German food and drink at Vancouver's Christmas Market 2011

Last minute shopping, or a sudden craving for juicy German sauages. Whatever is you'll be sure to find something at Vancouver's Christmas Market.

All photos by John Wu

Breathe in the smell of fresh air, pine trees, bratwurst, sauerkraut and roast pork at Vancouver’s Christmas Market. This traditional German Christmas market features a large variety of sweet and savoury German treats and an assortment of beautiful Christmas-themed gifts.

Traditional German Food

At Vancouver’s Christmas Market, you’ll get your fill of various juicy German sausages including bratwurst and weisswurst and delicious schupfnudeln, a traditional European pasta made with long, rolled finger-shaped noodles stir-fried with sauerkraut and bits of smoked prosciutto.

Variety of German sauages at Vancouver's Christmas Market

Traditional German schupfndeln 

The market also features traditional Swiss Raclette, a dish served by heating up half a round of raclette cheese and scraping off a layer of melted cheese onto a chewy ciabatta bun. If it’s meat you’re craving, the market serves up a succulent roast pork knuckle with a crunchy, crisp rind and a moist, tender meat. The same stand also serves up Oktoberfest-style roast chicken that you can buy whole to take home for dinner.

Melted Swiss Raclette scraped onto a ciabatta bun

Sweet German Desserts

After you’ve had your fill of meat and cheese, grab a Bratapfel, a traditional German Christmas dessert made with a baked apple, cored and stuffed with cinnamon, raisins, nuts and drizzled with a warm, creamy vanilla sauce. You can also get a taste of Stollen, a yeast bread made with dried fruits and nuts with a marzipan center. Traditional Apfelstrudel and marzipan bars can also be found at the market. If you feel like indulging your chocolate craving, stop by the chocolate fountain and get a cream cone or sweeten up your fruit with a coat of chocolate. If you’ve filled your hands with goodies and drinks, grab a convenient waffle on a stick, topped with your choice of whipped cream, chocolate or maple syrup.

Bratapfel, a traditional German apple dessert

Delicious German Drinks

If you’re still feeling chilly after all that food, grab a mug of traditional Gluehwein, a fruity cider drink infused with cinnamon sticks, vanilla, cloves, citrus and sugar. A non-alcoholic version is also available.

Unique German Christmas Gifts

This 700-year-old tradition allows Canadians the chance to buy some beautiful traditional German gifts. Delicate glass ornaments, nutcrackers, smokers, fruit-shaped soap, candles, steins and even fair-trade goods are available for purchase. If you’re shopping for a foodie, stop by the Dundarave Olive Oil company and grab a bottle of blueberry pomegranate balsamic vinegar or a garlic-infused olive oil. You can also pick up a box of German sweets including gingerbread and marzipan.

German Christmas Entertainment

Once you’re done eating and shopping, stop by the gazebo for some traditional German entertainment. There will be Christmas carollers, live string quartets and German folk dancers to enjoy throughout the day.

Traditional German folk dance

Vancouver Christmas Market Information

This year’s Vancouver Christmas Market is at 650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza. Remember to dress warmly with wool coats and mittens as it is as an outdoor market. Buy your tickets at the market or check out online deals for discounted passes. Bypass the lineups with a VIP Fastpass or take a friend to lunch with the Christmas Market lunch pass.

The Vancouver Christmas Market is open every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.  The market closes on December 24th, 2011. Most vendors accept cash only so avoid the ATM lineups and bring cash.

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