If you read this site, you know I enjoy hot chocolate. I don’t drink coffee or tea. So, I am always on the lookout for a good one. I Googled to find a new place to try, and 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters (website) came up. Apparently, people absolutely love their coffee and the hot chocolate received some good reviews too.
The best part is they created the 49th Parallel Café with Lucky’s Doughnuts (website) at three locations in Vancouver. I visited the one on the corner of Thurlow and W Georgia in downtown.
Being located right in downtown surrounded by office buildings meant this was a very busy location. The fact it was also located on the ground floor of one of those office buildings probably had something to do with it too. It’s an open space where you can enter through the entrance door or through the building on two sides.
The shop was so full and busy; I was one of three groups of people waiting for a table the first time I visited. There is a large outdoor patio with additional seating, but the problem is it’s not heated and only has a partial roof. Not the best option in bad weather. It was raining on two of my visits.
49th Parallel Coffee Roasters
Dark chocolate, cocoa, brown sugar, and water are used to create the chocolate sauce. Then the sauce is mixed with steamed milk to make the hot chocolate. I found it to be chocolaty, you can tell it’s sweetened but not too much. So, it’s rich without being too sweet.
Cocoa is sprinkled on top before the rest of the steamed milk is added to create a pattern. It means you end up tasting the cocoa powder in every sip though unless you stir it up first.
My favourite part of a hot chocolate at 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters is the design on top. Not only have they been different every time, but they rarely turn out the way everyone intended. At least in my experience. I LOVE it. Sure, if it was perfect I’d be impressed but I am way happier to see what different version it becomes. I’m normally not a fan of perfect, I prefer real. And it also makes me want to order the hot chocolate just to see the design surprise.
Most of us grow up eating Tim Horton’s doughnuts but if you step out of that comfort zone, you can find some amazing shops who offer delicious treats and even some interesting flavours.
Lucky’s Doughnuts is one of those shops and they had some wonderful treats. Some flavours stayed in the comfort zone but with a twist and some stepped out of the comfort zone.
Everything is made fresh, from scratch, every day.
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Old Fashioned
This interesting doughnut was a moist, chocolate, old-fashioned type with a chocolate & peanut butter glaze. I think because there is a chocolate base and chocolate in the glaze, the peanut butter flavour disappears quickly, it is overpowered by the chocolate. I didn’t really taste much of it. The doughnut itself had a crunchy exterior, but I found it was greasier than others elsewhere. I don’t like old-fashioned doughnuts though so keep that in mind.
Strawberry Buttermilk Old-Fashioned
This one was another moist, old-fashioned offering but with a traditional flavoured base and a strawberry glaze. The strawberry was more prominent than the peanut butter in the peanut butter and chocolate, but it also doesn’t overpower the doughnut itself. The flavours blend well. Once again, I found it to be a bit greasy, but it also had a crunchy exterior.
Salted Caramel Old Fashioned
I gave the old fashioned another try because of the salted caramel flavour, which is my favourite. Unfortunatly, I still don’t like the old fashioned doughnut. This one was sweet and salty but I didn’t taste the caramel part.
Want to step out of your comfort-zone without going crazy by trying some of the interesting flavours? Do you like sourdough bred? Then I highly recommend the sour-dour doughnut. It has the texture of a doughnut with the taste of sourdough bread. Covered in a glaze. It was delicious and quickly became my second favoured one at Lucky’s.
Delicious plain glazed yeast type doughnut. This plain glazed one is exactly as it sounds with nothing out of your comfort zone.
If you want to keep things in your comfort-zone, this yeast type doughnut covered in glaze and sprinkles is the one. It’s like the glazed ring but with colourful sprinkles. And who doesn’t love sprinkles?
Dark Chocolate Glazed
This is the yeast type doughnut I prefer, but I wasn’t fond of the dark chocolate glaze. It was a bit too rich and overpowering in flavour for my preference.
Berry Berliner – Filled
This is the best filled doughnut ever! My favourite doughnut is a strawberry filled one. I’ve tried so many versions I feel like a bit of a connoisseur now. And the Berry Berliner has become my first choice. It doesn’t taste like a sugary jelly or jam filling, instead it tastes like a lightly sweetened berry puree. So good! The doughnut might be chewy but it tasted delicious.
I visited several times, twice with tea lovers but unfortunately none of the times with a coffee lover. I can’t tell you if the coffee is as good as I’ve read, but I can tell you the doughnuts are delicious. While 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters does also serve tea and hot chocolate, I prefer hot chocolate at other shops downtown but I will keep going for those Berry Berliners and Sour-Doughs (and others).
49th Parallel Cafés are also located on West 4th and Main Street.
*Just a heads up for everyone, because it is such a busy shop, popular doughnut flavours will run out earlier in the day.
*The doughnuts I’ve seen range in price from $3.00 to $3.50 each.