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Where to Eat Vancouver

West Coast Cuisine at West Restaurant

By TIM PAWSEY

Oct. 2019

At West, Bobby Milheron serves seasonal delights such as (clockwise from L) roasted ling cod, smoked carrots and braised kale; and beetroot salad (Photo by Leila Kwok)

For the ultimate in West Coast cuisine, head to South Granville’s West Restaurant. Executive chef Bobby Milheron presents farm-to-table ingredients with precisely honed flair and creativity, all in an elegant and modern wood-trimmed setting. Dishes evolve with the seasons, but hallmarks include Yarrow Meadows duck breast with kohlrabi, apricots and almonds; soy-sake-glazed Haida Gwaii sablefish; and Maple Hill chicken with grilled leeks, porcini puree and roasted maitake mushrooms. Service is seamless and wine pairings impeccable. The irresistible desserts include a Guanaja chocolate soufflé with poured vanilla crème anglaise. Not to be missed: the current prix fixe menu and the all-encompassing chef’s tasting menu.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Pampered Pubbing at Ballyhoo Public House

By TIM PAWSEY

Oct. 2019

Enjoy local craft beers, cocktails, high tea sandwiches and more at Ballyhoo Public House (Photo by KK Law)

Handy to cinemas and nightlife, downtown’s newly launched Ballyhoo Public House is a welcoming spot to enjoy local craft beers and smartly conceived cocktails. Drop by for high tea of devilled egg or avocado cream cheese sandwiches. Then hang at the bar with a refreshing Aperol Spritz or Bally gin and tonic. Traditional pub grub takes a back seat on this more contemporary menu, with the likes of crispy cauliflower, shishito peppers, an arugula and roasted chicken salad bowl, and a quartet of creative pizzas.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Talking Trees: Cultural Tour and Dining Experience

By SHERI RADFORD

Oct. 2019

ALL YEAR Vancouver is known as the modern and sparkling City of Glass, but it also has an ancient forest right in its heart. Stanley Park is a must-see, and to experience it in an unusual way, Talaysay Tours has teamed up with Arc Restaurant in the Fairmont Waterfront to offer Talking Trees. This unique cultural experience takes visitors into the heart of the park with an Indigenous guide, in order to learn about traditional uses for local trees and plants. Afterwards, dinner at Arc features an Indigenous-inspired menu that brings the day’s lessons to life—in the most delicious way possible. Who knew local history could be so fascinating, and taste so good? 

East Meets West at Blossom Dim Sum & Grill

By TIM PAWSEY

Oct. 2019

At Blossom, every dim sum dish is made fresh daily, with zero MSG (Photo by KK Law)

An airy upstairs destination at Bute and Robson, Blossom Dim Sum & Grill takes fusion to the next level. Truly a merging of culinary cultures, the menu blends Asian inspiration with the freshest of West Coast ingredients. Tantalizing tastes include albacore tuna tataki with local black garlic and ponzu dressing; sweet ’n’ sour Sakura pork; bison rib eye; and seared sablefish with rice cake, baby bok choy and mushroom ponzu. A must for visitors, dim sum yields pork belly buns, tofu prawn tarts, mushroom dumplings with black truffle aioli, and more.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Granville Island Bites: Popina Canteen

By TIM PAWSEY

Sep. 2019

Chow down on the East Coast lobster roll (top) or dig into fish ‘n’ chips (bottom) at Popina (Photo by KK Law)

Four top chefs are behind view-kissed Popina Canteen, an outdoor eatery on the wharf beside the Granville Island Public Market. Stalwarts Angus An, Hamid Salimian, Joël Watanabe and Robert Belcham blend their distinctive styles in a collaboration that features everything from East Coast lobster rolls and grass-fed-beef cheeseburgers to steamed Dungeness crab and a cornucopian seafood tray. Go early to try their popular puffcreams: soft-serve ice cream in a freshly baked creampuff. (We recommend Turkish Delight.) Or drop by for an “adult” pink lemonade or a Bourbon Smash. Most scenic way to get there? Hop aboard False Creek Ferries from the Aquatic Centre, Science World or the east foot of Davie Street.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Vancouver’s Hottest Brunch Spots

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Aug. 2019

Delicious waffles at Café Medina (Photo: Amy Ho)

Forget most important meal of the day—in Vancouver, brunch is the most important meal of the weekend. For proof, just look to the queues (rain or shine) outside the city’s hottest brunch spots. It’s worth the wait at Café Medina, famed for heavenly Liège waffles topped with milk-chocolate lavender sauce and Mediterannean-inspired brunch dishes like tagine. Perfectly poached eggs are on the menu at Yolks . Build your own eggs Benny or add them to French toast—and don’t miss the truffle-lemon hash browns. At Forage, rise and shine to capital-L local and capital-D delicious fare like corned-bison hash or duck-and-kale-topped frittata. There are no sleepy brunch staples at Jam Cafe , where red velvet pancakes are drizzled with cream cheese, and French toast is topped with fried chicken and pickled cabbage. Dishes like croque monsieur and ratatouille with eggs add French finesse to friendly Twisted Fork Bistro . Homestyle-themed Honey Salt brings a farm-to-table approach to everything from potato latkes to chicken and waffles. Try the Monkey Bread with honey bourbon sauce (and thank us later).

Friday Night, Market Night

By SHERI RADFORD

Friday nights are lively at the Shipyards Night Market

To Sep. 27, 2019 The hottest place to be on a Friday evening isn’t an underground nightclub—it’s the Shipyards Night Market. This lively spot on the North Shore buzzes with activities for the whole family. Local bands perform, encouraging spectators to shimmy and shake. More than 30 food trucks feed the hungry hordes, while a 19+ beer garden guarantees plenty of top tipples from BC breweries and wineries, to wash down all those delicious meals. An artisan marketplace has a wealth of local products to discover, from jewellery to baked goods. And the best part? No secret handshake (or cover charge) required.

A Taste of Greece at Hydra Estiatorio

By TIM PAWSEY
Aug. 2019

Forno flatbread, grilled octopus and tomato salad, at Hydra (Photo: KK Law)

Wander into the luxurious EXchange Hotel to discover newly unveiled Hydra Estiatorio, under a soaring atrium with sunny decor that transports you to the Greek islands. Check in at the long bar for mezzes and creative cocktails. Or linger over specialties that include forno-roasted leg of lamb, pan-roasted salmon and catch of the day either grilled or baked. Globally sourced vintages include a rare and respectable nod to the home country, including Moschofilero, Assyrtiko and Xinomavro. The cafe downstairs serves light bites and espressos until mid-afternoon, when the wine bar takes over for botanical cocktails, canapés and vino by the glass.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Alto Alfresco: Perfect Outdoor Dining

By TIM PAWSEY
Jul. 2019

Lift’s picture-perfect patio (Photo: KK Law)

Looking for that perfect table outdoors? Some of the best are out of sight, even upstairs. On the Coal Harbour seawall, Lift Bar-Grill-View  dazzles with panoramic views and all creature comforts. Drop by for lunch of fish ‘n‘ chips or red crab salad sandwich. Linger over dinner of prawns tempura, smoked duck breast or ahi tuna with deep-fried avocado and apple chutney. Well-matched wines play a strong BC suit. Find more uplifting tastes at Joe Fortes , Black + Blue and the Earls on Robson Street. Or, for the ultimate in “elevated” dining, head to Altitudes Bistro atop Grouse Mountain.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Vancouver’s Plant-Based Eateries

By TIM PAWSEY
Jul. 2019

(Clockwise from L) Medi Benny with enoki mushrooms, savoury Mezze Tasting plates and the Silk Road, at Aleph Eatery (Photo: KK Law)

Home of the 100-mile diet, Vancouver has always been a culinary trendsetter. No surprise that plant-based fare is on a roll. East Side Aleph Eatery’s  Middle Eastern inspirations sport the freshest of regional ingredients, perked up with traditional spices. Standouts include the Silk Road, an appetizer plate of hummus, baba ganouj, labneh, zaatar and honey; crispy potatoes with tahini, roasted peppers and thyme; turmeric cauliflower; cashew coconut curry; and plenty more. The room is airy, relaxed—and truly welcoming. For more formal West Coast fare, head to Main Street’s acclaimed The Acorn. Longest-running vegetarian haunt? Legendary The Naam —since flower-powered 1968.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

10 Years of Beers: Vancouver Craft Beer Festival

By CHLOË LAI

Photo by Mark Yue

To Jun. 9, 2019 British Columbia was once known for its lumber industry, but these days our calling card is of a frothier, more festive variety: craft beer. Score a pint (or three) of BC’s finest brews at venues across the city during Vancouver Craft Beer Week. Canada’s first-ever craft beer week turns 10 this year—and it’s spent that decade ramping up our city’s reputation for world-class suds. Raise a glass to more than 100 breweries and cideries, including Vancouver’s Postmark Brewing, Abbotsford’s Field House Brewing Co. and Cobble Hill’s Merridale Cidery & Distillery. Plus, it’s all paired with live music, food trucks, mural painting, and beer tours on 15-passenger bikes. Craft-beer fans, welcome to your hoppy place.

Get the Scoop: Local Artisanal Ice Cream

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
May 2019

Photo ©Zivica Kerkez/Shutterstock.com

Vancouver has a sweet side—and it’s stocked with artisanal ice cream. Handmade small-batch scoops crafted from local ingredients are common to this trend, as are fun flavour combos and vegan options. Rain or Shine serves up handcrafted flavours like Blueberry Balsamic. On Taco Tuesday, get it in a delightfully messy taco-shaped waffle cone. Expect round-the-block queues at Earnest Ice Cream, where hyper-local, seasonal scoops like Spruce Bud are complemented by classic from-scratch flavours like Salted Caramel. When the folks at Mister say “small batch,” they mean it—everything is made to order using liquid nitrogen. Plant-based and dairy-free gelato in an astonishing number of flavours are Umaluma’s claim to fame. On the other side of the spectrum, La Glace’s pretty parlour churns up French-style scoops, meaning more eggs and more cream. Founded by award-winning gelato maestro James Coleridge, Uno Gelato is always adding new flavours to perennial favourites like Akbar Mashti (saffron) and Amarena Cherry. Sweet stuff.