Taste Test: Vancouver’s Best Waffles

The hunt for the best Liège waffle in the city.

The hunt for the best Liège waffle in the city.

We can drown ’em in syrup or weigh ’em down with poached eggs and hollandaise, but a waffle dish is only as good as its base—and these five Liège-style waffles, made from brioche dough and sweetened with a generous dose of pearl sugar, are out to prove just how good the Belgian pastry can be (with or without the toppings).

Best in Show

Just Waffles

Just Waffles’ traditional Liège was denser than its competitors’, but better balanced overall. “The flavour is great and the sweetness was nice all the way through,” noted Deas-Dawlish. Its “decent crisp” and “consistent texture” further contributed to this mom-and-pop shop’s big win. 3531 E Hastings St., 604-518-9041

Honourable Mention

Café Medina

The texture of Medina’s waffle perplexed our judges (“Is it deep-fried?”), but was enjoyable nonetheless. It also earned major points for being the fluffiest of the bunch. “It’s gooey in the centre and crispy on the outside,” said Derksen. 780 Richards St., medinacafe.com


The judges liked the crisp, caramelized exterior of this “heavy” waffle, but they all agreed that it could have used a little more sweetness throughout: “It doesn’t taste like there’s much sugar in the actual batter,” said one judge, who would have preferred a more flavourful dough. 25 Victoria Dr., scandilicious.com

Pâtisserie Lebeau

“This one reminds me of a glazed doughnut,” said Straczek, who liked the “simplicity” of this grab-and-go-style waffle. Our other judges agreed, praising its sugary coating and “nice texture.” 1728 W 2nd Ave., grababetterwaffle.com

Nero Belgian Waffle Bar

Nero’s mini Liège waffle “definitely needs a topping,” said one taste tester. The batter also suffered from an overabundance of fat, which resulted in it being our judges’ least favourite. Multiple locations, nerowafflebar.com

Meet the Judges

Max Straczek is the concept chef at farm-to-table eateries Fable Kitchen and Fable Diner. He likes his waffles big, crispy and topped with vanilla whip.

Mike Deas-Dawlish helped bring Aburi restaurants Miku and Minami to their feet and is now the owner of Beatty Street’s Jam Cafe, where he serves up a mean all-day breakfast.

Jenn Derksen is a logistics coordinator (and our Twitter contest winner!). She usually enjoys a classic bacon-and-eggs breakfast, but she’s not the type to turn down a free waffle, either.