When most people think of Vancouver, they think of a city that’s full of greenery, fresh air and scenic views. It’s true — Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world but, the city is also known for its delicious, diverse cuisine and some pretty iconic food spots. In fact, eight Vancouver restaurants were awarded Michelin stars this year. With some of the best restaurants in Vancouver downtown, it’s only natural that you can also find some of the best desserts in downtown Vancouver, too.
From viral croissants to plant-based cake pops, there’s surely a sweet treat to suit everyone’s taste buds. Keep reading to discover some of the best Vancouver dessert spots and bakeries that Van City has to offer.
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Nukid (166 Robson St.)
This downtown dessert shop not only offers deliciously unique Korean-style baked goods, but they also have one of the most aesthetic interior designs in Vancouver. Within their boldly animated decor, you’ll find that the handmade twisted donuts are the main character here, with unique toppings like cheddar cheese, fruity pebbles and tiramisu. Dig a little deeper and you’ll come across a range of stuffed doughnuts, cronuts, financiers and full-sized cakes, like their Matcha Basque Cheesecake.
Get your caffeine fix with one of their hot beverages or double down and indulge in a Strawberry Ice Cream Latte.
Pet lovers, take note: we’ve heard furry friends are also welcomed with puppuccinos.
Nemesis Dope Bakehouse (Various locations)
The sign of a good croissant is the mess you leave behind – and if anyone knows croissants, it’s Nemesis. Their pastry division, Dope Bakehouse, creates some superbly flakey sweets like their Strawberries and Cream Croissant stuffed with roasted strawberry compote, diplomat cream and topped with Chantilly, strawberry gel and pink chocolate. For simpler pallets, try their Pain Au Chocolat or Cornflake cookie. If you’re feeling adventurous, maybe their S’mores Cruffin is more up your alley.
Either way, with three locations throughout Vancouver you’ll still need to arrive early to see the full Dope Bakehouse selection, as they’ve been known to sell out early. Don’t want to risk it? You can pre-order via the Nemesis website.
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Mister (Various locations)
There’s a reason why this well-loved Yaletown ice cream spot took on a second location earlier this year — they’re really that good. Mister uses a liquid nitrogen process to create their signature creamy sweet treats, which results in much smaller ice crystals and less air than found in traditional ice cream. The richness of Mister’s craft ice cream really shines through in their unique seasonal and classic ice cream flavors.
If we had to choose though, we’d say their ice cream sandwiches and dipped bars are the absolute must-try items here.
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To Live For Bakery & Cafe (1508 Nanaimo St.)
Erin Ireland, a famed Vancouver animal lover and founder of To Live For, has been influencing food aficionados to eat plant-based for years. With her baked goods already being sold in cafes and grocery stores around BC and Calgary, Ireland has finally set foot to open her very own bakery in East Vancouver. Yes, it’s fully plant-based, but the oat milk lattes are some of the creamiest in the city and To Live For’s array of sweets will have you lining up again and again – (did we mention the lineup?).
You may already know To Live For for their perfectly moist loaves, cookies and power balls, but stop by the bakery and find yourself in front of the sticky-sweet cinnamon buns of your dreams, adorable cake pops, impeccable almond croissants and more.
If you’re celebrating something special, you can always pre-order one of their luxury cakes in various sizes and flavours – they’re total crowd-pleasers, and you’d never guess that they’re plant-based.
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Purebread (various locations)
Cakes, pies, cookies and loaves – there’s almost nothing you won’t find at Purebread. This family bakery first made waves in Whistler and has since expanded to five other locations throughout Vancouver, Whistler and Squamish.
Their classic dessert offerings are laid out nicely in a large display case for visual appeal – but don’t hold up the line trying to decide. This place gets busy during lunchtime. If you can get your hands on a slice of Purebread’s Caramel Apple Pie or Toffee Pecan Babycakes, you’ve hit the jackpot.
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Hype Chocolate (855 E Hastings St.)
This Strathcona chocolate factory pairs sneaker culture with snack culture to deliver a truly different experience. Upon arrival stepping into Hype Chocolate, you’re met with smiling faces, BE@RBRICK figures and display cases filled to the brim with chocolate. Giving the vibe of a classic neighbourhood candy store – but with a sprinkle of hype – you can find chocolate of all types like sneaker-shaped chocolates, chocolate-covered Twinkies and Oreos, and colourful bars of chocolate in flavours like Birthday Cake, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Salted Potato Chip.
More of an ice cream person? Grab a float paired with one of their rare sodas or opt to create your own Swirl with your choice of ice cream and toppings. The possibilities are endless.
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Bonus Bakery (1185 W Georgia St.)
Located in Coal Harbour, this plant-based bakery is one of the best places to find dessert in downtown Vancouver.
Bonus Bakery’s stuffed cookies are so chewy and delightfully sweet that you’ll want to order a dozen to try every flavour. Think Nutella, Lemon Pie, S’mores and classic Sprinkle. They also offer cakes, waffles and cinnamon buns so fluffy we’d be surprised to find a better option in Vancouver – plant-based or not.
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Little Cafe on Robson (1258 Robson St.)
Tucked away on Robson St. in Vancouver’s shopping district is Little Cafe on Robson – a humble and quaint cafe where you can find big desserts in downtown Vancouver – and by big, we mean viral.
After New York City cafe Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery started gaining popularity on TikTok for their Suprême croissant, the world began to take notice. No need to travel all the way to NYC, you can grab your very own Suprême right in Vancouver at Little Cafe on Robson. These round, flakey croissants come in flavours like Matcha, Mont Blanc, Cappuccino and London Fog – but show up early if you want to try them because these babies are so popular that they usually sell out by the early afternoon.
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Milk Bar (799 Robson St.)
NYC cult-favourite bakery Milk Bar has made it’s Vancouver debut inside the Nordstrom in downtown Vancouver. This beloved dessert destination offers their famously loved Compost Cookie and Cereal Milk Soft Serve along with a selection of other decadent sweets like Cake Truffles, pies, cookies and more.
Milk Bar puts a heavy emphasis on classic desserts with a unique twist in lovable flavours like Birthday Cake. There’s no need to wait for a special occasion to treat yourself here though — Milk Bar is too good to wait until the next birthday or celebration.
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Mello (Various locations)
There is no shortage of doughnut shops in Vancouver; in fact, narrowing down the best doughnut might be one of the city’s biggest debates. A very strong contender for the top spot is Mello, with locations in both Chinatown and Kerrisdale, who offer up brioche-style doughnuts stuffed with flavours like Cereal Milk and Strawberry Cream (plus a rotation of limited seasonal flavours). You can also indulge in one of their cakes, cookies or milk tea beverages in flavours like Sesame, Strawberry and Earl Grey.
Their Kerrisdale location, with its bright, sunny interior, will make you want to pair your sweets with a warm drink and stay a while.
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