Sodloko Ukrainian Bakery is located on one of New Westminster’s better-known streets. The signage is what caught my eye, best borsch in Canada according to your grandmother? Well, I definitely needed to try it!
I started a job a mere block away from the bakery so my curiosity got the better of me during one of my lunch hours and I have not looked back since! Now, I don’t know about the best borsch in Canada but it certainly is pretty darn good! The bakery has a number of traditional Ukrainian fare, from borsch (of course!) to pierogies, cabbage rolls, and baked goods. All of the food is made in-house with fresh, real ingredients and no artificial anything or preservatives. I have tried several of their menu items and have yet to find something that I don’t absolutely drool over!
Let’s start with the famous borsch. It has 10 simple ingredients, plus they offer a meat and a vegan option. It is served with a generous helping of sour cream and a pretty hefty slice of freshly baked bread options: dark rye, sourdough, or buckwheat for your tasting pleasure. All of their bread is made without yeast and they offer whole loaves to take home at just $5. Fresh from the oven and delicious! The borsch is very filling and I don’t have any other word to describe it aside from tasty! It is definitely chock full of cabbage and beets, the vegan option has beans and the meat option is with pork. I have tasted both and I could not choose a favourite. They are both delicious. Solodko Bakery also has the option of a family size 2Lt bucket of borsch to take home. I was able to share this bucket with my younger sister and she now has a standing order for me to bring some with me every time I visit her. Pairing that bucket with a freshly baked loaf of bread is the perfect combination for a family dinner.
Of the baked goods, just perfect for tea time or that afternoon coffee break on my “flexible dieting” days, my favourite is the dark chocolate babka. But that’s because I’m a sucker for chocolate. This thing is like heaven in my mouth. Not overly sweet with a slight crunch from the crust. The old-school apple strudel is definitely full of apple, a little tartness and sweet rolled into a perfect pastry, the apples were not soggy like you would expect them to be but still maintained a bit of the crispness of the fresh fruit. The cinnamon pletenka has definitely given the good old cinnamon roll a run for its money! I loved that cinnamon taste, again, with a slight crispiness that I found perfect for dunking, but can be enjoyed bite by bite as well. Then there’s the makovik with a dense poppy seed filling, the consistency of the pastry reminded me of a scone and the filling was light, even though the size of the pastry is pretty large (I personally had to share it, or eat half now and half later) it was not dense, it had a delightful lightness to it that is hard to describe until you actually try it.
I have not tried their pierogies (in potato & dill, meat & onion, sauerkraut, or sweet options) or cabbage rolls, yet, but they are on my list to try next and I am convinced that they will be as amazing as the rest of the items that I have tried. Both of those have a family-size, take home option so it will be very easy for me to bring some to share next time I visit one of my sisters. So far I have made a ritual of getting borsch every Friday for lunch. I am usually not a creature of habit but this is one “habit” that I will keep going for as long as I work at the office nearby. I look forward to my Friday borsch lunch!
Solodko Ukrainian Bakery is located at 444 Sixth St. in New Westminster and they are open 7 days a week from 10am to 7pm. They have very friendly and helpful staff who is more than happy to answer any questions or about their menu (and may even give you an extra-large slice of bread for your soup!). You can also find them on Facebook.