A Vancouver institution since1985, Italia Bakery has been baking from scratch as well as selling pasta and other Italian staples. We tried their entry in the challenge which was a Pistachio-Raspberry Croissant.
Perhaps a little ungainly compared to the competition but there was a lot of tasty croissant to be had here. The pastry itself had a decent flaky exterior and soft buttery interior. The topping included a generous amount of pistachio and pistachio cream icing. It was sliced open and spread with pistachio frangipane and fresh raspberries. It might have been the entry in the Vanfoodster's Croissant Challenge that we enjoyed the most just in terms of flavour (and that really is the point, isn't it?).
We tried a couple other of their specialties (to go) while we were at Italia Bakery. The first was the Torroncini. This was a shortbread cookie wrapped around chocolate nougat and topped with almonds. This was a rich and chocolaty treat if a little on the dense side. This was made to share.
Finally, who would go to IB (aka Cannoli King) without getting some cannoli? The small size are $3 each so we tried the raspberry, La Nonna (almond) and pistachio. All were assembled before our eyes and carefully packaged for us. Which was the best? I guess that depends on your preference. I think we enjoyed the pistachio but there are many other flavours to try on a different visit.
You can place an order on their web site for breads, pastries, cakes, pies and much more for pick up and possibly local delivery (it wasn't abundantly clear from their web site without being signed up). You can also seek out their "Cannoli King" food truck. We lined up social distance style and ordered at the bakery and our order was quickly ready. The folks working the counter were friendly and accomodating and there are a couple of tables available if you can't wait to get home to try your treats.
For what it's worth, we give Italia Bakery 4 out of 5.