Gourmet doughnut craze: Lucky’s Doughnuts and Cartems, Vancouver
Wednesday, September 19, 2012

While I was looking for pastry shops to visit in Vancouver, I stumbled upon something unexpected: gourmet doughnut shops. I discovered 2 great doughnut shops but I get the feeling that I’ll be seeing more of these popping up in the next few years. It’ll be like cupcake shops popping up everywhere all over again.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. It actually makes me happy to see traditionally mass-produced products being brought back to life with quality ingredients, artisanal methods, and some creativity.

So far, I’ve visited  Lucky’s Doughnuts and Cartems Donuterie in Vancouver. I haven’t made up my mind which I like better. I’m leaning towards Cartems but I think I’ll need a re-visit on my next trip home to be sure.

Lucky’s doughnuts opened jointly with a well established Vancouver based coffee company, 49th parallel. Dawne Gourley, Vancouver-based pastry chef with over 25 years of experience, is the creator of these gourmet doughnuts. Dawne was formerly pastry chef at Bishop’s and Giovane’s.

49th Parallel & Lucky’s Doughnuts are located on the SE corner of 13th Ave and Main St. It’s spacious cafe with wood interiors and comfortable seating.

You can watch the doughnuts being filled through the glass windows.

Walking into the shop, this display of fresh doughnuts available is the first thing you see. They sure know how to appeal to your visual senses. They are all priced between CAD $2.50 – $3.50 each. Orders over 6 will get you an 18% discount.

Here’s the salted caramel doughnut. Very fresh (well, all of them were) with a delicious caramel sauce glaze.

Apple fritter with bacon. A little on the sweet side compared to the other doughnuts. There was a generous amount (not too much) of juicy apple pieces embedded in the fritter dough which paired very well with the savoury bacon topping.

Coconut cream with a meringue topping and coconut flakes.

Here’s the coconut pastry cream inside the doughnut.

Chocolate with chocolate sprinkles.

This was a cakey doughnut with good chocolate flavour.

They also served croissants so of course I had to try one. Here’s a pistachio almond cream croissant. In the picture, you can see the beautiful flaky layers of the croissant crust. It also had a good buttery flavour and mild sweetness from the pistachio almond cream inside.

The other gourmet doughnut discovery I made is Cartems Donuterie. You should check out their story on the website. I’m impressed how locally sourced all their ingredients are. The two doughnuts I tried were both more a touch more decadent than Lucky’s.

Cartems Donuterie has a pop-up shop located at the corner of Carrell Street and Hastings Street. I only visited their shop once as it’s not exactly located in a great neighborhood. Carrall Street divides Hastings into the West and East side and you really don’t want to be walking on East Hastings Street alone at night. They close at 6pm anyways.

After making it across two sketchy intersections, we got our doughnuts!

This one is earl grey. It’s quite beautiful in its rustic way.

The earl grey was very well infused through the cakey doughnut. The icing was also flavoured with earl grey.

Here’s the cherry fritter covered in a light glaze.

After one bite, Nelson proclaimed this one to be superior in texture. It had a chewier bite with a nice cherry fragrance and bits of dried cherries.

Well? Let me know what you think. Write me a comment below!