BreakfastRed Wagon Cafe


Red Wagon Cafe, a newly minted Hastings Sunrise diner, borrows their storied, been-in-the-neighborhood-forever, feel by taking over the space of what was once the King’s Cafe on East Hastings.

It’s always a dicey proposition taking over the space of a floundering restaurant. So, we approached Red Wagon Cafe with restrained expectations. On an early Saturday morning, however, the restaurant was packed — filled with what must have been half the neighborhood. Promising sign.

(Above: Crispy Pork Confit, Eggs Over Easy, Grilled Tomato and Potatoes drizzled with Hollandaise.)

Not much has changed of the interior, a little elbow grease here and there to tidy up the dining room, but the aging fixtures and character were left mostly intact.

The menu was simple, yet confounding. Case and I couldn’t make heads or tails of the theme. There were the usual suspects: pancakes, two egg breakfasts, and benedicts. But we were more intrigued by the esoteric dishes like Crispy Pork Belly Confit and the day’s special: Chiquilles, all curiously served up on dishes you’d more likely find at a Chinese greasy spoon.

I headed straight from the Pork Belly: a generous rasher of crispy pork belly that was indeed fall-apart confit despite its bacon-like appearance. It was served with eggs over easy, grilled tomatoes, potatoes and drizzled with Hollandaise. Despite the sloppy presentation, this was one confusingly tasty dish. I mean, it’s a big slab of pork belly. For breakfast. Genius.

Case had the Chiquilles: homemade tortilla chips served with eggs over easy, a salsa verde that looked more like salsa amarillo, feta cheese, and drizzled with a sour cream concoction. It arrived looking like a dog’s breakfast, but tasted beautiful. It was a shame the tortillas became soggy from all the dressing; not too sure how that could have been avoided, though.

(Above: Chiquilles, Homemade Tortilla Chips, Eggs Over Easy with Salsa Verde, Feta and Sour Cream.)

Our meal including two coffees, taxes and tip came to $36 which puts it on the pricier side for breakfast at a diner. It’s too early to tell how well the Red Wagon will do, but they’re definitely doing something interesting with breakfast, and it’s certainly a few steps up from the previous tenant.

Perfect for: a strangely tasty breakfast that’s a little kooky.

The Details

2296 East Hastings Street, Vancouver

The Red Wagon on Urbanspoon

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