More people are opting for gluten-free nowadays, whether it’s for wheat disorders or simply for health reasons. Fortunately, Vancouver has a selection of certified gluten-free bakeries that offer a wide range of breads, sweet treats, and baked goods that will satisfy both gluten-free and non-gluten-free eaters.
Address: 3385 Cambie Street
Serving 100 per cent gluten-free freshly-baked goods, all-natural ingredients, and an impressive range of quality treats to suit all tastes, Lemonade Bakery is undoubtedly one of Vancouver’s best GF bakeries.
Located on Cambie Street close to the Olympic Village, Lemonade Bakery is proud to be a locally-owned bake shop that sells every type of treat you could possibly want. Their top sellers include the gluten-free sourdough bread, morning pastries, muffin scones, and the extensive bread line. Along with the signature products, the bakery also creates seasonal features, such as the Christmas fruit cake and chocolate raspberry yule log.
You’ll find an extensive range of cakes, tarts, and other pastries on the menu, and the bakery is the only one of its kind in Vancouver to offer wheat-free, traditional butter croissants. As well as being 100 per cent gluten free, the baking ingredients are all-natural with the eggs sourced from free-run Rabbit River Farm.
Head pastry chef Tracy notes that Lemonade Bakery was born from personal experience, when, after 25 years of working with gluten as a chef, she developed a wheat allergy. As the saying goes, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" – and that’s exactly what Tracy did when she opened the bakery four years ago.
When asked about how the bakery came to fruition, Tracy explain she started experimenting at home at first:
I started baking from home, using different flours, experimenting, and applying the skills and knowledge I already had. I came up with gluten-free recipes and my family and friends enjoyed it, which is how the bakery came about.
Whether you’re living the gluten free life or not, the bakery has something for everyone. Tracy’s mission is to create pastries and baked goods that are comparable in taste to non-gluten-free products, which she has certainly achieved.
Before I opened the bakery there were very little options out there, and what was out there wasn’t good. I couldn’t believe that gluten-free food wasn’t tasty, and I found it silly that I couldn’t find palatable food. We now have eight different flour blends, and the blends we use depend on the products and which blend works best and behaves best for the desired outcome. It involves a lot of trial and elimination!
Lemonade Bakery boasts a quaint, friendly, and community vibe with a welcoming atmosphere and every type of baked good that you can imagine. The bakery is open seven days a week. Baked goods are available to order, and the bakery supplies for large events and birthday parties.
The Gluten Free Epicurean
Address: 633 E 15th Avenue
Situated at Fraser and Kingsway, The Gluten Free Epicurean is a 100 per cent gluten-free bakery that specializes in serving quality, local ingredients and creating hand-baked goods to suit all taste buds and requirements.
With a selection of both sweet and savoury products as well as dairy free, refined sugar free, nut free, grain free, and vegan options, The Gluten Free Epicurean has something for everyone. All foods are gluten-free and soy-free, with the exception of chocolate chips and sprinkles, and the bakery offers a different special every day.
The location opened five years ago and has quickly become one of Vancouver’s best bakeries. Taking after a French-style bistro, the monochromatic colour scheme creates a simple yet classic design with a community-based, family-oriented ambiance. Delainy, the owner of The Gluten Free Epicurean, says he wanted to create a place for people to come and feel like at home:
I’ve been gluten free since the age of 19 and could never find foods that I wanted to eat, so I want to be able to offer people a large selection of freshly-baked items to choose from.
Delainy bakes her products using a special organic flour blend to create a selection of delectable treats and savoury snacks including sandwiches and pizzas. Alongside baked goods, Delainy also notes that she’s managed to create a gluten-free apple fritter, which is one of the things she missed most after switching her diet.
Among the bakery’s wide range of freshly-baked goods, Delainy notes that the salted oat chocolate chip cookies are one of their signature sweet treats, while the pizza, which is available in four varieties including vegan and dairy free, is the most popular savoury product.
The Gluten Free Epicurean also offers baking classes for those who are passionate about learning how to bake. The Sandwich Bread & Baguette class teaches the art of making a fresh bread loaf in a hands-on way, giving students the knowledge to make their own at home, while the Cake/Cupcake/Donut class teaches how to make a cupcake and donut base, as well as the basics of cake decoration. The classes accommodate a maximum of eight people and aim to share a few bakery secrets to help people recreate the signature products for themselves.
The bakery also hosts the Vancouver Chapter Celiac Association meeting on the second Thursday of every month.
The bakery is open from Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-6pm. They work with DoorDash for lunch deliveries, and baked goods orders must be made in store. Cake orders must be made 24 hours in advance. Find out more at www.glutenfreeepicurean.ca.
Address: 1939 Cornwall Avenue, Kitsilano, 4544 West 10 Avenue, Point Grey
Having mastered gluten-free baked goods since 1998, Panne Rizo knows how to make gluten-free work. Using all-natural ingredients, GF flours, and non-hydrogenated oils, the bakery is popular among Vancouverites looking for a Celiac-friendly spot for freshly-baked foods.
With two locations – one in Kitsilano and one in Point Grey – Panne Rizo has established a great presence in the city and offers a range of gluten-free breads, shortbread cookies, cakes, pies, bars, delicious desserts, and deli items. The bakery prides itself on a handcrafted menu and high-quality food, and the menu features a range of savoury foods including crepes, macaroni and cheese, soups, breakfast wraps, and paninis.
Panne Rizo is 100 per cent gluten free with a number of dairy-free and vegan-friendly items. The bakery uses a mix of different flours, including potato, corn, amaranth, and chickpea flour, and opts for flours with high nutritional value. Allergies can be catered to as the bakery strives to keep its customers satisfied, and the bakery offers a range of seasonal features for major holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter. As one customer said,
just because it's gluten-free, it doesn't have to taste like it - and Panner Rizo is one of the places proving this with its quality and consistency. The place is tiny but the selection of pastries is overwhelming.
The bakery is known for its signature baked goods, such as the delicious apple-spiced muffin which is pegged as one of the best in town. Panne Rizo was undoubtedly one of the "original" gluten-free contenders, and the bakery is constantly revamping and evolving its menu and improving its recipes.
The Kitsilano location is open seven days a week, while the Point Grey location is open Tuesday-Sunday. Panne Rizo provides event catering for birthdays, meetings, or parties.
Meet The Photographer: Ricardo Vacas
Ricardo Vacas, owner of the firm Kerp Photography, always showed intense interest in many forms of creative arts. His professional photography career started in his home country, Spain, where he was the official photographer of several music bands, models and clothing brands. He decided to move to Wellington, New Zealand in 2012, knowing his real interest was fashion photography more than any other field. Currently living in Vancouver, Canada, he now combines his fashion, editorial and commercial photography projects with regular trips to Europe and USA.