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Where to Eat Vancouver

Taste Buds Take Flight at Freebird

By SHERI RADFORD

Mar. 2020

Freebird’s Taiwanese roast chicken is delicious

To say that Freebird specializes in Taiwanese roast chicken is an understatement. Their chicken is rubbed with salt, hung to dry, then slow-roasted to perfection. Ordering it is a no-brainer—the only challenging part is deciding whether to have it on rice, salad, roti flatbread or a croissant sandwich. You can even order a whole chicken to take with you. The man behind the magic is chef Angus An, also the mastermind who created Maenam and several other popular local eateries. Wherever he leads, our taste buds are happy to follow—even all the way to Taiwan.

Sweet Treats at Temper Chocolate & Pastry

By SHERI RADFORD

Mar. 2020

In the spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of…chocolate. That’s the case in West Vancouver, anyway, where Temper Chocolate & Pastry tempts with dark chocolate bars, milk chocolate and salted caramel cake, and chocolate-covered lemon peels. Not a chocoholic? Try the lemon tarts, candied ginger, or hazelnut toffee. And give the Easter Bunny a hand by picking up some sweet seasonal creations. No one will judge you if you buy an extra one (or several) for yourself.

Vancouver’s Cocktail Culture

By TIM PAWSEY

Mar. 2020

Bar manager Adam Domet crafts a Gastown Gimlet, at Pourhouse (Photo by KK Law)

The city’s tight-knit bartender community is a hotbed of creativity. At Pourhouse in Gastown, Adam Domet salutes the Prohibition era with his versions of the tipples that lured Americans from their home shores to imbibe legally. The long bar is the perfect place to indulge in a Manifesto or a White Old Fashioned, or to sample flights of whisky, bourbon, mezcal and more. In Chinatown, pull up a stool at The Keefer Bar—ranked number two in Canada’s 50 Best Bars 2019—and soak up the speakeasy feel. The apothecary-inspired list draws on Asian ingredients, wrangled by bar manager and all-around guru Amber Bruce. Her Boss Lady (tequila, Aperol, allspice bitters and mandarin shrub) will likely have you ordering another. Or, at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, cozy up to the bar inside Botanist for head bartender Jeff Savage’s celebrated Smoke on the Water. This heady concoction of rum, mezcal, charred lemon, birch sap and coconut oil is dramatically unveiled in cedar smoke.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

North Shore Escape

Lower Lonsdale, once home to the largest shipyard in Western Canada, is now chock-full of shops, restaurants and activities—making it well worth the 12-minute SeaBus journey from downtown

By HANNAH POAROS-MCDERMOTT

Mar. 2020

 

Lonsdale Quay Market (Photo by KK Law)

Shop till you drop

Shopaholics, take note! The world is your oyster at Lonsdale Quay Market, where there are over 80 boutique shops and services just waiting to be discovered. Browse the stunning selection of fashion accessories at Allure, or grab a bottle of your favourite BC wine from Artisan Wine Shop. On your way out, don’t forget to climb the Q tower’s 77 steps for breathtaking bird’s-eye views of Vancouver. Over at the Shipyard Commons, pick up un-bee-lievable beeswax candles and Fraser Valley berry-blossom honey from Main Street Honey Shoppe.

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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.

A Sampling of Vancouver’s Tapas Scene

By TIM PAWSEY
Feb. 2019

Spanish-style dishes at Bodega include (L-R) marinated and grilled lamb chops, spicy chorizo sausage and saffron-infused paella (Photo by KK Law)

A coterie of Spanish rooms yields a wealth of small plates. Drop by Bodega on Main for mainstays like grilled octopus, spicy chorizo, patatas bravas (zesty potatoes) and gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp), all served in heritage surroundings. On Commercial Drive, Cabrito melds classics with gluten- and dairy-free options, plus smartly picked wines and sherries. In Gastown, The Sardine Can is a compact spot that lives up to its name, and it tempts with smoked-ham-wrapped prunes, meatballs in tomato-and-red-wine sauce, and lots of tostas (toasts)—including, of course, sardines on toast.

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.

BC Bites at West Restaurant + Bar

By TIM PAWSEY
Jul. 2018

Perfect plates at West include roasted Haida Gwaii halibut with local corn (Photo by KK Law)

One of the original flagship regional rooms, South Granville’s West Restaurant + Bar revels in seasonal, local ingredients, detail-driven presentation and impeccable service. Popular plates roam from soy-and-sake-glazed Haida Gwaii sablefish, to a lamb duo with roasted sunchokes and madeira jus, to ricotta tortellini with braised artichokes, roasted fennel, kalamata olives and tomato fondue. Wines both local and global are expertly paired and served from an impressive “wall of wine,” while original cocktails keep pace with the creativity on the menu.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com.

Adventures by SkyTrain: Vancouver’s Trains Take You to Exciting Places

By LUCAS AYKROYD
July 2018

Photo by Edgar Bullon/Dreamstime.com

Exploring Metro Vancouver by SkyTrain this summer is a fast, fun, and family-friendly way to go beyond the downtown core. (more…)

Beyond Pho: Vietnamese Cuisine at Chi Modern

By TIM PAWSEY
July 2018

Chi Modern serves specialties such as bo luc lac, or shaking beef

Grab a quick cab to Kitsilano to savour Vietnamese cuisine with a difference at Chi Modern. Airy and bright, the room reflects the personality of its owner, former MasterChef Vietnam competitor Chi Le. She celebrates her homeland with kicked-up variations on family recipes that inform a clean, sophisticated style. Go for the char-grilled eggplant, coconut-milk-braised pork belly, tamarind-caramelized prawns, or five-spice curried duck. Better still, book a day ahead for the no-holds-barred prix fixe menu.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Brewery & The Beast Back for Another Meaty Feast

By SHERI RADFORD

We’re definitely not going to have room for dessert (Photo by Ed Ng Photography)

Jul. 29, 2018 Calling all carnivores: only one event each summer combines perfectly prepared proteins with liberal lashings of local libations. When Brewery & The Beast returns to Vancouver this month, it brings with it dozens of acclaimed chefs and restaurants, including Hawksworth, Fable Diner, Maenam, Juniper, Edible Canada and Torafuku. Each one cooks, cures, roasts or barbecues various cuts of meat to mouth-watering perfection. And if you want to feel virtuous about such a day of debauchery, rest assured that partial proceeds go to charity. Ready, set, feast.