Fav 5 is a series of travel guides in which I highlight 5 of the best spots I've found to eat, drink, and explore in a place while visiting. This time it's all about Vancouver, in British Columbia (BC) in Canada.
Vancouver is a Canadian city located in the province of British Columbia. It's just about 2.5 hours' drive time from Seattle, Washington, to Vancouver. I was shocked to learn that Vancouver is the 4th most densely populated city in North America after New York City, San Francisco, and Mexico City.
Just last weekend we took a long-weekend road trip to Vancouver to celebrate a 30th birthday of one of our friends. We were thrilled for an under 30 minute wait time at the border while heading North/into Canada and equally as irritated for the 1 hour+ wait time on the way back home into the US. This website is SUPER useful for selecting the border crossing station with the shortest wait time.
My Fav 5 of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, are:
1. Granville Island is a renowned culinary destination, according to it's own website. It's a small island filled with artsy stores and lively restaurants that sits just across False Creek from downtown Vancouver.
We hopped on the adorable Aquabus and took the (very brief) boat ride to Granville Island.
Arrive hungry as the Granville Island Public Market awaits you, filled with shops, restaurants, fresh produce, and sweet treats. I grabbed a coffee from Petit Ami and hand selected a few French macarons from Bon Macaron Patisserie to enjoy while strolling the many market stalls and vendors. The highlight of our visit to the market was snagging the very last goat cheese & fig macaron of the day! I never expected to find so much Italian culture and food in Canada, but quickly spotted cannoli, my favorite food on earth, and Duso's Italian specialty store.
Our next stop was the highly recommended Granville Island Brewing to taste their many beers! While I typically don't drink beer, I loved a few of their winter ales which reminded me of a Yankee Candle...delicious!
2. Forage Restaurant can be found on Vancouver's Robson Street, which is known for great shopping. Forage prides itself on supporting local fishers, foragers, and farmers. They were happy to have our large group and we were just as happy that everything we ate, and drank, was excellent!
I started with Forage's house-made "Nutella" paired with a huge scone. Much to my surprise I was also given raspberry jam and some sort of pear-ginger spread with my scone. All three toppings were damn delicious. The combination of the raspberry jam + chocolate-hazelnut spread together on the scone was downright incredible. The best part is that you can take your leftover "Nutella" and its tiny mason jar home with you.
Friends enjoyed traditional breakfast items like eggs, potatoes, and bacon. There were many intense conversations about "our bacon" versus and Canadian bacon! My party trick is to get the most unique item on the menu while everyone else criticizes me. Hey - don't YUCK someone else's YUM, am I right? Under the "Forage Faves" section of the brunch menu I found the foraged and cultivated mushrooms with Okanagan goat cheese served with grilled caraway rye toast. Holy YUM. It comes in a hot cast iron skillet and the soft goat cheese serves as tasty little pillows that hold the mushrooms together. This breakfast was excellent. Such an interesting combination that turned out to be a great one. Rye toast is something I'd totally forgotten about. Sorry, rye, I'll remember your goodness and find you more often.
As soon as we were done eating I wanted to come back to Forage again the next day. Go to Vancouver, go to Forage!
3. The next day we had brunch in Vancouver's trendy Yaletown neighborhood. What's the difference between breakfast and brunch, you ask? Booze.
Stop #1 was Blenz Coffee for a killer iced latte.
Stop #2 was Banter Room, just a block away, for brunch. Banter Room was SO CUTE inside, and out. We sat in the enclosed (and heated) patio and enjoyed every bit of sunlight streaming in on the otherwise freezing trip. While my lobster avocado toast on sourdough was a beauty, the flavor was just OK. The real star of the show was the combination of sweet waffles and Canadian maple syrup!
We also enjoyed mimosas, coffee cocktails, and caesars around the table. If you're still confused about the different countries' bacons, unfortunately I cannot help you. What I can tell you that a Canadian "caesar" is like a Bloody Mary but includes tomato juice with the addition of clam juice (aka Clamato) instead of plain tomato juice.
4. The Great (Canadian) Outdoors can't be missed. I'm totally comfortable staying inside with hot food and drinks yet I'm always happy when I've adventured outside.
We spent a few hours at Cypress Mountain and a few minutes at a lookout facing Vancouver along the way. While the snow tubing was just OK, I'd like to go back and try snowshoeing or with my 99 items of snowboarding gear.
5. Canada's All Dressed Potato Chips cannot be eaten without sharing with your friends, coworkers, and internet readers. These chips are magical and take your taste buds on a journey from salt & vinegar to BBQ to cheddar cheese to sour cream & onion. They somehow have all of the flavors on each crispy little chip!
All Dressed chips are unique to Canada and can be found in every grocery and convenience store. There are at least two brands, our gang much preferred the Old Dutch overs Lays.
Vancouver was a wonderful place to spend a long weekend and I hope to go back again, perhaps in warmer weather!
Hello, I'm Angela.
Figs and Flights is all about traveling near and far & eating great food both at home and away.