There is so much to love about Vancouver. Inside this bustling waterfront city is a burgeoning food scene, from artisan bakeries to organic ice creameries. Award-winning pastry chefs offer sumptuous handmade sweets around the clock, while gourmet chocolatiers are packed with sweet-toothed locals. To ensure you find the best calorie-laden desserts in the city, here are ten unmissable stops when exploring the sweet side of Vancouver.
Tartine Breads and Pies
Celebrating the art of homemade baked goods, Tartine Breads and Pies offers a mouth-watering collection of muffins, artisan breads, tarts and sweet treats. There’s also a handful of savoury eats on the menu, including quiche, pot pies and hearty sandwiches. Just be sure to save room for one of their famous pies which come in nine delicious flavours, from sour cherry and cider apple pie to raspberry rhubarb and lemon meringue.
Sweet Bake Shop
For a sweet treat, you can’t miss this gorgeous boutique bakery in the heart of historic Yaletown. Sweet Bake Shop was established in 2014 and offers perfectly styled baked goods including an extensive cupcake menu. Expect to find familiar flavours like vanilla, chocolate chip and red velvet as well as unique creations like root beer float or pink lemonade. There are also gourmet cookies, perfect meringues, French macarons and layer cakes to sample.
Rain or Shine Ice Cream
Those with a sweet tooth need to head straight to Rain or Shine for their sugar fix. Made from scratch with fresh, seasonal and local ingredients wherever possible, Rain or Shine has a scrumptious ice cream menu. Their stock standard flavours range from chocolate, salted caramel and peanut butter while seasonal varieties include malted milk chocolate honeycomb, maple pecan or coconut salted fudge. It doesn’t stop there though, you then have a choice of tempting toppings including hot fudge sauce, toffee brittle or candied hazelnuts. Pop in on Tuesdays for their special ice cream taco!
You won’t find pretty pink cupcakes at ManCakes Bakery but there are cupcakes. As the name suggests, ManCakes was created as a bakery for men. So the focus isn’t on what’s pretty but rather on the most important factor – the taste. The cupcakes here are big (man-sized) and come in all kinds of interesting flavours. From whiskey lime to bacon chilli chocolate, these cupcakes are not for the faint hearted. On the savoury side of things, you could try the buffalo wing cupcake with a tangy blue cheese mousse and a crispy chicken crumble.
La Casa Gelato
Open 7 days a week, La Casa Gelato serves up an impressive range of gelato, sorbetto and yogurt, with 218 flavours available at any given time. With so many choices, indecisive customers may struggle to make a selection. The flavours range from regulars like chocolate or mango to the more outrageous like wasabi, maple bacon and balsamic vinegar. Their waffle cones are freshly made in house and there’s also a variety of speciality treats including chocolate dipped waffle sticks, almond nougat and Italian cannolis.
Vancouver’s best cheesecake can be found at Cheesecake etc. Situated just off the Granville St. Bridge, the restaurant has been using their own recipe since 1979 to create irresistible cheesecake desserts. Expect to dive face first into their unbelievably creamy cheesecakes, from the original topped with blueberries to chocolate cheesecake with peanut butter cream. You might have to save up your calories but it’ll be worth splashing out on a decadent treat from Cheesecake etc.
For a tasty donut made from quality ingredients, you will want to head straight to Cartems Donuterie. Their handmade donuts are made from scratch by skilled pastry chefs every day, using locally sourced ingredients – no preservatives thank you! Tempting flavours include maple walnut, Canadian whiskey bacon, salted caramel and earl grey. The cafe also serves up a small lunch menu during the week consisting of delicious savoury donuts.
Awarding pastry chef, Thomas Haas lovingly prepares heavenly chocolate desserts and handcrafted pastries for hungry customers. A chocolaterie, patisserie and cappuccino bar in one, Thomas Haas is the place to go to satisfy any sugar craving. Sample perfectly made macarons or rich chocolate truffles or take home one of the meticulously crafted cakes or tarts. Thomas Haas Chocolates are made using only the finest ingredients, many locally sourced, with no preservatives or artificial flavours in their kitchens.
Thierry is an award-winning dessert cafe boasting the finest handmade chocolates, macarons, pastries and desserts. Renowned pastry chef Thierry Busset offers a tempting array of calorific desserts in the heart of downtown Vancouver. From authentic French croissants to couture cakes, deciding what to buy will be the hardest part. You’ll also find macarons in a range of flavours, flaky fruit danishes, gourmet tarts and of course a huge range of exquisite chocolates.
Earnest Ice Cream
Launching in 2012, Earnest Ice Cream is an ice creamery with a difference. Working in small batches, they pride themselves on their unusual flavours in addition to beloved classics. They pack their creamy creations in returnable and reusable glass jars as part of their zero wastage ethos. Favourites on the menu include salted caramel, rocky road and cookies and cream but we encourage you to branch out and try one of the seasonal varieties like gingerbread, pumpkin pie, blackberry coriander or lemon poppy seed. There’s vegan ice cream available too.
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