We are often asked where is a good place to go for brunch, coffee, dinner, live music or drinks in East Van. So we are beginning to feature some of our personal favourites as well as those we’ve been hearing great things about. Our first feature was Let’s Do Brunch in the Hastings Sunrise area, next up we are tackling our favourite bakeries. With Christmas coming, many of us our looking for that dessert to serve, or sweet treats to have on hand we just might not have time to bake So whether it’s an Italian pannetone, a German stollen or Christmas cookies or those croissants for brunch, we’ve listed a few of our favourites spots.
Bakery Sate: 2879 Commercial Drive
This spot is run by Eric Ho, Pastry Chef & Owner, and he makes a mean croissant. Eric also has an amazing and delicious selection of gluten free cakes and desserts such as Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel, Black Forest and Cheesecake.
Fratelli Bakery: 1795 Commercial Drive
This Italian bakery makes one of our favourite things, St. Honore cakes. Others may try and imitate, but personally we think theirs is hands down the best. Why accept imitation, as they say. They also carry an amazing selection of dessert items.
Batard Bakery: 3958 Fraser Street
This is a favourite spot not only for their amazing bread, but something I’ve come to love financiers made from mostly almond flour. They have some amazing individual decadent desserts for taking away or having in, but their seasonal treat that has us excited is a German stolen passed down from Oma’s recipe (translation grandmother for those not up on their German) and yes for the diehard fans, with marzipan.
Brekka Bakery: 6533 Fraser Street
I grew up on just about everything from this bakery when it was called Fraser Bakery. It has many German favourites including a variety of strudels, Black Forest Cake, Christmas cookies and a Bee Sting cake or Bienenstich in German which is a white sponge cake with pastry cream in the middle and topped with honey glazed shaved almonds. A personal favourite. The added bonus is if you are in a time crunch trying to get yourself organized for Christmas and need to pick up some items in a hurry, Brekka is open 24/7 seven days a week.
Gluten Free Epicurean: 633 East 15th Avenue
Located in Mount Pleasant at the intersection of Kingsway & Fraser with great neighbours Like Matchstick Coffee and Les Faux Bourgeois. Everything here is made in house and is a 100% gluten free for celiacs and those that are gluten sensitive. They have an amazing selection of sweet and savoury ready made and frozen. Be sure to check out this quaint little spot.
HASTINGS SUNRISE +
East Village Bakery: 2166 East Hastings Street
A great selection of gluten free sweet treats perfect for a dessert tray. There are so many things we could list, but we love their blueberry orange chai muffins. They are in our view, hands down, the best muffin in the City. You’d never guess they were gluten free. The East Village Bakery also has gluten free breads, buns and pizza shells.
Italia Bakery: 2828 E Hastings Street (#104)
This amazing bakery has a great selection of cakes always at the ready. Lots of Italian sweet treats and a great selection of biscotti.
Black Rook Bakehouse: 2474 E Hastings Street
This spot is famous for it’s Black & Tan Cake which has been featured as the one of the things you must eat before you die. Really, we aren’t making it up. They have an amazing selection of desserts, cake and pies. Did we mention their cakes have names, Harold seems to be a running favourite, but when these cakes are featured on social media, best be quick. These cakes don’t tend to last very long.
Le Gateau Bakeshop: 3458 East Hastings Street
Tanya Muller is the owner and pastry chef of Le Gateau Bakeshop and we think the creator of some of the most beautiful wedding cakes we’ve ever seen. She of course also has an array of seasonal sweets cupcakes, tarts and cookies. All decadent and beautiful as you can see pictured above and below.
The Last Crumb Bakery & Cafe: 3080 Main Street
This bakery is a happening hub with lots of sweet treats to eat in or take out. It is run by sisters Joanne and Julianne Lee. Although they have some decadent desserts, their specialty is comfort food such as pies, loaves, bars and cookies baked in small batches everyday.
Trafiq Café & Bakery: 4216 Main Street
Trafiq is a chic little café which we’ve only popped into briefly, but we keep hearing great things about this spot and the cakes look to die for. They have a Lemon Lavendar cake that’s caught our eye and sounds amazing.
So much sweet stuff so little time. We hope you get a chance to get out and indulge your sweet tooth.
Photo Credit: Le Gateau Bakeshop