From gourmet tea shops to beloved hole-in-the-wall bakeries, here's where you can find the city's most delectable mooncakes.
The Mid-Autumn Festival (a celebration of the full moon that occurs in the eighth month of the Chinese calendar—and an opportunity to give thanks for a bountiful harvest) has been celebrated for more than 3,000 years, but mooncakes didn't became an integral part of the celebration until after the late Yuan Dynasty when Zhu Yuanzhang (leader of the Ming Dynasty) used the pastries to transport hidden notes to his allies—sneakily starting a revolution. The years following, Zhu celebrated by sharing and eating mooncakes with his comrades. Since then, mooncakes have been an integral part of every festival—often gifted to family and friends. Every year it's a race to find the mooncakes made with the best ingredients and most elegant decoration, and with so many restaurants and bakeries in Vancouver offering their own creative take on the festive treat, there's no shortage of beautiful—and delicious—mooncakes to be found!
1. TWG Tea
TWG's mooncakes are presented in a beautiful emerald and gold case. Their collection features four different flavours—Constellation (brown lotus filling and melon seeds), Sunset (matcha and red bean), Daydream (blueberry and white lotus paste) and Cerise (white chocolate and Amarena cherry)—each unique and infused with one of TWG's signature teas. Where: 1070 W Georgia Street Price: $80 (traditional mooncakes, 4 per box); $95 (snowskin mooncakes, 4 per box)
Kirin, named Silver winner in the Best Chain category of VanMag's 2017 Restaurant Awards, offers a choice of two mooncakes: white lotus seed or red bean paste, both of which are made with double egg yolks—one of the more traditional takes on mooncakes, most popular in Hong Kong. Where: Various locations Price: $11 (individually packaged mooncake); $44 (4 per box) (Photo: @queeniengsky
One of the better-known Chinese bakeries in Marpole, La Patisserie offers mooncakes at a much friendlier price. The bakery also has a selection of other baked goods to choose from; although not specific to the Mid-Autumn Festival, you can find savoury buns, sweet pastries and specialty cakes. Where: 8278 Granville Street (Vanc0uver) and Unit 2 – 6360 No.3 Road (Richmond) Price: $28 to $36 (6 per box)
The prettiest and most colourful mooncakes available, Soirette's are filled with a variety of fruit puddings as well as tea-infused fillings. New to this year is their extra-large chocolate mooncake—loaded with a creamy truffle centre. Be quick to get your hands on these ones—only a limited number of mooncakes are made available each year! Where: 1433 West Pender Street Price: $42 (4 per box); $88 (deluxe mooncake set)
5. Mott 32
Mott 32 has created a mooncake that's almost too beautiful to eat. They've paired up with Pierre Hermé—named World's Best Pastry Chef in 2016—who has created an intricate one-of-a-kind design using Mott 32's signature crane. Flavours include creative takes on lychee, grapefruit, vanilla and kumquat. Where: 1161 West Georgia Street Price: $138 (4 per box)