18 October 2017
Tantalise your taste buds with a trip to Vancouver. This coastal melting pot is a veritable foodie heaven where variety is the spice of life, providing you with a range of culinary adventures.
Renowned for its glittering skyscrapers, natural sites, trendy districts and diverse attractions, Vancouver is also one of the planet’s foremost food capitals. Nestled on Canada’s Pacific coast Vancouver is famous for its seafood, along with its vibrant street food, dessert cafes, food festivals and more, giving you plenty of dining options to choose from…
Based in British Columbia’s fertile Lower Mainland, Vancouver provides extremely fresh produce for your dinner plate. Visit in summer and enjoy ‘farm to table’ dining, where you can taste locally-grown produce like cherries, peas, peppers and tomatoes. Dine from seasonally-inspired menus at places such as Forage, popular for its locally-sourced dishes like egg breakfasts and craft beers, as well as Brix & Mortar in Yaletown, known for its artisan cheeses and modern Canadian cuisine.
With its Pacific location, Vancouver boasts outstanding seafood restaurants. One of the best is the Blue Water Café in Yaletown. Consistently named Vancouver’s ‘Best Seafood Restaurant’ it serves delicious sustainable meals including gooseneck barnacles – a true delicacy here. Vancouver is a hotspot for oyster fans. At locations such as The Fish Shack on Granville Street and downtown’s Coast Restaurant, you can dine on delectable Kushi, Kumamoto and Fanny Bay oyster varieties.
Vancouver has built up a phenomenal Asian cuisine scene for you to discover. The city is famed for its B.C. sushi rolls – which feature grilled local salmon skin. You can try these at Japanese restaurant Tojo’s – whose owner invented the California roll, and Sushi Spin Roll in Gastown. Other popular Asian delicacies here include freshly-harvested sea urchins – available in most Japanese restaurants, and the light chicken and vegetable ramen dishes served at eateries on Denman and Robson streets.
Bring a piece of Vancouver home with you by buying local food products. Granville Island Public Market is worth a visit, as it’s known for selling various treats like natural honey, speciality Canadian cheeses and salmon candy – a hot-smoked, maple syrup-glazed local delicacy. For an experience you’ll never forget, head to the Northern Divine aquafarm. This is North America’s first certified organic caviar provider, selling produce delivered straight from the nearby Sunshine Coast.
Indulge your sweet tooth with a trip to one of Vancouver’s iconic dessert cafés. Soft Peaks in Downtown Eastside is a must for your itinerary, as it’s Vancouver’s first all-organic soft serve ice-cream parlour, known for its original toppings like Himalayan pink salt and Yuzu marmalade. Other dessert hotspots include Thomas Haas near Connaught Park – a café renowned for its handcrafted chocolates and pastries and Thierry, where you can taste delicious cakes, tarts and macaroons.
Enjoy a rustic dining experience at one of the 100+ food trucks scattered across Vancouver. If you only visit one, make it Vancouver’s iconic JapaDog cart, where you can bite into hotdogs with Japanese toppings like miso mayonnaise. JapaDog’s signature butter and soy “shaked fries” are divine. Some other great food trucks include the solar-powered Tiffin Wallah – which serves gluten-free Indian comfort food and Disco Cheetah – known for its grilled Mexican/Korean fusion cuisine.
A city on the cutting-edge, Vancouver has various trendy districts where you can buy interesting cuisine. Gastown is an obvious place to start, as it’s known for serving gourmet sandwiches at places like the Fat Duck Mobile Eatery – with highlights including ‘duck confit Philly style sandwiches’. Swing by Gastown’s Mosquito to taste desserts like Dark Chocolate Crémeux – a creamy pastry – while sipping champagne. Also make time for Vancouver’s Chinatown – which has traditional bakeries, Kitsilano – famous for its vegetarian eateries and Commercial Drive a.k.a. ‘Little Italy’.
Learn a new skill by enrolling in one of Vancouver’s many cooking schools. One of the best is the Dirty Apron Cooking School – which caters to students of all abilities, where you can learn how to create Vancouver-style dishes with local ingredients. For variety head to Quince on Mackenzie Street, where you’ll cook everything from Hawaiian snacks to Indian cuisine. Meanwhile the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts is recommended for its cake-decorating and pastry-making classes.
Travel to Vancouver throughout the year and you’ll be able to meet fellow foodies at food festivals. There’s the 17-day long Dine Out Vancouver event held in January and February – Canada’s largest dining celebration, where hundreds of restaurants offer speciality menus for your enjoyment. Attend events such as the Hot Chocolate Festival, Vancouver Craft Beer Week, and the Vancouver International Wine Festival in January, February and June respectively to sip delicious drinks. Come in May and attend the renowned Spot Prawn Festival, where you can taste one of Vancouver’s most prized seafood delicacies prepared in various styles – a unique culinary experience to be sure!