Tag Archives: The Drive

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)

What’s On East Van: November 22nd Edition

22 Nov

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Our weekly feature What’s On East Van sets out some cool events for the upcoming weekend.  Beyond the weekend, we invite you to check out our Event Listing which is updated daily and features events for the month and beyond.

Britannia Christmas Craft Fair – Britannia Community Centre – November 22 – 24

The 34th Annual Christmas Craft Fair happens this weekend with over 50 local artisans and makers with handmade items for gift giving this holiday season.  Enjoy live music while shopping. The craft fair runs Friday 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is $2. Stop by and get a jump on your Christmas shopping. To learn more, visit Britannia Christmas Craft Fair on Facebook.

Aurora Winter Festival – Hastings Park/PNE – November 22

The Aurora Winter Festival kicks off this Friday at Hastings Park/PNE with an array of indoor and outdoor activities, Christmas Market, games, rides.  This is an all ages event. For tickets, visit Ticketleader.

Fado: The Saddest Music in The World – Firehall Arts Centre – November 22

A play featuring Fado music with origins going back to the early 1800s in Lisbon, Portugal.  This music is a distinct part and proud part of Portuguese culture. If you haven’t experienced it, we invite you to check out this production at the Firehall Arts Centre kicking on this weekend. For tickets, visit Firehall Arts Centre.

Eastside Flea – 550 Malkin Avenue – November 23 + 24

If vintage and collectables is your thing, Eastside Flea will have that in spades this weekend along handmade items and food trukcs from11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Oh and dogs are welcome to come wander with you, on a leash of course.

Christmas On The Drive – November 24

The Commercial Drive Business Improvement Association along with other sponsors will again be hosting Christmas On The Drive this Sunday between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm.  This includes horse carriage rides, pictures with Santa from 3:00 to 4:30 pm, treats and hot beverages, dueling pianos and more. The starting point is The Drive Mortgage Store at 1250 Commercial Drive.  The finishing point is the tree lighting in Grandview Park at 5:00 pm.

East Van Panto: Pinocchio – The York – On Now Until January 5, 2020

Our favourite holiday tradition just kicked off this week.  Take in this fun and entertaining show that is fun for all ages. Just remember if you are in the front row, you might become part of the production. This year’s panto is Pinocchio and touches on some unique aspects in East Van, such as the mysterious Beckwoman and the coffee wars on The Drive for starters. Tickets for the East Van Panto Pinocchio start at $26 for children 16 and under. Family packs are available for $145. To get your tickets, visit The Cultch.  Note, the show will be performed at the York Theatre.

 Comedy, Music & Entertainment & More 

Do you love cartoons? Miss those Saturday morning cartoons you used to watch as a kid. Do you know Storm Crow Tavern offers cartoons Saturday morning from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm whilst you enjoy breakfast/brunch?

Also 7 days a week, you will find live music at the Libra Room on The Drive. Tangent Café hosts live jazz Sunday nights  from 6:00 to 8:30 pm. Saturday, Pat’s Pub has live jazz Saturday afternoons from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, no cover.

Looking to support our local growers and makers? Stop by one of the Winter Farmer Markets happening on either Saturday or Sunday.  Saturday we have  Riley Park Farmers Market at 30th & Ontario from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and Sunday, it’s Hastings Park Winters Farmers Market also from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. To see more of What’s On in East Vancouver,  check our Event Listing.  We also have a separate listing of Free Events for those on a budget and in Vancouver, who isn’t.

Image Credit: June Hunter

Best Of The Fringe REPLAY Hits Havana Theatre This October

8 Oct

ReplayDid you miss the Fringe Festival this year?  There were some great shows on offer.  You’re in luck though as Staircase Theatre is bringing you the best of the fringe with REPLAY: A Bunch of Great Plays – Again!   OK so not a very original name, but you get the jist.  Havana Theatre, 1212 Commercial Drive, plays to host to a variety of productions between October 15th and 19th and October 22nd to 26th.   Shows featured in REPLAY include:

Didn’t Hurt
(written and performed by East Van local Rodney Decroo)

Where the Quiet Queers Are

Legoland

The Morning After with Pam & Paula, How I Killed My Nan
(a storytelling standup performed by Dion Arnold)

No Tweed Too Tight: Another Grant Canyon Mystery
(written and performed by Ryan Gladstone)

Tickets range from $18.25 to $21.50 and are available through Showpass. Showtime 7:00 pm and 8:30 pm Tuesday to Friday and 2:00 on Saturday.  To learn more, visit their Facebook Events page.

Rackle Monthly Storytelling Continues At Café Deux Soleils October 30th

25 Sep

RackleLocal and award winning storyteller, Jo Dworschak who has brought us Story Story Lie, Oh Man and Weekly Stories brings Rackle to Café Deux Soleils. First up, the name Rackle. What does it mean?  We learnt it is Scottish slang for headstrong which is fitting we would say. We’d say Jo is no wall flower.  Jo is again assembling her favourite performers to share stories on a monthly basis at Café Deux Soleils. We are quite sure the stories will inspire and entertain you.  Rackle continues October 30th.  Cost is $10. Doors open at 8:00 pm and show begins at 8:30 pm.

Tasting Plates Return To Commercial Drive September 4th

14 Aug

TastingPlatesRichard Wolak of Vancouver Foodster is bringing  back his Tasting Plates to Commercial Drive on September 4th. What is Tasting Plates?  It is basically a culinary roving tour that takes place at different food and/or beverage establishments.  You register for the event at the designated spot in this case, Federico’s Supper Club, 1728 Commercial Drive, the day of the event.  You bring your printed or digital tickets that you purchased online and in turn receive your Tasting Plates Cards and menus.   Thereafter, you wander whether by bike, foot, car or transit to the various venues and nibble away to your hearts content. Each location will have specific menu items on offer for the Tasting Plates.  After registration and a bite at Federico’s Supper Club, we see Grounds For Coffee is on deck which assume will be featuring their much talked about cinnamon buns. A favourite participating is Fratelli Bakery, 1795 Commercial Drive, which is literally a hop across the street from Federico’s Supper Club.  In case you don’t already know, Fratelli Bakery makes many Italian pastries including  breads, cookies, cupcakes, biscotti and cakes. This is our go to place for St. Honore cake. JamJar with delish Lebanese eats is also on board.   The full line up hasn’t been announced for this roving culinary tour, but being how many spots there are on The Drive, we expect the list to grow quickly.   Early bird tickets are now on sale for $36 until August 23rd.  After that date, you can purchase advance tickets for $45 per person and after September 1st, cost is $60 per person.  So purchasing your ticket is the way to go. Tickets are available via Eventbrite. We expect this to be another tasty tour.  TastingsPlatesCD2019

Car Free Day On Commercial Drive Sunday July 7th

26 Jun

CarFreeDay2019GreenYou are invited to another great street party on The Drive. On Sunday, July 7th Car Free Day happens from Noon to 7:00 pm. The event stretches 15 blocks along Commercial Drive between Venables and The Grandview Cut.  Car Free Day will feature activities for all ages, great food, entertainment, local artisans and advocacy for car free and green spaces.  This is a free family friendly event which is very accessible by bus, Skytrain and cycling all of which are encouraged.

The Fitting Room At Havana Theatre May 14 – 18, 2019

13 May

fitting room_ensemble_amy henryFour teens. A Mom. A rabbi. One fitting room. Six people all linked to the sudden death of thirteen-year-old Noah after a dare. The Fitting Room is a play about growing up, coming out, facing loss and finding faith. This production on stage at the Havana Theatre starting May 14th until May 18th is brought to you by Victoria Playwright Ellery Lamm and directed by Anna Marie Anderson. The production received Victoria Fringe’s Best Overall Favourite and Bravest Awards. Tickets are $15-$20 and available through Showpass.com.

Plant-Based Boutique Now Open On Commercial Drive

12 Feb

PBB6Did you catch the Pop Up Plant-Based Boutique on The Drive for 2 weeks this past December? If not, you are in luck. They are back in this bright beautiful space for the next 6 months. The Plant-Based Boutique is located at 1206 Commercial Drive (at Williams Street) across from Grandview Park.  Their focus is on health, wellness and self-care which is 100% plant-based. They have curated products from across North America which include skin care, organic oils for the face and body, candles, plant-based cookbooks, soaps and much more. They are also now serving organic tea and snacks and have added a seating space in store.   You can catch them daily from Noon to 7:00 pm.  Stop by and check out this great space.

 

The Bench Bakehouse Is Now Open In The Il Mercato

5 Feb

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We recently had the pleasure of checking out The Bench Bakehouse located in the Il Mercato, 1641 Commercial Drive, at 1st and Commercial Drive.  This is a sweet spot that just opened 2 weeks ago. It’s located near the entrance of Super Value facing 1st Avenue. The Bench Bakehouse isn’t visible from Commercial Drive, but we encourage you to walk through the Il Mercato or the few feet from the Drive along 1st Ave. to check it out. They have lots of baked deliciousness including a great variety of freshly baked breads which are naturally leavened sourdough. They also offer a great array of the sweet stuff including brownies, brioche, croissants, a coconut mango cake we were tempted to walk out with, and shortbread cookies big enough for sharing. Did we mention all this sweet stuff is made with 100% real butter. The duo behind this new space know what they are doing having trained in Paris, France at the prestigious Ecole Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil.  The Bench Bakehouse is open 6 days a week and they have a couple seating areas if you want to park it and kick back for a bit.

Weekly Stories Are Back At The Drive Coffee Bar Starting September 19th

17 Sep

WeeklySTories2018If you love storytelling, whether watching or listening to them in an intimate setting, then you may wish to check out Weekly Stories at The Drive Coffee Bar, 1670 Commercial Drive located near 1st Avenue.  This 1 hour storytelling show which took a hiatus over the summer is now back weekly starting Wednesday, September 19th.  Weekly Stories is hosted by storyteller and organizer extraordinaire Jo Dworschak of Story Story Lie and Coop Radio’s Fruit Salad.  You will hear tales from some seasoned storytellers, but each week they do try and get a new face up to take a turn.  The venue is a favourite of ours for the great coffee, selection of Cartem Donuts and some of the best sandwiches in the City by La Grotta del Fromaggio plus they also serve wine and beer.  Event runs from 7:00 pm every Wednesday night.  Admission is by donation. If you have a story to share, stop by and sign up or email Jo in advance at e: storystoryshows@gmail.com.

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