GOOD TO KNOW: https://www.purebread.ca/
Specialties: Bread, baked goods
Gluten-free: Limited. Two or three flourless items.
Other: Three locations; Vancouver, Whistler village, Function Junction
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you use them to make a purchase, I'll earn a bit aof money from the sale to save for my next gluten-free adventure.
Gluten-free treats- two if by sea
A couple years after graduating from college, my best friend and I quit our jobs, bought Eurorail passes, and headed to Europe clutching our dog-eared copies of Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door. She was fluent in Spanish and I was fluent in approximately four utterly useless French words. I was fully prepared to struggle to communicate in non-Spanish speaking countries but the real challenge ended up being culinary culture shock. I was from Idaho, raised on meatloaf, bologna sandwiches and Hamburger Helper. At the time I had not developed food intolerances or allergies and was free to eat whatever seemed appealing which turned out to be a lot of chicken fried rice from a variety of Chinese restaurants dotting European cities, fresh baked goods, and Snickers bars.
I still remember the mouthwatering smells from the boulangeries in Paris and the perfection of authentic pain au chocolat. That experience set in motion a lifelong love of traveling and an obsessive pursuit of bakeries.
Fast forward a couple decades . . . I am gluten intolerant, my palate is a bit more sophisticated and I still love traveling, Chinese food, Snickers bars, and bakeries. In fact, the ongoing quest for quality gluten-free baked goods is one of my favorite things I do while on holiday.
Purebread on Hastings
On my first trip to Vancouver I was pleasantly surprised to find gluten smart cupcakes at Cupcakes! located on Denman Street. Nearly a year later, during another stop in Vancouver for another Marianas Trench concert, I found Purebread on Hastings Street.
Yelp is a super app for searching for and finding specific types of restaurants nearby but it pays to do some investigative work especially when it comes to gluten-free searches. I typically head straight to the menu on any listing that claims to serve gluten-free fare to confirm there are acceptable items before committing to eat there. Purebread's online menu has an extensive list of featured breads but no mention of other baked goods or gluten-free items. I optimistically and erroneously entered Purebread thinking I had hit the gluten-free mother load. Purebread is a traditional bakery with one of the most appealing displays of fresh baked goods I have ever seen. The gluten-free selection is not marked and after a hopeful inquiry, I was disappointed to learn that not only was the gluten-free selection limited but it didn't include anything suitable for breakfast. Bakery fail? Not really, I shamelessly snatched up a flourless brownie AND an avalanche bar for "later".
The brownie was a generous slice of chocolatey goodness with a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top. It reminded me of the chocolate crinkle cookies I used to make back in my gluten eating days. I fully intended to just have a taste and save the rest for later but I have no self-control and the little devil was gone before our noon ferry left the dock. Once the sugar train leaves the station, all bets are off. Whoo whooooo bring on the Avalanche Bar, a slightly salty, chunky, white chocolate dream loaded with marshmallows, chocolate chips and crispy rice. It should be mentioned that I did grudgingly share a bite with Shawn.
If you ever find yourself in Vancouver, stop by Purebread and buy an Avalanche Bar. Actually, buy two. I guarantee you'll thank me later.
A note to readers:
I am gluten sensitive/intolerant so I am not overly concerned with possible cross contamination. If you have severe reactions, I recommend taking additional precautions.