Treat Your Feelings: We Have the Perfect Baked-Good Solution for Any Problem

When you're feeling bad, reach for the (baked) good(s).

Life got you down? Vancouver’s top bakeries know a thing or two about rising to the occasion. We’ve created an index of tricky moments and feelings, and matched each one with a unique, beautiful and delicious baked good made with love by locals. When in doubt, get baked.

Livia’s lemon-curd danish
Photo by Chris Girard

THE BAD: You Haven’t Seen the  Sun In Weeks
THE GOODS: Livia’s Lemon Danish

Surely there’s nothing less interesting or less original than talking about how rainy it’s been. So instead of bugging everyone around you with your ice-cold takes on the latest atmospheric river, turn to Livia: the Commercial Drive bakery’s lemon-curd danish ($5.75) will remind you of brighter days ahead. The flaky pastry is filled with an indulgent-yet-refreshing housemade lemon curd, and the glossy candied orange on top is a shoutout to summer. It may be a few months until we see that golden glow in the sky, but for now you can slide it into a takeaway bag. 1399 Commercial Dr. |

Wa-Bagel bagels
Photo by Maria Gonzalez

THE BAD: You’re Bored Out of Your Mind
THE GOODS: Wa-Bagel’s Sweet Potato and Black Sesame Bagel

The best antidote to monotony is trying something new, and one of Vancouver’s freshest bagelries (Wa-Bagel) is serving up something different: Japanese-style bagels that have a filling inside (not between—inside). Pondering the skill it takes to wrap up a filling within that delightfully chewy ring is a cure for boredom in itself, as is choosing between unique options like red bean and cream cheese, mochi matcha and matcha kinako (roasted soybean powder). But the sweet potato and black sesame ($4.25) is on another level—pulling apart the warm twist of dough to reveal that soft, sweet and savoury centre is a treat. B09-666 Burrard St. |

Flourist’s Potato and Cheddar Galette

THE BAD: You’re Feeling Homesick
THE GOODS: Flourist’s Potato and Cheddar Galette

We’ll say it: too many cafés tout their baked goods as being “like a warm hug.” But if any pastry truly deserves the comparison to a loving embrace, it’s the glorious potato and cheddar galette ($8) from Flourist.  The loaded yellow potato filling has a creamy, pillowy texture reminiscent of those special-occasion mashed potatoes you usually only get a couple of times a year. The gruyère and cheddar cheeses are perfectly melty (enjoy this one warm, don’t be a lunatic) and the bits that stray onto the pastry give the Red Spring wheat flour crust a satisfying, salty crunch. There’s nothing quite like the comfort of potatoes and cheese  to flood you with memories of home, wherever that is to you. 3433 Commercial St. |

To Live For’s Cinnamon Bun

THE BAD: Cynicism Has Taken You Over
THE GOODS: To Live For’s Cinnamon Bun

The climate crisis, the housing market, whatever Marvel movie is surely coming out next… it’s sensical to be cynical in 2024. But little by little, creative and conscientious innovators are making changes—for example, in Erin Ireland’s east-side vegan bakery, To Live For. The serene cow mural splashed across the interior will remind you that no animals were harmed in the making of these pastries, but the food won’t (and that’s a good thing). The cinnamon bun ($5) is a classic: served upside-down, so all the pecan-y, cinnamon sugar-y goodness at the bottom of the pan pours down through the fluffy scroll, this decadent dish creates hope in the plant-based world and beyond. Get a corner piece if you can. 1508 Nanaimo St. |

Broyé’s Coco-Ube Moissant
Photo by Alyssa Hirose

THE BAD: Someone You Hate Just Posted an Adorable Engagement Photo
THE GOODS: Broyé’s Coco-Ube Moissant

There’s such a thing as being too sweet—for example, that forest-based engagement album of your sworn enemy tongue-kissing their lover while the dog they treat like a child watches. In this instance, it’s time to chow down on a treat that succeeds in subtlety: a croissant filled with sticky mochi and coconut-ube cream ($6.50) from Broyé on Fraser. Take a page from the purple yam’s book—down-to-earth, effortlessly beautiful, unbothered by the sugary-strict norms of most desserts. 6414 Fraser St. |

Butter’s Mackenzie Bar
Photo by Chris Girard

THE BAD: You’re Longing for the Past
THE GOODS: Butter’s Mackenzie Bar

Ah, simpler days. Nostalgia feels much friendlier when you have some way to manifest it in the present—for example, in the form of a Mackenzie bar ($5.25) from Butter Baked Goods. The magic of this sweet square is that it will generate beloved memories even if it’s your first time trying it: ingredients like oatmeal, chocolate, peanut butter, coconut and dulce de leche are practically guaranteed to bring back happy times. It’s a bar you can get into at any age. 4907 Mackenzie St. |

THE BAD: You Have a Major Case of FOMO
THE GOODS: Beaucoup Bakery’s Pistachio Raspberry Dome

Fear of missing out is largely imagined—believe us, you’re not actually losing anything by opting out of seeing your co-
worker’s boyfriend’s band—but it still stings, and the only way to combat it is to have an experience that will make others jealous. Digging into a dessert that’s multi-dimensional in every sense of the word should do the trick. Beaucoup Bakery’s pistachio raspberry dome ($7.95) is an adorable, spherical, nutty creation: creamy pistachio mousse mingles with tart raspberry jam atop an almond cookie base. It’s dressed in roughly chopped
pistachios, dried florals and edible gold, but you can be dressed in whatever you want—you’re not missing anything.
602 Dunsmuir St. and 2150 Fir St. |

THE BAD: You Screwed Up Your Own Baking
THE GOODS: Purebread’s Cheddar Jalapeno Scone

Baking is a science, and we can’t all be scientists. Messing up baking is a pretty terrible feeling—especially if the treat was intended for someone else—but there’s certainly no shame in the supporting-your-local-iconic-bakery-chain game, and the cheddar jalapeno scone ($6) from Purebread is an inimitable, savoury saviour. Careful layers of salt and spice are folded artfully into this hefty scone: it’s got the perfect amount of bite to take your mind off your own shortcomings. 2887 W Broadway, 5 E 5th Ave. and 159 W Hastings St. |

THE BAD: Everything Is Getting Too Complicated
THE GOODS: Gluten Free Epicurean’s Salted Oat Cookie

Let’s get back to basics. Is a simple oatmeal cookie too much to ask for? This specialty bakery says no—even for the gluten intolerant. The biggest achievement of the salted oat cookie ($3.95) from Gluten Free Epicurean isn’t even being gluten-free—it’s that it somehow manages to maintain the undeniably awesome taste of cookie dough, despite graduating with honours from the oven. A sprinkle of coarse salt brings this chocolatey, oaty treat to new heights. Enjoy with a side of inner peace. 633 E 15th Ave. |