Saturday, November 25, 2017

Eating My Way Through the Vancouver Christmas Market

Christmas is just a month away, so it's time again to eat, drink & be merry at Vancouver's Christmas Market!

This year's market returns to Jack Poole Plaza, home of the Olympic Cauldron next to Vancouver Convention Centre West. This year's Christmas market is bigger & tastier than ever with more than 55,000 square feet of space, live entertainment, & new hands-on activities for children around the market.

For more info on the market with kids, see 6 Things To Do With Kids at the Vancouver Christmas Market.

For our household, going to the Vancouver Christmas Market has been an annual tradition since the start back in 2010. For Oliver, aka Spokespapa, it's a way to share a wee bit of his German heritage with the kids.

It's also one of the few events in the city where you can order an alcoholic beverage & wander around drinking & shopping. If you drink alcohol, don't miss out on the Feuerzangenbowle, which is basically hot, mulled wine spiked with a shot of extra brandy. For the kids & non-drinkers, check out the hot apple cider from Das Apfelhaus.

Last week I got the chance to try out many of the Vancouver Christmas Market's culinary delights & I have to say, I left completely stuffed. There's a lot of fabulous (read: meat-centred) traditional European fare on offer, but there's also many vegetarian & vegan options as well.

I pretty much ate one or two of everything in sight, so here are my highlights:


Das Gulasch Haus serves delish Hungarian gulasch in a bread bowl, with both beef & vegan options of this European comfort food available. 

Mushroom soup

At Taste the Wild I had a sample of their wild mushroom soup. Creamy & packed with tender mushrooms, I really wished I had room in my belly for more. They also sell a wide variety of dried mushroom products so you can make your own at home.


I don't know how I managed to get to this point in my life never having tried raclette, but now that I have, I'll be back to Cheese Me Raclette. This is a typical Swiss dish, essentially melted cheese scraped from a wheel onto potatoes, served with pickles & pepper on the side. Great for a damp, Vancouver evening!


To me, nothing screams traditional German street food like a big sausage on a little bun (with sauerkraut, of course!). Head over to Freybe Brat Haus for a meaty delight with just enough bread to keep your fingers clean, as the Germans do it.
Chimney Cake eating technique


Okay, maybe it's a tie for The Most German Street Food: pretzels! Pretzel Haus serves up warm, chewy, face-sized Pretzels, which are something we always get at the market. Get some mustard on the side for dipping for an authentic snack.

Chimney Cake

Last but definitely not least, I had seen the Transylvanian Bakery Chimney Cake before, but never tried one until this year. I was definitely missing out. a long strip of soft dough, wrapped around a wooden roller, rolled in sugar, then baked to caramelize the outside, then sprinkled with coconut or walnut. It's a great treat to share--take turns peeling strips off to eat, or eat it straight off your arm, a la Bronte.

The Vancouver Christmas Market is on til December 24 at Jack Poole Plaza, next to the Vancouver Convention Centre, surrounding the Olympic Cauldron. It's easy to reach by transit--near Waterfront Station & the #19 bus route. Biking there is a cinch as well--the seawall & the Hornby bike route lead there. There isn't any additional bike parking for the event, but you can generally find a rack nearby at the convention centre, or the office building across the street. Tickets are $5-10, free for kids under six years old.

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