I finally got Chris to Vancouver – may it be the first trip of many! Vancouver is lovely, has a walkable downtown, and has desserts that fill some of the gaps we have in Seattle. (Mainly Chinese/Japanese/SEA desserts, but still. We’re barely covering things like shave ice and bubble waffles, so this was a giant waffle spree.)
First, some tips for Seattle peeps heading up to Vancouver:
- There’s no Uber. Or Lyft. Seattle non-driving types are very used to having app-based taxi options. And, welp, there are none. We did use taxis, and weren’t super excited about the effort involved with trying to coordinate them.
- But! It’s super walkable. So many little walking trails. And while we didn’t use the buses, the water taxi is a nice way to trek about the south shore of downtown.
- Robson Street has all the bubble waffles. You’re welcome.
- Dessert areas are even more clustered than Seattle. Which isn’t a bad thing, but I do suggest researching places you want to visit, then choosing your hotel if you’re going on a culinary trek. (We didn’t and somehow lucked out on being so close to all the bubble waffles. Next time I’ll plan that far more carefully.)
Now what you care about: the sweets. I hope you get to try some!
A Bread Affair
1680 Johnston St
A Bread Affair was the first stop we made on Granville Island. I admit that I almost missed the sign, because it’s not facing the ferry entrance, and then I was all we are going in here NOW.
Let me let you in on a secret: what I put on Instagram? It wasn’t my favorite thing from them. What won was Chris’s ice cream sandwich.
I wish I could have gotten a good shot of this, because holy. crud. Seriously fudgy dark chocolate cookies, soft vanilla ice cream. So yeah, the cookie’s good, but definitely ask about seasonal treats and ice cream.
1001 W Cordova St
We apparently found the only time for a short line the whole weekend. (Which I think was more pure luck than anything else – every other time we walked by the line was 10-15+ people long.)
But that chocolate and sea salt gelato? DANG. Chris got the mint chocolate chip, which was smooth and Andes mint intense, but I’m a geek for salt and chocolate. Definitely worth the wait, though I didn’t need the spoon.
413 Industrial Ave
Beta5 is semi-hidden in this commissary kitchen space in a part of town full of car repair shops and warehouses. (I seriously thought we were lost several times.) Be on the lookout for a sandwich sign on the sidewalk; their actual storefront is easy to miss until you see the open garage door.
What you care about is this giant cream puff. This is their vanilla puff, which is stuffed full of pastry and Chantilly creams. And those ‘rocks’? Pearl sugar. They offered to split it for us, which I highly recommend so you can see all the layers. (Also, it’s much easier to eat that way.)
It’s a very crisp cream puff, which was a surprise, yet it’s clearly made with care. So worth trekking out for.
Edible Canada & Batch Sweet
1596 Johnston St
Edible Canada has a restaurant and locally sourced mini-market on Granville Island, and I might have gone in and raided half the options. (I regret nothing.) The major standout? Batch Sweet’s salted caramel pecan popcorn.
It’s what Cracker Jack wishes it could grow up to be. I can only eat it small quantities before the caramel and burnt sugar notes gets too sweetly intense for me, and that’s fine. It’s still plenty awesome.
Nero Waffle Bar
1703 Robson St
If you’re not in the mood to wait for a seat in their cramped space, definitely pick up the mini waffles to go. Mainly the vanilla custard filled, which is the perfect ratio of vanilla custard to caramelized brioche dough. (Yes, their regular sized waffle was nice, but TINY WAFFLES.) And since you can get five for $10, we may have bought a few. Just a few.
One note: the Robson Street location is right by a cannabis dispensary, so if you’re sensitive to the smell, visit early. We didn’t notice a smell inside Nero even when the dispensary was open (and we’re pretty sensitive), but it’s still nice to be prepared.
1610 Robson St
Wowderffle is this TINY bubble waffle shop hidden in the Robson Public Market. (We only knew it was there because they have a sandwich sign outdoors.) You go up the steps and everything looks closed – except for this waffle place with its posterboard paper sign. You order, still wondering why you aren’t going to the popular waffle shop two stores over, though this place is cute and the owner is so nice.
And then you’re presented your waffle, lightly sweetened and warm, and realize you’re probably going back tomorrow.
(Note: since I tried everything once – except for Nero and Wowderffle – these count as First Impressions posts.)