You could call me a pastry aficionado. Everywhere I go, I know a bakery or cafe that serves up the flaky, puffy, perfectly baked and sweetened product of the most refined baker’s love. Excellence in a chocolate croissant or an affectionately mastered fruit galette are equal to the glory of a deep powder day or bluebird alpine conditions. Sometimes sweetness comes in the form of snow, other times in pure sugar. Revelstoke, BC, offers sweetness of both varieties, and if you want the latter, you must find The Modern Bakeshop and Cafe.
A melting pot of guides, ski area employees, slouchy hats, dirtbag vagabonds and Revelstoke professionals form the lineup at this nurturing hub. Fresh bread, tasty cookies, cakes and desserts line the display. Soups, breakfast burritos and small lunches are available for those lacking a sweet tooth (read: boring people). The Modern is a gluttony jackpot just as the surrounding Selkirk Mountains are a skier’s Shangri-La. Here are a few pointers for your visit:
Go every day of the week, except Sunday. Keeping to its small-town vibe, the cafe goes on vacation one day a week—Sunday. I’ve had countless disappointed Sundays, driving all the way back to Bellingham without having said goodbye to The Modern. The café is open Monday-Saturday from 7 to 5 p.m.
Bring a book instead of a laptop. The free customer WiFi has gone away at The Modern. Just like all good cafés, it is just not as warm and fuzzy if everyone is staring at a computer screen. I’ve cursed the absence of WiFi at times, like when, after weeks on Roger’s Pass, I’m feeling a desperate need to“work.” Share a table and talk to a stranger instead.
Go on Tuesday for the Glory Bowl. For $7.50, you get brown rice, shredded carrots , cabbage and tofu. It’s a cheap, healthy lunch and will balance all the sugar you’ve consumed in the form of galettes.
Drink an Oso Negro Americano. I’m not a coffee drinker. Really. It makes me feel crazy. But whenever I’m in BC, I make an exception for the Oso Negro double Americano (for the espresso illiterate, that’s espresso shots with a hint of water). The baristas at The Modern rarely change, and they’re practiced. Oso Negro is roasted in the hippie-chic epicenter of Nelson, British Columbia, where everything is done with love—the art, skiing and coffee.
Show up early. If you’re not there early, then you’re not skiing. And that’s a problem.
And for all the gentlemen: Don’t wax dramatic about the badass descents you’ve made recently on Roger’s Pass to impress the local lady in line. The often behind-the-scenes female rippers in Revelstoke boast ski and snowboard resumes that should embarrass the average male pro skier. Seriously.