Commercial Drive Bakeries

I am a girl who likes her sweets. I love a good bakery. And a cluster of them together??!? Pure gold. 

You can walk from one to the next, and that, my friends, burns calories so you can have an extra cookie or a slice of cake when you get to the next one. 

Yeah, there’s a method to my madness. 

Here in Vancouver, there are a couple parts of the city where you can find bakeries blooming. Yaletown is obviously the first, but Commercial Drive, with its Italian/Portugese roots, is also very rich in the baked goods. 

You’ll find everything here–I mean obviously a lot of old-school and new-school Italian baked goods, but also French patisserie, and some modern takes, as well. 

My list starts in one of two places: at La Tana, which is almost all the way to Hastings at the north, or at Flourist, which is as far south as this map will take you. In between? A treasure-trove of tasty baked goods. 

round loaves of sourdough bread

Flourist, 3433 Commercial St

I’ve been watching and waiting on this one for a while. The newest of the Commercial Drive Bakery gang, Fourist just opened up this bricks-and-mortar location a couple months ago, after running a successful online business for the last few years. They were selling dried goods: flours, beans, pulses, grains, but have now created a cafe/coffee shop, selling baked goods made from their raw ingredients. You can buy authentic sourdough bread here, or learn to make it and buy all you need to make it at home. There’s something for everyone, including lots of vegan treats. My fave? The Chocolate Chip cookies, or beans on toast. 

Fratelli Bakery Commercial Dr

Fratelli–the mind boggles.

Bakery Sate, 2879 Commercial Dr

It’s a bit obscure, as it’s tucked around behind a big storefront on 12th, but it’s well worth seeking out. Sate has some of the most interesting and creative croissant flavours in the city. If you are matcha-obsessed, they have matcha croissants, as well as other out-of-the-box flavours like Banana-Chocolate-Hazelnut or Pomegranate Cheesecake. 

Fratelli Espresso Shortbread

Fratelli, 1795 Commercial Dr

Fratelli is the oldest of all the Commercial Drive Bakeries. Open since 1997, Fratelli is part of a triumverate of Italian perfection: there’s the bakery, La Grotta Del Formaggio beside it, and Cafe Calabria beside that. It’s the most Italian you can be in the city. Fratelli is also the bakery on this list that has the biggest selection. There are literally 100s of items baked every day for sale, and they are all pretty spectacular. They go from cakes to cookies to bread to savoury items… yeah, it’s a tough decision to make. One of my favourite things here is the espresso shortbread, but really, you can’t go wrong with pretty much anything. 

Oatmeal Sandwich Cookie Oh Sweet Day

Oh Sweet Day, 1706 E 1st Ave

Another fairly new addition to the Drive, Oh Sweet Day started as a blog. Fanny Lam started a blog, and then, in an attempt to monetize, began to sell Christmas Cookie Boxes. They were so popular, she wrote a cookbook, and eventually, opened up her own shop. She’s known for two things: cookies and mini cheesecakes. 

Kougin Amann

The Bench Bakehouse, 1641 Commercial Dr (in Il Mercado)

Open less than a year, The Bench is run by a husband-wife team who trained both out of Paris and San Francisco. So they have great breads, as well as great pastries. They do some fun, creative croissant flavours here, too, but my favourite thing to order is the Kougin-Amann. 

Livia Sweets

Livia, 1399 Commercial Dr

Hands down, this is my favourite place on the drive. Part bakery, part cafe, it has such a charming European vibe, I just want to move in. The coffee is really great, too. There are baked goods, but also things made from their house-made bread… well I just can’t say enough nice things. Really, go. 

Caffe La Tana

Caffe La Tana, 635 Commercial Dr

It’s attached to Pepinos, and they share a kitchen. This charming little spot beside the York Theatre is owned by the same folks that brought you Savio Volpe, so as you can well imagine, the pasta is great. This is the day-time version of Pepinos, with coffees and pasta, lighter fare. They also have some pretty dope baked goods, fresh bread, and a whole little Italian market with specialty imported items. It just has the most European vibe… 

What’s your favourite Commercial Drive bakery? Did I forget any? Comment below! 


What to expect when doing IV Therapy for the first time

Have you ever tried IV Therapy? 

I know, a lot of you will think it sounds like torture, but it really was more like a day at the spa. 

The idea behind IV therapy is that you get an infusion of electrolytes, vitamins and minerals, and this infusion is a more concentrated dose that what you could take orally. The infusion is delivered via IV or injection. 

The problem with taking supplements orally is that you think you’re doing something good for your body, but how much of that supplement actually gets into your bloodstream? Because the supplement has to do through your digestive system, sometimes the answer is, not much. 

IV Health Centre

But IV therapy gets the dosage directly into your bloodstream. 

Why might you like to try IV Therapy? 

  • If you’re feeling down and low energy
  • If you feel like you have a cold coming on
  • to recharge

I recently had my first IV Therapy session at The IV Health Centre in Yaletown. It’s actually quite a cool business–in addition to IV Therapy, they offer massage, acupuncture, and have naturopathic doctors on site. Kind of a one-stop-shop. 

I was honestly a bit nervous going in. I mean, nobody really likes needles… would it be painful? How would I feel after? What were they going to infuse me with? 

what to expect the first time you go for IV therapy

The staff was really great, though. I’ll tell you more about how I felt afterwards at the end, but first, here’s what I learned about what to expect when doing IV Therapy for the first time: 

  • The space is more like an industrial spa than a medical clinic. The IV Health Centre had tons of big comfy chairs spread around, and the overall atmosphere was quite chill. 
  • After filling out a form with your medical history, you’ll meet with a doctor. Like, an actual doctor. We chatted a bit about what my needs were, and then she mixed up a formula especially for me. I thought that they had some one-size-fits-all formulas, but that’s not true. Every time you go in, they will mix up a special cocktail just for you. Mine included magnesium, lots of b-vitamins, and electrolytes, amongst others. 
  • Once you are settled in a very comfy chair (that has heat, massage and a big comfy throw), the staff will set you up with magazines or an iPad so you can watch netflix during your treatment. They also brought me water and almonds to snack on. 
  • The doctor then administers the IV. Normally they put the needle in the big vein in your arm, not in the back of your hand. You have to sit with your arm outstretched on a pillow for the duration of the treatment, but they also bring you a warm pack for your exposed arm. 
  • The treatment takes about 45 minutes to administer. 
  • It was not painful. I mean, there was a bit of a prick when the needle went in, but other than that, it wasn’t too bad. There were definitely times when I knew I had a needle in my arm, but there were other times when I forgot about it. 
  • After the IV bag is empty, they will unhook you and you’re free to go. 
  • So, overall, I didn’t feel a huge effect that day. It was really nice to just sit for 45 minutes, though, and do nothing, a rare treat for me. I had a hard time getting my head back into the working game afterwards, so it might be a good idea to book it later in the day. 

The next day, though, I felt pretty good. I had a good sleep and I woke up feeling pretty perky and refreshed. Somebody said my skin looked glowy. 

IV Therapy Yaletown

The doctor said it can take up to 3-4 treatments before you really start seeing results, and then maintenance is every 4-6 weeks. Treatments cost $125. 

I’d love to hear in the comments below if you’ve ever tried IV Therapy. If you’re curious about them, check out The IV Health Centre in Yaletown, or come to The Wellness Show in February at the Vancouver Convention Centre where they will be exhibiting and offering treatments on site. 

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