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Where to Score the Best Bread in Vancouver, Mapped

We have been visiting and revisiting our favourite Vancouver bakeries and cafes to compile an updated map of our city's best bread (which we encourage you to use on any and all future bread-seeking missions).

Where to Score the Best Bread in Vancouver, Mapped

Tall Shadow Bakery co-owners, Dayle Kennedy and Cass Helps, at their Hastings-Sunrise bakery.

We’ve been visiting and revisiting our favourite Vancouver bakeries and cafes to compile an updated map of our city’s best bread loaves (which we encourage you to use on any and all future bread-seeking missions).

A Bread Affair
1680 Johnston St.

Try: Love at First Bite (100 Mile Bread) | A truly West Coast bakery – and BC’s first Certified Organic one – you’ll find A Bread Affair holding fort on Granville Island (beside the Public Market). Each loaf comes with its own story; but our fave aligns with Scout’s own hyperlocal focus: “With everything grown within 71 miles of Vancouver, we were proud to bring our first truly local loaf to Vancouver in 2009. Blueberries and Hazelnuts in a Heritage sprouted grain loaf.” DETAILS


Bad Dog Bread
1600 Mackay Rd.

Try: Multigrain Loaf | A wholesome and flavourful artisan loaf utilizing local ingredients, this Bad Dog loaf is the North Van bakery’s ‘baker’s choice’ for good reason. DETAILS


Batard Bakery
3958 Fraser St.

Try: Olive and Rosemary Double Hydrated Sourdough | Made using the Fraserhood French boulangerie/bistro’s house Organic whole grain rye starter, their popular Double Hydrated Sourdough is amped up with the addition of Kalamata and green olives, and a hint of rosemary. Of note: Batard Bakery only uses organic flours in their entire line-up of bread! We also STRONGLY suggest you arrive around 10am to pick up a Market Loaf – one of our favourites in the city (pictured in featured image) and banking on their being any left after 1pm is only jeopardizing the likelihood of taking one home. DETAILS


The Bench Bakehouse
1641 Commercial Dr.

Try: Herb Fougasse | When on The Drive, don’t forget to nip into The Bench Bakehouse (hidden in plain sight inside the Il Mercato shopping mall) to load up on bread made with Canadian grains only. We recommend their fougasse: liberally brushed with olive oil and topped with herbs de Provence and sea salt, this traditionally formed sourdough is tasty and fun to tear apart and eat. DETAILS


Beyond Bread
3686 West 4th Ave.

Try: Miche | A labour of love, the Beyond Bread Miche is made using a combo of white and red fife flours, along with cornmeal (and, as with all of their breads, using only certified organic, GMO-free whole grains sustainably grown on Canadian family farms). Take note: this beautiful loaf is available in three sizes from the Kits bakery on Thursdays only! DETAILS


Bigsby the Bakehouse
4894 Mackenzie St.

Try: Pumpkin Seed & Potato | When hungry in Kerrisdale, hit Bigsby the Bakehouse for all of your bread-y needs – from cookies and quiche, to scones, loaves and more… Time it right (Thursday through Saturday) to score their seasonal loaf, currently loaded with pumpkin seeds and potatoes. DETAILS


The Birds & The Beets
55 Powell St. Vancouver, BC

Try: Pan Loaf | This Birds & the Beets menu staple, which serves as a toasted vehicle for all manner of sweet and savoury toppings, is also available to purchase as a whole loaf to go. DETAILS


Federal Store
2601 Quebec St.

Try: House Sourdough | Swing by the popular Mount Pleasant cafe early enough in the day and you might have the good fortune of hooking yourself up with one of their House Sourdough loaves to take home. Although elaborate and delicious cakes dominate the Federal Store Instagram feed (for good reason), their 100% rye all-organic, naturally-leavened sourdough loaf is the bakery’s underdog item. DETAILS


Fife Bakery
64 E 3rd Ave.

Try: Kalamata Olive | This tiny Mount Pleasant bakery has big bread game – the only catch is that you have to arrive pretty early in the day to have your choice from the delicious breadth of what they offer, because Fife bread is popular and they tend to sell out. All Fife’s bread is made with organic, sustainably grown grains from Canada. The Country loaf is wildly popular, but give the Kalamata Olive loaf a try if you’re looking to shake things up. DETAILS


Flourist
3433 Commercial St.

Try: Potato Rosemary Loaf | Always made using in-house milled flours sourced from Canadian farmers, the bread roster at Flourist gets a regular, seasonally-inspired influx of flavour via their rotating specialty loaf. The latest is a free-form bâtard featuring potatoes, rosemary and black pepper…get it while you can! DETAILS


Harvest Community Foods
243 Union St.

Try: Arctic Sourdough |  Loaves of Burdock & Co’s famous Arctic sourdough can be scored from the restaurant’s little sister noodle-shop-slash-grocer, Harvest Community Foods (along with frozen Arctic sourdough pizza dough!) Calling ahead – and early in the day – is a good idea! DETAILS


Livia
1399 Commercial Dr.

Try: Baguette(s) | The Livia street-facing bread window/wall is full of show-stoppers vying for stomach space… but their baguettes hold a longstanding place in our hearts. These chewy semi-sourdough spindles are often honed to near-deadly points – all the better to impale your hunger on! – and are almost as much fun to unravel as they are to stuff in your face. DETAILS


Merci Boulangerie
2879 Commercial Dr.

Try: Sourdough Spelt Loaf | If you’re a Vancouver Farmers Market regular, you’re likely already familiar with Merci Boulangerie, a French bread and pastry outfit owned by Natalie Cumberbirch. Their new brick-and-mortar Commercial Drive cafe/bakery is due to open doors any day now…In the meantime, order online or hit them up at the Farmers Markets (Feb. 10 + 24, Mar. 2 + 16 at Riley Park). DETAILS


Nelson The Seagull
315 Carrall St.

Try: Chocolate Sourdough | No joke, Nelson’s most decadent loaf is laced with cocoa powder and sweet dark chocolate. Definitely not your ‘everyday’ bread, but a worthy indulgence. DETAILS


Purebread (Gastown)
159 W Hastings St.

Try: Disfunctionale | Decision-making at Purebread is never easy, but maybe this will help slightly: Made with spent grain – a brewing byproduct from a local brewery – this loaf combines two of our favourite things (bread and beer) to produce a chewy, slightly malty loaf that’s also eco-friendly! Not in Gastown today? No problem. Purebread also has locations in Mount Pleasant and Kitsilano. DETAILS


Savary Island Pie Company
1533 Marine Dr.

Try: Italian Loaf | Savary Island’s Italian Loaf comes doused with a generous amount of oil and a decent sprinkling of rock salt, so no additions are needed. On the opposite end of the bread scale – but all equally delicious – Savary’s Raisin Rye is super-raisiny and cake-like, and the Irish Soda Bread begs for a big bowl of soup. DETAILS


Small Victory
1088 Homer St.

Try: Porridge Loaf | Small Victory’s wholesome hot cereal-inspired porridge loaf embodies the best parts of oatmeal without the sloppiness, including subtle flavours of nutmeg and cinnamon, plus a perfect ratio of walnuts-to-bread. Bonus: the nuts give off little purple halos that make for especially pretty slices. DETAILS


Sweet Thea Bakery
4305 Main St.

Try: Rugbrød (Danish Rye Bread) | After racking up a devoted customer base as long-time regulars on the local Farmers Market circuit, Sweet Thea traded in their vendor booth for a brick-and-mortar on Main Street, open five days per week. (They also have locations in Langley and Tsawwassen Quay, for those who live further afield.) Their Rugbrød (Danish Rye Bread) makes a hearty, solid and delicious base that can handle all manners of sweet and savoury toppings. DETAILS


Swiss Bakery
143 East 3rd Ave.

Try: San Francisco Sourdough Loaf | This semi-hidden Mount Pleasant neighbourhood bakery has been serving the community, and putting out fresh artisan breads and baking for over three decades! It probably goes without saying then that the Swiss Bakery San Fran Sourdough is the real deal thing. DETAILS


Tall Shadow Bakery
2474 East Hastings Street

Try: Pumpkin Seed Ale Sourdough | A longtime Farmers Market favourite, Tall Shadow Breads (pictured above), took the long-awaited leap into a brick-and-mortar situation in spring of 2023, giving us access to their bread on more days of the week (and expanding their offerings) directly from their Hastings-Sunrise Tall Shadow Bakery location. All of their breads are outstanding (the dinner rolls are perfect with soup), but if you can bread shop strategically, we suggest aiming for Thursday when you can get your hands on a Pumpkin Seed Ale Sourdough. DETAILS


Terra Breads (Olympic Village)
1605 Manitoba St.

Try: Rosemary Olive Oil Sourdough | Terra Breads has been in the local sourdough game for over three decades (they celebrated their 30-year anniversary in 2023), and they remain a go-to for good bread in the city. You really can’t go wrong with any of their loaves – from Heritage Sourdough to Green Olive & Black Pepper, all flavours have had the honour of being our ‘fave’ at one time or another over the years. Currently we’re having mad cravings for their rosemary-flecked and olive oil-doused sourdough loaf. Multiple locations. DETAILS


Tommy's Whole Grain
338 Powell St.

Try: Organic Whole Grain Baguette with Wheat, Spelt & Rye | Brand spanking new to the Vancouver bakery scene (as of early December 2023!) is Tommy’s Whole Grain Bakery. While we have yet to put in the time to eat our way through their entire roster of bread offerings, we did recently sink our teeth into an organic whole grain baguette with wheat, spelt & rye and recommend you do too! (Just be sure to take along an extra large tote bag, because chances are good that you’ll probably also want to snag a whole grain gâteau Basque, rye brownie, mini quiche, quince galette, and piece of their daily flatbread too!) DETAILS

Tommy’s whole wheat with salted butter | Photo by Michelle Sproule for Scout Magazine

Did we miss your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.


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There are 13 comments

  1. Great questions Lilian… Gluten Free baking might need its own list!

  2. Cascadia House hands down has the best bread- if you dare to venture to Port Moody 😉

  3. Great Team has been produced the delicious breads and treats.
    Thank you very much and Good luck for 2024 😀

  4. Italia bakery on east Hastings for their ciabatta…oh my heavenly father! it. is. to. die. for.

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