Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Quest: Are you my Cannoli? Amici Caffe (The Drive, Vancouver, BC)

I was walking down Commercial Drive one day when a sandwich board sign stopped me in my tracks:

Fresh canoli? From where? The sign was right at the border of the small sidewalk seating area of Caffe Amici.

Quite naturally, as I have been on a quest that began with an innocent lunchtime canoli at La Dario Piazza Ristorante, I had to check it out.


When I reached the interior of the small cafe, I was kind of glad that the cashier / clerk was no where in sight. It gave me a little time to peruse the offerings in the display cooler. To my delight, I found these little gems:

I was pretty stoked since they looked identical to the one I had enjoyed at La Dario. (La Dario on the left, Caffe Amici on the right.)

See? Identical!!

I was so happy that I pretty much glowed all the way back to the car. I even gleefully attempted to take some photos of a cannoli *in* the car while stopped at a stoplight (you know, because I thought *my lap* would keep it from rolling around. It didn't. I got a sweater nicely dusted with suspect-looking white powder to prove it!). One cannoli didn't make it home. Another didn't make it to the fridge...and then there was one. :)

How was it, you ask?

And I have to ask in turn, Are you my canoli?

The truth is, perhaps I have built up the original cannoli too much! For in fact, if this *were* the bakery supplying to La Dario, they *must* be doing something different with the filling in their own premises.

While the cannoli shell was the same - crisp, thin, and light, and the roasted nuts which the filling was dredged in also the same, the filling seemed a hollow relation to what I remembered of that "fabled cannoli" a couple months ago.

That cannoli filling was creamy, light, and sweetened slightly. This cannoli filling was grainy, slightly heavier, and almost cloying in sweetness. In addition, it seemed to leave a slight chalkiness on the tongue.

What went wrong? How could the quest be so seemingly unfair??

The answer probably lies in the timing. I had La Dario's cannoli in March, when the weather was mild. It is May now, and slightly warmer. I'm guessing the warmer weather made the sugar in the filling crystalized, or some other kind of food chemistry that is beyond my realm. Perhaps that was the answer?

Or perhaps the answer is that I have to revamp the quest itself - so far my *favourite* cannoli, by far, has been the ones at Italia Bakery. *All of them*.

So, while I have probably found the makers of the Dario cannoli, I now want to find the *best* cannoli in Vancouver. Have any suggestions?

Caffé Amici

1344 Commercial Drive [map]

Vancouver BC

Phone: 604-255-7879

Caffe Amici on Urbanspoon


  1. They are twins...the garnishing on the left is chic.

  2. Still not it, ha? I hope you find "the one" soon!

  3. I tasted the cannoli at caffe amici and my god it was the best i ever had... lol when i went there the cashier was behind the counter and he was quite friendly i also tried their panni a definate must try. this place was very inviting and comfortable and now one of my favorites.

  4. Anonymous, I have to agree - so far it has been the best one I've had. I've been told that the most fantastic cannolis are in New York (of course), but until I get a chance to visit the Big Apple, Caffe Amici will have to do! :)

  5. I have the best cannoli in town, reply to setup a tasting. I sell only cannoli to a select few clients who appreciate the highest quality.

  6. Caffe Amici is under new ownership now and their cannoli is amazing if your around the Drive pop in and if you don't see it ask the girl will stuff em fresh especialy for you worth a second try

  7. Cafe Amici..under new ownership...yup. The previous owner was Mark, a young east indian man. Super nice guy, very sociable and respectful. The new owners are completely the opposite from what i've been told by about 5 long time customers who stopped going there when the new owner took over and was being rude and abusive. They also like to tow your car without warning if you park in the back of the cafe...something that was never a problem before. This place wont last will get shut down due to it's poor attitude toward customer will see soon.

  8. Anonymous, that's really unfortunate that the new management provide bad customer service. As always though, my quest for cannoli continues.... :)


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