Where to find lovely lemon desserts in Vancouver

It’s a rough world for lemon lovers – I’ve personally received much flak for my dessert preferences from some unnamed opinionated chocolate devotees. Attacks on personal taste aside, it’s way more fun to wholeheartedly embrace the true object of your sweet tooth. If you're hoping to track down some tart treats in Vancouver, follow this guide to get your just desserts!

The Last Crumb Bakery and Cafe

1
3080 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3G5

Chewy, flaky, tangy, fluffy – The Last Crumb’s mini lemon meringue pie unites all these wonderful textures and flavours in a single bite. It also delivers visually, with beautifully bronzed meringue swirls on top and gorgeous yellow lemon curd in the centre. The fact that The Last Crumb has a full menu of high-end café drinks to go with it means that you might not be able to resist going there for a teatime treat.

Cafe Trafiq

2
4216 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P9

Trafiq’s display case of lavishly decorated cakes brings to mind a Disney princess ball – flounces, flourishes, and silky ridges of icing abound. The lemon lavender is especially notable – moist, delicately floral yet citrusy, and with creamy icing to top it all off. Come for the generous slice of cake and stay for the atmosphere – there’s plenty of seating in this European-style bakery, and it’s fun to sit and people-watch on Main Street.

Salty Tongue Café

3
212 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J1

Lemon purists may dispute this, but to my mind, there’s no better pairing for lemon than coconut. Salty Tongue offers a beautiful rendition of this perfect duo in their mini coconut lemon bar, which is wonderfully chewy with coconut incorporated throughout. Toasty, sweet-tart, and with a crust that brings sugar cookies to mind, this is a great indulgence to grab on the go with your morning coffee, or to be enjoyed at the café’s window counter surrounded by funky exposed-brick-and-tile interior.

Purebread

4
159 Hastings St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4

Purebread offers a range of lemony treats in-store, as well as a deluxe special-order lemon meringue cake resplendent in lemon curd and salted caramel glory. Selections vary daily, but look for their three variations on the classic lemon bar, as well as their unique lemon chèvre brownie. Their lemon drizzle pound cake, available in whole mini loaves or by the slice, is named misleadingly; “drizzle” to most would suggest a light zigzag of frosting, but instead we’re treated to a veritable slab of icing on top. I suppose at Purebread, when it rains, it pours (icing, that is)!

Sweet Obsession

5
2611 16th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6K 3C2

Want to experience the veritable motherlode of lemon desserts? Venture into Sweet Obsession, where they make stunning lemon mousse cakes and lemon-orange flans with blueberry compote, dainty lemon dacquoise, puffy, towering lemon danishes, and moist, dense lemon blueberry pound cake. My personal favourite, however, is the humble lemon ginger cookie – a chewy shortbread with just a hint of ginger that pairs perfectly with a cup of tea.

The Coffee Bar

6
10 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1A4

The aptly named Coffeebar is not too far from Salty Tongue Café and presents some tough competition in the lemon coconut bar department, especially given that Coffeebar’s is twice the size. Just sayin’. The ambiance in which to enjoy said lemon bar is also lovely; the floor-to-ceiling windows provide lots of natural light, even on the greyest of Vancouver days.

Cadeaux Bakery Inc

7
172 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1G1

Cadeaux’s lemon meringue bar proves that it’s hip to be square – or rather, rectangular. Their take on the classic lemon meringue tart comes in a long rectangular slice, though the crust and lemon curd are pie-like: flaky and velvety thick, respectively. Topped with a gorgeous ribbon of golden brown meringue and a few delicate strands of candied lemon peel, this is truly a luxurious lemon dessert.

Butter Baked Goods Ltd

8
4907 MacKenzie St, Vancouver, BC V6N 1G8

If there was a visual definition of “lovely,” Butter Baked Goods would be it. A stunning neighbourhood bakery that excels in all things aesthetic and culinary, Butter offers a generous array of baked goods, savoury and sweet breakfast and lunch foods, and even an afternoon tea service! For those seeking lemon treats, almost all of their baked goods have a lemon varietal, including their famously unique homemade marshmallows; these make for a wonderful gift (or personal indulgence…).

Professor and the Pigeon

9
3742 10th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6R 2G4

What better place to enjoy a classic lemon bar than this cozy café with its mismatched wooden chairs and creaky hardwood floor? Professor and the Pigeon is a lovely place to hunker down on a rainy day with a book and a baked good. They also have a great breakfast and lunch menu with plenty of comfort foods. And if you want learn how make your own macarons or chocolate truffles, the café offers specialty classes and general cooking lessons several nights a week.

With apologies to my mother, Vancouver offers some tough competition for the title of Best Chocolate Chip Cookie. Some of them riff on traditional elements with creative twists, while others are more of a chip off the ol’ block – or, should I say, a chip off the ol’ choc…olate chip cookie? Here are a few local bakeries and cafés where you’ll find tasty renditions of this timeless treat.
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