The 2017 Vancouver Christmas Market brings European holiday magic to the city
Written by: Cecilia Ryan & Joyce Chua
Sprawled over Jack Poole Plaza, the 8th annual Vancouver Christmas Market dazzles on Vancouver’s waterfront. The snow-capped North Shore mountains provide a picture-perfect backdrop as you wander the glittering Christmas village.
Get lost amongst the rows of wooden huts, perusing market stall trinkets while delighting in mouthfuls of Bratwurst, Schnitzel and Pretzels. Pair that with live music, life-sized candy canes and a steaming mug of Glühwein and the Vancouver Christmas Market is sure to melt your heart on a cold winter evening.
The market now houses over 70 vendors in its winter-wonderful village. With mouth-watering scents wafting from every hut, it’s hard to know where to start.
Here are our favourite “must-eat” vendors bringing authentic flavours to the market:
1. Das Gulasch Haus
After working at the Vancouver Christmas Market in previous years, Austrian native, Thomas, felt that it was lacking the meal which most means Christmas to him – Gulasch. Thomas has created a traditional gulasch based on his mother’s recipe: BC beef, potatoes and carrots and a Hungarian Paprika. Thomas also offers a vegan option.
From Christmas to New Year, gulasch would be shared amongst Thomas’ family and at Austrian Christmas Markets. Now, he’s thrilled to share it with the foodies in Vancouver. For a hearty, warming, home-cooked meal, Das Gulasch Haus hits all of the spots.
2. Cheese Me Raclette
If you love hot melted cheese like we do, you’ve got to make a beeline to Cheese Me Raclette. You’ll find a familiar scene at many classic European Christmas markets; a giant wheel of raclette cheese is placed under a heater until it’s hot and bubbly, then a hearty serving of the melted cheese gets scraped over your choice of baguette or potatoes. This Instagram spectacle lives up to the hype!
3. Mulled Wine
No trip to the Vancouver Christmas Market would be complete without a hot cup of mulled wine. The 2017 collectors mugs are adorable as ever! We tried both the traditional “Glühwein” and the “Feuerzangenbowle” – the version with rum. Our favourite was the classic, but you might appreciate the extra heat from that hint of rum if it’s a particularly chilly Vancouver night!
4. Spätzle Haus
German chef, Tina, spent months honing a traditional spätzle recipe – a type of pillowy egg noodle, covered with a choice of three different sauces.
Of course, we had to try all three! From the traditional Cheese and Caramelized Onion, to the rich and creamy Mushroom, to the extremely untraditional Curry, you can’t go wrong! Accompanied by a traditional German cucumber salad, the Spätzle Haus is a firm favourite at the Vancouver Christmas Market.
5. Haxen Haus (Rotisserie Pork Shank)
Let your nose guide to you to the Haxen Haus – the tantalizing smell of these open-roasted rotisserie shanks hangs in the air! We loved how mouthwateringly crispy and juicy this pork was…totally worth the wait. A half-size platter can be shared with a friend and you’ll still have room for more of the Market’s delights!
With the Christmas village feel and authentic offerings in abundance, the Vancouver Christmas Market is a must this holiday period. Come with an empty stomach, clear a space in the cupboard for a classic German stein souvenir, and strap in for full-on holiday fun!
Vancouver Christmas Market
Nov 24-Dec 24, 2017
1055 Canada Place (Jack Poole Plaza)