Trees Organic – Arbutus

Trees Organic is a cafe with several locations around Vancouver that are best known for their cheesecakes, which they claim to be the best in the city. I’ve previously been to their Broadway location that’s near Granville. Recently, I stopped by their location on Arbutus, in Kits. I picked up a slice of The Sin and Maple Walnut cheesecake, as well as an almond croissant for my mom.

The Sin Cheesecake ($7.75):


3/5
This contained chocolate and cherry. The cheesecake was a little too soft for me; I prefer my cakes to be more dense. It was creamy however, and had a nice bit of tang. I enjoyed the chocolate parts, which had a nice flavour. I would have liked a bit more cherry. The crust underneath was just completely soggy and seemed to have been dissolved.

Maple Walnut Cheesecake ($7.75):


3.5/5
The cake had a similar texture to that of The Sin Cheesecake. The maple flavour wa actually quite prominent, and had a nice fragrance. I really enjoyed the walnuts on top, which provided a nice crunch and flavour. Again, I couldn’t get any of the crust.

Almond Croissant ($3.75):

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Almond Croissant

N/A

I have to admit, I’m not overly impressed with Trees Organic. While I did enjoy their cheesecakes, I’m not sure if they’re the “best” in the city and necessarily justify the price. This isn’t a bad spot, but I think it’s still worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3/5
Recommendations: Maple Walnut Cheesecake
Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

European Breads Bakery

The crappy thing about being a lone diner is that it can be a little awkward going out to joints to eat, especially if said joint is empty. That was the problem I encountered during my recent visit to European Breads Bakery, which is a small bakery/cafe located on Fraser Street, not far from King Edward Avenue. They have a menu of Eastern European breakfast and lunch items, crepes, drinks, as well as various baked goods. I originally wanted to eat lunch there, but the cafe was empty when I arrived, and I thought it was going to be just too awkward. So instead, I went over to Prado Cafe. I did pick up some of their food, including their Meat Pie, Blueberry Pie, and Poppyseed Cake.

Meat Pie ($2.95):


3.5/5
This was filled with ground beef. The pastry outside was quite flaky and had a nice flavour. There was a fairly good amount of ground beef feeling inside. I did, however, find the beef to be a little dry and bland.

Blueberry Pie ($2.95):


3.5/5
The pastry was similar to that of the meat pie, but was a bit sweeter. There was a good amount of thick blueberry filling inside. The blueberry was a bit on the bland side for me, but probably good for those who don’t like overly sweet pastries.

Poppyseed Cake ($3.59):


3/5
This is like a swiss roll that’s filled with a poppyseed filling. The cake was a tad on the dry side, but still soft and moist. The poppyseeds were a bit on the bitter side; I don’t know if that’s how they’re supposed to taste, but I wasn’t particularly fond of the flavour personally.

Even though I didn’t have the opportunity to try any of the breakfast or lunch items, I did quite enjoy the baked goods at European Breads. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of the popyseed cake, but the pies were pretty good, and the prices were fairly reasonable. All in all, this is a joint that I’d recommend checking out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Pies
European Breads Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lemonade Gluten Free Bakery

Well, I’ve done. it. After all my disdain for the gluten-free craze, I’ve gone and visited Lemonade Gluten Free Bakery. I just couldn’t resist after catching sight of the cakes that were in the display case: they just looked too pretty to resist. I ended up getting their Campfire Cupcake, Lemon Meringue Tart, Chocolate Passionfruit Tart, Salted Caramel Tart, Mango Cheesecake, Chocolate Caramel Silk, as well as an Almond Croissant for my mom.

Campfire Cupcake ($3.80):


2.5/5
This consisted of a chocolate cupcake that’s topped with a torched marshmallow/meringue frosting. The cupcake itself did have a nice flavour of cocoa; I did find it to be a bit dry in texture. The frosting wasn’t too sweet and had a nice fluffy texture, although I did find it to have an oddly “eggy” flavour.

Lemon Meringue Tart ($6):


4/5
The crust was quite tender and had a buttery flavour. I really enjoyed the lemon curd inside, which had a great tanginess as well as fragrance. The meringue fortunately doesn’t seem to have the eggy flavour that was in the cupcake; it might be because it was covered by the lemon.

Chocolate Passionfruit Tart ($6):


2/5
This contained a hazelnut crust. Unfortunately, I really didn’t care for the crust; it had a bitter flavour and just didn’t have a good texture. I also found the filling to be way too tangy, without much chocolate flavour, although it did have a nice fragrance of fruit.

Salted Caramel Tart ($6):


4.5/5
This, fortunately contained the same crust as the lemon tart, and was filled with caramel, chopped pecan nuts, and a layer of chocolate. I loved the caramel and nut filling, which was gooey and had a nice hint of saltiness. The chopped pecans provided a nice crunch and fragrance. The chocolate ganache had a nice bittersweet flavour that paired well with the caramel.

Mango Cheesecake ($6.50):


4/5
The cheesecake was not particularly dense, but had a relatively lighter, fluffier texture. It as creamy, and had a great balance between sweetness and tanginess. I would have liked there to be a bit more mango flavour, however.

Chocolate Caramel Silk ($6.50):


4/5
This consisted of a chocolate mousse and caramel that’s covered in chocolate ganache. The mousse was light and creamy, and had a really nice bittersweet flavour. The caramel provided a nice sweetness that went well with the chocolate.

Almond Croissant ($4.25):

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Almond Croissant

N/A
This is apparently only available on Saturdays. My mom had this. I didn’t tell her that it was gluten free, and she actually didn’t notice anything amiss, so I guess it must be quite good.

As much as I dislike the whole gluten-free fad, I have to be honest: I really enjoyed my visit to Lemonade Gluten Free Bakery. A couple of the cakes weren’t very good; others were great. The prices are a bit on the higher side, but not outrageous. All in all, I think that the bakery is worth visiting even if you don’t have any special dietary needs.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Lemon Meringue Tart, Salted Caramel Tart, Mango Cheesecake, Chocolate Caramel Silk, Almond Croissant
Lemonade Gluten Free Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Giovane Cafe

Giovane Cafe is a popular spot located near Waterfront. They serve up a menu of breakfast and lunch items, as well as good variety of pastries and cakes. They are probably best known for their Sugar Buns, which are like a cross between a donut and a bun, and are filled with a variety of custards. I had their Matcha Sugar Bun, Malt Chocolate Cake Bar, Pineapple Coconut Ube, Chocolate El Sol, and Almond Croissant.

Matcha Sugar Bun ($5):


4/5
This was like a cross between a donut and a bun; it consisted of a thin layer of dough and was stuffed with a matcha cream filling, and was also dusted with some matcha. The amount of filling was very generous; it was literally oozing out of the bun as I bit into it. It was not overly sweet, and had a really great fragrance of matcha, and also a great bit of bitterness from the matcha on top.

Malt Chocolate Cake Bar ($8):


4/5
This was like an ice cream pop, except in cake form. It contained a chocolate mousse, a jelly, and some crunchy parts inside, and was coated with a layer of milk chocolate. The mousse was sweet, creamy and rich, the crunchy bits provided a nice texture, while the jelly lent a tang to offset the sweetness.

Pineapple Coconut Ube ($6):


4/5
The cake contained a crunchy layer on the bottom that seemed to have some coconut flavour, as well as white chocolate. The layer of jelly on top provided a great tanginess, which balanced well with the layers of ube and white chocolate, which was quite sweet.

Chocolate El Sol ($8):


4/5
This consisted of a chocolate cake that’s topped with a thick chocolate mousse, and surrounded by a thin piece of dark chocolate. The chocolate was bittersweet. It was a tad stale, but not too waxy. The chocolate mousse and cake had a nice bittersweet flavour; the cake also contained some crunchy parts. Even though it wasn’t very large, it was quite rich.

Almond Croissant ($4.25):

dav
Almond Croissant

N/A
My mom had this. She really enjoyed it.

I really enjoyed my visit to Giovane Cafe. The sugar bun was very good, as were all of the cakes. The prices are a bit on the higher side, but I think their quality makes them worthwhile. All in all, this is a cafe that I think is definitely worth a visit.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Sugar Buns, Cakes
giovane café + eatery + market - Fairmont Pacific Rim Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Edible Flours

Not long ago, we had a student from Australia come by to spend a few weeks at our lab. He was apparently a vegan *gasp*. When he was about to leave, one of the lab members bought him a cupcake from Edible Flours. They are a small bakery located on Broadway that specializes in vegan treats. Recently, during my visit to Heart Attack & Vine, I happened to pass by the shop and decided to check it out. They have a small selection of baked goods, including cupcakes, where you get to choose your base and frosting. I had a Chocolate Cupcake with Marshmallow Frosting. I also picked up a Cinnamon Roll.

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Baked Goods

Chocolate Cupcake + Marshmallow Frosting ($4):


3/5
The cupcake was quite moist, and had a nice, slightly bittersweet flavour of cooca. The marshmallow frosting was quite sweet and a little stiff; I can’t taste any of the marshmallow in it. However, I must say that I honestly can’t notice any difference between this cupcake and regular, non-vegan cupcakes.

Cinnamon Roll ($4.25):


3/5
The bun was a little dry and not very fluffy. It did have a nice flavour of cinnamon. I couldn’t really taste much of the glaze: I really wish it could have been cream cheese instead (I guess it’s not possible though, since it’s vegan).

I’ve got to admit, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Edible Flours; the food was just alright. This isn’t really a bakery that I’d recommend, save if you are vegan and need an alternative.

Summary:
Food: 3/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3/5
Recommendations: N/A
Edible Flours Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Heart & Vine

Heart & Vine is a small cafe located on Vine Street, just a short distance from Broadway. They have a menu of breakfast and lunch items, including sandwiches and wraps that are premade and heated for you on order, as well as baked goods and drinks. I had their Hungry Man Wrap, to which I added soup (Thai Coconut Chicken) for an additional $3.50. I also had a slice of their Carrot Cake to go.

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Sandwiches, wraps and pastries

Hungryman Wrap + Thai Coconut Chicken Soup ($8.49 + $3.49):


3.5/5
The wrap was filled with scrambled eggs, tomato, pulled pork, cheese, beans and potatoes. It was nicely toasted and had a bit of crispiness on the exterior. There was plenty of filling inside. I quite enjoyed the potatoes and beans, which provided a nice starchiness. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really able to taste much of the cheese or pulled pork. The soup had a nice fragrance and contained some chicken and vegetables. I found it to be a little too sour however, and there wasn’t really that much chicken or other vegetables inside.

Carrot Cake ($5.99):


4/5
The cake was dense but still moist, and contained a large amount of raisins and cranberries, which provided a nice tanginess. I quite liked the cream cheese frosting, which had a good tanginess, although it was a little on the greasy side.

I’m glad to have checked out Heart & Vine. The food was pretty good and reasonably priced; I did find their coffees to be quite expensive however (the reason why I didn’t order any). The staff was quite friendly. All in all, this is a nice cafe to check out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5 (for food only)
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Hungryman Wrap, Carrot Cake
Heart & Vine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Foret Noire

Even though my French is limited to just a handful of words that I’ve learned in highschool, I do know the meaning of Foret Noire. The latter is a pretty new French patisserie that opened on Broadway, just a couple of blocks from Cambie. They serve up a variety of fancy cakes, macarons, chocolates, drinks and other items. Surprisingly though, in spite of their name, they didn’t have any black forest cakes available when I visited. Maybe a misdirect? Oh well. I got their Exotic Flower, Broadway, Strawberry Chocolate Entremet, and Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart.

Exotic Flower ($7.2):


4/5
The cake contained a jelly-like mousse outside that had a really nice mango flavour, and a slight tanginess. It contained a chocolatey, crispy interior, and was topped with pieces of pineapple. I wasn’t completely sure if the chocolate paired well with the mango, but each of the components were very tasty.

Broadway ($7.2):


4/5
This consisted of chocolate mousse that’s coated with a chocolate glaze, and contained some pieces of biscuits inside. The mousse was smooth and creamy, and had a wonderful bittersweet flavour. The biscuits provided a great bit of texture. The chocolate was good quality and melted in my mouth without any waxiness.

Strawberry Chocolate Entremet ($7.2):


4/5
This was similar to the exotic flower, and consisted of a straeberry flavoured jelly surrounding strawberry preserves and a crispy interior. The strawberry had a great fragrance and provided a nice bit of tangy while the crispy interior provided a nice texture.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart ($7.2):


4/5
This consisted of a chocolate tart filled with chocolate mousse and caramel. The tart shell was tender with a great bittersweet flavour. The mousses were smooth and creamy, and not overly sweet. I especially enjoyed the small pieces of caramel on top, which provided a great fragrance and flavour.

I was very impressed by the cakes at Foret Noire, all of them were very good. The prices are a bit on the higher side, but I think that it’s worth it for the quality. All in all, I’d definitely recommend visiting the place.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Cakes

Honolulu Coffee – Kerrisdale

Honolulu Coffee is a small coffee chain with a couple of locations across Great Vancouver. During my recent trip to COBS, I decided to check out their location in Kerrisdale. The shop specialize in drinks, including Kona coffee, but also have a selection of fresh baked pastries, including cakes from L’Atelier (which I’ve also been to and am a fan of). I had their Bacon Cheddar Scone, Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookie, and Hawaiian Muffin.

Bacon Cheddar Scone ($4.5):


3.5/5
The scone was very tender and moist. The bacon provided a great amount of flavour and fragrance. I did find it to be a bit on the salty side.

Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookie ($3.5):


3.5/5
The cookie was more crispy; I actually preferred ones that are soft and chewy. There was a good amount of macadamia and chocolate chips throughout, however.

Hawaiian Muffin ($3.75):


3/5
The muffin contained pieces of pineapple and coconut inside and is topped with struessel. It was quite moist, albeit a tad on the bland side. I did enjoy the pieces of pineapple; unfortunately, I was unable to detect any coconut.

I didn’t try any of the drinks at Honolulu Coffee (I’m not a coffee connoisseur, and can’t really tell the difference between good coffee and bad coffee). The pastries weren’t great but still good; the prices fairly reasonable. While I can’t rate the cafe on their drinks, I think the shop is worth checking out for their food alone.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Bacon Cheddar Scone, Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookie

Kafka’s Coffee & Tea

Kafka’s Coffee & Tea is a small cafe located near the intersection of Main Street and Broadway. As the name of their shop implies, they specialize in various tea and coffees, although they do have some a small rotating menu of fresh baked goods. I had a Ham & Cheese Croissant and Chocolate Chip Sea Salt Cookie. I don’t know what the actual prices of their food is (they didn’t have it labelled), but the total was $8.

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Baked goods

Ham & Cheese Croissant (around $5):


4/5
The croissant was buttery and flaky. I liked that the ham was spread throughout the croissant so that I could get it from every bite. The cheese provided a nice creaminess.

Chocolate Chip Sea Salt Cookie (around $3):


4/5
The cookie was tender and chewy, and had a nice sweet fragrance. There was chocolate spread throughout the cookie. The sea salt on top provided a nice bit of saltiness to balance the sweetness.

Although I know that Kafka’s Tea & Cafe is probably best known for their drinks, I’m not a person who can tell the difference between a good cup of coffee or a bad one; they generally all taste the same to me. I did quite enjoy their baked goods however. If their food is any indication of their quality, I think this cafe is worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Ham & Cheese Croissant, Chocolate Chip Sea Salt Cookie
Kafka's Coffee and Tea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bonnie’s Breads

I had a friend who used to work at the Independent Grocer at Champlain Square. She was the one who turned me onto Bonnie’s Breads, which is a small bakery that’s located right across from the supermarket. Her favourite item there was their ham & cheese croissant, which she thought was the best thing ever.

I haven’t visited Bonnie’s Breads for probably several years now. Luckily, they’re still open, and they’re still making ham & cheese croissants. In addition to the croissant, I also got a Boston Cream Cake, Raspberry Cheesecake Slice, Chocolate Mousse Cake, Long John and Beef Sausage Roll.

Boston Cream Cake ($1.65):

3.5/5
The cake was quite soft, tender and moist. I enjoyed the chocolate glaze on top that provided a nice bittersweet flavour. I do wish that there can be more of the custard filling.

Raspberry Cheesecake Slice ($1.95):


3/5
The cake was quite light and soft. I did find it to be slightly bland on its own. The raspberry swirl provided some sweetness, although I do wish it would be a bit more tart.

Chocolate Mousse Cake ($3.65):


4/5
The cake was very soft and moist. The mousses were smooth and light, and had a really nice flavour, while the layer of chocolate on top melted in my mouth and wasn’t at all waxy.

Long John ($1.65):


3.5/5
The donut was quite light and fluffy, with a slightly chewy texture. The chocolate glaze was not waxy and had a nice bittersweet chocolate flavour.

Beef Sausage Roll ($2.35):


3.5/5
The crust outside was relatively flaky with a nice flavour. I quite enjoyed the sausage inside, which was tender and savoury.

Ham and Cheese Croissant ($2.35):


3.5/5
The croissant itself was quite buttery. The cheese provided a great bit of richness while the ham provided a nice flavour.

I’m glad to have finally revisited Bonnie’s Breads. I didn’t think their ham & cheese croissant was the greatest thing I’ve eaten, but it was still good, as were most of their other fare. The prices were very reasonable. This is a bakery that I’d recommend checking out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Chocolate Mousse Cake, Ham and Cheese Croissant
Bonnie's Bread Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato