This weekend I was feeling the autumn rain blues, so what better time to get away for a vacation. However with the continuous need to be aware and careful in the midsts of the world’s pandemic, it is best to stay closer to home. So this weekend we were travelling 1.5 hours away for a staycation in Abbotsford. The need to drive further than my daily commute, and necessity to pack our carry on luggage added to the authenticity of our quickie vacation.
Continue reading to discover foodie hot spots and things to do and places to stay when looking to getaway in Abbotsford, British Columbia.
Our day started early so we stopped by Abbotsford’s Old Hand Coffee for our caffeine fix, and a small bite to set our day up right. They are a smaller coffee shop decorated with collectable tea spoons and miscellaneous portraits on the wall. Plenty of well lit seating makes for an ideal spot to sip and savour the day to come.
Such little shops are great for artisan coffees. So we tried their take on a cortado. A cortado is a beverage consisting of espresso mixed with a roughly equal amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity. The milk is steamed, but not frothy.
We also had to try their Ethiopia’s Luna coffee in “techno peach”. It did not disappoint as it tasted just as its name promised.
For snacks we nibbled on a savoury tart and a coconut and cardamom bun. The former was flakey pastry surrounding pesto, tomato, and feta filling. The latter chewy dough coated in icing and coconut flakes, then topped with a large dollop of sweet cream. All of which are unique treats you don’t often see at many generic coffee shops; lacking the same character and charm as this one of a kind shoppe.
Old Hand Coffee
2617 Pauline St, Abbotsford, BC V2S 3S2
Next we explored the 3-4 blocks that made up small town Abbotsford. All the businesses are one of a kind. Small wares and specialty goods, with not a chain in sight. Such stores make for great places to pick up presents and giftables at. Here are a few that we visited, as told through their press releases.
“Spruce Collective and the Market are operated by Kevi, Monica, Jessica, Lily, and Elisa. With different backgrounds, and years of experience in styling, design, and art, not to mention five sets of meticulous eyes scouring vintage hideaways for the most perfect treasures, the ladies are sure to inspire unforgettable affairs.”
2619 Montrose Ave, Abbotsford
“Montrose and George (M + G) is a boutique originally founded by two dear friends, Janet and Carli. M + G combines community spirit with a fresh take on merchandising– blending one part country with one part concept.”
Montrose & George General Store
33771 George Ferguson Way
“Cobblestone Kitchenware started in Abbotsford in July of 2011 originally as a sister store to Vinca’s Kitchen in Ladner. After a year and a half operating as Cobblestone Cottage Abbotsford, they noticed most of their customers, family and friends simply started to call the store Cobblestone. They wanted customers to know exactly what their specialty was so they added kitchenware below the name. It was recently renamed as Yes Chef!”
2619 Montrose Ave, Abbotsford
When we passed by, we had to join the continuous line up at Duft & Co. Bakehouse. Not equipped with seating room, this grab and go bakery is a local favourite. Here, you definitely order with your eyes from their handsome display spread across wooden boards and cake stands. Everything looked so good, it was so hard to choose.
We ended up grabbing an assorted collection boxed with their strong branding. We focused on peanut butter goods, as that is one of our favourite flavours.
On Saturdays only they carry a few doughnuts for purchase. Today’s collection included a sour cream cake doughnut, a salted peanut doughnut, and a vanilla glazed doughnut. Each coated and not stuffed, we ordered the one most decorated in peanuts. Our favourite out of our to go order was the peanut butter brownie croissant, which is exactly as it should. A chewy brownie hidden within a giant croissant coated in peanut butter icing and crushed peanuts. This one is memorable and worth driving down for.
Duft & Co. Bakehouse
#103, 2636 Montrose Ave, Abbotsford.
We would take our Spanish coffee from Duft & Co. to go, sampling a few items as we explored the city’s murals, and relaxed at the common areas and outdoor seating made available by the city.
A cargo container was refurbished into covered seating and old farm equipment repurposed into a bench. The city is full of these historical and artistic moments.
We eventually hit lunch time. And given all the sweets we have had previously, we looked for something more healthy and clean. Our wonder led us to the bright green exterior of Polly Fox cafe, better known for their gluten-free and vegan friendly goods. There, we found one of our favourite vegan dishes to date. For why you need to stop here whenever in Abbotsford, click the link for the full bakery and bistro review.
We would be staying the night in Abbotsford, so thought to take a break in our eating and check into our boutique hotel. Brookside Inn is located 15 minutes outside of downtown Abbotsford. A giant property surrounded by rural farmland. Equipped with individual suites carved out of a house. Units with their own living room, bed room, kitchenette, bathroom with shower and tub, plus 2 closets and a patio. For additional details on our stay and why you need to find yourself in their homey suites sooner than later, visit the link below.
Dinner came early at a highly recommended burger/fast food bar. Brgr Brgr is quickly being known for their team up with local farmers to provide locals with delicious burgers and sides that are fresh and never frozen. For the full review of one of Abbotsford’s newest eateries, visit the link below for what we had and what we recommend.
For something sweet after our rich and fried meal we turned to Banter Ice Cream, located within Jubilee Park. Small batch ice cream best served scooped on top of their in house made waffle cones. Their flavours rotate with every day favourites and seasonal specials. Earl grey, lemon curd, and cold brew coffee are best sellers. And for the vegans this fall there is a vegan matcha and vegan banana fudge.
We doubled up to be able to try more; pairing the available every day cinnamon toast crunch with the scout mint cookie and the seasonal pumpkin snickerdoodle with the ube x purple yam. All our chosen flavours tasted authentic and clean. None were too sweet or too much even when mismatched with one another. Though I just would have liked some cereal and cookie crunch with their corresponding ice cream for some texture. Similar to how great the cookie bits turned out for the mint.
Banter Ice Cream
33660 S Fraser Way, Abbotsford BC
After that we would turn in for the night to enjoy the peace within our Brookside “secret garden suite”. But not before taking a detour to the town’s Liquor for Less store. Where, as promised we were able to grab two bottles of wine for less than we would pay else where private or public.
Next morning we planned on enjoying the nature that surrounds Abbotsford. Getting out and more physical to balance out our gluttony the day before. But before we did, we stopped at Habit for some healthy juices and bowls to go. They would serve as the perfect light lunch for our day of hiking and fishing in the Fraser Valley. For the full review on this healthy concept eatery, visit the link below.
For dinner on the last night of our weekend staycation getaway, we sought out the warmth and lively energy of a local brewery. I always say that the best way to get better acquainted with the folks in a city is through their local breweries. I have already enjoyed store bought beers from Fieldhouse Brewing, so it was nice to be able to try them on tap tonight. For more on their beers and the food you can order to pair with them, visit the recap review by hitting the link below.
In conclusion, a vacation is what you make of it, and there is plenty to see and do as close as Abbotsford. Exploring a city new to you and experiencing it as the locals do certainly put a bandaid on our travel fever, and I highly suggest Abbotsford anyone wanting a change of scenery. The air is cleaner, the food is fresher, and the folks friendlier. I hope you are able to utilize my guide and visit Abbotsford for the weekend yourself.