Let's face it. Every single person on the planet loves desserts. Honestly, if you were to show me a child who isn't obsessed with dessert, I would show you a very sad child. This list will guide you through the pantheon of desserts that we call Vancouver and fulfil the inner child in you. While I won't be covering any ice cream parlours since I have already written an article about the amazing ice cream options around Vancouver, feel free to read it here.

1. Apple Tart- Thierry's Patisserie

pastry, cake, fillet, fish, sweet, meat, chocolate
Athena Huynh

Please don't hurt me people. I know that this is not the traditional decadent and chocolatey cake, nor is it a light fruity and creamy mousse but this apple tart truly takes the... cake? First off, you pay at the register and you think, "What the? Why is this over seven dollars?" My dear reader, don't even question it and just wait (I mean if they haven't sold out for the day).

You're at the coffee bar just waiting for some macchiato or whatever and your apple tart, just minding your own business when out of the corner of your eye you see it: a thick (I cannot publicly say thicc), sexy slab of apple goodness.  

You do a double take because you don't know whether you're dreaming or not. You begin to drool because the freshness overtakes your senses. Mild shakes and palm palpitations begin. Layers upon layers of razor thin apple slices laid upon a light-and-flaky-yet-sloshed-in-caramel pastry. Profit. 

2. Bingsoo- Snowy Villagga

dairy product, ice cream, chocolate, milk, ice, cream
Gavin Gao

In case you have been living under a rock for the past few years, let me be the bearer of great news. North America has finally learned about Korean shaved ice (also called bingsoo). I know that Hawaii has shaved ice, you know, that kind of stuff that you find at bad carnivals? Like the snowcones? Sorry, but I wasn't a fan.

However, bingsoo I can get onboard with due to it's light, flaky texture contrasted with the heavy creamy milks that are incorporated into the ice. The thing I love the most is how light and fluffy this shaved ice is. It truly has the texture of loosely packed snow (I know, I'm doing that thing again where I sexualize food. I will stop). 

3. Pistachio Sour Cherry Tart- Thomas Haas

pie, cream, chocolate, cake
Athena Huynh

Can you tell that I love tarts? It's honestly no wonder why Thomas Haas is in my mind the best pastry shop in Vancouver. The average quality of their pastries, in my mind, is through the roof! On top of that, their prices are actually extremely affordable at around six dollars per cake. 

In my opinion, the pistachio sour cherry tart is the standalone victor in the extensive pastry menu that Thomas Haas offers. A mixture of pistachio cream and cake piped onto a buttery and flaky shortbread crust. To top it all off, there is a thin layer of vanilla fondant/marzipan encasing it call and garnished with kirsch soaked cherries. 

To be honest, the flavours just combine so well with one another. The pistachio provides a richness that is freshened up by the kirsch and sour cherry. In addition, the soft and fluffy cream is brought to life with cherry chunks and shortbread. This cake is truly a shining example of what balancing flavours and textures can do. 

4. Macarons- Soirette 

Photo by Tatiana Lapina | Unsplash

veila on unsplash

Let's face it. Vancouver has become one of the largest Macaron centres in North America. With seemingly a new store opening up each week, it's quite a feat to be one of the all-star Macaron joints around here (way better than Ladurée by the way). 

First off, their flavours are diverse. I have seen blueberry and brie as well as tomato basil. Some of their more savoury flavours are truly incredible in the sense that they don't pretend to be something that they're not (such as a cake or even a tart). Instead, they scream, "Look at me, I am savoury and you will love me!" The tomato basil was like a salad... the best damn dessert salad you ever had. Please note, they do have the basic flavours such as rose, earl grey, lavender, and coffee among others. 

In addition, and what I think is the most important part, their textures are truly 100% on point and is what (in my opinion) sets them apart from others in the category. Not only is the macaron shell super thin, but it does "macaron-shell-breaking-up-into-cloud-of-almond-flour-goodness" better than any other macaron shop I have been to. The inside of the shells is truly cloud-like in texture and exhibits absolutely no denseness but still very full. Does that make sense?

Finally, their fillings are also done to an impeccable level of quality. Sometimes you can find a little berry hidden in it, other times you can find... a slice of brie cheese. Not complaining because the texture of the buttercream filling is thicc. Honestly, it's like your grandma. It reaches out with a hug when you try to embrace it and nurtures you, bakes for you, pays your taxes... wait, that seems like an exaggeration... but it's not. Try it because you are missing out. 

5. Donuts- Cartem

egg yolk, sweet, egg
Athena Huynh

Do I even have to tell you? Cartems is one of those cult classic Vancouver dessert places. It appeals to everyone (because everyone loves donuts)! I don't really know what to say aside from the fact that this is literally Tim Hortons, Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' Donuts, or what have you on steroids or something (I want some of what the lowly Tim Hortons donut took to transform into a Cartems donut). 

I find the flavours to never be flat and most importantly, never overly sweet. They are truly the kings (and queens) of layering and balancing flavours. The expectations of "the donut" are shattered when you taste their Whisky Bacon (wait, maple donuts don't just taste like sugars with a little bit of tree)? The fattiness of the bacon truly helps create such a smooth mouthfeel of the end product. In addition, their Earl Grey may or may not drive you insane. The flavours of the bergamot and black tea truly shine through in this donut and the citrus and tea flavours are further shook the h%#@ up with the addition of floral notes (I don't even know why this tastes like a flower garden but I don't question it). I know I promised not to fetishize food anymore, but it's sexy. It's exploding yolk, cheese pull, and flaming red Ahi Tuna poké level of sexy.

No matter what you do and no matter where you are, just remember to never stop eating dessert (because that's what makes us, or at least me, human beings).