Tag Archives: Black Rook Bakehouse

Updated: Our Favourite East Van Bakeries

1 Dec

With Christmas coming we thought it was time to update our Our Favourite East Van Bakeries. Personally, I think a sugar coma will help us get through the holidays this year. Although in theory, you may have more time to bake, but will you? If you haven’t mastered the art, or some say science of baking, good news, you have lots of great local options. Whether you are craving an Italian pannetone, a German stollen, cheesecake or Christmas cookies, you will be sure to find it locally. Get ready, we’ve set out a long list. Coming from a line of bakers, sourcing out great bakeries just comes natural. Enjoy.

COMMERCIAL STREET

Flourist, 3433 Commercial Street

Is a unique spot with a focus on using 100% traceable grains, beans, and freshly milled flours that support Canadian farmers. All their delish items can be delivered to your door including their flours should you wish to try your hand at baking. Added bonus, they feature quite a few recipes on their website. If you want them to bake, oh you are in for a treat. Many options to choose from including Pumpkin Pie Galette, Butter Tart Bar, Pear Custard Buns, Cinnamon Raisin Bread and so much more. Curbside pick up also available.

COMMERCIAL DRIVE

Bench Bakehouse, 1641 Commercial Drive

On The Drive, but tucked away every so slight in the Il Mercato building at 1st and Commercial is the Bench Bakehouse. You will see it easily enough at the entrance to the Super Valu. They have a great selection of naturally leavened breads and French inspired pastries. If you are looking for some family fun this holiday season, they also have on hand some DIY Gingerbread House and Gingerbread Men Kits.

Seasons Bakery (formerly Bakery Sate), 2879 Commercial Drive

This spot has just recently switched things up and rebranded and added to their team. Eric Ho, Pastry Chef, is still on hand to make delish croissants, artisan breads, scones and cookies.

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.

Oh Sweet Day Bakery, 1706 East 1st Avenue

This sweet shop, literally and figuratively is run by the lovely Fanny Bay, who is a self taught baker and cookbook author. The shop is new to The Drive as of June 2019 and her loyal followers have shown lots of love during the pandemic. Fanny is known for her signature cheesecakes, shortbread cookies and modern buttercream cakes. If you are looking for a delish gift, she is also offering Holiday Cookie Gift Boxes (as pictured above).

Livia, 1399 Commercial Drive

A newer spot on The Drive with a loyal following that makes an array of delish artisan breads and other sweet treats. They have pivoted to offer more meals which are available from their Pick Up window. They’ve also been busy as well making jams available for purchase. We hear the Blackberry Cardamom Jam is a must try.

Uprising Breads Bakery: 1697 Venables Street

This spot is just one block West of Commercial Drive and is most certainly a favourite go to spot for two things. One is Ginger Snaps and the second is pie.  They generally have small and large pies on hand and on Fridays pie is 25% off which means, get their early or they will be all gone. They do have a wide range of sweet and savoury items including delish scones. This East Van staple has been a part of the community for over 40 years.

THE FRASERHOOD

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.

Breka 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.Delish if you’ve never tried it. One unique thing about Breka, is that they are open 24/7 seven days a week. Don’t let that fool you though, it’s generally a busy spot so be prepared to wait a bit.

Ubuntu Canteen, 4194 Fraser Street

A food savvy reader has brought this spot to our attention located at Fraser & 27th in the old Bows X Arrows space. It’s billed as a restaurant, community space and bakery. We have intel that says this is a spot to hit for organic breads and pastries. For bread lovers, check out the Bread Subscription.

MOUNT PLEASANT

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

Delish (Formerly East Village Bakery): 2166 East Hastings Street

Lots of delish options for sweet and savoury items including scones, cupcakes, cookies and more.  Quinoa is used a number of their baked goods, which is certainly a heathy choice.  They also have some vegan options.

Italia Bakery: 2828 E Hastings Street (#104)

Holy cannoli, this spot has a great selection of Italian sweet treats. You won’t be disappointed. They also have a great selection of cakes at the ready.

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 was a running favourite, but if you happen to catch these cakes featured on social media, best be quick. These cakes don’t tend to last 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.  Outside of wedding cakes, they carry an array of seasonal sweets cupcakes, tarts and cookies all decadent and beautiful.

Pacific Bread Company, 2086 East Hastings Street

This one is recommended by our followers as a must try. They have a great selection of artisan breads, celebration cake, pastries and a whole lot more including pizza.

JOYCE/COLLINGWOOD

Panaderia Latin Bakery, 4906 Joyce Street

Well this one has crossed our radar before and an Instagram follower reminded us about this sweet shop that specializes in Latin desserts, cakes, pastries, empanadas and breads. If it’s cake you are looking for, the Mango Cake and Dulce De Leche Cakes are recommended.

MAIN STREET

Sweet Thea Bakery Pop Up Shop, 4305 Main Street

If you’ve attended any farmer markets and craft fairs over the holiday season, you will find Sweet Thea Bakery with a whole lot of delish goodness. They offer decadent cookies, stollen, plum pudding and a whole lot more. They are currently set up at a Pop Up Shop at Main & 27th Avenue until December 27th. If you can’t make it person, visit them online, they delivery and a couple of other pick up options.

Swiss Bakery, 143 East 3rd Avenue (just off Main Street)

We’ve been hearing so many great things about the Swiss Bakery and readers reached out to say, they need to be on this list. Although we haven’t made an in person visit yet, their website has lots to get us excited including frissants, carmelized puff tart, stollen and Christmas cookies.

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. Their Instagram feed is drool worthy honestly. Give them a follow.

NANAIMO STREET

Half Baked Cookie Company, 1211 Nanaimo Street

This one comes recommended from our followers who wrote to us and said Half Baked Cookie Company needs to be on your list. If you love pie, well this is certainly the place to go. The menu is mouth watering and there are some seasonal flavours definitely worth checking out.

ONLINE SHOP

Best Kind Bakeshop, #150-1507 Powell Street

Something else that has landed on our radar is the Best Kind Bakeshop which is an online bakery featuring Chef Mark Burton’s sourdough breads and other baked goods. You can find baguettes, double chocolate rosemary sourdough cookies, cinnamon buns and croissants. To place your order, visit him online at Best Kind Bakeshop.

We hope you’ll support some of these great local businesses this holiday season.

Photo Credit: Oh Sweet Day (Above) + Sweet Thea Bakery (Below)

Bakeries in East Vancouver – We Run Down Our Favourites

18 Dec

IMG_3459We 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.

THE DRIVE

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.

Uprising Breads Bakery: 1697 Venables Street

This spot is just one block West of Commercial Drive and is most certainly a favourite go to spot for two things. One is Ginger Snaps and the second is pie.  They generally have small and large pies on hand and on Fridays pie is 25% off which means, get their early or they will be all gone. They do have a wide range of sweet and savoury items including delish scones. Be sure to stop by and try this East Van staple that’s been a part of the community for over 40 years.

Andy’s German Bakehaus, 935 Commercial Drive

If you love German style cheesecake (think quark), flaky apple strudel and piled high Black Forest cake, this is your spot.  This is a smaller bakery and café and thus not high volume, but quality authentic German sweets and breads. So if there’s something specific you want, we recommend ordering in advance.  Definitely worth a stop.

THE FRASERHOOD

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.

MOUNT PLEASANT

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

Delish (Formerly East Village Bakery): 2166 East Hastings Street

Lots of delish options for sweet and savoury items including scones, cupcakes, cookies and more.  Quinoa is used a number of their baked goods, which is certainly a heathy choice.  They also have some vegan options.

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.

MAIN STREET

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.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:  Half Baked Cookie Company and PBC Bakery. We’ve received some feedback that these two bakeries should be our list. Of course, there are many great bakeries in East Van not included, we write about what we know, so we will be doing a bit of research to learn more.

NEW IN TOWN: Oh Sweet Day Bakery, 1706 East 1st Avenue by the lovely Fanny Bay, cookbook author and self taught baker has just opened shop (or is about to open her shop) on The Drive as of June 2019. Just waiting on confirmation on official opening.

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

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East Van Craft Brew & Culinary Tours Starting January 18th

6 Jan

VancouverBreweryTour

In case you haven’t heard, Dine Out Vancouver gets under way on January 17th.  Dine Out Vancouver is billed as Canada’s largest restaurant festival. This annual event is produced by Tourism Vancouver and presented by American Express.  This is a 17 day calendar of culinary events with hotel options.  The festival gives diners the opportunity to select from over 200 restaurants each offering unique three course prix-fix meals at $18, $28 or $38 per person. The full line up of restaurants will be announced today, January 6th

What caught my interest this year is the number of special events being featured as part of Dine Out Vancouver. Some of the events include guided dining adventures, culinary and cocktail tours, cooking classes and demonstrations, debates, guest lectures, BC wine and craft beer tastings and more. For a full listing, click on Events.

East Van will be showcased by Vancouver Brewery Tours and Off The Eaten Track. They have combined their talents to offer the East Van Craft Brew & Culinary Tour.  On this tour you will stop at two local breweries and three food stops in East Vancouver. You will learn about the growing craft beer movement with samples, of course, and be able to meet some of the people that make this “liquid gold”.  After your thirst is quenched, they will take you to the very up-and-coming East Village to sample some locally made sausages, traditional Roman pizza and a stout-infused cake. I’m going to take a shot in the dark here that this is the rather famous Black & Tan Cake at Black Rook Bakehouse, but don’t take my word for it.  Taste it! It’s on a Top 10 List of Things You Must Try Before You Die.  It’s certainly on my Top 10 list. If you wish to participate in the East Van Craft Brew & Culinary Tour, you best hop to it. Tours have been scheduled for 7 dates, 3 of which are already sold out.  Dates the tours are still available (as of today’s writing) are January 18th, 23rd, 24th and 31st.  The tour begins at 3:00 pm and runs for 3 hours.  Cost is $65 and includes all food and beverage samples at 5 different locations, transportation, an experienced tour guide and tax.  Tours begin at Waterfront Station. Tickets are available online through Tickets Tonight.

East Village Chocolate Tour Saturday, March 30th

26 Mar

ChocolateTourOffTheEatenTrack

Who does not love chocolate?   Well if you wish to experience chocolate in a whole new way, consider taking the East Village Chocolate Tour.  Bonnie and Alexis of Off The Eaten Track offer a number of culinary tours on the East side of Vancouver.  This weekend, it is all about chocolate.  For $45, you get a 2 hour walking tour in which you will learn about chocolate from the experts.  This one time event starts at Steam Tea House where you get to sample 2 chocolate infused teas.  After that, they will take you to Black Rook Bakehouse for their famous Black & Tan cake which I’ve learnt was featured in Vancouver Magazine’s 25 Things to Taste Before You Die.  Then you are off to Campagnolo Roma for an exquisite Italian tiramisu.  The tour ends at Schokolade Café where you sample hand made chocolates with an award-winning Chocolatier.  The tour starts at 4:00 p.m. and ends at 6:00 p.m. Meeting place is Waterfront Station at 601 West Cordova Street. To buy your ticket, or to learn more about the other culinary tours Bonnie and Alexis offer,  check out their website at www.offtheeatentracktours.ca.

Photo Credit: Off The Eaten Track

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