By Kristi Alexandra
Carousel rides, mulled wine, live trees, hand-crafted ornaments, and one-of-a-kind gifts can all be found at the Vancouver Christmas Market. Modelled after the European “Christkindlmarkts” of the old world, this relatively new-to-Vancouver tradition draws hordes of locals to its home at the Jack Poole Plaza every holiday season. And those who frequent the market come for the biggest attraction: the food.
Housed in huts that recall a true Bavarian experience, here are a few treats to try, from traditional German fare to modern Vancouver flare.
Pretzel from Das Pretzel Hut
No trip to a German Christmas Market (or anything German-themed, that is) is complete without a big, doughy pretzel. Twisted, braided, salted: whatever you choose, this wheat-filled treat goes best with spiced mustard and washes down well with a beer.
Hurricane Potatoes from Das Kartoffelhaus
Known sometimes as “tornado potatoes” or “hurricane fries,” this food originated on the streets of South Korea and may recall more of a summer night market than a European winter fete, but it just wouldn’t be Vancouver without them.
Gluhwein and Kinderpunsch in Collector Boots
Sip on this sweet, warm mulled wine (gluhwein) or the kid-friendly alternative while you browse wares in the marketplace from an ever-so-cute and collectible German boot mug. Prost!
Spanish Paella from Arc Iberco
Keep warm with some spice from below the equator with Vancouver Christmas Market’s newest vendor, Arc Iberco. The Spanish-style meaterie serves up cured meats and paella for palate-pleasing variety!
Salmon Burger from Eat F.I.S.H.
Feed your pretzel-bun craving while getting your omega 3s. Eat F.I.S.H. (fresh ideas start here) is the Christmas Market’s newest burger vendor, serving up sustainable, local, wild salmon on pretzel buns with all the fixings.
Cannoli from Cannoli King Vancouver’s Cannoli King serves up hand-rolled, deep-fried and filled sweet treats for those with an appetite for dessert. The family-owned company Cannoli King makes everything from scratch, from the dough to the fillings.
Gulasch, Schnitzel, Spatzle and Pork Knuckle
If you refuse to miss out on the real culture of the Christkindlmarkts, then you won’t leave without grabbing a bite of the most traditional fare. Fill up on warm, gooey gulash, chow down on breaded schnitzel covered in gravy or savour the tenderness of your slow-roasted pork knuckle. Guten Appetit!
Transylvanian Chimney Cakes
Chimney cakes are a festive sweet hailing from the birthplace of Dracula, but you won’t find him around this haunt. This spiral of sweet, flaky dough is coated with sugar while roasting on a spit and is perfectly pairs with your market stroll.
Vancouver Christmas Market
Jack Poole Plaza – 1055 Canada Place
Open daily from 11am to 9pm