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.

dav
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

Faubourg – Hornby

Faubourg a French cafe/patisserie with a couple of locations in Vancouver. I’ve previously been to their Kerrisdale location and have recently checked out their Downtown store, which is located right by the Vancouver Art Gallery. Their menu consists of pastries, cakes, drinks, and various breakfast/lunch fare. I had their Double Baked Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Croissant, Lemon Tart, Tiramisu, as well as an Almond Croissant for my mom.

Double Baked Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Croissant ($5.50):


4/5
The croissant was filled with a chocolatey paste, and was topped with a drizzle of milk chocolate as well as hazelnuts. It was crispy and had a great buttery flavour. The chocolate provided a nice sweetness and the hazelnuts a great crunch; unfortunately, I did find some of the nuts to be a little stale.

Lemon Tart ($6.95):


4/5
This consisted of a tart shell filled with lemon curd and vanilla, and is finished with pearl sugar. The lemon curd was smooth and creamy, with a fantastic tanginess; I did find the vanilla to be a bit gummy and lacking in flavour. The pearl sugar provided a great bit of texture. The crust was tender; I did find it to be a bit soggy, however.

Tiramisu ($6.95):

dav
Tiramisu

4/5
This consisted of a sponge cake topped with marscapone cream. The cream had a great fragrance of coffee, and a perfect bittersweet flavour. The cake on the bottom was a bit on the dry side.

Almond Croissant ($4.95):

dav
Almond Croissant

N/A

I quite liked Faubourg. The food was good; the prices are a tad on the higher side but nothing outrageous. All in all, this is a decent joint for some tasty French treats.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Double Baked Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Croissant, Lemon Tart, Tiramisu
Faubourg Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bel Cafe

Bel Cafe is a popular shop located in Downtown, near Hawksworth restaurant (they have opened a 2nd location in Kits). Their menu consists of breakfast/lunch items, cakes, pastries, and drinks. I had their PB & J Croissant and Dark Chocolate Espresso Orange Opera cake.

PB & J Croissant ($4.50):


3.5/5
The croissant is a little oddly shaped since it’s actually rolled up into a spiral rather than the classic crescent shape. Regardless, it was still quite flaky and buttery. I really enjoyed the jam, which had a great tartness. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really able to get much flavour from the ground peanuts inside.

Dark Chocolate Espresso Orange Opera ($6):


4/5
The cake was tender and moist, and had a great bittersweet flavour. The espresso and the orange both provided a great fragrance that complimented the chocolate. I did find the mousse to have a rather greasy texture, however.

I’m pretty lukewarm on Bel Cafe. The treats are fairly good, nothing mindblowing. The prices are a bit on the high side, especially seeing that the portions aren’t large, but not outrageous. This isn’t anything outstanding, but still worth a trip if you’re nearby.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Dark Chocolate Espresso Orange Opera
Bel Cafe - Rosewood Hotel Georgia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Artistry Coffee House

During my recent visit to Bangkok Cafe, I passed by Artistry Coffee House. I decided to check the joint out this week. They are a small cafe in Kits, located on 4th Avenue, near MacDonald Street. In addition to coffees, lattes, and other drinks, they have pastries, various breakfast/lunch items, and cinnamon buns from Grounds for Coffee. I had a Matcha Latte, Almond Croissant, Trail Mix Bar, and Morning Glory Muffin.

Almond Croissant ($3.95):


4/5
The croissant was quite flakey and buttery. The almond paste inside was a bit on the thin, watery side, but that didn’t matter as it was still very tasty, with a great almond flavour and sweetness.

Trail Mix Bar ($2.85):


2.5/5
The granola bar had a chewy texture and was mildly sweet in flavour. I found it a little too plain however; I could have done with a little more fruits and nuts mixed in.

12 oz Matcha Latte ($4.45):

dav
Matcha Latte

3.5/5
You have the option to have the latte with sugar or without; I had it without sugar as I wanted to taste the matcha. The latte was smooth and creamy, and a slight bitterness. I did find the matcha flavour to be a tad subtle, but still good.

Morning Glory Muffin ($2.95):


2/5
The muffin was quite tender and moist. It was quite bland however, and had a pretty overwhelming flavour of cinnamon. I also found it to be quite plain: there wasn’t much fruits or nuts mixed in.

The food at Artistry Coffee House is a bit of a hit and miss; I didn’t like their trail mix bar or muffin, but their croissant was tasty. Their latte was also quite good. All in all, while I wasn’t blown away by my visit, I think that this is still a decent alternative to the Starbucks across the street. At least they have lavender lattes.

dav
They’ve got a Starbucks across the street

Summary:
Food: 3/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Matcha Latte, Almond Croissant
Artistry Coffee House & Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Butter Baked Goods

I love Butter Baked Goods. They are an adorable bakery located in Dunbar, several blocks from 41st Avenue. They serve a large variety of bars, brownies, cookies, and various twists on classic treats like Oreos and Wagonwheels. During my most recent visit, I had several of their bars (Bajillionaire, Hello Dolly, Coney Island), and Peanut Butter Sandwich.

Bajillionaire Bar ($3.50):


3.5/5
This contained caramel on top of a shortbread crust and is topped with dark chocolate and sea salt. The caramel was sweet, thick and gooey. The shortbread crust was tender and buttery. I did find this to be too sweet, however.

The Hello Dolly ($3.50):


3.5/5
This consisted of a granham crust topped with condensed milk, chocolate, pecans, and coconut. The cookie was tender and buttery. There was a great amount of topping; with the chocolate, nuts and coconut pairing incredibly well. It was a bit on the sweet side, but not as much as the Bajillionare Bar.

Coney Island Bar ($3.50):


4/5
This consisted of a brownie topped with marshmallows and coconut. The brownie was quite fudgey and dense, and had a perfect bittersweet flavour. I also quite enjoyed the marshmallows, which were fluffy and not overly sweet. I did find the coconut flavour to be a bit subtle.

The Peanut Butter Sandwich ($4):


4.5/5
This consisted of a peanut icing sandwiched between two peanut butter cookies. This was always my favourite treat form Butter Baked Goods, and I always have to get it whenever I visit. The cookies were soft and melted in my mouth, while the icing provided a great sweet and salty flavour.

I had a great time at Butter Baked Goods. Even though a few of the treats were a bit on the sweet side, their brownies were tasty and their peanut butter sandwich is worth visiting for alone. This is a bakery that I think is definitely worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Brownies, Peanut Butter Sandwich
Butter Baked Goods Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bigsby the Bakehouse

During a revisit to Butter Baked Goods (more on that later), I noticed Bigsby the Bakehouse located just across the street from the shop. Even though the shop looked quite small and unassuming, it was actually quite full of customers. Curious, I decide to drop in for a visit. They serve a menu of breakfast/lunch items, breads, and other baked goods. Unfortunately, they didn’t have prices listed for their baked treats, so I didn’t know how much everything was, although the final cost was $9.

dav
Baked Goods

Strawberry Blueberry Scone (around $4.50):


4/5
The scone was crispy on the outside while being moist and tender on the interior. It had a great buttery flavour, and was mildly sweet. I did find there to be too few berries, however.

Blueberry Poptart (around $4.50):


4/5
The crust outside was tender and buttery, and had a slightly salty flavour. There was a good amount of jam inside. Personally, I found the jam to be a tad on the bland side. This is a great twist on the regular poptart.

I’m quite impressed by Bigsby the Bakehouse. The food they had were tasty and well made. The prices were a tad on the higher side, but still reasonable. While Butter Baked Goods may look more appealing, this is place is definitely worth visiting.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Scone, Poptart

Bigsby the Bakehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Janice Cakeshop

I don’t go to Richmond often. I had no idea that the 430, which goes to Richmond, comes like once every 30 minutes on Sundays. I found that out during my visit to Janice’s Cakeshop. They are a small Asian/Chinese-style Bakery located in Richmond. As their name suggests, they make a large variety of cakes, as well as other baked goods. During my visit, I had several of their cakes (Green Tea Mousse, Fresh Mango, Lemon Cheesecake and Chestnut Cake), as well as a Pork Floss Sandwich, a Ham and Egg Sandwich, and a Pineapple Bun. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the bakery, so I don’t know the exact prices for their goods, but they are fairly cheap.

dav
Fresh Mango, Green Tea Mousse, Lemon Cheesecake, Chestnut Cake

Pineapple Bun (around $1.50):


3/5
The bun was fluffy and soft. The topping was crispy and provided a nice sweetness; unfortunately, I did find the bun to be a bit too plain to enjoy on its own.

Pork Floss Sandwich (around $1.50):


3.5/5
This consisted of pork floss and cheese with a clear, slightly sweet paste on whole wheat bread. The whole wheat bread was a bit dry and grainy for me. I really enjoyed the pork floss and the paste however.

Green Tea Mousse Cake (around $4):


2/5
This consisted of layers of green tea mousse and sponge cake. The cake was fine, being light and fluffy. Unfortunately, I did not like the mousse at all, which as thick, gummy, and utterly flavourless.

Fresh Mango Cake (around $4):


3.5/5
This consisted of layers of sponge cake sandwiching mangoes and cream. The cake was light and fluffy while the mango was sweet and tangy. I found the flavours to be a bit too bland, but this is definitely a good choice for anyone who wants something lighter.

Ham and Egg Sandwich (around $1.50):


3.5/5
This consisted of white bread sandwiching slices of ham and eggs, and what appears to be mayo. The bread was much less dry compared to the whole wheat from the Pork Floss sandwich. I initially found the sandwich to be a tad bit bland, but the interior was actually flavourful, with the mayo providing some richness to go along with the bread.

Lemon Cheesecake (around $4):


4/5
The cheesecake was quite light and fluffy, and had a great fresh, lemony flavour. The crust was also crispy. This is a lighter option to a regular cheesecake.

Chestnut Cake (around $4):


4/5
This consisted of sponge cake that’s sandwiches with chestnut paste and whipped cream. The cake was light and fluffy while the chestnut paste was creamy and wildly sweet.

In spite of the long wait for the 430 to come along, I really enjoyed my trip to Janice Cakeshop. With the exception of the green tea mousse, I quite enjoyed all of their other cakes, and their sandwiches were also quite good. The prices are also very reasonable. Definitely a bakery/shop that’s worth visiting.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Lemon Cheesecake, Fresh Mango Cake, Chestnut Cake
Janice Cake Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Only Cafe

After my visit to Cafe Lokal for some food, I headed over to The Only Cafe, which was located just a few doors down. They are an Asian/Japanese-style cafe located in Kits, on 4th Avenue. In addition to serving up various drinks, both hot and cold, they have various sandwiches and baked goods. I had a Matcha Latte, Japanese Cheesecake, and Matcha Pound Cake.

Matcha Latte ($4.75):


4/5
The latte was actually not sweet at all, but was slightly bitter with a creamy texture. It had a pretty good matcha flavour, which was quite impressive seeing that most matcha-flavoured drinks tend to be a little weak.

Japanese Cheesecake ($4):


3/5
The cake was more light and yogurt like compared to NY cheesecake. The filling was creamy and tangy, but a bit lacking in flavour and gummy in some areas. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a big fan of the crust beneath, which was a bit grainy.

Matcha Pound Cake (around $4-5):


3.5/5
The cake was a bit hard, but still tasty and had a mildly sweet flavour. The matcha flavour was a bit weak, but that is kind of expected from most matcha-flavoured desserts.

While I wasn’t a huge fan of their cheesecake from The Only Cafe, I enjoyed the pound cake and was impressed by their latte. The staff was friendly and the prices were fair. This is definitely worth checking out.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Matcha Latte, Matcha Pound Cake
The Only Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

La Gateau Bakeshop

I know that I shouldn’t complain snow (it’s Vancouver, and compared to most other cities both in Canada and the US we’ve been having it pretty good), but I just want winter to end already. Just when I thought that we were going to get out of this winter unscathed we get a cold spell…and with it snow…and probably even more snow for the next 2 weeks. Ugh.

Fortunately, I was able to make a trip to La Gateau Bakeshop before the first snowfall and all the buses breaking down and getting stuck half way up a hill. The latter is a small bakery located on East Hastings, not far from PNE and Playland. They seemingly special in custom cakes, but also offer cupcakes, mini cakes and other treats. I had their Red Velvet Cupcake, Salted Caramel Chocolate and Almond Cream Fruit Tarts, and Earl Grey Mini Cake.

Red Velvet Cupcake ($3.25):


3/5
The cake itself was pretty tender and moist. There was a good layer of cream cheese frosting. Unfortunately, I found it to be a bit too thick and lacking in flavour. I also felt that it had a slightly unpleasant aftertaste.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart ($4.75):


3.5/5
The crust was a bit blond, but quite tender; however, I did find it to have a slightly odd freezer-burned taste. I really enjoyed the chocolate and caramel ganache, which melted in my mouth and had a fantastic caramel flavour and sweetness.

Almond Cream Fruit Tart ($6.50):


3/5
This was filled with almond paste and cream, and was topped with fruit and a macaron. The macaron was quite airy and crispy, although quite sweet. I quite enjoyed the almond paste, which had a nice fragrance and was lightly sweet. Unfortunately, I found the shell to be a little too thick, although it was more well baked compared to the salted caramel tart. Again I did find thereto be an unpleasant freezer-burned flavour.

Earl Grey Mini Cake ($6):


3/5
The layers of cakes were quite tender and had a fluffy texture. I really enjoyed the layers of chocolate and the earl grey flavour. Unfortunately, I found the top layer of icing to be just terrible: it was thick, waxy and flavourless. I just ended up scraping it off and eating the rest of the cake underneath.

I had high hopes for La Gateau, and I have to admit, I do feel pretty let down by my visit. The treats, while not terrible, did leave much to be desired. The prices were also on the higher side, and in my opinion, not worth it for the quality. Not a place that I’d recommend.

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