What makes the holidays the most wonderful time of the year? Festive treats.
We may be slightly biased because Straight staffers are known to have major sweettooths (many of our editors consume chocolate and candy for lunch), but who doesn’t love indulging in Santa-themed pastries or colourful yule logs while listening to Michael Bublé’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”?
From eggnog-flavoured confections to candy-cane chocolate barks, here are 14 places around town to find holiday treats that can truly bring out your seasonal cheer.
Giovane cafe + eatery + market (1038 Canada Place)
Besides its festive bûches de Noël, stollen, and cakes, guests can also find Giovane cafe’s most popular holiday treat back in stock: the Santa Belly. Essentially sugar buns stuffed with cream, these sweets are dressed up as Old Saint Nick—complete with the red suit and black belt. Ho ho ho.
Buttermere (958 Main Street)
Keeping up with the Father Christmas theme, this pastry shop has created a cake called Drunk with Santa. Made with Guinness Stout sponge, orange cremeux, red wine gelée, and Guinness mousse, the chefs definitely chose an appropriate name for this goodie. Other holiday-themed cakes (full-size and pillow-size) are also available.
Origo Club (110–6888 River Road, Richmond)
This eatery adds a French twist to the traditional yule log, offering two kinds of bûches de Noël: bûche à la noisette (gianduja bavarois, creamy dark gianduja ganache, apricot coulis, praline noisette, and gluten-free chocolate sponge) and bûche japonaise (Orelys Valrhona chocolate mousse, matcha bavarois, passionfruit coulis, mango curd, and white chocolate sponge). Orders must be made in advance—if you forget, there’s always next year.
Chez Christophe (4717 Hastings Street, Burnaby)
This Burnaby Heights gem is offering a number of unique items for the holiday season, which range from chocolate showpieces to festive truffles to do-it-yourself chocolate-bark kits. The hardest part will be deciding which ones to get: the carousel chocolate design, Christmas-tree chocolate lollipop, mulled-wine truffles, or the candy-cane bark kit. A selection of holiday yule logs are also offered at the shop.
Purdys Chocolatier (various locations)
Self-proclaimed to be the official chocolate of Christmas, Purdys has been filling local stockings since 1907 and rolls out new creations each year. Besides the company’s signature chocolate boxes, check out its cranberry-pistachio bar, eggnog truffles, holiday-themed foil-wrapped sweets, and various Christmas character chocolate lollipops.
Temper Pastry (2409 Marine Drive, West Vancouver)
In addition to holiday-flavoured truffles (think eggnog and gingerbread), guests will also find many festive European treats at this West Van sweets shop. Tasty creations such as raspberry linzer cookies, traditional Italian panettone, classic German-style stolen, and yule logs are on offer. Other classic goodies including chocolate showpieces, peppermint sticks, candy-cane chocolate bars, and meringue snowballs are also available.
Ladurée (1141 Robson Street and 737 Dunsmuir Street)
Find a bit of jolly Parisian flair at this popular macaron establishment, which is offering various kinds of bûches de Noël and bûchettes de Noël. Flavour combinations include pistachio-macaron, rose-and-raspberry, milk chocolate with biscuits, and dark chocolate with Caribbean-chocolate mousse. Its snazzy Scandinavian-themed holiday boxes can also make great gifts.
Mon Paris Patisserie (4396 Beresford Street, Burnaby)
This Burnaby patisserie creates delicious treats, and its holiday collection is something you wouldn’t want to miss. Go for the chocolate tree filled with nuts and dried fruits, chocolate ornament filled with champagne truffles, or the fun milk chocolate Rudolph. Seasonal chocolate barks are also featured, but the stars of the show are its yule logs—flavours range from chocolate-orange to pistachio-raspberry to redcurrant-almond.
Beta5 Chocolates (413 Industrial Avenue)
It’s also a bit of a trek to get to this chocolate store, but it’s definitely worth it. Beta5’s seasonal offerings never disappoint, and this year is no different. If you’re looking for stocking stuffers, check out its chocolate snowballs, lumps of coal, and peppermint patties. Its holiday cream puffs are always a hit, with festive flavours such as Douglas fir, eggnog, hot chocolate, and more.
Thierry (1059 Alberni Street)
Downtown’s Thierry has rolled-out many desserts synonymous with holiday cheer. Five yule log selections are available, which are so aesthetically pleasing that you may have a hard time devouring them. Flavours like chestnut, coffee-and-toffee, and maples-and-pralines are featured. Other seasonal treats like hazelnut tarts, holiday chocolates, and gingerbread macarons can also be found here.
East Van Roasters (319 Carrall Street)
For those who are looking for gifts that give back, check out East Van Roasters: a registered charity and social enterprise provides employment to women living in the Downtown Eastside who are facing hardships. Its holiday collection includes gingerbread-toffee chocolate bars, cardamom-and-coffee truffles, and various chocolate boxes—vegan options are also available.
Bel Café (801 West Georgia Street and 1780 West 3rd Street)
Mouthwatering beverages like eggnog lattes and spiced-pear hot chocolate can be found at Bel Café this month, but its festive sweets are just as enticing. Highlights from its seasonal collection include vanilla shortbread cookies to Christmas cake, and from Tonka bean palmiers to cinnamon marzipans. Don’t worry about calories, they don’t count during this time of year.
Beaucoup Bakery (2150 Fir Street)
Besides its buttery and flakey croissants, Beaucoup customers will also find a Christmas cookie tin filled with an assortment of goodies—think palmiers and chocolate sablés. Winter offerings such as a macadamia-grapefruit Paris-Brest, coconut-lime pie double-baked croissant, and yuzu-passionfruit coconut macarons have also arrived on its shelves.
Thomas Haas (2539 West Broadway and 128–998 Harbourside Drive, North Vancouver)
This chocolate store’s signature holiday gifts will impress everyone in the room, even if they don’t indulge in sweets (do those people even exist?). Handcrafted pieces such as ornaments filled with chocolate-caramelized nuts, truffle trees, Santa belly stuffed with treats, Santa boots, and holiday-tree barks are on its menu. Naturally, a yule log collection is also on offer.