Roots Cafe

Roots Cafe is a small shop located on the corner of 49th and Main. They have a pretty large menu consisting of drinks, breakfast and lunch items, and baked goods. They are probably best known for their Butter Chicken Poutine, for which they apparently won a prize for in a poutine challenge several years back. Of course, I had to order the dish, along with a Mocha Milkshake.

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Mocha Milkshake & Butter Chicken Poutine

Butter Chicken Poutine ($10.95):

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Butter Chicken Poutine

4/5
This consists of French fries, cheese curds, and pieces of chicken breast that are covered in a butter chicken sauce as well as red hot sauce. The fries were very crispy and stood up well to the sauce, which was very flavourful and had a great bit of heat. I did find that the amount of chicken was pretty stingy; however, I didn’t mind in this case because the sauce itself provided enough flavour on its own.

Mocha Milkshake ($5.85):

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Mocha Milkshake

3.5/5
The milkshake was a little on the thinner side, but was very flavourful and had a great balance between sweetness and bitterness. The coffee flavour was quite strong and fragrant.

I quite enjoyed my visit to Roots Cafe. Although I found the amount of chicken to be a little stingy, I thought the poutine itself was already flavourful enough on its own. The prices for the food were fair; I did find their drinks to be a little on the expensive side. All in all, this is a cafe that I highly recommend checking out.

Summary:
Food: 4/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Butter Chicken Poutine
Roots Cafe 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

Victoria Restaurant

Victoria Restaurant is an old hole-in-the-wall diner located on the corner of 49th and Victoria. I’ve passed by the place a countless number of times, and recently, finally decided to check it out. They have a menu of breakfast fare, as well as lunch items and Chinese food as well. I had their Breakfast B, which consists of 2 eggs, a choice of sausage, ham or bacon, and a choice of toast or pancakes; I had sausage and pancakes.

Breakfast B ($7.50):


3/5
This comes with 2 eggs, your choice of toast or 3 pancakes, and sausage, ham, or bacon; I had the pancakes and sausages. The eggs were a little strange in that they have a circular disk shape; I did find them to be underseasoned. The sausages were standard breakfast sausages. The pancakes were a bit dry and tough, but still tasty. This isn’t anything special, but it’s still fairly good.

I’m glad to have finally checked out Victoria Restaurant. The food was nothing to write home about, but fairly good; the price was was very cheap: you can probably have a meal for $10, tips included. This is certainly not the best diner in terms of food and service, but for affordability, I’d definitely recommend checking this place out.

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

Mary’s on Davie

Mary’s on Davie is a retro-looking diner that’s located on Davie, several blocks from Burrard. I visited them during breakfast time. I just couldn’t resist ordering Chicken and Waffles whenever they’re on the menu, so of course I ended up getting it.

Chicken and Waffles ($17):


3.5/5
This consists of two small waffles sandwiching a large piece of fried chicken, and comes with your choice of side; I had their hashbrowns. The chicken was dark meat, and was tender and juicy; unfortunately, I found it to be very underseasoned. The waffles were a bit thick and chewy, but flavourful and seemed to contain pearls of sugar inside. It was quite sweet on its own, and didn’t really require any syrup. I really enjoyed the hashbrowns, which were very crispy and salted.

I quite enjoyed my visit to Mary’s. The dish was fairly good; the service quite friendly and prompt. Although I haven’t tried any of their burgers and other items off of their lunch/dinner menu, I think that this diner is definitely worth checking out for their breakfast items alone.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: Chicken and Waffles
Hamburger Mary's Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kam’s Bakery

During my recent visit to The Wallflower, I passed by Kam’s Bakery. They are a small Asian/Chinese bakery and restaurant located on Main Street. They are apparently closing down to move to a new location, so the restaurant is no longer operating, and the selection in the bakery area is quite limited. They have their usual buns and pastries, as well as a few cakes. I had their Curry Beef Bun, Lotus Pastry, Coconut Cream Bun, BBQ Pork Bun, “Chocolate” Cake and “Mango” Cake.

Curry Beef Bun ($1.80):


2.5/5
The bun was pretty soft, light and fluffy. There really wasn’t much filling inside at all. The bits of curry that I did get was at least flavourful, and had a nice bit of heat.

“Chocolate” Cake Slice ($2?):


3/5
This consisted of layers of sponge cake sandwiching a custard-like filling. The cake was quite tender and moist, with the cocoa on top providing a nice bit of bitterness. I wasn’t a big fan of the custard, which was a little bland for me.

Lotus Pastry ($2.25):


3.5/5
This is quite like a mooncake. Unlike the buns, this actually had a good amount of filling spread throughout, which was sweet and had a nice fragrance. It was a bit stiff, however.

“Mango” Cake Slice ($2?):


3.5/5
This consisted of a mango mousse on top of a sponge cake. The mango had a great fragrance of mango without tasting too artificial, and was sweet without being overly so. Not really certain if this is the “best” mango cake in Vancouver, but it is certainly pretty good.

BBQ Pork Bun ($1.80):


3.5/5
This consisted a considerably larger amount of filling compared to the curry beef bun. The pork was a little grisly, but was tender and had a nice bit of sweetness.

Coconut Cream Bun ($1.80):


4/5
This consisted of a hot-dog like bun that’s filled with cream and topped with coconut. The coconut on top provided a great fragrance. I thoroughly enjoyed the cream filling, which was sweet, with a slight bit of saltiness.

I enjoyed my visit to Kam’s Bakery. The food wasn’t the greatest, but not bad either; the prices are quite cheap. I don’t know where their new location will be, but I’d recommend checking this bakery out at wherever they will be.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Coconut Cream Bun, Lotus Pastry, “Mango” Cake
Kam's Bakery & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Wallflower

You know the video of  David Hasselhoff eating a cheeseburger? Well, that’s usually what I look like while eating burgers, except I’m sober. I just cannot seem to figure out how to eat a burger without everything falling out all over the place. That happened again during my visit to The Wallflower. They are a popular diner located on Main Street, right near Broadway. They have a menu, a large portion of which are vegetarian/vegan, although they do also have meat dishes for carnivores like myself. I had their Canuck Burger with Fries.

The Canuck Burger and Fries ($16):


3.5/5
This contained bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes, and mushrooms, and comes with your choice of pork & beef patty, grilled chicken breast, or beyond burger patty. I, of course, had the pork & beef patty. The burger wasn’t particularly large in size, but still pretty satisfying. Although the patty was a little dry and charred on the exterior, it was very tender and juicy on the inside. The bacon provided a great bit of saltiness. The fries were crispy, but strangely dry.

Of course, as usual, I ended up getting a complete mess all over my clothes and the floor from condiments and fillings falling out. I still quite enjoyed the burger, although I did find the prices to be a bit on the higher side. Service-wise, the food took a while to come out, but the server was quite warm and friendly. While the diner didn’t blow me away, I think it’s worth a visit, especially if you’re vegetarian/vegan.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5
Recommendations: N/A
The Wallflower 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):

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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

Marulilu Cafe

While I’m typically not the biggest fan of sushi, I do really like Japanese-Western style cafes. Recently, I had the opportunity to check out Marulilu Cafe, which is located on Broadway, right across from the skytrain station. They have a very large menu of various Japanese fare as well as Western food. You order at the front counter and they bring the food to your table. I had their Breakfast Plate C.

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Menu

Breakfast Plate C w/Waffle ($11.99):

3.5/5
This comes with 2 small waffles, 2 eggs, 2 hashbrowns, and your choice of either bacon, ham or sausage; I had the sausage. The waffles were served with syrup and whipped cream. I did find them to be a little too dry and dense for my liking. The eggs and sausage were standard. I really enjoyed the hashbrowns though, which were very crispy.

I’m very glad to have checked out Marulilu Cafe. While the food didn’t blow me away, it was still very good, and very reasonably priced. Even though there wasn’t really much service per se, the staff was also very friendly. I definitely recommend checking this place out. Just be warned: seating is limited, so you might need to wait if you go at peak hours.

Summary:
Food: 3.5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Service: N/A
Overall: 4/5
Recommendations: Breakfast Plates
Marulilu Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato