552 Pandora Ave.
Update: Nov 2010
If you haven’t been to the new location of Habit( inside the Atrium on Yates St and Blanshard), you should definitely check it out. The space has a different feeling than its Pandora counterpart, but it has more of a modern buzz about it. I like the high ceilings, and the communal table in the centre reminds me of the design at Relish(on Pandora near Quadra). The baked goods are minimal, but they look decent. The coffee is good, as the people who work here seem passionate about what they are doing. It’s not exactly cheap, I find that you can get good coffee if not better at other places in town. But I think it’s worth checking out for the ambiance. The large windows reminded of a funhouse hall of mirrors a bit, but they offer a great perch for people watching at the busy intersection.
A reader asked me the other day if I had been to Habit( in response to my cumulative cafe review in Victoria). I have been a few times, but not in the last year or so. I believe Habit is more of a social venue rather than a coffee shop, but they do have quality products. I met up with a friend there for a quick sip and nibble before our walk. I’ve always admired that Habit features local and talented artists on their walls. The magazine wall also provides interesting and quirky reading. The clientele here is always worth gawking at, lots of svelte hipsters with skinny jeans, suspenders, and bowler hats, or solitary poets writing poetry about how difficult it is to be a poet in their oversized Moleskine journals. Nonetheless, this makes for an entertaining ambiance, the seating is varied and offers nooks for whatever you fancy that day( sunny window, at the bar stools, booth seating for meeting friends, or a dark back area for a peaceful read)… The coffee is good, the sugar is good, the tea selection could improve, but overall this is a staple Victoria cafe( with good cookies too!)