It’s my first time in Vancouver since I was a child and I can literally feel the excitement vibrating through my bones. I’m so ready to explore a new city and go on the hunt for the best baked goods in town! I’ve got a list a mile long of all the restaurants, bakeries, and cafes I want to hit. Here is my list on discovering Vancouver’s bakeries and brunch spots. I know I’m missing a lot of favourites here so let me know what your best-loved spots are (or what I’m missing) for my next visit!
1. Nelson the Seagull
When I first discovered that ‘Nelson the Seagull’ owners were South African I immediately added the brunch spot to my list of favs. For those of you who know me, know that I have a very special love for South Africa and sitting in Nelson the Seagull brought me right back to all those times spent in Cape Town. Famous for their sourdough bread and light fresh meals they did not disappoint, in fact I’m afraid I’m going to have to travel back to Vancouver just for one more taste of their sourdough bread and some Roobis Tea (it’s a little closer than South Africa at least)! The interior is on par to Cape Town’s style and you can even watch bread being made right there in their open kitchen. Long wood communal tables and couches keeps for an open, yet cozy and welcoming space. I highly recommend visiting this adorable and delicious cafe in Gastown! Huge browny points: They also seem to follow South Africa’s roots by not letting any food go to waste and donate to nearby shelters (good on you guys for helping out where you can).
2. Small Victory
Hustling and bustling and in a trance I could sit here all day and watch the baristas make ‘pour over’ coffee and matcha lattes. With an eye on detail, presentation – (each coffee was served on its own wood board) and the amount of care put into each and every cup – I don’t know why anyone would ever order to go! There is just something special and different about this airy space, consistently flooding with people. The design is modern, unique and the space is filled with funky and hip people! If you’re planning on bringing your laptop to do some work and connect to Wifi, think otherwise as there is no WiFi here; just enjoyment of pastries, sandwiches and appreciation of superb coffee and tea.
3. Medina Cafe
Okay, start with a lavender latte and a light, fluffy Belgian waffle while you decide what to order, because I promise you it won’t be easy. I wish I had more room in my stomach to pack in at least two more meals from this Mediterranean inspired cuisine. Expect beautifully displayed Moroccan meatballs, creamy orzo paella; all slowly cooked in clay-pot tagines and individual skillets – topped with sunny side eggs. The interior is stylish to say the least, and if I had the choice to sit there all day I would (but the line-up of people waiting would beg to differ on my choices). With high ceilings, large open windows, a waffle bar as you enter and a large cocktail bar, Medina Cafe has this downtown space covered with everything you’d need and want to feel while brunching. Be prepared for a line-up, even on a Tuesday. It’s worth the wait, I promise!
4. Beaucoup Bakery
In 2016 I read an article in House & Home magazine about Jackie Kai Ellis. Her passion for pastry took her to Paris and back to Vancouver to open Beaucoup Bakery and from that moment on I knew one day I wanted to visit her French inspired Bakery in Vancouver! Although the bakery is no longer owned by Jackie herself (she has passed the bakery along to two of her team members, Betty and Jacky Hung), it still keeps to Jackie’s inspiring quality and care that it originated from (or so I’m told). It’s a tiny, pretty and bright little spot in South Granville and you better get there early as the pastries fly off the shelves. I had the Bostock and a spiced cold tea which was absolutely delicious but the peanut butter sandwich cookie is what you really want to try!
5. Lucky’s Doughnuts
With three locations in Vancouver it shouldn’t be hard to make a quick stop to indulge in a fresh hand made doughnut with top quality, natural ingredients. Lucky’s doughnuts are authentic, hand-crafted and made fresh throughout the day. Sign me up, I love a good doughnut and the Sour Doughnut was just about one of the best doughnuts that I’ve ever had! I couldn’t decide on a flavour (normally I like plain and classic desserts), so as I naturally do I asked the guy behind the counter which doughnut is his favourite. He steered me towards the ‘Sour’ and I’m so happy he did. This little piece of heaven is not overly sour but just the perfect amount, super light and airy like a cloud and drizzled with a simple glaze. I highly recommend you hit Lucky’s and try the sour doughnut while touring Vancouver!
Matcha lattes, Belgium waffles and sour doughnuts … I’m missing Vancouver and her treats already!
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