The Vancouver Christmas Market is back again at Jack Poole Plaza this year with more vendors than ever before. ’Tis the season to grab a hot cup of gluhwein and enjoy the carolling of the Gingerbread Men as you explore this European-inspired Christmas village.
A Little Christmas Market History
Christkindlmarkts are a five hundred year old tradition. People would come from afar to gather at church for the four weeks of advent which presented local cooks, artisans, and craftsmen with an opportunity to sell their wares. Vancouver’s Christmas Market offers a chance to experience just this. It has been offering an enchanting chance to travel to a festive holiday world since 2010, and has been operating at its current location at Jack Poole Plaza since 2016.
A Cup of Christmas Cheer
First things first, before you can explore the market on a cold winter’s day, you’ll need a hot drink to keep you warm. The Vancouver Christmas Market pyramid is where you will find the mulled wine from The View Winery. There is a choice of white or red this year both spiced with seasonal spices like cinnamon and star anise, and brightened with additional citrus. The white Feuerzangenbowle also has the addition of rum. It is delicious and so warming. Traditionally, gluhwein was served in a tankard made of gold but you can get this wine cocktail in a 2022 Christmas Market mug for $8. Other non-alcoholic cozy drinks are available as well, including hot chocolate from I Love Chocolate or apple cider from the Affel Haus.
Christmas Market Food
Now that you’ve fortified yourself with a warm beverage, you can shift your focus to food. Please keep in mind that some of the samples I got to try were smaller portions.
There are many food options at the Vancouver Christmas Market. This year the market boasts ninety vendors, although not all sell ready to eat food items. There are also stalls carrying lovely locally made goods, giving plenty of options for holiday gifts.
A must do is the raclette because cold weather is molten cheese weather. At Cheese Me Raclette you can get Swiss raclette cheese melted right on top of herbed smoked ham, potatoes, pearl onions, and cornichons. The steaming potato was particularly enjoyable when covered in melted cheese. They also have a vegetarian raclette with sun-dried tomato and artichokes.
Das Soup Haus is another great food option. If you’ve ever made French onion soup yourself you’ve probably cried many tears while slicing the onions and will understand why I always order it when I get a chance. I’m happy to enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labor. Das Soup’s French Onion soup is delicious. They nailed one of the tastiest parts of a French onion soup, besides the slowly browned, slightly sweet onions: the soup soaked bread full of saturated flavour. Das Soup Haus also has mushroom and vegetable soups.
If you are visiting the Vancouver Christmas Market this year, you must pick up a bag of Those Pretzels. They are amazing. Their motto warns “Once you start… you can’t stop!!!” which is absolutely accurate. The recipe is a secret family released to the world only after friends begged to be able to buy Those Pretzels. I will definitely be picking up more of these. I opened the bag just to have a little taste because I’d already eaten so much yummy food and just like that, the bag was already half empty.
Other savoury options include bratwurst, smoked meat sandwiches, schnitzel, and perogies. Or you can enjoy the satisfaction of eating a piping hot bowl of goulash, as well as the bread bowl it comes in.
Sweet holiday treats are the perfect way to wrap up a trip to the Vancouver Christmas Market. That is, other than taking a ride on the carousel. Traditional Spanish Churros sell freshly fried, crispy churros which can be dusted with cinnamon and sugar, or served with caramel sauce, chocolate drizzle, or Nutella among other tasty toppings.
One of my absolute favourites are the mini Dutch pancakes from Pancake and Waffle Haus. There is something so satisfying about scarfing down still steaming pancakes in the West Coast cold. I tried the caramel and peanut topping. The nuts added just the right level of salty savouriness to counteract the sweet caramel drizzle. There are other dessert options as well, including chocolate dipped fruit and knedla.
The Vancouver Christmas Market is open every day from November 12 to December 24, 2022. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office.