A visit to Deep Cove is synonymous with summer for many Vancouverites. If you really need another reason to make the trip, Van Mag would like to introduce you to Cafe Orso

Whether it’s renting a kayak and paddling up Indian Arm or just splashing around with the kids at the water’s edge, there are plenty of reasons to make a trip to Deep Cove this summer. But whatever brings you there, there’s also a good meal to be had at Cafe Orso after you’re done. “We’re a coffee house trying to do nicer food,” says owner Jonathan Hayward. But he’s being modest, because both the coffee and food are leagues better than nice. Picture-perfect avocado toast is served with curried apple preserves, and Liège waffles come sweet (with fresh berries and cream) and savoury (with beef bresaola and arugula). But it’s the tomato and cheddar melt that’s worth lingering over, with fresh tomatoes on crusty bread, swaddled under melted cheddar, then topped with arugula and a drizzle of blueberry balsamic. The inspiration for Cafe Orso’s menu came a few years ago, when the Newfoundland-born Hayward and his wife were hiking in Northern Italy and stopped at an unassuming cafe for a meat and cheese plate. “We asked ourselves, why is this so good? It was just really good ingredients. It didn’t need anything else.” In his own pursuit of simplicity, Hayward doesn’t try to make everything from scratch. Instead, he sources the best ingredients he can, like bread from Nelson the Seagull, croissants from Chez Christophe, and preserves from Vista D’oro. The cafe slings caffeine all day but also has beer, cider, and wine on tap. Every other Sunday, meanwhile, there’s live jazz in the evenings. To Hayward, Cafe Orso is more than a coffee house: it’s a place for locals to commune and visitors to linger. “This has been a great way to meet a lot of people,” he says. “I love being part of this community.” If the cafe’s popularity is any indication, they’re happy to have him, too. Cafe Orso - 4316 Gallant Ave., North Vancouver 778-340-3222 | cafeorso.ca