Vancouver’s thriving dining scene combines traditional techniques and multicultural influence to delicious effect; it’s no wonder people are flocking to the city to try the amazing cuisine. Chefs use locally-sourced, fresh ingredients to produce their culinary masterpieces, and you can enjoy internationally-acclaimed wines from British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. Not a big wine fan? Consider a tipple from the city’s growing ranks for craft breweries and spirit distilleries. And with a vibrant cocktail scene and nightlife options to suit all tastes, the evening doesn’t have to end after dinner. Now let’s explore Vancouver’s fantastic culinary scene…
Vancouver has a well-deserved reputation as a "chef’s city" thanks to the abundance of fresh, seasonal produce that flows from the Lower Mainland, along with its daily catch of seafood from the pristine waters around Vancouver Island. Explore the "merroir" of local oysters from Vancouver Island. Taste the difference between Kumamoto, Kusshi and Fanny Bay varieties of oyster at buck-a-shuck Happy Hours across the city. Or snack on North America’s first certified organic sustainable caviar, Northern Divine, made from sturgeon from the Sunshine Coast. Taste creamy, briny sea urchins, harvested fresh from the coast straight off the boat at Fisherman’s Wharf, or try them at one of the city’s plentiful Japanese restaurants. And though they may be wholly unattractive, gooseneck barnacles sourced from British Columbia are absolutely delicious – and they’re sustainably hand-harvested by First Nations fishermen on Clayoquot Sound on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. You’ll find these delicacies at some of the city’s best restaurants including Blue Water Café and Wildebeest.
Following a change to city bylaws in 2010 food trucks have burst onto Vancouver’s culinary scene, meaning there are even more fantastic flavours to be tasted upon your visit to this amazing city. The movement started with just 17 trucks - now there are more than 100 across the city serving everything from Belgian waffles to Filipino fusion! Vancouver’s street food scene prides itself on being one of the world’s most eco-friendly; they use compostable and biodegradable packaging and cutlery and source regionally grown, locally produced, organic, sustainable, fair trade items – it makes for amazing food without the guilt! Vancouver’s original food cart is JapaDog, dishing up Japanese-inspired hotdogs (think seaweed flakes and miso mayonnaise) - other popular food carts include UK-style tandoori haven Soho Road complete with in-truck tandoori oven; Kaboom Box with their in-truck smoker (which makes their insanely popular, locally-caught OceanWise hot smoked salmon sandwich!); The Juice Truck with its freshly made, cold-pressed juices and smoothies; and the Disco Cheetah Korean Grill serving up chilli chicken from the Fraser Valley. For a true Vancouver delicacy, try locally caught hot-smoked B.C. salmon candy glazed with maple syrup. It can be found all across the city, including foodie haven Granville Island Public Market.
Exploring Vancouver’s culinary scene doesn’t just have to be limited to meal times; consider taking a tasting tour of Granville Island Market, a Vancouver Foodie Tour, or cycle your way around craft breweries and explore some of the city’s tastiest neighbourhoods. Locally caught, hot-smoked B.C. salmon candy glazed with maple syrup can be found all across the city, including foodie haven Granville Island Public Market.
If you have more of a sweet tooth, Vancouver is a haven for dessert-lovers. Specialty dessert cafes are popping up across the city - from organic soft serve ice cream to fancy champagne and dainty cake bars, the city is bursting with sweet treats. Soft Peaks is the city’s first all-organic soft serve ice cream café, serving whipped ice cream made with local Avalon milk. Try toppings such as honeycomb from the nearby Fraser Valley, Himalayan pink salt or Yuzu marmalade. Or head to Mosquito, an ultra-cool Gastown dessert café which specializes in by-the-glass Champagne and sparkling wines paired with molecular gastronomy-inspired desserts. Try the Dark Chocolate Crémeux made with caramelia espuma, cocoa streusel, caramelia pearls, maple syrup and vanilla salt for a truly spectacular dining experience... and with Canada celebrating it's 150th birthday, there's no better time to visit!
If this blog has inspired you to visit Vancouver, check out our dedicated page here.
By Ella Dunham