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Restaurants Vancouver

Culinary Adventurer: Mijune Pak

By SHERI RADFORD
Oct. 2018

Mijune Pak takes a break in Coal Harbour Bar, overlooking the West Building of the Vancouver Convention Centre (Photo by KK Law)

“I’ve always loved food,” Mijune Pak says with a laugh. “I’ve always had a big appetite.” The vivacious Vancouverite doesn’t look like someone who eats for a living. Her slim build, flawless skin and perfectly stylish outfits, always matched with sky-high heels, suggest a model, not a voracious eater who visited 524 restaurants last year. (more…)

Vancouver’s Craft Beer Circuit

Not sure where to start when it comes to Vancouver’s craft beer scene? In two of the city’s hoppiest hoods, plenty of local breweries are just a hop, sip and jump away

By JILL VON SPRECKEN + Photos by KK LAW
Oct. 2018

33 Acres

Brewery Creek

Anchored by trendy Main Street, Brewery Creek is the epicentre of Vancouver’s craft brewing revival. It’s a fitting evolution for the historic area, as the city’s first brewery was established here—Vancouver Brewery, in 1889. Now the edgy neighbourhood is studded with chic tasting rooms and more beer varieties than you can shake a stout at.

33 Acres

The pristine aesthetic of this brewery’s tasting room could be lifted from the pages of Architectural Digest magazine, the perfect backdrop for the line-up of approachable brews on tap. Quench your thirst with sips like 33 Acres of Life, a California-common-style beer, or 33 Acres of Darkness, a toasty dark lager. Plus, the extensive menu pleases all palates with espresso beverages and locally sourced bites that range from warm German pretzels to poached eggs to steak sandwiches. 

Brassneck

A rotating roster of small-batch, experimental beers—they’ve brewed more than 100 different varieties so far, and counting—keeps this lively tasting room hopping, while reclaimed wood and zany artwork make it an ideal spot to sit and sip awhile. This is a great place to bend your beer boundaries, but be sure to add the flagship Passive Aggressive to your tasting paddle. Still a fan favourite, the dry-hopped pale ale was the first beer ever brewed here. 

Red Truck

Red Truck

Thirsty? Luckily, finding this no-nonsense brewery is easy—a 24-m- (79-ft-) tall water tower marks the spot. The retro-meets-industrial taproom pours no-fuss favourites like the Road Trip Classic Lager, Czech Point Red Pilsner and Round Trip Amber Ale. If you’re hungry too, pair your sipper with diner-style dishes like loaded hot dogs, chilli, burgers and wings. Or for a throwback treat with an adults-only update, try a beer-and-ice-cream float. 

Main Street

Situated in a cheerful-looking heritage building, this bustling brewery’s high ceilings and exposed brick walls lend it a laid-back feel. A rotating menu of cask-conditioned beers complements seasonal selections and year-round staples, like the Main Street Pilsner and the Old Knights Pale Ale, with its subtle splash of pine and citrus. The casual menu features a range of beer-appropriate bites, like soft pretzels, nachos and tacos, that are the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon spent sipping. 

Parallel 49

East Vancouver

More than a dozen breweries and taprooms dot this up-and-coming neighbourhood—also known as Yeast Van—including local stalwarts that led the craft beer charge. Exploring on foot? Note that this area is more spread out than its Brewery Creek counterpart, so plan for longer distances between pints. Other options include tours with companies like Vancouver Brewery Tours (page 64), or doing as the locals do and using pedal power.

Parallel 49

Cartoony labels and tongue-in-cheek names—like the Trash Panda Hazy IPA, Wobbly Pop Pale Ale, and Schadenfreude Pumpkin Oktoberfest—have been this microbrewery’s calling card since they opened their doors in 2012. The recently revamped tasting room is just as eye-catching: a food truck parked inside the brewery will crush any food cravings, while the rotating taps keep pace with even the most enthusiastic beer lover’s thirst for new brews. 

Strathcona Beer Company

This concrete-and-wood-trimmed brewery is decked out with communal tables and cozy booths—choose your seat depending on how friendly you’re feeling. On tap, the ever-changing offerings may include favourites like the well-balanced Premium Pilsner, the lemon-and-mandarin-infused Beach Radler or the hazy N.E. IPA. If you’re planning to stay awhile, the food menu features gourmet thin-crust pizzas, alongside seasonal salads and snacks like popcorn and charcuterie. 

Andina Brewing Company

Andina

The yellow façade adorned with the brewery’s female mascot—known as La Pola, after a Colombian heroine who helped the country gain independence—makes this cheerful taproom hard to miss. The South American flavour extends to the brewery, the first in Canada to use Patagonia malt. For the full experience, pair a sugarcane-spiked Melcocha Andean Ale with one of the many varieties of ceviche or plantain chips. 

Storm Brewing

Looking for a truly unique tasting room experience? This pint-sized brewery delivers just that. Established long before the craft beer craze, this unpretentious space is famous for seriously inventive small-batch beers (appropriately called “brainstorms”) that include past pours like Peanut Butter Cup Stout, Cherry Bomb Ale and Pineapple Paradise Pilsner. But take note: this madcap brewery is a gritty, standing-room-only space that offers samples of their beers—no pints or flights—served in plastic cups for a cash donation. Now that’s an experience. 

Little Juke: Fowl Play at its Best

By SHERI RADFORD
Oct. 2018

Chow down on gloriously gluten-free fried chicken and a whole host of other delicious dishes at Little Juke

Vancouverites have been flocking to Juke in Chinatown ever since it opened two years ago, to devour the crispy fried chicken, spicy coleslaw and French fries. Now local foodies are all atwitter about the second location, in the West End. Little Juke may be smaller than the original, but it has even more mouth-watering offerings, including rotisserie chicken, fried chicken sandwiches, Vietnamese-inspired nuoc cham ribs and mac-and-cheese poppers. Some weekend-morning advice: the early bird gets the fried chicken and waffles, while the sleepyhead gets to wait in line for brunch.

Quintessentially Canadian Cuisine

By TIM PAWSEY
Sep. 2018

Enjoy dishes such as house-smoked salmon with beets, crème fraîche and fingerling chips at Edible Canada (Photo by KK Law)

Right across from the Granville Island Public Market, Edible Canada celebrates all things comestible and Canadian. The patriotic bistro beckons with local and pan-continental tastes, from Dungeness crab risotto to Northern Alberta elk tartare to wild BC salmon with miso-apple butter. Ingredients are always sustainably sourced and seafood dishes certified Ocean Wise, while smaller, hard-to-find Okanagan and Vancouver Island producers head the wine list. No time to eat or drink? No worries. An adjoining store yields a trove of easy-to-pack gourmet souvenirs.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Oceanside Eats: Earls Ambleside

By TIM PAWSEY

Settle in at scenic Earls on Ambleside Beach to enjoy a West Coast ahi tuna salad (front) or spicy tuna roll (back)

A quick trip across the Lions Gate Bridge leads to Earls on Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver. The shoreside spot sports a different personality from other Earls locations, with more of a California vibe. Right on the promenade, the patio offers views of the bridge and Stanley Park. The menu features classics such as crispy calamari, West Coast ahi tuna salad and Cajun chicken, but also offers vegan-friendly, plant-based options. Topping it off, a beverage list with no shortage of BC purveyors. Tip: hop on the 257 express bus from downtown to bypass traffic.

Tapas Time

By TIM PAWSEY
Aug. 2018

At España, specialties include (L-R) crispy pork belly and morcilla, roasted beets with goat’s cheese and apples, and marinated anchovies on toast (Photo by KK Law)

Small plates come in all shapes and sizes. However, purists in search of classic styles head to España in the West End, where the focus is very much Spanish. Menu offerings wander from crispy anchovy-stuffed olives, chicken-liver pâté on toast and patatas bravas to grilled chorizo and morcilla (blood sausage), a daily paella and top-tier jamón ibérico de bellota. An excellent sherry selection straddles the entire range of styles, while savvy flights complement the array of specialty charcuterie and Spanish cheeses. For other authentic pintxos purveyors, head to Gastown’s The Sardine Can, Main Street’s Bodega or Cabrito, a bustling haunt on Commercial Drive.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Fashion Designers Laurence & Chico’s Weird, Wonderful Cafe

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Aug. 2018

Inside Laurence & Chico Café (Photo by Leila Kwok)

If you’ve ever wanted to peek inside the mind of a fashion designer, head to Laurence & Chico Café. The Vancouver- and New York–based duo is known for weird and wonderful couture collections, and their cafe offers a glimpse into their world. Stepping inside is like falling down the rabbit hole—think plush chairs adorned with tentacle armrests, fringe-embellished stools and a bathroom bursting with 2,000 rubber ducks. On the menu, find local coffees, house-made pastries, fresh-pressed juices and an afternoon tea that would earn the Mad Hatter’s approval. Welcome to Wonderland.

Oceanside Eats

By TIM PAWSEY
Aug. 2018

Mussels, Dungeness crab, Atlantic lobster and more, at Beach Bay Café (Photo by KK Law)

Water views bring an added dimension to truly diverse marine cuisine. English Bay—summer central—is home to Beach Bay Café and Patio, where seasonal plates celebrate regional, Ocean Wise ingredients. The catch includes West Coast chowder, seafood linguine, mussels and clams in white wine and shallot broth, and Nova Scotia lobster. Drop by for happy hour, book a sunset dinner or just grab some fish ’n’ chips to go. A few minutes away, just over the Burrard Bridge, The Boathouse presides over Kits Beach, with its wrap-around deck and roll-away glass walls that bring the view inside. Further west, at Jericho Beach, The Galley Patio & Grill is a local favourite for burgers and beers served overlooking the water, with views of Howe Sound and downtown. It’s a very popular spot, so lunch is your best bet.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Panoramic Pints in North Vancouver

By TIM PAWSEY
Aug. 2018

Views are on the menu at Tap & Barrel, alongside tuna tataki (front), the Tap Burger (centre) and pesto chicken linguine (back). (Photo by KK Law)

BC wine and beer on tap are at the heart of Tap & Barrel’s Shipyards location, situated at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver. Hop on the SeaBus to discover a different city perspective from the giant patio, with its sweeping harbour and downtown views. On the menu: creative pub fare that roams from burgers and sandwiches to pizza, fish ’n’ chips and more, as well as plenty of kid-friendly options. The popular (and very cooling) water feature right next door is an added bonus. Discover additional locations at the Vancouver Convention Centre and in Olympic Village.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

One Perfect Day: Fun for Foodies, Shopaholics & More

Whether you get fired up about food or are delighted by the outdoors, here’s how to make the most of your time in Vancouver

Vancouver’s northern waterfront at sunset (Photo by Barbershop Films/Tourism Vancouver)

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Aug. 2018

FOR FOODIES

Beat the crowds and kick off the day at Granville Island Public Market, a foodie’s paradise stocked with smoked salmon, gourmet cheese, baked goods and more. Peruse the wares while munching Lee’s Donuts or a croissant, but save space for a sit-down brunch at downtown’s popular Café Medina, known for heavenly Liège waffles and lavender lattes. (more…)

Truly Elevated Dining: Dinner in the Sky

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Award-winning chef Ned Bell (right) at Dinner in the Sky

Aug. 4 to Sep. 3, 2018 Suspend your disbelief: Dinner in the Sky really does whisk diners 30 m (100 ft) above picturesque Ambleside Park. Hoisted to heart-stopping heights by crane, the “dining room” has 360-degree ocean, mountain and city views. For additional thrills, the adventurous can lean their seats back for a fresh perspective. Award-winning chef Ned Bell (pictured at right) is along for the ride, so the gourmet and gravity-defying menu highlights local and sustainable fare. One thing’s certain: it’ll be a meal to remember.

The Scoop: Five Spots for Scream-Worthy Ice Cream

By CHLOË LAI
Jul. 2018

Photo ©Zivica Kerkez/Shutterstock.com

Ice cream fans, here’s the scoop: sink your sweet tooth into local, seasonal ingredients at Earnest Ice Cream and Rain or Shine, or take a walk on the wild side with Perverted Ice Cream to sample soft-serve with cheeky names like “Beg For S’more.” Artisanal offerings are flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen at Mister, while Umaluma brings impossibly creamy dairy-free gelato to the mindful masses, and packs it into crunchy gluten-free waffle cones. No wonder summer’s our favourite season.