It has been almost 10 years since Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics in 2010, and the city has developed tremendously. As the gateway of the city and one of the most significant hubs in North America, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has also gone through major updates and changes in architecture, shopping, entertainment, and dining. It is no surprise that IllyCaffè, the iconic Italian coffee roaster has chosen YVR to launch their very first full serviced cafe in all Canadian airports. I was honoured to attend the grand opening of the cafe last week that featured ribbon-cutting ceremony, ice sculpture, delectable food and drinks, and live music.
IllyCaffè S.p.A., specializing in the production of espresso, was founded by Francesco Illy in 1933. Now a global leader in sustainable high-quality coffee, IllyCaffè offers the unique illy 100% Arabica blend made out of nine of the world’s best selections of Arabica, and serves more than seven million cups of illy coffee every day in over 140 countries.
The new outlet at YVR is brought by a partnership between Paradies Lagardère, the travel retail and restaurateur leader in North America, and YVR. The Cafe can be found in the international terminal between gates 65 and 66, and it is first of the 20+ new additions to the dining program at YVR. The new eateries will also include Vancouver’s very own fine dining house Hawksworth, award-winning Heritage Asian Eatery, and the Dirty Apron, to name a few.
Baristas at illycaffè are trained at the company’s Università del Caffè facility, where they learn how to prepare traditional espresso, latte and cappuccino, as well as illy’s cold brew and specialty drinks. The facility also provides instruction and practical training for coffee growers.
The first drink I tried was the Cappucino Tempesta ($6.50) and it was extremely tasty. If you think the iced cap from Tim Horton is a sweet indulgement, the IllyCaffe version is absolutely way above with sinfully decadent flavours. The Espresso ($3) showed exceptional quality of the beans they used here. And lastly, the Cold Brew Aria ($5.90) was impressive with the waterfall effect on the glass, but even more so with the smooth, pure taste of exquisitely selected beans.
The cafe also offers gourmet deli items and baked goods. As it is a full serviced cafe, you get to choose from a list of premium wines, beers, and other alcoholic beverages as well.
The introduction of IllyCaffè in YVR is just another proof of the international airport’s ever-growing significance as an international airline hub. The quality of the coffee, food, and service here is impeccable and it’s definitely a great reason for visiting here when you are departing from the International Terminal at Vancouver International Airport.
International Terminal D63
Vancouver International Airport,
Vancouver, Richmond, BC 7B1Y7
* All food and beverages tasted in this post were complimentary. Opinions are on the reviewer’s own.