Pane e Formaggio – Vancouver, BC


Pane e Formaggio
4532 10th Ave W
Vancouver, BC
(604) 224-1623

Artisan breads and specialty cheeses are a big deal here in Vancouver.  Plenty of competition for this segment of the retail and dine-in scene, with new ones seemingly popping up from time to time throughout the city.  Personally, I try to frequent these shops on weekend mornings when I have more free time to browse around, explore all the shelves and showcases and try to gain some knowledge from the folks behind the counter about what they create and sell.  I love hearing the passion they have for their product and how genuinely interested they are in sharing their knowledge and teaching others about things such as cheeses, which can be overwhelming at times given how many varieties are out there…

Located on the far west end of 10th Avenue towards the entrance of the UBC campus, Pane e Formaggio has been around since the start of this decade and has carved a niche as a popular Saturday breakfast/brunch spot for the residents of West Point Grey.  Despite the narrow, bowling alley-like layout, the bright airiness of the space and the fine touches like the dark wooden flooring, high ceilings, and European-inspired tables and chairs, makes this a very inviting and comfortable place to spend your weekend mornings.  It’s usually pretty tough getting one of the available tables however, so take-out is also available.

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Terra Breads (Kitsilano) Bakery & Café – Vancouver, BC


Terra Breads (Kitsilano) Bakery & Café
2380 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
(604) 736 1838

Terra Breads Cafe on Urbanspoon

Aside from the occasional pickup of some French baguettes and loaves, and multigrain breads, my forays into the original location of Terra Breads in Kitsilano and their bakery in the Public Market on Granville Island have been limited.  So on this day I thought I would expand upon the range of my usual purchases and check out some of their pastries and sandwiches.  Actually I was torn between trying out their daily changing savoury focaccias (on this day it was a simple tomato & pesto variety) but decided on a sandwich, in order to see if any of their other artisan breads suited my tastes.

The collection of pastries pictured above are the Apple Focaccia with caramel, sesame and thyme, a Blueberry White Chocolate Bread, Macaroons, and a Blueberry Scone.  It wasn’t a deliberate decision, but I found as I was eating my way through them with some friends that there was an interesting mix of textures and flavors among just this simple set.  The sweet focaccia with its great crispy portions and a softer chewy texture on the inside was probably my favorite of the bunch – I would get this again for sure.  The Blueberry bread was a bit more crumbly but not as much as my beloved scones.  I think you can clearly get a sense that blueberries are among my most favorite fruits.  The Macaroons were an attempt to battle my lifelong dislike for coconuts (I can handle them when they are made of sliced almonds) in foods.  Funny how I don’t mind the inclusion of coconut cream in Piña Coladas though…

A pair of sandwiches were chosen.  The first of which was the Roast Chicken + Bacon on Pain de Campagne.  Described as a roasted, free-range chicken, double smoked bacon,  roma tomatoes, organic mixed baby greens, and tarragon mayonnaise, I was quite satisfied.  The smoky properties of the chicken and bacon were a perfect match, and the veggies adds a cruncy textural element that completed the composition.  The bread was a neutral variety that wasn’t overly bold thus not overwhelming the ingredients sandwiched between.

The second meat and bread combination was the Roast Turkey + Chutney on a Pumpkin Seed Bread and contained slices of roasted turkey breast, cucumber, cranberry walnut chutney, organic greens, and mayonnaise.  I personally didn’t enjoy this as much as the earlier one, mainly for the fact of that sweet chutney.  I think eating this while taking bites of the pastries might have influenced my thinking here, but I didn’t really want any sweet elements in the sandwich.  The bread used was interesting, I think I will pick up some next time and try out with other fillings and condiments.

At this location, you can elect to eat your meal at the communal table that is plopped right in the middle of the café, or along one of the bar counters facing the street.  It seems to always be packed however, and I’ve never seen an open seat, though imagine there is some pretty fast turnover, just not when I am there.  As we left with our purchases we walked a bit further along 4th Ave, and popped into the Take 5 Café for some coffee.  Again, a similar scene as all of the seats were occupied.  They had similar looking sandwiches there available to order (as well as some soups), which made me wonder if they bought from Terra Breads.  Anybody know?

Terra Breads Cafe on Urbanspoon