Panaderia Latina Bakers offers a selection of Mexican and Central American baking focusing on South American specialties. The pastries, tres leches cake, empanadas (turnovers), and pan dulce (sweet bread) attract a regular clientelle. The shop also carries Latin American groceries. Cans of beans and chipotle sauce line the shelves, along with sacks of maize, and litre-sized tins of tomatillos. Packages of dried chilies stud one wall; the freezer reveals yucca (a starchy tuber); and pork rinds sit next to the potato chips. In the fridge, there are Mexican and Guatemalan tamales and a neon rainbow of bottled soft drinks. In the midst of it all are a few tables for patrons to enjoy a coffee or light lunch.
Thanks to the Georgia Straight review, I visited this authentic, delicious bakery.
It doesn't look that appealing from the outside, but wow inside it's filled with delicious baking smells and treats.
The owners carefully prepare authentic Latin American pastries with a focus on products including dulce de leche. This is an intensely sweet caramelized sweetened condensed milk, and it has a lovely caramel colour.
I tried their cone filled with vanilla cream topped off with dulce de leche as it is very sweet, and the vanilla cream helped to cut some of the sweetness. It was heavenly, with fresh flakey pastry that didn't even get soggy the next day.
The tres leches cake here is a delicious version. I'm not a fan of milk, and didn't find that the cake tasted too milky, the flavour did remind me a bit of rice pudding. It's iced with a thin coating of freshly whipped cream, and covered in flakey white coconut. The coconut flavour didn't come through but looks visually appealing.
It's hands-down worth a visit simply to try this cake, I tried a bite and ended up purchasing a few more slices before leaving the bakery. It's one of the top 5 cakes I've ever had.
One of the daughers apparently is a trained pastry chef, and it shows. Although this is not a fusion bakery, but solidly Latin American. Most of the pastries are very sweet.
While the ambiance isn't great, it is homey and comfortable although there is limited seating. Also the perimeter of the store is a small Latin American grocery store with dry and canned goods as well as some frozen items.
I also couldn't resist picking up a chicken empanada. The version here is filled with big chunks of chicken, whole olives, and the taste is mild as it's lightly spiced but still tasty. I didn't taste any raisins in the filling, but I don't like raisins in my food so that was good. The size is big enough to be a light dinner if you pair it with salad.
They also sell beef sandwiches, but I didn't try that this time.
The other people in the store seemed to be Latin Americans, which is a good sign. I was unfamiliar with the baked goods and the lady at the counter was helpful in explaining what everything was.
This place has been operating in that location for five years, I've driven by occasionally and never stopped which is a pity. I'm glad I finally tried this place as it's a gem. Vancouver is a horrid wasteland for Mexican/Latin American restaurants, but at least there is one bright spot, we do have a fantastic Latin American bakery.
This place is located very close to the Joyce skytrain station, just walk North uphill away from the high-rises.
I noticed most of the bad reviewers have never actually tried the Empanadas at this place (The thing that makes it top the 'best of' lists) I like the super sweet authentic Dulce de leche desserts anyways and the creamy custardy things are pretty great too. But the empanadas! Everytime my family comes to visit from out of town this is the place we go to. They stock up with boxes to take home. (from personal experience they stay good for a long time if frozen or even just to keep in the fridge) Anyhow you get to choose between either a cheese empanada or a meat empanada either way they're both delicious and filled with simple tasty ingredience. I find they go well with hot sauce if you like spicy things. The service is always really friendly and if you have questions they take the time to explain things. Its good value for what you get. For around 3$ you can take home an empanada which will probably satisfy your lunch craving so its great value. They make GIGANTIC sandwiches for around 10$ and chicarons which is a delicious chilean pork rind if your in the mood to try something different. A must try if your in the area. Ambience is blah since its also partially a grocery store but you can find some interesting items like different kinds of hot sauce and chiles and so on.
Having been to Chile a few times now, it is great to find some of the tastes that I have greatly enjoyed there here at home. Foremost of these is Panaderia Latina's version of the churrasco, a sandwich containing thinly cut grilled steak. It may not look like it, but it will fill you up and the taste is incredible. Nicely cooked meat, perfectly seasoned sandwiched in a freshly made bun with tomato and a little mayonaise ... just proof that the simple things taste the best. The empanadas here are very good as well, and one really can't go wrong with the abundance of choices of sweet pastries for dessert as well. Now if only they could import some genuine Chilean longanizas to grill and put inside their marraquetas then we'd really be talking.
Over the last few years, this bakery has made it to a number of 'best of' lists. I drive by quite often, but never took the time to stop. Well, I did recently, and while everything looked good, and I spend more than I usually would on bakery sweets, I was not that enthalled with the dulce de leche ingredient. It was way too sweet for me in almost everything, and after having a few bites of a few items, I threw he whole thing away. Just not my thing, and I would never order the sweets again. I might try the savories like empanadas, but you know, once you get turned off to something it takes a while to even consider going in the door again.