The art of the doughnut

Cartems' earl grey and carrot cake doughnuts. Image: Cartems

Cartems Donuterie opened last Wednesday at Carrall and West Hastings bringing the fancified doughnut to Gastown. Demand shows that Vancouver’s #1 culinary hive was keen to have their own version of Seattle’s Top Pot, Portland’s Voodoo and San Francisco’s Dynamo; Cartems has sold out of doughnuts before 3pm every day since.

Cartems’ founder Jordan Cash turns age-old dough frying into epicurean endeavor, serving over 10 varieties including honey pecorino, carrot cake (pictured above), earl grey (pictured above), citrus glazed, maple bacon, triple chocolate, vegan and gluten free. He’s leasing the six month Gastown pop-up shop from Sean Heather, the mastermind behind the Gastown hospitality empire that includes Irish Heather Gastropub, Salt Tasting Room, Judas Goat and the new Bitter Tasting Room.

Find out more about Cartems Donuterie and weigh in on the best doughnut in Vancouver after the jump.

Cartems' beesting doughnut with honey and pecorino; Image: Cartems

More about Cartems Donuterie pop-up shop in Gastown

Like neighbouring Gastown restos, Cartems is all about using quality, locally-sourced ingredients to inspire the menu. Cash and co-pastry chefs use organic flour and dairy from BC farms; they fry their upscale treats in organic coconut oil. All doughnuts are handmade.

The shop at 408 Carrall is open 10am-3pm Monday to Friday and 11am-3pm Saturday. You’ll probably meet the Cash and chefs as they sling donuts to a line that snakes around the corner onto West Hastings. Cash is looking for a permanent in location in Gastown, which he thinks is the ideal neighbourhood for Cartems.

The best doughnut in Vancouver?

Almost every culture has a version of the doughnut. But which is the best? Most Vancouverites cut their teeth on Timmy Ho’s. Moving beyond the ubiquitous timbits and sundries, there are other innovative doughnuts in town that predate Cartems.

Granville Island’s famed Public Market is home to Lee’s Donuts, purveyor of doughnut holes, cake doughnuts, fritters, raised doughnuts and crullers. Lee’s is known for their honey-glazed variety. Tourists and locals also make Saturday morning pilgrimages for the super-sized mango-filled, coconut cream-filled, chocolate mint and apple fritters.

Doughnut shops are not the only players innovating the traditional yeast and cake doughnuts. Yew Restaurant + Bar in Four Seasons serves unparalleled bombolini – Italian beignets plumped with organic strawberries and vanilla cream – at their popular weekend brunch service.

Glowbal Grill Steaks & Satay in Yaletown is known for their doughnut-y, comfort food dessert available to the dinner crowd: Frosted beignets and apple fritters served with vanilla custard and salted caramel.

What’s your favourite doughnut in Vancouver? Weigh in by commenting below.

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