G&F Financial cash machine across the street) and the music is terrible. The fiercely poppy mix is not at all my cup of tea (though some of it is so bad it edges towards ironic goodness). The first two points can be overcome with a little planning, and the last can be endured (and I suppose could be a plus for fans of autotune and MC Hammer / Black Eyed Peas mashups).

It’s a short walk from the centre of Uptown, but The Coming Home Cafe is worth going a little out of your way. The food is excellent, the service is friendly and the atmosphere is creative and fun.

Coming Home Café on Urbanspoon

Briana Tomkinson

Briana Tomkinson is a Montreal-based writer and original founder of Tenth to the Fraser. She really likes to write letters by hand.

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8 comments

  1. Thanks for the review – I look forward to trying it, as I've heard lots of good things. My wife and I walked over a while back to go for lunch, but there was an extended closure (the operators/owners were on vacation, I think).

    Sounds like it might be pretty kid-friendly too…

    1. I am already screening Beyonce, Rihana, and Lady Gaga to make sure it's not totally inappropriate. "Can't touch this" sounds mild by comparison…

      1. Oh, I wasn't worried about lyrics, it is just the overall vapidity…and the glitter pants… What's next, C&C Music Factory? Milli Vanilli? Hammer is a Gateway drug.

  2. That place rocks! I love the laid back attitude and the awesome food, the music is so varied though I've been in there and it's disco one day and nina simone another or even just the cbc. I've seen kids in there too, they do have a bowl of toys for kids to occupy them as the parents indulge in their great kick ass bennys. I go as often as I can, heck it;s better than my home!

  3. OMGosh – It was amazing, my roommate and I discovered it on a walk around New West. We went inside, and instantly felt an amazing feeling. We are going today to eat, so i will re post after.. But the feel, and being so warmly welcomed… That was the most amazing feeling ever in a restaurant.. Take it from me, i have been a server/bartender for 10years.. This place is Real!!!!

  4. Fantastic tasty food, great music, I feel very at home as soon as I enter the Coming Home Cafe.
    I love it there. Michael is always a welcoming host as you enter the cafe. The food is more
    than reasonable. I feel they don't charge enough for the quality of food he serves. I could eat
    the entire menu. The hash browns are the best I have ever had. The smell is fantastic as soon
    as you enter the cafe. I can't say enough and always look forward to dining and meeting
    new people. Thank you, Thank you Thank you

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