May 2012 25

The Best Bakeries in Vancouver

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Various Leavened Breads by Wikimedia Commons
Various Leavened Breads
by Wikimedia Commons

The aroma of freshly baked goods undoubtedly belongs among the best possible smells in the world. Nowadays, when everything is cooked from a box, having something delicious baked from fresh ingredients is truly wonderful. If you’re not someone who likes to bake everything himself, because it is very tiring and takes a lot of time, visit a bakery! Many of them offer fresh, high-quality products that are just as good as anything homemade.

Baked goods, and I’m sure I’m not exaggerating here, are perhaps the most crucial part of the diet of millions of people. Just think about what you eat; I bet there is at least one bakery product on your daily menu. Luckily, there is a wide variety of such products, so our breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks don’t get boring. Take a look at some of the baked goods that you will get in the majority of bakeries. While we eat them every day, our (or at least my) knowledge about these products doesn’t go far beyond knowing how amazing they taste or perhaps what they’re made from. Here is a little more about our favourite treats.


Could you imagine your life without bread? I probably couldn’t, and I’m certainly not the only one. The fact that breaking bread is a universal sign of peace shows how significant it is. Indeed, bread is a huge part of life on this planet. It is one of the oldest forms of food known to humankind and its history goes back thousands of years.

In approximately 8000 BC the first grinding stone, was invented in Egypt and the first grain was crushed. The earliest breads were more like porridges and flat cakes and it took thousands of years until leavened bread was discovered. Archaeologists claim that yeast was used in Egypt in 4000 BC and this period might be the date of the discovery of leavened bread. The exact year is, unsurprisingly, unknown.

The basis of bread is, as you all know, flour and water. Ingredients such as yeast, baking soda, salt, or milk are very often added to these two, as well as various nuts or seeds. Bread can be made from any grain, including wheat, rye, corn, barley, oats, and rice. Only wheat, however, has the gluten that is essential to a risen loaf, and thus without it, the loaves will be flat. Wheat was first planted in the United States “as a hobby crop” in 1777.


Doughnuts by Wikimedia Commons Doughnuts by Wikimedia Commons
A deep-fried doughnut isn’t the healthiest snack, but from time to time, it should be fine to indulge like this. The typical round doughnut is deep-fried (although they can be baked in the oven), sweet, and either with a hole in the middle or filed with various creams or jellies. Most of them are topped with sugar or glaze.

Wonder where doughnuts come from? The answer to that question is very difficult. The most popular story is that it was the Dutch immigrants in the U.S. who discovered something similar to what we know as doughnuts today. The discovery was an accident; a cow apparently kicked a pot of boiling oil over into some pastry mix, and fried cake was invented. In the 1840s, the mother of a New England ship captain made sweet fried cakes, putting nuts or walnuts in the centre, and that may well be why they are called doughnuts.


When France is mentioned, baguettes are the first thing that comes to my mind. In French, the word “baguette” actually means “wand.” I suppose its magical taste and its shape are the reason why this heavenly product got its name. It is important to point out that original baguettes are made from lean dough without the inclusion of preservatives, as it is against the law in France to use preservatives in bread. As for the origins of this baked deliciousness, those are very hard to determine. It’s quite certain, however, that long loaves of bread were already recorded in the time of Louis XIV.


Pastries by Wikimedia Commons Pastries by Wikimedia Commons
Pastries are baked products usually made from ingredients such as flour, butter, sugar, baking powder, shortening, flour, and eggs. Just this list of ingredients tells you they contain more fat than bread does, but they are wonderful for breakfast or for afternoon tea or coffee. Who would resist a crunchy croissant or delicious quiche? Not me.

We should thank the Romans for inventing a mixture that would eventually evolve into pastry as we know it. In their period, flour and water dough was not supposed to be eaten. It was wrapped around meat before roasting and its main purpose was to retain the meat juices and aroma.


It’s interesting to know where our everyday meals come from, isn’t it? After doing a little research about all these products, I would just love to eat a baguette. Thank goodness for good bakeries! While I believe baking at home is great, we have to admit that people nowadays have no time for baking. I am not a baker either (or a food blogger for that matter), so I’m not going to give you recipes here, but if you really want to bake something delicious yourself, you might find plenty of good recipe here. Happy baking!

Those who do not have the time, energy, or patience to prepare baked products themselves can get basically anything they would like at one of Vancouver’s bakeries. Many of them offer truly delicious and freshly prepared high-quality products. Here is a list of some of good bakeries located in our city. Do you know any of them?



2156 W 41st Ave

For an “authentically Parisian experience,” one to the best places to visit in Vancouver is Faubourg. In this stylish bakery, the emphasis is on the overall experience, not only on the products — although the products themselves are flawless. Faubourg focuses on three pillars of quality: authenticity (additive-free and preservative-free), freshness (goods are baked five times a day), and unique flavour, thanks to which the goods offered are brilliant.

Faubourg Bread Faubourg Bread

Faubourg’s breads, all available in rye, wheat, or multi-grain, are based on traditional French recipes, which is a guarantee of an unforgettable experience. The variety of breads is wide; you can get nearly everything, including a traditional baguette, Garlic and Cheese, Fougasse, Fig and Walnut, or Apricot and Hazelnut bread. Other baked goods are available as well. For breakfast, I would suggest a croissant, an almond croissant, pain au chocolat, or a chocolate twist. As dessert, I would choose Macarons (offered in many flavours), Tri-Chocolate Decadent, Croissant Pudding or some of the tarts on offer. Bon appétit!

Ganache Patisserie

1262 Homer St.

Visit Ganache Patisserie and taste “pastries with the lightness of an angel’s kiss.” Thanks to the finest and freshest possible ingredients, zero use of additives or preservatives, and talented Pastry Chef Peter Fong, Ganache does not disappoint. All the pastries, bon bons, chocolates, confiserie, and Parisienne macarons offered at Ganache are handmade and of the highest quality.

Their cakes and pastries are famous throughout Vancouver. Choose from Concorde Framboise, Caramel-Chocolat, Chocolat Pomme Epice, Bleuets Amande, Chocolat-Banane, Opéra à la Noisette, and many, many more. It should be pointed out that the menu at Ganache changes seasonally. You never quite know what you’re going to get before you visit this lovely place. Nevertheless, it sure is worth it to “come and taste a little bit of Paris!”

Savary Island Pie Company

1533 Marine Drive

Savary Island Pie Company Exterior Savary Island Pie Company Exterior

The story of Savary Island Pie Company began in 1989, when its owner, Eileen, fulfilled her dream and transformed her hobby into her job. The love and passion Eileen puts into her work is visible to anyone who has ever tried any of Savary Island Pie Company’s products. It offers fantastic muffins (Banana Walnut, Blueberry Bran, Cranberry Orange Pecan, Lemon Blueberry, or Raspberry Oatmeal are all available!), delicious scones (you can choose from Apricot Almond, Blueberry, Cheese and Dill, and many more), various breads (Italian, Multi-grain, Raisin Rye, Soda, Sourdough), pies (including Apple, Blueberry, and Pumpkin), as well as brownies, biscotti, cinnamon buns, and granola bars. The perhaps biggest specialties are the seasonal baked goods, such as Dark Iced Christmas Cake for Christmas or Hot Cross Buns for Easter. Sounds delicious!

Mix the Bakery

4430 W 10th Ave

If customer feedback means anything, Mix the Bakery is a place you HAVE TO visit. Thanks to always fresh and delicious products accompanied by a warm, welcoming atmosphere, it has been a hugely popular bakery ever since its opening in 2003. In 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009, Mix the Bakery has actually won The Vancouver Courier readers’ choice awards — a sign of their excellence.

Mix the Bakery Mix the Bakery

The range of goods this place offers is amazing. You can pick from a wide variety of breads (including Point Grey Rye, White Chocolate Apricot, Farm Bread, Walnut Scallion, Three Chilli Cheese, and Cranberry Ginger Citrus), whole desserts (pies, cheesecakes, cakes, and puddings, such as Paula’s Chocolate Cake, Linzer Tarte, or Passion Fruit Raspberry Cake), as well as individual pastries (Crème Brulée, Baklava, and Apple Feuillete, for instance) and other baked goods (including Cheese’n Herb Scone, Almond Shortbread, or Morning Glory Muffin).

Patisserie Lebeau

1728 W 2nd Ave

Patisserie Lebeaur, founded by Olivier and Penny Lebeau in 1995, offers a unique Belgian experience to all its visitors. This duo has “helped to turn Vancouverites into waffle connoisseurs.” Why do I think you should visit this place? Because besides bread, cinnamon rolls, and croissants, it truly has something special. The incredible Liege waffles (plain or with chocolate, apple cinnamon, and many more flavours), yummy fruit-filled waffles (including apple & custard, peach & custard, and lemon cream), Brussels waffle (sweet, with fruits and cream or savoury, such as bacon & cheese or garlic & cheese) should serve as a good enough motivation! Luckily, Patisserie Lebeaur is not the only place where you can get waffles. The goods produced there are now sold in various shops, including Whole Foods Market and Choices Market.

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