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A truly next-gen Hong Kong-style cafe set to open in Vancouver

Featuring nostalgic comfort eats in a space that was previously their grandparents' home.
Typical Hong Kong style cafe fare includes sandwiches, buttered pineapple buns, fried noodles and coffee and tea drinks. Saan Saan, opening in fall 2022 in Vancouver, aims to be a next-generation HK cafe restaurant with its nostalgic, gluten-free comfort foods.

A new restaurant is set to open soon in Vancouver, tapping into deep nostalgia for a childhood fuelled by comfort eats from Hong Kong-style cafes. 

Called Saan Saan, the HK cafe venture is located at 227 Main St in a redeveloped ground-floor space on the Gastown-Downtown Eastside border between Powell and Cordova streets.

Hong Kong-style cafes are known for their affordable, familiar dishes, and traditionally straddle the worlds of Canto-Western cuisine. Thanks to a heavy British influence, Hong Kong-style food features elements like milky tea and baked goods. The cafes tend to have broad menus with more "fast food" kinds of dishes as well as hearty, homestyle dishes. Staples often include coffee and tea drinks, noodles, sandwiches, and the iconic pineapple buns. 

Saan Saan seems to be setting out to take the HK cafe experience to the next level in Vancouver. "We create delicious, nostalgic, gluten free, HK style cafe comfort food," describes the restaurant's website. "Made with fresh and wholesome ingredients, we offer exciting salad bowls, delicious gluten-free baos, noodles, and rice bowls."

Restaurant opening in family's former longtime home

This truly is a next-gen operation, however. The space itself has been in the family for three generations, but not as a retail space. "Thinking back to our childhood, we remember family gatherings around our grandparents' dinner table [at] this exact address," reveal Saan Saan's operators, who say they've always dreamed of opening a cafe business. 

"Saan Saan allows us to blend inclusive food, purposeful design, and Vancouver’s Chinese history into something we can share with the community."

"Our aim is to have fun, be kind, and connect people with food, which nourishes and brings joy," adds Saan Saan.

Currently in the hiring stages, Saan Saan is aiming to open this fall, according to the cafe's website. Follow @saansaancafe on Instagram for more updates. 

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