Mini-Review: Cafe Olive

Just east of Commercial on Charles Street, Cafe Olive is an oasis of Turkish vegetarian food on Vancouver's East Side. It is calm and serene and very much a Commercial Drive type of place with that wonderful kind of laid back Commercial Drive ambiance. There's lots of art on the walls, some vaguely trendy but catchy music is always playing and the kitchen is in plain sight to add to the show.

Although they are open for breakfast and dinner (complete with Belly Dancing on Friday nights), we have only been there for lunch twice

And each time we thoroughly enjoyed it!

One of my favourite Turkish foods that I learned to appreciate when I lived in Germany are their appetizers which they call a mezze and boreks which are phyllo pastry stuffed with various ingredients.

The boreks here contain no meat of course. We have tried the feta borek and the Rose borek; both are highly recommended!

On both visits, we have also enjoyed mezze platters. The highlight would have to be the girit which was feta, sun dried tomatoes with walnuts and garlic. But all the ones we tried were tasty.

Mezze selection varies daily so you are best off discussing with your server "what's good today".

Cafe Olive has an excellent yoghurt drink which I tried and liked. Similar to an Indian lassi, it goes well with the subtly spiced food and helps on hot days.

They also have many excellent looking desserts and main courses which we have not tried. Therefore, I can't recommend any main courses. But my bias and recommendation is just to have some mezze, one borek per person and if you still have room try some of their excellent desserts.

Everything is very reasonable priced! Boreks are about $6 each and mezze platters are anywhere from $5 and up. Two people can easily dine for under $20 at lunch!

The only thing that could be improved would be to have fresh pita!

Highly recommended for those who love vegetarian food and for those dedicated meat eaters who want a gentle introduction to excellent vegetarian food.

Cafe Olive, 1716 Charles Street, 1/2 block East of Commercial, 604 251 4141