Donuts in downtown Vancouver are hard to come by unless you count the franchise assembly line sort (Tim Hortons and 7-11), but we do not. Real donuts are born in neighborhood corner bakeries and the more specialized the better. In other words, the entire shop should be dedicated to donuts, otherwise it's just another bakery.
When Cartems Donuterie rolled onto the sketchy corner of Hastings and Carrall street as a "pop up" we were surprised that a high end donut shop could thrive at an intersection that was at one time better known for pushing pharmaceuticals instead of pastry. But over the last year hipster cafes have popped up in every nook and cranny in this neighborhood with a few hidden gems among them and Cartems Donuterie is on that list.
At 3 bucks a pop, Cartems donuts can be considered a premium but more for their gourmet flavorings than the price. Their donuts hold names like Bourbon Bacon, Sweet Heat (chili infused) and Lavender and you can't help but return to this corner for a fix until you've sampled all the far flung flavors. But fret not traditionalists because the Triple Chocolate Treat, Cinnamon Sugar, or Coconut Chocolate will satisfy your childhood sweet tooth fast.
While we still feel there's plenty of room downtown for an old school donut shop that only a mom & pop type joint can fill, Cartems Donuterie and their gourmet selection holds a special place in our hearts and palates and we recommend by-passing Tim's the next time you crave a donut and wander of here instead.