53 West 5th Avenue (@ Ontario)
T: 604 873 8111
Brief Description: A carb-lovers paradise, Terra Breads prides themselves on creating artisan breads and pastries. Their location on West 5th Avenue operates as a bakery and as a café, providing a high-quality and affordable answer to those carb-cravings.
Located in the somewhat secluded part of town between Main Street and Cambie Street, Terra Breads café is a foodie oasis set amongst old laundries and tile shops. Almost every bread-munching Vancouverite is well aware of Terra Breads, having seen their products line the shelves of the bakery department of most major Vancouver food stores or having visited one of their three stores to pick up fresh, crunchy breads.
There is a vast difference between the breads lovingly made at the Terra Breads bakeries and the highly-refined, mass-produced breads found at the supermarket. What makes Terra Breads stand out is their use of high-quality ingredients, with many of them being organic, and the use of slow-rise, traditional methods to bake their breads. The slow-rise process relies on sourdough culture to rise, rather than baker’s yeast, and the breads are then baked in a stone-hearth oven. The result? Fresh, real-tasting bread in a variety of interesting flavours such as black olive, fig and anise, and rosemary and olive oil, as well as the more traditional French baguettes, sourdoughs, foccacias and whole-wheats.
In an attempt to enjoy some cheap eats, B and I visited the Terra Breads café on West 5th for a late breakfast on the weekend. The space is large and open with loads of natural light, making it an ideal spot to relax with a newspaper and a coffee. If the weather had been more cooperative, the outdoor patio would have been even better for a slow wake-up and a leisurely latté.
Food-wise, there was a lot to choose from. Shelves of freshly baked breads and baskets of sweet pastries sat behind a glass counter, enticing us with their golden crusts. This, coupled with the smell of fresh bread, made it hard to resist ordering too much.
We started by sharing a tomato and pesto foccacia (a soft and chewy foccacia topped with tomatoes, pesto and yummy flecks of sea salt). These are a great little snack when you are on the run.
We also shared a smoked turkey and asiago sandwich made with black olive bread and I also got a bowl of the ever-so-popular Terra Breads granola, which was served with a blueberry compote and yogurt. The compote was a little over-powering but nonetheless delicious.
Of course, no Saturday breakfast is complete without a coffee and so we both ordered smooth lattés, which were very reasonably priced. As you can see we actually got a lot to eat so it wasn’t really the cheap eat that we had hoped for, however, we did have a great breakfast! All up, it came to just under $30 for the two of us. I think we should have showed a bit more restraint.
Final Thoughts: If you are looking for a quick and simple breakfast or lunch and you don’t want to spend a lot then the Terra Breads café makes for a good stop. The coffee is yummy, the food is fresh and wholesome and you can pick up a fresh loaf of bread for home. Tip: the challah is a good bread to make home-made French toast with. Also, keep in mind that this location is not open on Sundays.