I’m going to lay it all on the line, be completely honest, and just bare my soul for you here. I am dreading writing this post. Why? Because it’s too good. I mean, the food of Vancouver is just too good. Too good for me to find enough words to describe it, too good to not sound like a broken record as I try to find ways to tell you about it.
Perhaps I should just start with Paul.
This is Mr. Paul Done, Food Lover and PR Consultant Extraordinaire. See that beer? That’s a local craft beer enjoyed on the first day of a 2-day quick tour throughout Gastown, Yaletown and Kitsilano, not to mention a few other Vancouver neighborhoods and city sites. This man knows his city, knows his food, and kept me entertained beyond words. He was the perfect companion to take me on my tour and the kind of guy you just want to be around. And that beer was only one of the many glasses of beer, wine, and endless plates of food and tastings we had as we ran around Vancouver, both on foot and in a car.
And before I go any further, you do realize you can enter to win my itinerary, right? Correct. You can stop by and visit these places too, but only if you’re up for it. Because the level of awesomeness just kept overdoing itself again and again throughout my time in Vancouver.
Here’s what I’m not going to be doing in this post: I’m not going to be reviewing every single place I went to. That’d just be nutty. And unnecessary. Besides, I don’t do restaurant reviews. What I can hope to accomplish here is to convey the level of happiness, comfort, skill, and “right-on”ness (I made that up) that comes from the Vancouver culinary scene. It’s vibrant, youthful, daring, traditional, intelligent, focused, and meaningful. It’s both a culinary warm hug and a quick cheeky pinch. Just enough to wake you up, I mean.
It’s people who care about what they do and how they do it. It’s about an attention to detail that never feels fussy or stifling, and it’s an elegant casualness that is right up my alley. Vancouver has easily become a favorite spot for me and I can’t wait to return.
And if you go, you simply must pay a visit to Granville Island Market. Walk around, check out the shops, snack a bit, eat some more, buy some gifts for friends and family, it truly is a fantastic way to spend some time.
Below is my list of places we visited. Some were more comprehensive than others; we sipped and nibbled at a few, I stuffed my face at others. But I can tell you that I’d easily return to every single one of them in a heartbeat, no hesitation.
Remember that you can enter to win one of three different Explore Like A Local Itineraries. Will you go the explorer route and select Mike’s trip and backpack your way through the National Parks of Québec? Or will you shop your way through Toronto? I know you really want to eat your way through Vancouver, right? Just be prepared to bring an empty stomach and have your mind blown away.
The Greedy Pig, 307 West Cordova Street
The Dirty Apron Cooking School and Delicatessen, 540 Beatty Street
Big Lou’s Butcher Shop, 260 Powell Street
Salt Tasting Room, 45 Blood Alley
Meat & Bread, 370 Cambie Street
The Irish Heather, 212 Carrall St
Save-On Meats, 43 West Hastings Street
L’Abattoir, 217 Carral St.
Boneta, Courtyard of 12 Water Street
Cork & Fin, 221 Carrall Street
Two Chefs and a Table, 305 Alexander Street
Nelson The Seagull, 315 Carrall Street
Bitter (opening soon and it’ll be gorgeous, I had a sneak peek) 18 West Hastings
Café Medina, 556 Beatty Street
Oakwood Canadian Bistro, 2741 West 4 Avenue
The Flying Pig Bistro, 1168 Hamilton Street
C Restaurant, 1600 Howe Street
Granville Island Market/ Edible Canada at the Market, 1596 Johnston Street
Thierrys Patisserie, 1059 Alberni St
A very special thanks to the St. Regis Hotel for such excellent service and a wonderful room to lay my head (and rest my full belly) while in Vancouver. St. Regis is located at 602 Dunsmuir Street in downtown Vancouver, BC. You can find them online here.