It’s that time of year when those delectable, highly distinctive round cakes start popping up in almost every bakery and food store throughout the city. The Mid-Autumn Festival (and its attendant cake-based feasting) is almost here––but you don’t have to wait until September 29’s official full moon day to dive right in.
Celebrated by cultures across Asia––including China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea and Japan––the festival traces its history to a time when successful harvests were vital to communities. The ancients believed that honouring the moon in the fall would help deliver bounties for all in the coming year, which traditionally meant offering fruits and treats to keep the moon on side.
These days, the festival isn’t just about giving thanks for the harvest; it’s also about families and friends gathering together to celebrate––much like North America’s Thanksgiving festivities. Today, heartfelt gatherings are the foundation of this annual event––along with sharing and diving into some special edible treats.
Over the centuries, moon cakes––in the shape of round, full moons––have become a Mid-Autumn Fest staple. These luscious, often ornate pastries typically have a thin, pie-like casing enclosing a sweet (or sometimes savoury) paste-like filling of taro, lotus seed, sweet bean or a mixture of nuts and seeds. And although they might look small, they are deceptively filling: rich and dense, they’re perfect for sharing in small wedges rather than fully consuming on your own (unless you missed lunch).
We’ve rounded up several Richmond bakeries where you can pick up some delicious mooncakes to celebrate this year’s Mid-Autumn festival. Read on for details!
LOTUS CAKE BOUTIQUE
Unit 108 – 8580 Cambie Rd
Have a sweet tooth? Lotus Cake Boutique is a well-known dessert café serving an impressive repertoire of freshly made mille crêpe cake, cake rolls and tea espresso-based beverages. For 2023, they released a limited-edition collection of 6 unique flavours including Signature Salted Egg Yolk Lava, Matcha Yuzu Lava, Genmaicha Lava, Oolong Tea Lava, Black Sesame and Peanut Lava, and Coffee Chocolate, all packaged within a special Moonlight box.
#130 – 6211 No. 3 Rd
A local staple serving up a wide variety of Hong Kong style pastries such as pineapple buns, soft rolls encasing hot dogs and cheese, and flakey egg tarts, Kamdo Bakery is also well known for their traditional mooncakes. This year, Kamdo is only offering their classic flavour: handmade Twin Yolks Lotus Seed Paste Mooncake!
Daan Go Cake Lab
#100 – 4731 Garden City Rd
Daan Go Cake Lab is a relatively new addition in Richmond, having opened its door in April 2023 by Christopher Siu, winner of MasterChef Canada season seven. There is no shortage of adorably presented cakes and pastries. Their regular menu includes creatively-shaped cakes like cacti, ramen bowls, and even a roasted pig. For 2023, they are offering specialized snow skin mooncake flavours such as Matcha Yuzu Pistachio, Jamocha Nut, Premium Durian and Coconut Salted Egg Yolk, as well as the traditional ones.
#100 – 8291 Ackroyd Rd
Being a well-established name in Richmond, Suhang Restaurant specializes in Suzhou and Shanghai cuisine and most come here for their delicious soup dumplings. However, they are also offering made-to-order Shanghai style mooncakes, which differ greatly from the other bakeries featured as they are meat filled. If you are a fan of savoury pastries, be sure to give them a call as they are only available in limited quantities.
Other notable mentions include:
- La Patisserie #1405 – 4711 McClelland Road
- Nam Dae Moon #2132 – 3779 Sexsmith Road
- Maxim’s Bakery #1310 – 6551 No. 3 Road, inside Richmond Centre
Where to celebrate
The festival isn’t only about eating, though. Richmond also has some celebratory Mid-Autumn events to check out as well. The majority of these are running on the weekend before the official day this year. Check out the two events below, then gather your friends and family together for a fun day out.
On September 23 and 24, Lansdowne Centre mall is hosting two free-entry afternoons of festivities, complete with an artisan market, kid-friendly games and craft activities and a special live appearance by some whisker-twitching rabbits from Richmond-based bunny rescue organization Rabbitats. Hop here for more information on this event.
Over at the city’s Gateway Theatre, you’ll also find a Family Fun Mid-Autumn Celebration on the afternoon of September 24. You’ll be treated to a live reading of Legend of the Whooshhh, an entertaining tale about three salmon heading upstream to reach their home. After the reading, there will be craft activities and a delicious moon cake treat to take home. Tickets for this event are $10; find out more here.
Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Tourism Richmond