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Bars Vancouver

2018 Where to Dine Awards: Vancouver

At Five Sails, enjoy pan-seared bass piccata, vegetables and golden fingerling potatoes in a lemon-and-caper butter sauce—and, of course, the incredible view of Coal Harbour

Our annual Where to Dine Awards pay tribute to the hardworking folks who make Vancouver such a food-lover’s paradise

Photos by KK LAW

Critics’ Choice

Five Sails Restaurant

Vancouver’s abundant dining options can overwhelm a hungry traveller, but Les Clefs d’Or always know the newest hotspots, the tried-and-true stalwarts and the hidden gems. These dedicated concierges won’t steer you wrong, and this year their top pick is Five Sails. Perched right on the waterfront, this perennial favourite expertly combines stellar West Coast cuisine with warm service and stunning views of the mountains, inner harbour and Stanley Park. Linger over poached lobster, roasted sablefish or smoked duck breast while watching floatplanes land and cruise ships depart. And make sure to peruse the wine list, which showcases selections from BC’s Okanagan region.—SR (more…)

Seasonal Sips: Pumpkin Ale

Oct. 2017

Bradley Moffatt with one of the fall offerings at Central City. (Photo by KK Law)

Well before Halloween, the city’s talented craft brewers turn their attention to pumpkin ales. And the results are anything but scary. Styles can range from dry and spicy to sweet and fruity. But the flavours, often with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove hints, are always authentic. For a truly seasonal sip, swing by Central City for Red Racer Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Ale. Head to Devil’s Elbow Ale & Smoke House in the Stadium District for the Pumpkineater Imperial Pumpkin Ale. At Steamworks in Gastown, sip some pumpkin ale and get a glimpse of the harbour. Or, to discover a range of styles, try a flight at St. Augustine’s in East Van, with over 60 beers and ciders from near and far on tap.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit www.hiredbelly.com

In Good Spirits: Meet Four Award-Winning Vancouver Bartenders

Oct. 2017

Raise a glass to four bartenders who are shaking up the local cocktail scene. (Photo by KK Law)

“Sweetheart, do you know how to make an Old Fashioned?” 

Female bartenders hear a variation of this question every day—proof that there’s still a long way to go when it comes to gender assumptions. But Vancouver has a bevy of fierce females who are defying stereotypes and shattering glass ceilings.

The first woman to win the Diageo World Class Canada bartending competition, and Vancouver magazine’s Bartender of the Year for 2015, Lauren Mote has revamped the cocktail lists at Yew, Café Medina and Burdock & Co. and spent years behind the pine at Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar. She’s also the co-founder of Bittered Sling Bitters, which makes award-winning bitters and extracts, and the Diageo Reserve & World Class Global Cocktailian. (more…)

Renaissance of the Railway Stage & Beer Café


Rack up the good times at one of the oldest venues in town. (Photo by KK Law)

When the long-running Railway Club (dating from the 1930s) closed, a furor erupted over the loss of the downtown venue. After a year’s hiatus, the upstairs club was reincarnated as the Railway Stage & Beer Café. The remodelled-but-quirky space maintains its heritage feel, paying tribute to its forerunner with bric-a-brac recalling its long musical past. The new edition ups the suds ante with an impressive, mainly local 24 taps and—continuing the tradition of live acts—often blends beer with blues, boogie, jazz and joke nights. All-day fare includes freshly made soups, sandwiches and salads, such as a kale and romaine Caesar that can be topped with smoked turkey sausage, grilled avocado or blackened chicken.

Andina Brewing Joins the Local Beer Scene


Sample a few of the unique beers at Andina Brewing. (Photo: KK Law)

Sample a few of the unique beers at Andina Brewing. (Photo: KK Law)

The latest addition to the city’s burgeoning beer scene, Andina Brewing makes beer with a difference. The Amaya family, who hail from Columbia, take great pride in blending their native culture with that of their adopted home. The brewery is the first in Canada to use Patagonia Malt—and the results are impressive: Totuma, a well-balanced, refreshing Kölsch; the heartily hopped but also gently honeyed Monita Blonde IPA; Melcocha Andean Mild Ale, with a hint of molasses; and easy-drinking, copper-toned and malty Ay Ay Ay. Sample them all and more, including wines and cocktails in the tasting lounge, which also serves excellent Columbian bites. Don’t overlook the revolving selection of ceviches, with plantain chips. Vivid yellow, with its 18-m- (60-ft-) tall mural of “La Pola” girl, Andina’s building is hard to miss—and already a popular East Van landmark.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

A+ Activities: Our Favourite Reasons to Visit UBC

Find the best places to eat, explore and be entertained at the University of British Columbia. School may be out for summer, but this lush coastal campus is packed with hidden gems for every visitor, from orchestra aficionados and art connoisseurs to golfers and nature lovers


The Museum of Anthropology is home to an impressive collection of totem poles. (Photo: KK Law)

The Museum of Anthropology is home to an impressive collection of totem poles. (Photo: KK Law)

Art History

Fancy a bit of a scavenger hunt? This campus is a veritable outdoor gallery, featuring an ever-evolving collection of art installations just waiting to be discovered. The most recent addition is the Reconciliation Pole, a towering 17-m (55-ft) totem pole carved by James Hart, a Haida master carver and hereditary chief. Intricate details etched into the 800-year-old red cedar tell the story of First Nations communities’ experiences before, during and after the traumatic residential school system—thousands of copper nails are hammered into the wood, each commemorating a child who died at a residential school. Other totem poles around campus include the Musqueam Post by Brent Sparrow Jr., and the Victory Through Honour pole by Calvin Hunt and Merv Child.

For contemporary art, step into the crisp white rooms of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, where avant-garde artists and innovative exhibitions take centre stage. Download or print their info sheet to take a sunny self-guided outdoor art tour—and keep an eye out for the delightful Classical Toy Boat by Glenn Lewis, which isn’t on the list. If you’ve only got time for one destination, venture across Marine Drive to find the Museum of Anthropology tucked away amongst the trees. With one of the finest collections of First Nations art and artifacts in the world, as well as impressive exhibits spanning every culture from Asia to the Amazon, it’s an absolute must-see. (more…)

2016 Where to Dine Awards: Vancouver


Beef chow mein, at Torafuku. (Photo: KK Law)

Beef chow mein, at Torafuku. (Photo: KK Law)

Welcome to Where’s 20th annual celebration of Vancouver’s remarkable dining scene. In just a couple of decades the city has blossomed into a culinary crossroads, a melting pot of myriad flavours, unbridled talents and influences that now shape a global destination. Our chefs, servers, sommeliers, growers, fishers, farmers and vintners share in a culture driven by sustainable, regional and seasonal sourcing—in the firm belief that the best is still to come. (more…)

Football Fever: Grey Cup 2014

The Grey Cup makes its way to Vancouver, bringing fast-paced football and four days of celebrations that go way beyond the usual end-zone dance


    The 102nd Grey Cup Championship Game will take place in Vancouver, November 30

The 102nd Grey Cup Championship Game will take place in Vancouver, November 30

From the stands at BC Place Stadium to the streets of Vancouver, the 102nd Grey Cup promises to have fans on their feet for a weekend of football and festivities. The Canadian Football League (CFL) championship game will see the sports arena packed to capacity with 52,000 cheering fans on game day. But the celebrations don’t start—or end—there. Street festivals, a parade and concerts featuring Trooper, Tim Hicks, Hey Ocean! and 54-40 mean there’s just as much excitement outside the stadium as inside. (more…)