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It was a hard job, but somebody had to do it: we determine the city's best scones—with the help of some authentic Brits.
Warning: Content includes severe British judgment (is there any other kind?). There’s some confusion here on the West Coast as to what exactly constitutes a scone. According to our British judges—yes, we recruited based on nationality—Vancouver’s scone offerings actually fall under the rock-cake family rather than the classic raisin scone, but they managed to overcome this unforgivable confusion in order to see who reigned supreme.
“Mmm, who doesn’t like cheese?” mumbles our one Canadian judge as he chowed down on this slightly doughy offering. Pieces of rich melted cheddar contrast nicely with the sharpness of the scallions to provide a classic cheese-and-onion combo. Aside from being delicious on its own or with a little butter, in a rare departure from traditional values, the judges fancied trying this scone with sandwich filling in the middle.3080 Main St., lastcrumb.ca
There’s so much fruit in the tropical scone that it’s hard to figure out exactly what you’re eating. Pineapple? Apricot? Was that a macadamia nut? All we know is the toasted coconut on top and the crumbly texture of this tropical delight gave the Best in Show a solid run for its money.2150 Fir St., beaucoupbakery.com
The lightest of all the finalists, the mixed berry scone from this little coffee house on South Granville has good texture and sweetness from the dried fruit, though our judges did think it could use a pinch of salt.3010 Granville St., 916 Commercial Dr., bumpngrindcafe.com
This zesty scone from a highly decorated VanMag award-winning chef is of the warm, doughy, sticks-to-the-top-of-your-mouth variety. The cranberries are more Craisins than ripe fruit, but the sugar dusting on top creates a sweet, crunchy outer layer for the cake-like goodness inside.2539 W Broadway, thomashaas.com
Won top marks for most scone-like presentation. However, the flavour was extremely disappointing and even though the raisins, which were large and juicy, were appealing, the soda bread-like consistency was not.Multiple locations, cobsbread.com
It was a toss-up between this and the apricot ginger as the chain’s “signature” scone, but in the end the blueberry won out. This scone has a breakfast muffin-like quality to it, with a similar texture and taste to that of carrot cake, and slight flavour tones of pepper.Multiple locations, terrabreads.com
You can get a non-buckwheat version of this scone, but we would suggest trying both varieties. Large and exceedingly crumbly, this scone has a gritty texture before you’re overpowered with flavours of walnuts, spice and sharp pangs of sour cherry.159 W Hastings St., purebread.ca
This much-loved West End spot is known mostly for its breakfast menu, but pick up a blueberry scone to go next time you’re strolling by to see what all the fuss is about. Though the texture of this scone was on the powdery side, the large chunks of juicy blueberry gave just enough hydration to secure a place in the finals.1244 Davie St.
Meet the Judges…Fiona Morrow is a freelance writer and editor who spends a great deal of time thinking about food and drink. She believes scones are properly pronounced with a short “o” and preferably involve clotted cream and jam.Neil Taylor is the chef and owner of Fat Badger and Espana. He says he’s extremely qualified to taste scones because he’s British.Eitan Pinsky is a mortgage broker and avid VanMag reader (and our Instagram winner!) who played his non-scone expert (read: average Joe) role very well. Being Canadian, Eitan rated all the submitted scones highly due largely in part to the fact that he received a free breakfast.
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