One of the city’s most popular holiday attractions has returned, and it means we can start stuffing our faces with its delicious food offerings.
The annual Vancouver Christmas Market at Jack Poole Plaza (1055 Canada Place) is known for its kid-friendly activities, artisan goods, and festive décor, but its gourmet eats are always the star of the show.
From authentic German fare to Austrian sweets to classic Indian bites, guests will find it difficult deciding what to indulge in as they roam through all culinary huts. We suggest heading to the market wearing loose clothing, because your waistline is guaranteed to expand.
Here are 18 tasty foods to try at the annual yuletide celebration.
You can’t go wrong with this German delicacy: a large pork shank roasted on a special rotisserie until the meat is golden-brown and crispy on the outside, while juicy and tender on the inside. It’s a real treat—you won’t want to share. Pair this Bavarian-style pork hock with a cup of mulled wine and you’re good to go. Find it at Haxen Haus.
2. Roasted Chestnuts
Even those who don’t normally enjoy chestnuts will change their minds when they get a whiff of these freshly roasted nuts at the Christmas market. These European chestnuts are one of the tastiest snacks on a chilly winter night, best enjoyed while it is still hot. Find it at JJ’s Fresh Roasted Chestnuts.
3. Chimney Cakes
Originating from Hungarian-speaking regions, kürtőskalács (chimney cakes) are a highly addictive treat. Made with sweet dough that’s dusted with sugar and paired with your choice of filling—think custard or Nutella—it’s flaky and crunchy on the outside, with a soft and fluffy interior. Find it at Transylvanian Chimney Cakes.
Freybe has been making sausages for the past 172 years, so we don’t doubt they make delicious meats. Its German-style bratwurst, Das Brat, returns to the menu—remember to add sauerkraut and mustard for the perfect combo. Guests will also find other traditional sausages, dried pepperonis, and savoury landjaegers (semi-dried sausage) on offer. Find it at Freybe Brat Haus.
5. Vegan Dosas
Vegans and vegetarians have a new vendor to visit at the holiday attraction this year, which serves up tasty items like dosas, vegan burgers, tacos, wraps, and organic veggie juices. These dishes will attract even the biggest carnivores. Find it at Organic Villa Vegan Haus.
This Swiss-originated dish consists of freshly melted cheese scraped from the wheel, which is then served on a dish filled with food items like potatoes, pickles, cured meats, and more. It’s a little slice of Switzerland in the heart of Vancouver. Find it at Cheese Me Raclette.
This vendor promises to treat guests to an authentic experience of classic German schnitzel (fried thinned meat), and we believe them. This warm and crispy food item can be enjoyed with mushroom gravy or in a wrap, and has been popular at the market since 2012. Find it at Das Schnitzel Haus.
8. Austrian Chocolates
These 100 percent organic and fair-trade Austrian chocolates make for a great dessert or holiday gift. Some of Zotter Chocolate’s flavours include coconut, bacon bits, raspberry, and goji berries in sesame nougat. Choose from more than 400 kinds of confectionary at this market vendor. Find it at Zotter Chocolates.
9. Berliner Krapfen
German cakes and pastries never disappoint, especially Berliner krapfens (strawberry jam-filled doughnuts). Soft and fluffy with a fruity interior, these babies are always satisfying. Other specialty treats at this cake house include apple strudel, bienenstich (bee-sting cakes), and German-style cheesecake, among others. Find it at Das Kuchen Haus.
Pancakes have made their way to this holiday fete this year, and we’re not talking about the buttermilk kinds at breakfast. At Mr. Hotcakes, visitors will find warm and fluffy pancakes filled with syrup, topped with loads of whipped cream, and drizzled with maple syrup. A savoury option is also available, and the owner jazzes up the presentation with a glow-stick bracelet. Find it at Mr. Hotcakes.
Spruce Goose specializes in handcrafted charcuterie, which range from pate-de-campagne (country-style pate) to saucisson sec (thick and dry cured sausage). Nibble on these savoury bites on its own, or pair it with walnuts, a crusty baguette, or cheese. Find it at Charcuterie Haus.
This traditional German fare is made with egg noodles and herbs. You can choose from three different toppings: emmentaler cheese and caramelized onions, wild mushroom cream sauce, or olive oil with caramelized onions (dairy-free). Each dish is served with a tasty and tangy gurkensalat (German cucumber salad). Frozen spätzle is also on offer this year, which guests can purchase and prepare at home. Find it at Spätzle Haus.
13. Pickles and Mustard
The masterminds behind the Spätzle Haus have introduced some new goods this year: pickles and mustard. These tasty accompaniments are an essential pairing to most German meals, and are now available at its own hut. Find it at Das Pickle and Senf Haus.
Warm up with a bowl of Gulasch—Austrian comfort food made with wholesome stew that consists of braised B.C. beef, potatoes, and Hungarian paprika served in a bread bowl. A vegan option made with carrots, potatoes, and aromatic blend of Hungarian and smoky Spanish paprika is also available. Find it at Das Gulasch Haus.
15. Candied Apples
There’s something nostalgic about biting into a candy-coated apple—a treat that normally delights kids but can also bring happiness to grown adults. Its crunchy texture and sweet flavour screams “Christmas” upon first bite. Pair it with some traditional German apple drinks that are also available at this hut. Find it at Das Apfel Haus.
Made with unleavened dough wrapped around fresh and local ingredients, perogies are always a fan-favourite food item. The ones at this festive event feature B.C. grown potatoes, real cheddar cheese, fresh cottage cheese, and nitrate-free bacon. Find it at Pearls Perogies.
17. Hurricane Potatoes
Potatoes in any form taste great, but for some reason, they’re especially delicious when cut into a spiral shape and deep-fried. Known as hurricane potatoes, food-lovers can also add various toppings and seasonings to this crispy and crunchy snack. German-style kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes) are also on the menu. Find it at Das Kartoffelhaus Hurricane Potatoes.
18. Waffles on a Stick
This European treat can be found at holiday fairs across the Atlantic, so it’s only fitting to find them at Vancouver’s only German Christmas market. Waffles on a stick are available (different shape, same taste), so you can easily take a bite while you roam the market’s winding alleys. Traditional Viennese coffee specialities are also on offer at this vendor. Find it at Das Waffel Haus.
The Vancouver Christmas Market runs from November 21 to December 24, 2018 (11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.); December 24 (11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.) at Jack Poole Plaza (1055 Canada Place).