Vancouver’s Sweet Side – Part 1 – Donuts

22 Feb

Alright Vancouver, what’s your weakness? I have spent years searching the city to find treats that will satisfy my sweet tooth and I’d like to share them with you, on one condition; that you will tell me your favourites too! I hate not knowing ALL of the good places, so don’t be shy – let me know!

I recently read “Paris, my Sweet” which is written by self-confessed sweet-aholic, Amy Thomas. The book details her recommendations of Paris and New York’s most outstanding spots to get your sweet fix. I was inspired to do the same for Vancouver and have started with my donut, or doughnut (seriously, which is it?!), selections. Over the next few posts, I will also share my favourite ice cream, bakeries, and chocolatiers. But for now, put down your Tim Horton’s donut and check out some of these local hot spots.

Cartems Donuterie (Gastown)
408 Carrall Street
Vancouver, BC

Cartems is, quite simply, all about the donuts. They sell nothing else but that – no coffee, no other treats – just old-fashioned donuts. What makes them different from Tim Horton’s and Krispy Kreme is that they aren’t the airy, yeasty donuts that you’ve come to expect. The Cartems donuts are dense, with an almost cake-like consistency – yum! My personal favourites are The Earl Grey, The Carrot Cake, The Classic, and Cinnamon Sugar. Prices are about $3 per donut.

Stack o’ Donuts

Earl Grey

Lee’s Donuts (Granville Island)
1689 Johnson Street
Vancouver, BC

Lee’s was the first really good donut that I had in Vancouver. In fact, I made sure that I had one on each trip that I made to Granville Island. They must be doing something right – Lee’s has been around for more than 25 years! The donuts are made fresh daily (you can even watch through the window) and fresh, still-warm batches are regularly added to the large wall of donuts throughout the day. There is a huge variety of flavours, including jelly, powdered, old-fashioned, and Dutch chocolate. My favourite is easily the honey-dip donut, particularly when they are still warm.

Lucky’s Doughnuts (Main Street)
2902 Main Street
Vancouver, BC

Lucky’s is a fairly new addition to the donut scene (they opened in Summer 2012) and can be found on Main Street, inside the 49th Parallel Café. A Kits location will be opening soon. Lucky’s offers donut-lovers some bold flavours such as salted caramel, bacon apple fritters, and peanut butter and jelly. I found the simple glazed donut to be wonderfully airy and light, with just the right amount of sweet glaze. The donuts are made fresh daily and all jams, glazes, and fillings are made from scratch. Because of the higher than Tim Horton prices (around $3 a donut), a friend of mine refers to this as “The Holt Renfrew of Donuts”, which makes me giggle. You can also enjoy a coffee or tea in the beautiful café space (if you are able to snag a seat).

Lucky’s Glazed Donut


2 Responses to “Vancouver’s Sweet Side – Part 1 – Donuts”

  1. Kathy February 22, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    Love the Earl grey donut from Cartems! Mmm.


  1. Vancouver’s Sweet Side – Part 2 – Ice Cream | The Culinary Adventures of a Greedy Guts - February 23, 2013

    […] up on my Guide to Vancouver’s Sweet Side was donuts. If you have finished digesting those, we are moving on to ice cream, gelati, and […]

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