Saturday, 8 December 2012

Vancouver Christmas Market

I headed to the Vancouver Christmas Market for a beverage after work last night and it was the perfect way to start the weekend.  Christmas music, a mug of hot gluwhein, tonnes of yummy food to peruse, amazing hand-made gifts, a carousel for the kids (or kids at heart) can you go wrong?  It's literally like stepping into a Christmas winter wonderland.  You can't help but smile from ear to ear.

I was a little disappointed when I saw the hurricane potato fry stand from the Richmond Night Market and a Cupcakes stand both there.  Took away from the Christmas Market theme a little bit, but with the plethora of wooden huts to look at, you can move past those quickly and forget that they even existed!

Things to note: (1) This year you only have to pay the $5 entry fee once, and then you can get a free re-entry fee online.  Brilliant!  I definitely plan on going back many times as a result.  So, make sure to hold on to the green card that they give you when you enter.  (2) If you want to partake in the yummy alcoholic beverages, which I highly recommend, make sure you get a wristband when you first get into the market.  (3) You don't have to buy your mugs this year.  You pay a $2 deposit and you can either keep your mug or return it and get your $2 back.  The return station is near the exit of the carousel.  (4) There is a little hut on Robson between Howe and Hornby that sells nuts and peppermint sticks and is an info booth for the Christmas Market.  Last time I went by there, I was given a free pass for the carousel.  So if you're feeling like a carousel ride, I'd stop by there before going to the Christmas Market.

I'll let the photos do the rest of the talking.  Whether you have or haven't been to the Christmas Market before, I highly recommend going this year.  It's just fabulous!

Why hello Vancouver Christmas Market!

The view of the market when you first come in.

Baked apples from Das Apfelhaus.  These looked utterly amazing!  I'm definitely going to have to try one this year.

This is another food item on my must-eat list this year: Schupfnudeln (German rolled noodles) from Das Deutsche Nudel Haus.  They looked and smelled delicious and the cooking process looked like an art form.

Mug of gluwhein...check!  Such yummy goodness.  $8 including the $2 deposit for the mug.

Belgian waffles and German waffles on a stick from Das Waffelhaus.  If you're going to get this, get the waffle on a stick.  I had one last year and not only was it delicious but it was so much fun to eat!

Maple taffy ($3/stick).  These are made strictly from maple syrup.  The maple syrup is cooked until it's taffy consistency and then is put on to a stick and iced to keep its shape.  Definitely a must try for me on one of my next visits!

The carousel.  So pretty and fun, all at once!

And you can't have a German Christmas market without Bratwurst, fried onions and sauerkraut!  I had one of these last year and it was hands-down the best Bratwurst I've ever had. 
Now these pretzels look like someone actually made them by hand.  Definitely going to try one during a future visit.

This stand absolutely stole my heart.  It was dedicated to traditional German candy.  I tried the Christmas mulled wine candy and it was amazing!  It took you back to a day when people took pride in making candy and it wasn't just mass-produced.  I'd definitely stop by here if you're looking for a unique gift for that candy-lover in your life, or grab a bag and enjoy it during your meanders around the market.  1 bag - $4, 3 bags for $11.


And you can't have Christmas without spiced nuts and nut-based yummy goodness!  This stand is back by the Gluwhein stand and is definitely worth a perusal.

I highly recommend eating and trying everything in sight at the Christmas Market, just, whatever you do, don't eat the fruit!!!  It's actually soap. 

The other great thing about the Christmas Market is that there are so many people to meet.  I met this handsome fellow...he was a bit stiff...but amazing at cracking nuts!
There were plenty other vendors to explore from a soup stand, to the biggest chocolate fountain I've ever seen, to home-made Mediterranean jams, to clothing made from Alpaca wool.  So, get out there and start exploring!

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