Review of Caffe Divano (Burnaby Heights): Our Search for Vancouver’s Best Coffee

Author: Shirley and Mike Wong

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Caffe Divano’s chai with latte art and mini cookie on the side. It was deliciously textured and the barista can also make you a custom blended chai. Divano is Stop 5 in our weekly Search for Vancouver’s Best Coffee.

“I was taken by the power that savoring a simple cup of coffee can have to connect people and create community.”

– Howard Schultz

You may be someone who has made a zombie-like daily journey to the same chain coffee shop for years. But have you ever passed another more interesting café, and wondered about it? Well we used to pass Caffe Divano in our ‘hood, until today. It’s our 5th stop in our Search for Vancouver’s Best Coffee. Continue reading Review of Caffe Divano (Burnaby Heights): Our Search for Vancouver’s Best Coffee

Cotto Enoteca

Author: Shirley Wong

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Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria’s Piatto di Antipasti, a gorgeously presented antipasto platter. North Burnaby has a real gem in this popular neighbourhood restaurant.

“You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.”

– Paul Prudhomme

Sometimes you come home from work and just feel cranky. In those instances, we turn the page on our list of Go-To Places to eat on short notice. To make The List, the restaurant has to be a few things.
  1. be close to home and have reliable seating,
  2. possess a nice ambience and pleasant service, and
  3. have consistently good food.
It’s not complicated, but we figured out these things make us happy. Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria in North Burnaby checks all those boxes. It’s our favourite place to eat Italian food – although not far away, there are fancier digs (The Poor Italian), ones that serve monster pasta portions (Anton’s Pasta Bar) or just ones that also compete with artisan pizza (Lombardo’s).

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Some artisan pizza ready to fire up in Cotto’s wood burning pizza oven

This casual but feels-dressed-up pizzeria has only been around a few years. Yet it has built a strong neighbourhood following, so it can get packed on an average weekday. The crowd is mellow and feels very adult – like people who are close to paying off their mortgage.  Look around and people are sipping a wine with their wood fire grilled pizzas. There are big TVs and you can get comfy at the long white marble bar to get a close up of a Canucks game.

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A view of the lively Cotto’s dining area and marble bar where locals gather for dinner. They also have bonus space by way of a heated, covered patio.

Or you can just soak in the beautiful modern room. It’s not a huge restaurant, but it does have a covered, heated patio that they use year-round. If you’re planning a visit, I recommend reservations; but we’ve lucked out by being able to get a seat just walking in. You should feel lucky to get a seat since it’s an increasingly popular place. All in all, it feels very cozy and like a hush-hush neighbourhood secret.

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Cotto’s antipasto platter is served with a quaint jar of pickled vegetables and olives. Just dip your spoon and dig in.
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One of Mike’s recent faves is the Polpette pizza. It’s made with pomodoro, mozzarella, grana padano, meatballs, spinach and ricotta. He tried it out after because his favourite pasta is their Linguine Polpette.

Needless to say, the food is always fresh and tastes authentically Italian. We recommend the Piatto di Antipasti, with is a good-size antipasto platter with an elegant selection of cured meats, cheese, rosemary flatbread and pickled vegetables and olives in a jar.

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Shirley with the signature Spagna Pizza which is lovely fresh, but also delicious the next day as leftovers. We’ve yet to have been able to finish it in one sitting. Their fresh pasta dishes are also very good.

Pizza is a very personal preference, but my favourite standby is the signature (and award winning) Piazza di Spagna. It’s a fire grilled thin crust pizza with what their menu describes as, “arugula pesto, fresh mozzarella, chorizo sausage, copa ham, roasted red & yellow peppers, mohon cheese, fresh baby arugula, parmigiano reggiano”. The layers of this pizza create salty, smoky, bitter and sweet perfection.
I love how they pile the fresh arugula leaves high in the middle, like raked fall leaves. I’ve yet to have been able to finish it in the restaurant, because that thing is massive.
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Pizzas are accompanied by a selection of oils and dried red pepper if you prefer to personalize your flavour

Italian food is remarkable in how it can taste delicious hot and fresh, but next day, it can have a more delicious, marinated depth of flavour the next day. I greedily reach for it, chilled straight from the fridge, maybe eating over the sink – all the while Mike is saying I should put it in the toaster oven. But I’m barely listening. I’m too busy eating and blessing Italians everywhere.


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Want to visit?

6011 Hastings St, Burnaby

Operating hours here.

 

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