As the season slowly starts to change, our attention often turns to the warming embrace of bakeries at this time of year. Luckily, Richmond is studded like a fresh-from-the-oven raisin loaf with great spots to satisfy your cravings.
With time to spare on a recent weekend, we loosened our belts and plunged into the local bakery scene, discovering everything from inventive croissants and dainty pastries to savoury buns and sweet cookies. Read on for details on a few of our favourite discoveries.
Daily Delicious Bakery
#110 - 2811 No. 3 Road
Daily Delicious Bakery opened in May in a slightly off-the-beaten path location that’s actually just a five-minute walk from Canada Line’s Bridgeport Station. Word has quickly spread about this super-friendly little bakery café. Vying for the title of Richmond’s best croissant maker, their large, all-butter regular and almond varieties are a perfect combo of crisp shell and softly chewy interior—which means you’ll likely never buy croissants from a supermarket again.
A delectable almond croissant from Daily Delicious Bakery. | Photo: John Lee
But that’s not the only reason to drop by. Fusing French and Asian approaches, the master baker here also prepares several rare treats that everyone should sample at least once. The soft, delicate and slightly curved sea salt bread buns are a Japanese staple that we could easily feast on for an entire day; and the utterly delicious walnut bread is equally mesmerizing. But the masago and butter baguettes are a must: brilliantly chewy batons topped and filled with sushi-style fish eggs, they’re a savoury delight that’ll have you quickly returning for more.
Masago and butter baguettes are a specialty at Daily Delicious Bakery. | Photo: John Lee
Little Fox Bakehouse
#1180 - 8181 Cambie Road
Launched in June, Little Fox Bakehouse is conveniently located just inside the entrance to President Plaza, a quick walk from the Canada Line’s Aberdeen Station. Under ever-smiling owner Eric Ho—who previously operated a busy bakery on Vancouver’s Commercial Drive—this highly inviting café prepares dozens of different scratch-made treats in its sparkling onsite kitchen. Aim to try as many goodies here as you can, but keep in mind that the cash-free counter only accepts cards for payment.
A look inside Little’s Fox’s salted egg yolk custard double-baked croissant. | Photo: John Lee
Little Fox’s top-seller is the utterly amazing salted egg yolk custard double-baked croissant, a rich, dense, cake-like filled pastry that is best shared between two people (although you should expect to fight over the final morsels). But while regular butter, ‘dirty chocolate,’ and other tempting versions add to the bakery’s top-notch croissant credentials, there’s much more to sink your teeth into here, ranging from filigree fine pastries to decadent large cakes. Heading to a party? Wow your friends and family with an assorted box of six cream puffs, with individual flavours ranging from milk tea to matcha.
A cream puff six-pack from Little Fox Bakehouse. | Photo: John Lee
#110 - 12000 First Avenue
The Sweet Spot—a beloved treat purveyor located in Steveston—has been crafting its irresistible temptations in a tiny corner store in the village since 2010. Always busy with in-the-know regulars and wide-eyed newbies lured in by the rows of goodies and take-home soups and ice creams, the glass-screened counter here is neatly divided between European-style patisserie delicacies and heartier baked items such as madeleines and coconut macaroons.
A lemon meringue tart from The Sweet Spot. | Photo: John Lee
It’s the cabinet of glossy, richly detailed pastries that will catch your eye first, though. Take your time and peruse everything from lemon meringue tarts and salted caramel cakes to shiny domes of dark chocolate mousse guaranteed to make any gift recipient squeal with delight. But if you are buying one of these as a little boxed present for a loved one, make sure you reward yourself as well: The Sweet Spot’s soft, chunky cookies are delightfully satisfying—ginger molasses recommended. Need more? Their quiches are perhaps the best in the Lower Mainland, with two varieties freshly prepared every day.
There are temptations galore at The Sweet Spot. | Photo: John Lee
Maple Castella Bakery
#1068 - 8700 McKim Way
A small, hole-in-the-wall Taiwanese bakery that’s easy to miss unless you know exactly where it is, Maple Castella Bakery occupies an unassuming storefront tucked along one side of the Admiralty Centre strip mall. Step though its darkened doorway, though, and you’ll typically find a bustling interior where a friendly-but-busy staffer is balancing chatty counter duties with frequent telephone orders. And what exactly are these insistent treat fans calling in for? Read on.
A coconut treat from Maple Castella Bakery. | Photo: John Lee
This bakery serves-up a shiny cavalcade of sweet and savoury buns, pastries, and cakes. On our visit, shoppers were scooping up multiple orders of individually packaged peanut buns and curry pastries—plus lots of delicate, butterfly-shaped coconut buns that had us returning for more later in the day. But the main subject of all those telephone calls was something else entirely: large, just-baked loaves of soft taro bread that were still warm and fragrant from the oven. Picking-up one to go, we discovered a golden, almond-topped delight marbled with sweet, pink-hued taro paste. It’s the perfect fall-season treat.
A fresh-from-the-oven taro loaf from Maple Castella Bakery. | Photo: John Lee
Kam Do Bakery
#110 - 4328 No. 3 Road
Richmond visitors rarely miss the fact that the city is lined with bright, authentic, Chinese-style bakeries that serve-up a thick slice of cultural immersion alongside their tempting, individually wrapped treats. A great way for first-timers to discover some new-to-them sweet and savoury goodies, Kam Do Bakery is one of Richmond’s best one-stop-shops for Asian bakery newbies. But while we’ve been frequent visitors to the often-crowded store across from the Richmond-Brighouse Canada Line Station, this time we dropped into the quieter, slightly more upmarket branch on No. 3 Road.
There are temptations everywhere you look at Kam Do Bakery. | Photo: John Lee
This red-accented shop is lined with baked goodies, but it also has tables where you can sit and sample your purchases. Visitors grab a tray and a pair of tongs, then wander the aisles loading up on whatever they fancy. And with prices for almost everything around the $2 mark, it’s easy to over-indulge (note that the bakery is cash-only). Be prepared for a surprisingly extensive array of savoury choices here: we enjoyed the pineapple buns, but we loved the seaweed and shredded pork buns plus the sausage and cheese buns—just one of several tempting options featuring sausage available here.
A sausage and cheese bun from Kam Do Bakery. | Photo: John Lee