I have no qualms about putting up my hand and proudly declaring that I love baked goods. I friggin’ love ’em! Whether it is croissants, cakes, cupcakes, pastries, I love it all – but I do have my standards. If I am going to splurge on calories for baked goods then they better be amazing. I don’t want a shitty, dried-out croissant, no thank you ma’am. Thankfully, I don’t have to settle for anything less than perfect when I have these inspiring bakeries and patisseries making the good stuff!
Beaucoup Bakery (Fairview)
2150 Fir Street
A small, chic bakery located at Fir and West 6th that offers freshly baked, exquisite pastries, including croissants, chocolate éclairs, and chausson aux pommes. Seating inside the small café is limited so if you can’t get a table, get your pastries to-go instead. Pack a few extra pennies (as prices aren’t cheap), forget about the calories, and enjoy what Beaucoup has to offer.
Cadeaux Bakery (Gastown)
172 Powell Street
Cadeaux is a diamond in the rough – a beautiful little café in an area that has seen better days (Powell at Main Street). The café is a tribute to everything feminine – think flowery wall paper, tea cups, chandeliers, and pretty cake stands – and the counters are full of tantalizing pastries and danishes, cupcakes, cookies, and cakes. I love the peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, the seasonal fruit danishes, and the bacon twist (below) might just be my new favourite pastry.
1059 Alberni Street
A sophisticated patisserie (and café, and chocolaterie) that comes to us from veteran local pastry chef, Thierry Busset. Prices aren’t cheap but the quality is worth the splurge. Everything looks picture-perfect at Thierry and they sell a wide range of macarons, individual or large cakes and tarts, loaves, and viennoise. Chocolates, caramels, or nougats are beautifully packaged and make great gifts. Personal favourites of mine are the macarons (some with real fruit inside) and the warm apple tart.
Thomas Haas (Kitsilano)
2539 West Broadway
A popular patisserie and chocolate store, owned and operated by renowned pastry chef and all-round nice guy, Thomas Haas. The café’s display cabinets proudly exhibit handmade chocolates and truffles, elegant cakes, colourful macarons, and delicate pastries. Personal favourites of mine are the lemon tart, the salted caramels, and the sandwiches. Prices are above average, but then again, so is the quality.
2156 West 41st Ave
This busy bistro/café way up in Kerrisdale has made itself very popular by offering delicious viennoise, loaves of authentic breads, and afternoon tea. Although I found the croissants disappointing on my last visit, I am still thinking about the baguette and the tri-chocolate decadent cake (which unfortunately I ate before I got a picture of it). Coffee was disappointing but make the trip for the breads and the cakes.
Mix the Bakery (Point Grey)
4430 West 10th Ave
At Mix the Bakery, it is all about the breads. I haven’t been to their store a lot but when they have their stand at the Farmer’s Markets, I always stop in for some bread. They bake many varieties of bread, including not-your-average types, such as Three Chili Cheese and Yukon Gold & Scallion Focaccia, as well as sweets and pastries.
Cassia Cupcakery (Commercial)
1706 Commercial Drive
I’m not impressed by the well-known cupcake chain in Vancouver – I find them to be too processed and sweet – so I’d rather bake them myself or hunt for other contenders. Whilst they are not the best cupcakes that I’ve ever had (can anything really beat fresh-out-the-oven?) I found the cupcakes at Cassia, an unassuming, cute cupcakery, to be quite delicious. Flavours include red velvet, peanut butter, vanilla, and banana but they also have gluten-free and vegan cupcakes.
This list will continue to grow as I keep on my search for Vancouver’s best patisseries and bakeries. Please let me know if you have any recommendations!
Also, I recently completed a croissant crusade, where I visited five different pastry stores in search of Vancouver’s best croissants. You can read all about that here.