Food Lovers Guide to Vancouver
If you love to let your taste buds lead you to unique destinations when traveling, then add these great finds to your must-see list for Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Granville Island Market (BREAKFAST): This large farmer's market is world renowned for their selection of fresh local produce, flowers, artisan chocolates, cheeses and more. Enjoy a fresh baked chocolate almond croissant at La Baguette et l'Echalote and savor a cup of locally roasted coffee while strolling through the aisles of tempting treats; watch artists at work and take in views of the marina along Broker's Bay and False Creek. Here you can pick up some locally-inspired culinary souvenirs such as tangy birch syrup. Just don't get the birch syrup confused with maple, it upsets the locals!
JapaDog (LUNCH): Ever wonder what a hot dog would taste like with a Japanese twist? Visit one of five street vendors in the heart of Vancouver to partake in this culinary oddity. While Vancouver is better known for amazing sushi and Japanese food, the JapaDog stakes its own claim to fame as either a bratwurst or Kobe beef hot dog with anything from miso-mayonnaise for a dash of flavor to dogs stuffed with edamame, topped with seaweed, and drizzled in plum sauce for the full experience. Grab a bite and accompany their "publicity and famous person" list that includes Anthony Bourdain and Samantha Brown. It's truly a one-of-a-kind street vendor experience unique to this vibrant city. (Side note: Each JapaDog location is currently accepting donations for Japan earthquake relief.)
Yew (DRINKS/DINNER): Located downtown at the Four Seasons, this is where locals come to relax, unwind and mingle. Their bar mixologists are pretty creative with the drink selections and their dessert tapas is worth the extra calories. One tapas selection I recommend in particular is their Liquid Mango Ravioli, Exotic Fruit Consomme. It looks like an egg, but is smooth and sweet. Visit during Wine Down Sundays for 50% off their fabulous wine selection and stay for an extraordinary dinner.
Kingyo Isakaya (DINNER): Isakaya is a casual Japanese style of dining similar to tapas or finger foods. A Travel & Leisure favorite, Kingyo Isakaya was also personally recommended to me by Edible British Columbia. With no social media or web presence, this is one of those hidden gems that you'd only find through a local resident. Acid jazz melodies permeate through an intimately lit but lively environment as the staff and sushi chef greet everyone with an exuberant cheer as soon as they walk through the door. I recommend tasting the Kobe Beef & Duck Bibimbap and the Grilled Saikyo Miso Black Cod for which they are famous. For libations, celebrate with a Granville Island Sake and top the night off with rose lychee liquor oolong mint tea.
Edible BC (FOODIE DAY TRIPS): The tag line for this company says it all, "Sight Seeing Through Your Tastebuds." Edible BC is a sort of culinary travel concierge. They offer a multitude of foodie experiences from multi-course interactive chef dinners to gourmet kayaking and camping tours with meals prepared using locally sourced foods. With tweets like … "2nite's dinner ends w mascarpone, zucchini & choc brownies w Almond Butter Crunch & espresso-chocolate ganache. OMG. YUM. wish u were here," you know you are in for a treat!