Category: Attraction Review
Not into the Christmas spirit yet? CandyTown will definitely change that!
On November 26, the 5th annual free outdoor Christmas festival in Vancouver is returning to Yaletown for another big year. CandyTown is one of the most popular holiday events in Vancouver and is definitely worth a visit this holiday season.
By walking down the “All I want for Christmas” market, you will find unique presents for your friends and family, while being entertained by local artisans, street performers, and live music.
There will be loads of holiday-themed activities, like free horse-drawn carriages rides, ice carving demonstrations, and Christmas tree lots. CandyTown also offers plenty of activities for all kids to enjoy. They will be able to get a photo with Santa Claus or the Ice Queen, learn how to twist balloon animals, or make their own candy.
New this year is the Pokémon Holiday Tour, which brings to life everyone’s favourite characters. Adults can enjoy the themed cocktails (try the Candycane martini!) and a meal from many different food trucks.
Date: November 26
Venue: 1152 Mainland Street
That’s right! The world’s biggest Christmas light maze is coming to Vancouver on November 25th. Enchant 2016 is a combination of 55, 000 square feet of amazing illuminated sculptures, a unique Christmas market, live performances, holiday drinks, outdoor fire pit, and much more!
Located on 1st and Crowe Street, guests will not only be able to experience the wonder of Enchant, but can also feel the magic of supporting various charities such as Variety – The Children’s Charity, Canuck Place, Ronald McDonald House BC and Yukon, Music Heals and Backpack Buddies.
The light maze features 23-foot tall-reindeers, snowy caves, complex structures, and a 64-foot-tall tree, all spectacularly lit up with hundreds of thousands of lights thanks to SHINE. Guests get to feel the adventure of helping Santa Claus find his missing reindeer, all lost in the maze, by exploring the seven worlds of light in order to save Christmas. The mission should take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete.
Afterwards, guests can enjoy the Enchant Christmas market that includes a diverse range of local vendors and artisans for a unique holiday shopping experience. The market will also feature 12 food trucks where delicious seasonal treats will be served. Guests-of-age can take delight in the licensed, covered and cozy eating area with their favourite spiked holiday drink.
There’s no doubt that Enchant 2016 will be the #1 holiday event for Vancouver. Tickets can be bought at the door or online. To pre-reserve tickets or for more information about Enchant 2016, you can visit their website.
When: November 25th – New Year’s Eve
Where: 1st and Crowe Street, in between the Cambie Street Bridge and Olympic Village
Maze and Market:
Adults 16+: $20
Children (6-15): $15
5 and under: Free
Family (2 adults, 2 children): $60
Kids and adults (6+): $5
5 and under: Free
Did you sleep in? Are you hungry, but it’s too early for lunch? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with this helpful list of places to grab brunch. These restaurants are all located in, or very close to, Downtown Vancouver so they’re very easy and convenient to get to.
Jam Cafe is an all-day breakfast and lunch joint that has everyone’s mouths watering. Established in Victoria, their success has brought them over to Vancouver. They are located on Beatty street, about a block away from Stadium-Chinatown Skytrain Station. They have something to satisfy every craving, from sweet treats like Triple Stack Pancakes, Red Velvet Pancakes to savory delights like Green Eggs and Ham and Huevos Rancheros. Served by welcoming staff, Jam Cafe is a great family-owned, rustic cafe.
Where: 556 Beatty Street
Hours: Monday to Friday (including holidays) 8:00am to 3:00pm
The Red Wagon is a wonderful neighbourhood joint located on the corner of East Hastings and Garden drive. The Red Wagon not only boasts about its magnificent all-day breakfast and lunch menu, it is also proud of its wide selection of wines on tap and local craft beers. Not only that, they also offer jaw dropping pies by The Pie Shoppe. Feel free to drop by and try out their Pulled Pork Pancakes or their Supertrucke; featuring 22 buttermilk pancakes, pulled pork, crisp pork belly, homefries and toast!
Where: 2296 East Hastings Street
Hours: Monday-Tuesday: 8:00am to 3:00pm. Wednesday through Friday: 8:00am until midnight. Saturday- Sunday: 9:00am until midnight.
Catch 122 offers all their brunch items for $13; served 7 days a week until 4:00pm. Come try out items such as the gastown classic, dirty breakfast and the catch 122! All of these are guaranteed to make your mouth water. Catch 122’s tasty food can be accompanied by any of their brunch cocktails; pretend its 5 o’clock and sip on a mimosa, a bourbon bellini or a espressotini! Yum! Don’t miss out on this great grub+drink combination and go to their location on West Hastings and Abbott street.
Where: 122 West Hastings Street
Hours: Monday: 8:00am to 4:00 pm; Tuesday – Thursday: 8:00am to 10:00pm; Friday: 8:00am to 10:30pm; Saturday: 9:00am to 10:30pm; Sundays: 9:00am to 4:00pm.
Bottomless mimosas. period.
Also featuring incredible Eggs Benny, comfy couches and a cozy, cute atmosphere. Located in Yaletown, close to Mainland and Helmcken street, it is very easy to get to. Go for the Hangouver Cure which is Fettuccine Alfredo, bacon, a poached egg and a vodka shot. Then stay for the bottomless mimosas.
Where: 1131 Mainland St
Specific Brunch Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 10:00am to 3:00am
Twisted Fork offers fantastic brunch options for $15.50 each. Favourites include the Eggs Benny and the Banana stuffed brioche French Toast. Same as Catch 122, Twisted Fork has a variety of brunch cocktails and mocktails that will complement your food quite well such as the Absinthe Pie and the Grandaddy Mimosa. And since waiting in line for a table in the rain is not pleasant, you can check how long the wait is right here.
Where: 1147 Granville Street
Hours: 7 days a week from 8:00am to 3:00pm
Fall is the best time of the year to buy local, artisan and handmade goods in Greater Vancouver. With so many good markets and fairs to choose from, we’ve compiled a list of 3 popular ones taking place this November!
The annual Circle Craft Market is the perfect place to do some early holiday shopping. With goods ranging from handmade ceramics, hand knit scarves, jewelry, toys, candles, and soaps there’s something for everyone at this large artisan market.
Whether you want to just enjoy the festivity and have a look at the items, or do your Christmas shopping, this craft market is fun for the whole family!
When: Nov 9-13
Where: Vancouver Convention Center West, 1055 Canada Place
Admission: $13 (Adults), $12 (Students and Seniors)
To get away from the big crowds around the holiday season, this smaller craft fair is the perfect place to go and relax while enjoying the festivities. The Deer Lake Craft Festival is a tradition that the Burnaby Arts Council has sponsored since 1971.
This year there will be over BC 55 artisans and their work selling everything from glassworks, sculpture, pottery, wood, fashion and jewelry.
As a special treat, there are door prizes and raffle draws as well as live music and entertainment.
When: November 18, 19, 20
Where: Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, 6450 Deer Lake Avenue
Another great and long running craft fair is the 34th Annual Dunbar Holiday Craft Fair. This year there will be over 140 exhibitors and the attendance is expected to be over 2000! This craft fair is a single day event, which means a concentrated and full day of festivities, shopping, and fun!
When: Saturday November 26 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Where: The Dunbar Community Center, 4747 Dunbar Street
Admission: $5 at the door, $4 online
It is that time of year once again! Fright Night takes over Playland from October 7th to October 31st offering a chilling experience. Open select nights, it features 7 haunted houses, 15 rides and 2 thrilling live shows.
Being Western Canada’s largest Halloween exhibit Fright Nights never disappointments, leaving kids, and adults alike terrified and wishing they never came in the first place. Classics such as Keepers Doll Factory, Haunted Mansion, and Car-N-Evil will be back once again for another year, while attractions such as The Beast, and Hellavator will be giving chills down your spine.
Want to skip the lines? You can purchase a Rapid Pass ensuring you get to the front of the line for all haunted houses as well as once for The Beast, Wooden Roller Coaster, Music Express, Atmosfear and Hellevator. Guests will be able to buy their tickets at participating 7-Eleven locations or online and save $3! Do not wait too long because these tickets are limited and sell out fast every year! For more information on tickets, and dates click here.
To get you ready here’s a look at one of the more popular haunted houses offered.
Summer may be coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it while it’s still here. And any excuse for ice cream is always a good one. Good thing Vancouver has some amazing options for delicious ice cream. Here are the Lookout’s top recommended ice cream parlours in the city.
Starting off our list of ice cream shops is Earnest Ice Cream. A Vancouver favourite, Earnest Ice Cream has been serving delicious ice cream for the past four years, earning a reputation for their fun and innovative flavours. Check out their website to see the flavours they’re scooping that day, or drop by their second location just steps away from Olympic Village. You won’t be disappointed.
1829 Quebec Street, Vancouver
Hours: 10am-10pm daily
3992 Fraser Street, Vancouver
Hours: 12-10pm daily
Rain or Shine is making waves in the Vancouver ice cream scene. With everything made in store, including their fresh daily waffle cones, you’re sure to enjoy what Rain or Shine has to offer. Make sure to visit them on Taco Tuesdays to grab a one of a kind taco sundae!
Bonus: They also make cakes! These specialty ice cream cakes are made to order with the delicious Rain or Shine flavours you know and love. Be sure to put in an order 6 days in advance: http://rainorshineicecream.com/cakes/
1926 West 4th Ave, Vancouver
Hours: 12-10pm daily
3382 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Hours: 12-10pm daily
UYU, named after the Korean word for milk, is the place to go for all those soft serve ice cream lovers out there. With soft serve ice cream made with organic milk and fresh ingredients, UYU serves up a delicious treat for any occasion. Don’t forget to add some toppings – from classics like strawberry, to the more unusual, such as black sesame powder.
433 Abbott Street, Vancouver
Hours: 12-10pm daily
This next ice cream shop is definitely turning heads. This recent addition to the Vancouver ice cream scene is bringing with it a new twist to how ice cream is done. Using freezing cold liquid nitrogen, Lik creates delicious creamy ice cream in seconds. Check out their signature creations, or stick to one of their delicious rotating flavours.
320 Robson Street, Vancouver
Sunday – Thursday: 12pm – 10:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 12pm – 11:30pm
If you’re looking for amazing gelato in Vancouver, look no further than Bella Gelateria. This award winning Gelato stop is one of the most popular places in the city for a cold treat. With so many delicious classic flavours to choose from, it’s easy to understand why. You’ll no doubt find yourself coming back for more. Bella Gelateria has 2 convenient locations in Downtown Vancouver for you to satisfy that sweet tooth.
1001 West Cordova Street, Vancouver
Sunday – Thursday: 11am–10pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am–11pm
1089 Marinaside Crescent, Vancouver
Hours: 9am–11pm Daily
Vegan or lactose intolerant? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Yaletown’s newest ice-cream parlour is 100% dairy free, yet still delicious. They carry all the classic flavours, as well as many fruity variations sure to sate your appetite.
1022 Mainland Street, Vancouver
Sunday-Thursday: 12pm – 10pm
Friday & Saturday: 12pm – 11pm
The sun is out and the sunglasses are on, which means that patio season has finally begun in Downtown Vancouver! What is patio season, you might ask? When the weather is cooperative with the sunshine, restaurants open up their outdoor seating. From there, you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city while having a meal with your friends and family. This is a great time for locals, as well as visitors, to enjoy the company of great food mixed with a brilliant outdoor atmosphere. From Gastown to False Creek, we have a list of the best patio-friendly restaurants that will have you feeling ready for the summer time!
The Chill Winston
The Chill Winston is sited at the end of Gastown, one of Downtown Vancouver’s oldest areas. Sticking to old-school traditions, they use local, wild, free-run, and organic ingredients in all their dishes. They boast a great selection of platters that are perfect for groups to share in the warm, sunny weather. The patio is located by Maple Tree Square, and it gives you the perfect view of the eventful city streets.
3 Alexander Street
604 288 9575
Cactus Club (Coal Harbour)
Situated to the left of the Olympic cauldron in Jack Poole Plaza is the Canadian casual-dining restaurant, Cactus Club Café. Since its first restaurant opening in North Vancouver, the restaurant chain has expanded all throughout Canada. Known for their wide selection of western-style dishes and laidback setting with friendly service, Cactus Club Café is definitely a top selection for a night out! Their Coal Harbour location provides a great view of the Vancouver Convention Centre, the Olympic cauldron, and several other outdoor art installations in the area. If you look further into the distance, you will also see the North Shore Mountains and the Burrard Inlet.
1085 Canada Place
604 620 7410
Who can think of a better place to have a meal by the water than at Cardero’s? Their patio is located by the marina of Coal Harbour, so fresh seafood is guaranteed! Since oyster season is starting to pick up, why not head on down to share a few with some friends and family? There are always specials on seafood along with the many wines that they offer. The patio views include beautiful mountains and seaside activity – you might even spot some Canadian wildlife (Click here to view our blog post about spotting some wildlife in Vancouver!). Cardero’s also offers live music every night, so it’s never a dull moment!
1583 Coal Harbour Quay
604 669 7666
Black & Blue Steakhouse
Located on Alberni Street, Black & Blue Steakhouse is one of the nine brands under Glowbal Restaurant Group. With a unique menu for both their patio and dining areas, Black & Blue Steakhouse carries everything from steaks to seafood. Their rooftop patio is perfect for small groups of people looking to relax after a long day at work. They have a large collection of different wines from around the Lower Mainland, as well as from around the world. This way, you can pair your favourite wine with your meal. Not only that, but they also have Canada’s first Josper Grill, a combination of an oven and grill that allows for the best way to bring out the flavours and textures in all types of food.
1032 Alberni Street
604 637 0777
Joe Fortes Seafood & Chophouse
If you walk along Robson Street downtown, you will eventually find Joe Fortes Seafood & Chophouse, a restaurant named after the prominent Vancouverite, Joe Fortes. Their patio, similar to Black & Blue Steakhouse, is located on the roof. This way, you can escape the busy city streets and enjoy a birds-eye view from above. The patio has everything, from a horseshoe bar to a cozy fireplace, which makes it the picture-perfect setting for catching up with friends or intimate dinners.
777 Thurlow Street
604 669 1940
The West End
Cactus Club (English Bay)
If you’re on the hunt for great views of the beach and sunset, then the Cactus Club Café located on English Bay is perfect for you! As the only restaurant located on English Bay, you are guaranteed the best views of the area. Although reservations are not required, we suggest making one to get the best seat in the restaurant.
1790 Beach Avenue
604 681 2582
Score on Davie
Where else would you find your meal stacked on top of a Caesar/Bloody Mary? Located in the heart of Davie Street, Score puts an interesting twist on traditional drinks and dishes. Their welcoming staff is always great with making conversation to make you feel right at home. If you’re also looking to make a few friends while you’re in town, Score is also a very popular place for locals as their bar always has the latest sports game showing! Start your night off by the patio and then make your way into the bar at night to experience the night life of Score!
1262 Davie Street
604 632 1646
If you’re looking for a cozy secluded patio setting, then Minami located in Yaletown is the perfect place to check out. A sister restaurant of Miku Waterfront, Minami offers traditional Aburi sushi that go well with flights of Japanese Sake. Unlike Miku Waterfront, Minami also touches on a fusion of Japanese cuisine with Western classics such as steaks, seafood dishes, and poultry.
1118 Mainland Street
604 685 8080
Romer’s Burger Bar
Romer’s Burger Bar is one of the best places for burgers in town. Currently, they have three locations all throughout the Greater Vancouver area – Kitsilano, River District, and Yaletown. Their menu is full of different kinds of dishes, but it’s their burgers that have stolen the hearts of visitors. From the “Wicked Deadly Cheeseburger” to the “Man’s Man Burger,” there is sure to be a burger to suit your tastes. Don’t forget to also pair your burger with fresh cut fries, which are available in six styles.
1039 Mainland Street
604 559 7210
Tap & Barrel
With three locations in Downtown Vancouver, Tap & Barrel continue to be one of the leading restaurants that boast the best views as well as craft beer selection. Their False Creek location provides a different perspective of the Downtown core. From their two-floor patio, you will be able to spot BC Place, Telus World of Science, Cambie bridge, and the docks for dragon boats. Tap & Barrel has an impeccable selection of shareables. Living up to our city’s goals to be greener, this restaurant chain utilizes local ingredients as well as implementing a custom tapping system for their wine in order to reduce their carbon footprint, and providing guests with the freshest food options.
1 Athletes Way
604 685 2223
Patio season is a great opportunity for friends and family to spend some time together while sharing some good food. We hope you enjoyed this list that we’ve compiled! If you’re interested in more restaurants to check out around Downtown Vancouver, check out our posts on the best desserts in town or restaurants five minutes away from the Vancouver Lookout!
Spring is coming, which means that the days are stretching longer and the weather is slowly getting warmer. This season provides the perfect time to spend weekends outdoor, exploring the beautiful natural landscapes of Vancouver through hiking.
Here are a few hikes and trails that we recommend as the most suitable for this time of year!
Elevation Gain: 450m
Hollyburn Mountain is located in West Vancouver on Cypress Mountain with views of Vancouver, the Burrard Inlet and even the Lions (the twin peaks along the North Shore Mountains). Not only does this hike offer a great combination of breathtaking views, it is also a convenient commute from the city. The average time for completing this 7 kilometer hike both ways is 3.5 hours. However, if you want to enjoy its beautiful views leisurely, set aside at least 4 hours of your day.
Hollyburn Mountain begins from the cross-country skiing area at the Cypress Mountain Ski Resort. If you are driving from Vancouver it should take you 45 minutes get to the parking lot. Hiking Holyburn Mountain is completely free – including parking!
Elevation Gain: 100m
Dog Friendly: Yes
Another year-round hike in the North Shore is the Quarry Rock Hike in Deep Cove. The total distance for the round trip is 3.8km, which makes this the perfect activity for families that want to spend a day outdoors. Similar to the hike on Hollyburn Mountain, Quarry Rock has marked sections that are easy to climb.
It takes about an hour to reach the top of Quarry Rock and from there you are greeted with a stunning view of the Indian Arm, Belcarra, North Burnaby and North Vancouver.
How to get there? You can either drive or take a public transportation. Estimated driving time from Vancouver is less than 30 minutes. Head eastbound towards Highway 1, then cross Iron Workers Memorial Bridge. Turn Right onto Mount Seymour Parkway, after 5 km turn to Deep Cove Road.
If you are taking public transportation from downtown Vancouver the easiest way is to take the sea bus at Waterfront Station across to North Vancouver. At Lonsdale Quay transfer to bus 239 Capilano University and at Phibbs Exchange change to bus 212 Deep Cove.
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Dog Friendly: Yes
Lighthouse Park is a small piece of heaven hidden in West Vancouver. This hike takes you through a Douglas-fir and Western Red Cedar forest, ending right next to the ocean. There is no set route for this hike; feel free to choose from a variety of trails that cut through the forest and end by the shore. The trek through Lighthouse Park takes less than 2 hours to complete (about 6 kilometers round trip). This beautiful park is a perfect example of British Columbia’s jaw-dropping West Coast Temperate Rainforest. Also, the lighthouse that you see at the end of the trail was built in 1912 and has been since then a great place to take pictures!
Lighthouse Park is quite easy to get to by car or public transit. If you drive from downtown Vancouver, it will take roughly 40 minutes. You can also take bus number 250 Horseshoe Bay departing from West Georgia Street.
If Vancouver winters are known for one thing, it must be the rain. Sure, we’ve got mountains that offer great skiing and winter hiking trails amid lush greenery, but for most, the winters in Vancouver can seem wet, foggy and interminable. While it’s easy to stay in on those rainy days, Vancouver offers many great indoor attractions that will keep you warm, dry and entertained. Here is a list of the top museums and attractions to visit this March in Vancouver while you patiently wait for spring to come out in full bloom.
TELUS World of Science
Science World, a legacy of Expo ’86, is a well-known family favourite located in Vancouver’s False Creek area. Science World offers interactive displays and exhibits to educate and inspire visitors. During your visit, you can learn about sustainable energy consumption and even have your mind tricked by optical illusions. Watch the new OMNIMAX film, America Wild: National Parks Adventure, displayed in the geodesic dome. As well, don’t forget to visit the feature exhibition, Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out. This exhibition features Dr. Gunther von Hagens’ plastination technique on over 100 specimens, allowing you to see the anatomy and physiology of animals in a way you never thought possible. Come see why people around the world flock to Body Worlds’ exhibits. But be quick – Animal Inside Out ends its Vancouver run on March 28th.
Vancouver Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery is Western Canada’s largest art institution and is one of Vancouver’s best known museums. To shake things up in 2016, they are putting on their biggest exhibition yet: a new, groundbreaking modern art exhibit three years in the making that will take over all four floors of the gallery. Until June 12th, MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture, explores the evolution of visual culture through various media during the last one hundred years. From Pablo Picasso and the birth of modern art to digital art and production of the twenty-first century, this highly talked-about exhibit is sure to have something to please – or intrigue – everyone.
Nestled within beautiful Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium is one of Vancouver’s top attractions. With plenty of indoor galleries and covered outdoor viewing, the Aquarium is guaranteed to give you a fun, informative and dry day – but make sure to watch out for the splash zone near the belugas! A visit provides a great chance to discover the aquatic ecosystems of British Columbia, learn about the biology and care of their marine mammals, and even touch a few marine creatures. Meet Chester, the false killer whale that was rescued as a baby and learn about the ongoing research in Canada’s Arctic region. In addition, opening March 10th is the new and exciting feature exhibition, Discover Rays. This will highlight two types of rays in a brand-new touch pool. You will learn all about their biology, threats they are facing, and how they are cared for by Aquarium staff.
Richmond Olympic Experience
The Richmond Olympic Experience, or ROX, is a new attraction in the Greater Vancouver area located at the Richmond Oval. Built for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, the ROX opened last November and is also the first of the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Museums to open in North America. This state-of-the-art facility will immerse you in a complete Olympic experience. The sport simulators will give you the impression of racing down a bobsleigh track or ski jumping at over 100km/h! Interactive challenges will also give you a chance to test your athletic skills and compare yourself to real Olympic athletes. The ROX also showcases moments and memorabilia of past Olympics and Canadian Olympians. For adults and children alike, this may be your best chance at bringing out your inner Olympian!
Royal BC Museum
The Royal BC Museum is located in Victoria, British Columbia’s capital city. Situated by the Inner Harbour between the equally impressive Parliament Buildings and the Empress Hotel, the Royal BC Museum is one of Canada’s best cultural museums, collections and archives. The Royal BC Museum boasts impressive natural history and anthropology exhibits such as: the First People’s Gallery and The Wildlife Photographer of the Year showcase, which runs until April 4th. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year, produced by the Natural History Museum in London, is a showcase and competition of the best nature photographs from around the world. This past year’s overall competition was won by Canadian photographer, Don Gutoski! Moreover, on display until April 28th in the lobby of the museum is the Rolls Royce that John Lennon owned and famously visited Buckingham Palace in before having it painted yellow in a gypsy style. Although it’s a rare occasion to see it on display, the car was donated to the province and has been in the museum collections for over twenty years!
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching us in Vancouver, and Cupid is no doubt getting ready for this holiday by polishing his trusty bow and arrow. With all the cotton-candy pink, bright red, and heart shaped boxes of chocolate, doesn’t it induce a craving inside of you that can only be satisfied by copious amounts of sugary sweets and rich, sweet desserts?
Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top 12 places here in Vancouver to indulge that sweet tooth. Whether you’re spending the day with a loved one, or just finding an excuse to delight in a dessert (after all, you deserve a treat!), then look no further.
A classic high-tea experience is what you’ll find at this quaint establishment, with shiny china tea cups and cloth napkins to charm you out of your fancy socks. For high-tea, you will receive a three tier tray of beautiful goodies, loaded with scones, sweets, tiny sandwiches, and of course, tea. From tangy tarts to beautiful pastries and everything in-between, this delightfully elegant experience is perfect for a leisurely afternoon. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are also available, as well as take-home orders made in advance. Don’t forget to wear your pearls!
Must Try: Dark chocolate pecan cake with milk chocolate chantilly. It looks decadent and almost too pretty to eat, but it’s worth every bite.
With seasonal treats such as candied chestnut lattes and chai apple cider, this cafe has easily built itself a sweet reputation (pun intended). Pick up a small batch of chocolates here, with prices running for individual pieces ($1.95) to a large box ($33.95), and everything in between! They use ingredients such as Tahitian vanilla, Quebec maple syrup, and the finest chocolate to craft these treats for you. If chocolate isn’t your thing, then take a nibble at one of their colorful macarons.
Must Try: The chocolate chip brown sugar macaron is a must, as is the cassis flavored one (a sweet, red liquer flavor with blackcurrants). Both pack a pleasant punch in terms of flavor.
A classic go-to for the city’s best waffles! You can choose between 2 types of waffles to start off with: brussels waffles (light and crispy waffles), or liege waffles (sweet and fluffy). After that, you have a hard decision to make. You can choose between 9 different flavors, with classic ones such as fresh strawberries and fluffy whipped cream, or branch out and try more decadent ones such as their orange mousse flavor (fresh orange pieces and dark belgian chocolate mousse.
Must Try: Their Bresilienne waffle (a Liege waffle with creamy vanilla ice cream, whipped cream peaks, hazelnut crumble, and a dash of caramel sauce) is to die for! It looks as good as it tastes!
In the mood for a mouthwatering Japanese ice cream parfait? Not yet? Don’t worry, once you step foot into this quirky little cafe full of little cakes and parfaits, you’ll be dreaming about the next time you’re able to drop by again. With a colorful assortment of Japanese desserts to choose from, you’ll never be out of options. The towering ice cream parfaits were made for sharing with a loved one!
Must Try: Their popular green tea parfait is refreshingly light and sweet. Make sure to pick up a Japanese baked sweet from their counter before you leave to take home!
A beloved favourite in Vancouver since its launch in 2012, this popular and often talked about ice cream parlour features seasonal flavors that rotate throughout the year, perfected in small batches. An interesting fact about Earnest Ice Cream is that it is the first of its kind to pack pints of their delicious ice cream in glass jars that can be returned and reused. You can enjoy an ice cream cone at the store, and then take home a pint (or two!) of your favourite flavor once you’re finished. They also have delicious vegan options for those who go dairy-free!
Must Try: The London Fog flavor is one of their most well-known flavors, made with light Earl Grey tea and sweet vanilla. Often recommended! Another favourite is their Peanut Butter and Jam flavor, which features house-made berry jam with light peanut butter, which is the perfect sweet and salty combination for those who like to have it all.
Known as one of the top ten chocolatiers in North America, Beta5 has definitely lived up to its status in terms of their treats. Their products are visually pleasing as well as tummy pleasing. They fuse together art with chocolate, and their creations speak for themselves. From their unique cream puffs to their richly decorated chocolates, this is one place you can’t pass by if you’re a chocoholic. Beta5 has collaborated with local artists to create fixed gift boxes in which you can purchase dozens of their chocolates to give to your special Valentine.
Must Try: The Vietnamese Coffee cream puff is as unique as it sounds! A unique blend of coffee, blonde chocolate cremeux, and condensed milk chantilly, this white and purple treat is worth biting into. Of course, their signature chocolates bo12 unique pieces) are worth mentioning as well, with flavors such as The Whole Cherry, Caramelized Banana, and Jasmine Tea.
The name Styo means “frozen yogurt in style”, and with this dessert place, you’d be hard pressed to find a treat that doesn’t suit your style and taste. Their towering swirls of frozen yogurt are decorated with sweet syrups and topped off with a crunchy cookie straw. Their frozen yogurt boasts colorful swirls of the creamy treat and have unique toppings that make the frozen treat one of a kind.
Must Try: The Strawberry Kiss parfait boasts tart frozen yogurt, fresh strawberries, popping candy, and marshmallows, turning it into one luscious treat. If you’re more adventurous with your desserts, try their Green Tea Harmony parfait, which consists of green tea frozen yogurt, sweet red beans, crunchy cereal, jiggly coffee jelly, and a pillowy cream puff.
Creme brulee and lattes, oh my! CrackleCreme specializes in this popular custard and caramel treat, with liquor based ones as well as vegan options! It’s a unique twist on this classic treat, with extraordinary flavors such as bourbon butterscotch, dulce de leche, and even frosted flakes cereal. If you’re looking for a familiar dessert, but with amped up flavors, then Cracklecreme is your perfect after-dinner stop! If you’d prefer to have your dessert at home, Cracklecreme also offers their creme brulee in take-home mason jars, so you can enjoy their treats on your very own couch.
Must Try: Their creamy vanilla latte pairs perfectly with their vegan pina colada creme brulee. A hint of sweetness and tangy tartness from the pineapple makes these two a match made in confection heaven!
The first thing you notice when you step foot inside Soirette Macarons & Tea is their bright display of colorful meringue-based macarons. They promise that their macarons are “wonderful little bites of airiness and flavor”, just as they should be! Their bright, delicate flavors and crunchy shells make them a delight to share with a loved one. Get a box of them in a beautifully decorated white and powder blue box, and attempt to guess each of its wonderful flavors as you devour each one. Don’t forget to sit back and relax with a cup of their herbal tea while you nibble each vibrant treat.
Must Try: Their seasonal flavors are interesting and intriguing at the same time. For a sweet tooth, you must try the Blackberry and Pear macaron (a lovely raspberry colored macaron with splashes of yellow across the top), which is refreshing and tangy at the same time. Another must-try is their Santa’s Milk & Cookies flavor (a white macaron with little chocolate “chips” on top), which is every bit as indulgent and rich as the name suggests.
The doughy confections you get from this charming little shop are simple, but worth every bite. The store opened in June 2012, after years of perfecting their simply-made, delightful dessert rings. Often noted as one of the best doughnut places around Vancouver, Lucky’s Doughnuts at 49th Parallel offers a wide range of flavors that change frequently, so you can experience as many new flavors as possible! Their doughy works of art are nothing to be sneezed at, with each one looking more extraordinary and delicious than the next. A must-try for any doughnut lover!
Must Try: The PB&J Remix is the most unique of the bunch! A square doughnut (yes, a square doughnut) filled with creamy peanut butter in all four corners, topped off with a tantalizing blueberry glaze, and sprinkled with crunchy, crushed peanuts! The doughnut itself is worthy of a picture or two. If you’ve got an Elvis lover in you, you’ll go nuts for the Memphis Flash doughnut, a stick doughnut named after Elvis’ favourite snack (supposedly). A peanut butter pastry cream filled stick doughnut topped with Nutella and pieces of caramelized banana. You “can’t help falling in love” with this one!
Everyone needs to experience the joy of dipping cakes, pretzels, fruit, and cheese into mouthwatering melted chocolate over a burning candle at least once in their lives, and what better time than Valentine’s Day to give it a spin? You can choose your own personal-sized cheese pot or chocolate pot (56% dark chocolate or milk chocolate) to dip your fruit and cakes into. The chocolate fondue set comes with cubed fruits, tea cookies, and an assortment of pastry items. The cheese fondue comes with seasonal fruits as well, veggies and baked potatoes, and artisan French bread and assorted pastries.
Must Try: The fondue experience is not one to be missed! Although by itself, the cheese and chocolate fondue pots are mouthwateringly delicious, you have the option of getting a chocolate fondue add-on, which happens to be mini ice cream truffles! You can order 6 or 12 ice cream truffles with toppings to dip into the chocolate, which will harden over the ice cream into a perfect treat.
With cupcakes this amazing, you’ll want your loved one to take a bite as well! This cupcake store looks good enough to eat! A pastel hued, retro-styled Vancouver cupcake shop that churns out custom cakes, wedding cakes, and of course, cupcakes; this sweet stop is sure to satisfy your cravings for this delightful dessert. Their enormous cupcakes are crafted with real buttercream that melts in your mouth, the softest and fluffiest cake base, and the most picture worthy toppings as far as confections go. Bite into one of the best cupcakes Vancouver has to offer and I guarantee your sweet tooth will thank you!
Must Try: The tiramisu cupcake is made of vanilla coffee marble cake with cocoa powder dusted on top of their cream cheese peaks. It’s like a vanilla latte in a cupcake, full of intense flavor and creamy richness. Just one bite, and you’ll fall in love.
Now that we’ve got the dessert part of Valentine’s Day figured out for you, all you have to do make the hard decision of picking your favourite!