1728 West 2nd Avenue
T: 604 731 3528
Brief Description: Hidden away on West 2nd in Fairview Slopes, Patisserie Lebeau offers Vancouverites a true taste of Belgium…waffles!! And lot’s of ‘em!
The block of West 2nd, between Burrard and Pine Street, is a dangerous area for Vancouver foodies. To get out of that vacinity without consuming excess calories or spending wads of cash on foodie items would be almost impossible for a Vancouverite foodie. That small stretch of West 2nd is home to Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks, the cheese heaven of Les Amis du Fromage and Patisserie Lebeau, where authentic Belgian waffles are made. I used to work on West 1st so I bordered the danger zone on a daily basis and often succumbed to the treats that are made on-site at Patisserie Lebeau. It is a popular lunch spot for people in the area and so the small, but comfortable, dining area is usually full of happy diners munching on waffles or sandwiches. Thankfully, there is always take-out if you can’t nab a seat.
Lebeau’s pièce de résistance are their Liege waffles, which are made from a yeast dough and pearl sugar (a sugar manufactured only in Belgium). These are unlike the lighter waffles that are made from a batter and the ones that we are more likely to be familiar with. Personally, I find the Liege waffles to be too doughy and dense. For research purposes (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it), I have tried numerous different types of Liege waffles – the original, the ones covered in dark chocolate, the ones covered in milk chocolate - but I still haven’t fallen for them as much as I thought that I would. However, I am definitely in the minority as my old work colleagues used to rave about them.
For those that do like waffles, Patisserie Lebeau is most likely the closest thing to the real deal that you will find in Vancouver. If the Liege waffles don’t turn your tastebuds on, try the Brussels waffles which are made from a batter making them less dense. If you don’t like waffles at all, you can always sink your sweet tooth into other pastries such as croissants, Danishes and cinnamon roll. For those who aren’t into the sweeter things in life, they cater for your savoury demands by offering a variety of savoury waffles and sandwiches. The savoury waffle varieties include green onion and cheese, bacon and cheese (yum!), ham and cheese…are you seeing a theme here?
There is also a selection of delicious sandwiches – my biggest downfall was their grilled brie and chicken baguette. You can practically see the calories oozing out of it but the creaminess of the melted brie is endorphin inducing. I always ordered this sandwich so I can’t vouch for the others although they always looked fresh and enticing.
Final Thoughts: Patisserie Lebeau is definitely worth a visit. Their products are made with simple, wholesome ingredients which will ease some of the guilt of indulging in these Belgian delicacies. With so much waffle variety (and really, who knew that there could be?!) you will be sure to find something that you like.