The 7th annual Vancouver Christmas Market is back at it again this year and this time, they have expanded to Jack Pool Plaza! Going to this market is kind of a tradition now for me as it is a way to celebrate the holiday festivities during Christmas time. Plus, it’s the only time of the year where I can enjoy all the authentic German street fair without paying a plane ticket to Germany.
Even though the Vancouver Christmas Market is only on for 6 more days (their last day is December 31st), below are four vendors you should definitely check out if you ARE planning to come after Christmas day.
Every year, I found the Vancouver Christmas Market way too crowded at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza so I was glad to them expand to a much bigger venue this year. However, it probably was that we came on a rainy day, but the venue was so large we thought it lacked the spirit and liveliness of the previous years. I guess grass is always greener on the other side, eh? 🙂
When you’re inside the market, you always feel like you’ve been transported to a little town in Germany.
Our first stop was at Handbrot & Soup. It’s their first year being at the market and they serve Dresdner Handbrot which is essentially a type of hand bread offered at town festivals, Christmas markets and festivals across Germany.
They have a sick Handbrot and Soup Combo for $14 and I would highly suggest getting it to warm your hands and tummy while walking around the market.
They have two soups available, a Pea & Ham Soup and a Mixed Vegetable Soup.
I personally adored the hearty Pea & Ham Soup. It was thickened by potatoes and you can tell the ingredients used were of great high quality. I normally don’t like croutons but even the croutons were delicious!
Meta Knight on the other hand, thought the Vegetable Soup was better because it tasted lighter and more vibrant. It reminded him of the Hong Kong style Russian Borscht, except way better of course.
I don’t like to eat a lot of bread (because of my wheat allergy), but I will gladly do it when it’s freshly baked. Especially when it’s stuffed with Gouda and smoked ham. I mean, how much better can it get? They topped off the Handbrot with sour cream and green onions and it almost made the bread taste like a perogy. Two thumbs up.
Voted the #2 food vendor to try at the Vancouver Christmas Market by Georgia Straight, Das Gulasch Haus serves up some authentic Austrian stew created by Thomas Goelles.
They offer two choices, a Beef Stew ($11, +$2 for bread bowl) and a Vegan Potato Stew ($9 +$2 for bread bowl). Even if you don’t really like bread, I would suggest getting the bread bowl. It’s worth the extra two bucks.
The Beef stew is made with braised BC beef, potatoes, and the finest Hungarian paprika. We got it in a soft and fluffy bread bowl, topped with sour cream.
There was so much meat in this stew, it was like heaven for Meta Knight. Every single bite had chunks of delectable tender beef and it went GREAT with the fluffy bread. We didn’t even want to eat all of the bread but it was so good we finished pretty much all of it.
Every year at the Vancouver Christmas Market, I always visit this booth and get their German pasta (aka spaetzle). This year, Captain and the Chef Spatzle Haus is serving three types of spaetzle: Traditional Cheese and Caramelize Onions, Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce, and a Coconut Curry Tomato sauce.
The captain AND the chef I presume! I love it when I can see the food prepared right in front of my eyes. 😀
Lovely to see a family run business!
We got the Small Mushroom Cream Sauce Spaetzle ($9) and it was super delicious! I would’ve liked a thicker sauce but Thomas really enjoyed the lightness of it. The cucumber salad also provided an acidic contrast to the dish. All in all, I would highly recommend getting this if you’ve never had traditional German pasta before! Spaetzle is texturally quite different than many other pastas out there so it’s really fun to eat. 🙂
Last but not least is the German Pizza (Flammkuchen). It’s also a family business run by Karin, Hans, and their son.
They offer two varieties of Flammkuchen, Original ($10) and Vegan ($10). The original is a thin crust pizza with creme fraiche, black forest bacon, and onions. The vegan is also a thin crust pizza with sweet potato, tomatoes, pesto, garlic, and fresh herbs.
They pride themselves in using all local ingredients. For example, their cheese is provided by Smits & Co in Chilliwack, and the German Prociutto is from Summit Creek Sausage, located in Bridge Lake.
Because the pizza dough is made with organic spelt sourdough, it’s not your typical fluffy pizza crust from Dominos. The dough cooks up a bit tighter and tastes like a traditional rustic wood fire oven pizza. Even though it didn’t have tomato sauce, I didn’t miss it that much because all the ingredients worked together beautifully.
All in all, you have a lot of fantastic food options if you’re planning to visit the Vancouver Christmas Market this year. If you haven’t gone yet, take the opportunity in the next couple of days to go before it’s gone on Jan 1st!