Photo Of The Day: Lions Gate Bridge

photo of the day

This Photo of the Day is titled “Lion’s Gate Bridge” and comes from Gadling Flickr pool member James Wheeler who used a Nikon D-600 to capture this image. Lion’s Gate Bridge (AKA the First Narrows Bridge) is a suspension bridge in North Vancouver, British Columbia.

The “Lions Gate” nickname refers to a pair of mountain peaks north of Vancouver called “The Lions.”

James captions the image:

“It was an unseasonably clear winter day here in Vancouver so I headed down to Stanley Park to take some photos. This is Lions Gate Bridge during evening rush hour.”

James also used a Sirui T-2005X Tripod with K-10x Tripod Head, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop and Topaz Adjust to create this image.

Upload your best shots to the Gadling Group Pool on Flickr. Several times a week we choose our favorite images from the pool as a Photo of the Day.

[Photo Credit- Flickr user James Wheeler]

Toronto In Transition: Coming In From Elsewhere

Over the past 40 years, Toronto’s Queen Street West has undergone a transition that’s shifted it from trendy boutiques and galleries to international chains and lively restaurants. As a result, the art scene that long called the street home has been pushed farther west to an area called West Queen West.

And now, even West Queen West is seeing its own transition. The galleries, little cafes and funky hotels are still there. So is the mental hospital that is the area’s major employer. But there are other newcomers, including one from way across Canada.

Gravitypope, with roots in Edmonton, Alberta, and stores in Calgary and Vancouver, opened its first Toronto store this fall. It’s the kind of well-groomed, innovative spot you’d see featured in Town and Country Magazine or a Nancy Meyers movie, with shoes and clothing that look meticulously selected by fashion stylists.

In another time, Gravitypope would have found a home in the opposite direction on Queen West, among the well-known names. But with that part of the street chockablock with retailers, its owner, Louise Dirks, decided she’d be better off away from the fray.

“Everybody kept saying, ‘go to Queen, go to Queen, go to Queen,’” she says of the area. “But I couldn’t find a space with a decent basement,” which was a requirement for the extensive inventories her stores carry.

Dirks is among a number of new arrivals who are staking their claims in Toronto neighborhoods. Some of them, like Nicole Angellotti at Lit Espresso Bar in Little Portugal, are already established in other parts of town, and see opportunities for expansion.

Others are rolling the dice on their first ventures in the city, hoping that the Toronto customers who visit their stores elsewhere are willing to do business with them at home.

Toronto author Shawn Micallef says their investments are the strongest endorsement a neighborhood can receive. “When outside Toronto moves in, you know the neighborhood is on peoples’ radar,” he says.

%Gallery-174400%

Dirks pondered her move to Toronto for years before taking the plunge. She opened the first Gravitypope store in Edmonton in 1990, operating as a cafe with a selection of clothing for sale in the back for her first decade. In 2000, she added a second store in Calgary, and then a shop in Vancouver in 2004. Her shoe business grew along with her clothing business, and with them, she incorporated a Web-based operation.

Over the past five or six years, “I got at least one email every couple of weeks from Toronto, begging for a Gravitypope out east,” says Dirks. In 2008, she went on a tour of Toronto neighborhoods, scouting by walking up and down the streets.

Finally in 2011, she settled on a brand new building in West Queen West, only a block from the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction (CAMH). Getting settled was a challenge, and the space was ready months after she originally expected. But since opening in the fall, “Every day has been awesome for us here,” Dirks says.

The location is “a bit fresh,” she says, and thus far, her customers have had no problem venturing out to her. On Gravitypope’s first day of business, 90 percent of her customers were former Western Canadians whose moves had preceded hers.

Manny Nikolaou, who runs Cafe Bernate next door, is among those glad to see a substantial business move in. “In the last five years, this whole area’s changed,” he said, while pulling espresso shots. “Before, it was a bit of a rough type neighborhood.”

He was also a little wary when a Tim Horton’s opened across the street, for fear it would take away his sandwich business. But the “quick sandwiches” made at Tim’s aren’t stealing the customers away from Bernate’s lineup, which includes 30 different homemade offerings.

Nikolaou says upscale stores like Gravitypope can only help West Queen West. “We’re happy to see people like them come in,” he says.

A few blocks away, another western Canadian newcomer has made itself at home on Dundas Avenue West. Ride Away Bikes came to the neighborhood in 2010, setting up a shop that sells new and used bikes, and performs repairs.

The owners have two other shops in Vancouver, and saw opportunity in Toronto’s growing bicycle culture. While the city isn’t as bike friendly as other places, there’s a move afoot to expand the use of two-wheeled transportation. “It grows every year,” says Justin Brady, a store manager.

About two-thirds of his business comes from the surrounding neighborhood, but in the past year and a half, as cycling has become more popular, he’s noticed more people arriving from other parts of Toronto. “Probably, people would have noticed us before,” Brady says.

And, Brady will soon find out whether two new businesses on his end of Dundas West bring him more customers. Two doors down, Queen Margherita Pizza from Leslieville is opening one of its two new Toronto restaurants (the other is a few miles east, in an upscale area called Babypoint). Across the street, Susur Lee, the Toronto restaurateur who competed on “Top Chef Masters,” has opened Bent with his two sons.

The sleek black and red restaurant, which some liken to a nightclub, hasn’t exactly gotten off to a strong start. The Toronto Star gave it just one star, saying it was “more broken than merely bent,” while the Globe and Mail was kinder, pointing out the place has been packed since its opening.

Brady, at the bike store, is glad to see the outsiders draw crowds, at least. “It can only mean good things,” he says.

For more on “Toronto In Transition” click here

[Photo Credits: Micheline Maynard]

10 Farm-To-Table Restaurants In Vancouver, Canada

diva at the met During a recent visit to Vancouver, Canada, it was apparent many restaurants are trying to create sustainable, farm-to-table menus. It’s a great city if you’re an eco-conscious traveler due to the many options for any price level. To help guide you, here are some top picks for morally conscious cuisine in Vancouver.

Diva at the Met
645 Howe Street

I’m not sure there are any other restaurants in the city that take creative sustainability to the level Diva at the Met does. Chef Hamid Salimian and his team enjoy foraging when they can, even for the organic matters like stones, driftwood and torched bark that make up the snack plates. Chef Salimian visualizes what most can not even fathom, while remaining as organic as possible. For example, a slice of chicken bacon from a biodiverse farm might be brined and smoked for days and come on a stone slab, while a squid ink-infused mussel bread will be topped with roe and made to look like coral. Seafood comes from Ocean Wise-certified providers, while produce comes from farms with high crop biodiversity. In terms of farms, most of their produce comes from North Arm Farm, Sapo Bravo, Glourish Organics and Cherry Lane Farm. Although an upscale restaurant, meals can be affordable, with prices ranging from $19 to $38 for an entree, to the five-course tasting menu at $55 and the seven-course tasting menu at $75.Cibo Trattoria
900 Seymour Street

Like Diva at the Met, Cibo Trattoria immerses you in a relaxed, romantic ambiance. However, while Diva focuses on surreal gastronomy, Cibo Trattoria serves up rustic Italian fare with a modern twist. What’s really interesting at this venue is they change their menu daily, focusing on what’s fresh and in-season. While certain meats and cheeses come from Italy to get authenticity, much of their ingredients are locally sourced from British Columbia farms, with deliveries coming daily. For example, their radishes come from Aldergrove while their watercress is purchased from Hannah Brooks Farm in Langley. Typical dishes may include a handmade paccheri pasta with meatballs, oregano, San Marzano tomatoes and ricotta salada, crispy ox tongue with marinated heirloom peppers or roast bone marrow garlic and parsley bread crumbs and apple salad. They also do seasonally inspired dishes for fresh ingredients, like pumpkin ravioli with chili, garlic, marjoram and amaretti. You can sample local wines from the Okanagan and Fraser valleys. And although they have to reprint their menus daily, all printouts are done on recycled paper, which is also recycled after use. The menu includes affordable small plates as well as pastas for about $15 and entrees for less than $30.

c restaurant C Restaurant
1600 Howe Street

As the founding restaurant in the Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise Program, C Restaurant was one of the first in Vancouver to deconstruct seafood supply lines, dealing directly with the fisherman to ensure a product that is of the highest quality and ethical sensitivity. Since the restaurant focuses on seasonal freshness, there really isn’t a signature dish. Instead, its signature is to utilize sustainable seafood and local produce as much as possible. Not only is their food sustainable, but their wine program features vintages from British Columbia’s Okanagan Region, as well as global wines made with an organic and biodynamic philosophy. The restaurant is contemporary, with entrees averaging $30.

Juno Vancouver Sushi Bistro
572 Davie Street

You don’t need to eat at an upscale restaurant to enjoy a sustainable meal. And with Vancouver having myriad sushi establishments, it would be wrong not to include one on this list. Located in Yaletown, Juno Vancouver Sushi Bistro doesn’t simply churn out rolls, they focus on high-quality cuisine and fresh ingredients, employing only serious Japanese chefs. Ingredients include wild seafood, natural beef, free-range chicken and heritage KUROBUTA pork, all locally-sourced from British Columbia farms. If you’re in the mood for a local drink, Juno serves sakes from the Granville Island Artisan Sake Maker and BC “Vintners Quality Alliance” (VQA) wines.

raincity grill Raincity Grill
1193 Denman Street

This high-end restaurant opened in 1992 with a menu that featured locally-sourced food. Eventually, Raincity Grill also added their signature 100-mile menu, which showcased items with ingredients from within 100-miles of Vancouver.

“Our menu is a tribute to the local farmers, fisherman and producers of British Columbia,” it states on their homepage. “The Chef sources out the best organic, sustainable products available … ‘Farm-to-table’ has become a recent catchphrase but at Raincity Grill it has been a philosophy for twenty years.”

Some specific sustainable menu items include “Brioche French Toast” with Fraser Valley compote and house-made huckleberry syrup, a “Spinach And Berry” salad with North Arm Farm spinach, local berries and Okanagan goat’s cheese and “Fraser Valley Duck Breast” with wild coastal huckleberries. If you’re on a budget, check out their $10 fish and chips window. Libations are also in line with their ‘go local’ philosophy, as the restaurant serves wines from the Pacific West Coast.

Edible Canada Bistro
1596 Johnston Street

Located on Granville Island, Edible Canada‘s bistro does an excellent job of supporting the farm-to-feast philosophy. While their food is fresh and locally grown, even using onsite plant boxes of herbs and produce and making use of the adjacent public market, their efforts extend beyond eating. In fact, the venue features tabletops made of recycled fir tree, hostess stands created with discarded beach cedar and two complimentary charging stations for electric vehicles. As for drinks, they’re spearheading the revolution of offering wine on tap, an environmentally-friendly way to serve vino as it eliminates the packaging and, because 27% of glass is recovered for recycling, stops millions of bottles from going to the landfill. Menu items range from $11 to $28, while their bacon window also offers inexpensive eats.

the templeton The Templeton
1087 Granville Street

Located in Vancouver’s lively entertainment district, The Templeton is an old-fashioned retro diner serving comfort food in a sustainable way. Most ingredients are organic and locally sourced, and there are an array of vegetarian and vegan options, like lentil loaf, tofu omelets, Portobello mushroom burgers and veggie bacon. If you’re a carnivore, The Templeton features organic, free-range and non-medicated meats. Best of all, this venue is cheap to moderately priced with $10 burgers, $10 fish and chips and $16 steaks. Finish it off with a $5 deep-fried Mars bar.

Trafalgar’s Bistro
2603 West 16th Avenue

Trafalgars Bistro and adjacent Sweet Obsession bakery in Kitsilano are pioneers when it comes to sustainability. In the summer of 2011, the venues launched a recycling and composting initiative that was the first of its kind by installing a Green Good composting system. By doing this, they were able to eliminate all organic waste going to landfill, with 99% of the remaining trash being recycled. Additionally, their strong association with Inner City Farms means they can make use of their compost in Vancouver’s urban gardens. In terms of food, their seafood is certified Ocean Wise, all meats are unmedicated and free-range and produce is almost always locally sourced. While the ambiance suggests fine dining, it’s actually a casual and affordable place to eat, with entrees ranging from $17 to $30 and a three-course menu for $30.

blue water cafe + raw bar Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar
1095 Hamilton Street

Located in Yaletown, the casual yet elegant Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar has always focused on farm-to-table and ocean-to-table. All seafood is delivered to their kitchen daily and only the absolute freshest, exceptional quality fish and shellfish are selected. Most of them are line caught, trap caught or sustainably farmed in British Columbia. During the month of February, they even feature an annual Unsung Heroes Festival, which introduces diners to new experiences and flavors using abundant fish species, showcasing to people options other than over-fished varieties. It’s no surprise the establishment is Ocean Wise, with swimming scallops from the Gulf Islands, Kusshi oysters and Reed oysters from B.C. and sustainably-farmed sturgeon from Sechelt. A typical entree is about $34.

La Pentola
322 Davie Street

Recently opened in September 2012, La Pentola serves up gourmet Italian dishes while also incorporating the Italian philosophy to source locally. In Italy, the regions are diverse because specific ingredients are important to different areas. Additionally, there are a vast amount of quality, artisanal products and farms around Vancouver, which La Pentola makes use of by working with them to create their dishes. For example, the restaurant uses squab from local livestock farms. Their dish has a sauce made from grapes, and a walla walla onion puree where both ingredients come from local Stoney Paradise Farm. To La Pentola, being cutting edge also means holding yourself accountable to the environment and the community. Expect to pay about $6 to $17 for a starter, $12/$13 for a pasta and $30 for an entree.

[Images via Diva at the Met, C Restaurant, Raincity Grill, The Templeton, Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar]

Guide To Vancouver On A Budget

stanley park Vancouver, Canada, has much to offer the visitor in terms of restaurants, nightlife, hotels and culture. However, while it’s a worthwhile destination, it can also get expensive. To help you make the most of your trip to the city without breaking the bank, here is a budget-friendly guide to Vancouver.

Get Outside

Vancouver’s waterfront location, mountainous terrain and many microclimates allow for some beautiful landscapes. One of the best ways to experience this is by walking the Seawall. Stretching 14 miles from Coal Harbour to Kitsilano Beach Park, you’ll stroll past colorful sailboats, beaches, parks, bridges and ancient trees. You’ll pass through Stanley Park, one of the largest urban parks in the world. Encompassing 404.9 hectares, the park features First Nations artwork, beaches, gardens, forests, monuments, recreation areas and the Vancouver Aquarium. You can also stroll through Queen Elizabeth Park, Crescent Park or Pacific Spirit Park.

While Chinatown’s Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden offers a free park, I would recommend spending the fee and visiting their traditional Chinese garden. According to their website, it is the first of its kind outside China, with the site mimicking the private spaces within a Ming scholar’s residence.”With its asymmetrical arrangement of rocks and plants, its winding paths and corridors, and the vistas that overlook its courtyards, the Garden emulates the rhythms of nature,” it says on their mission statement.

Prices are $14 for adults, $11 for seniors, $10 for students and $28 for families and free for children under 5.

Explore With A Free Walking Tour

Vancouver Tour Guys offer free walking tours seven days a week. Guides are energetic and passionate about Vancouver, and you’re almost guaranteed to get a great tour as they work for tips. Some tours they offer include:

  • Chinatown
  • Granville & Gastown
  • Murders, Mysteries & Mayhem
  • Eat Your Cart Out
  • Beer Makes History Better
  • Downtown & Olympic Waterfront

Click here to view a tour calendar.


lynn canyon suspension bridge Skip The Capilano Suspension Bridge And Visit Lynn Canyon Park

While admission to Capilano Suspension Bridge costs $33.95, the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is free to enjoy. The 164-foot shaking, bouncing bridge offers views of waterfalls, rushing rapids and deep pools. For a virtual tour, click here.

Visit The City’s Museums

Vancouver doesn’t have too many free museums; however, there are a few ways around the system. The Vancouver Art Gallery, which features a permanent collection of more than 10,000 artworks as well as rotating exhibitions, is pay-by-donation on Tuesdays after 5 p.m. Additionally, while the Museum of Anthropology is usually $16.75, it drops down to $9 on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. At the H.R. McMillan Space Centre, you can visit the Gordon MacMillan Southam Observatory by giving a donation of your choice.

There’s also the Wing Sang Building – the oldest building in Vancouver’s Chinatown – which is the permanent home of the Rennie Collection, one of the largest collections of contemporary art in Canada. The collection is dedicated not only to the acquisition of established international artists, but also to the work of emerging artists. Public viewing of the exhibition is available through guided tours on Thursdays and Saturdays, free of charge.

Learn Some History

Around Vancouver, there are pieces of history you may not notice if you don’t know where to look. For example, in 1887 the Engine 374 Pavilion at Yaletown’s Roundhouse Community Centre pulled the first transcontinental passenger train into the city. Additionally, you can visit Hastings Mill Store Museum, the city’s oldest surviving structure, as well as the Christ Church Cathedral, which has been a house of worship since 1888.

art Wander Around Granville Island

Granville Island, which isn’t really an island but a peninsula, as it’s walkable from downtown Vancouver, is an area full of quirky shops, public art, outdoor entertainment and a bustling public market. For a free day, you can simply wander around, taking in outdoor art, sampling free treats at Rogers’ Chocolates and the Public Market, watching street performers and wandering in and out of creative galleries. I’d also recommend checking out the Granville Island Broom Company store and browsing their quirky Harry Potter-style brooms.

For interesting and affordable drinking options in Granville Island, you have a few choices. First, visit the Artisan Sake Maker, who makes in-house sake. For $5, he will teach you about sake and the creation process, as well as give you three tastings. At Granville Island Brewing, tours are offered for $10.92 at 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. daily. It includes in-depth knowledge about the beer production process, a behind-the-scenes tour and three tastings of beers made with all-natural ingredients. If you’d just like to relax with a drink without needing to think, Cats Social House near the waterfront offers $4 drinks all day and night.

Get In Touch With Your Inner Rock Star

For all you Jimi Hendrix fans, there is a Jimi Hendrix Shrine in southern Chinatown. Apparently, the musician would practice guitar while his grandmother Nora cooked at Vie’s Chicken and Steak House. Go inside the red shack, and you’ll see album covers, old photos, artwork and photocopies of Hendrix’s notes.

grouse grind Go Hiking

Although Vancouver is a city, it offers numerous worthwhile and free hikes. Cypress Mountain includes three mountains – Black Mountain, Mount Strachan and Hollyburn Mountain – all offering jagged peaks, sub alpine lakes, meadows and some of the oldest trees in British Columbia. There’s also the extremely challenging Grouse Grind (pictured right). While only 1.8 miles one way, it goes uphill at a steep incline. Hikers gain an elevation of 2,800 feet and climb 2,830 stairs. Luckily, you can ride the Skyride down if you prefer, although this will cost you $10. For an easy hike, trek from Vanier Park to Spanish Banks Beach. The roads are paved, and you’ll pass through Kitsilano Beach, Jericho Beach and Locarno Beach. Which brings us to our next budget-friendly Vancouver option.


Hit The Beach

Although a city, Vancouver has numerous beaches. In fact, almost 11 miles of beaches surround the city, including ocean beaches and one freshwater lake. Along with the ones previously mentioned, some other worthwhile ones include English Bay Beach, Second Beach, Third Beach and Trout Lake Beach.

First Nations Art

Browsing First Nations artwork can make for an informative and budget-friendly day. The most well known piece of First Nations artwork in Vancouver resides in Stanley Park in the form of totem poles. Each totem pole tells true and mythical stories from the First Nations people. The original totem poles were brought over in the late 1800s from Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands, but are now placed in museums. However, they’ve been replaced by new totem poles that replicate the originals. Supposedly, they are the most visited sight in British Columbia. There are also various galleries around the city showcasing this type of art, like the Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery, the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver and the Marion Scott Gallery. drinks

Take Advantage Of Bar Specials

Because of their liquor laws, British Columbia doesn’t technically have happy hour. Just because they can’t discount drinks by the hour, however, doesn’t mean their bars don’t offer great deals. My top picks include:

  • Rogue Kitchen & Wet Bar- This Gastown bar offers The “Don’t Care” glass of Red or White for $4.99. As they say on the website, it’s a glass to get the job done.
  • Hapa Hour at Hapa Izakaya- Located in Coal Harbour, this bar offers $5 glasses of wine, $4 beers and half-price tapas from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Local Public Eatery- This waterfront venue located across from Kitsilano Beach offers $4 glasses of red and white wine.

Know Where To Eat

Samurai Sushi on Davie Street is a local favorite, not only because it’s delicious, but because you get heaping portions for a small price. The nearby Stephos Souvlaki Greek Tavern does the same, but for Greek food. At Medina Cafe, you can order a waffle with your choice of topping for less than $5. If you’d like a large selection of artisanal eats for cheap, check out the Granville Island Public Market, with stalls featuring cheeses, meats, jams, baked goods, fruits and more.

Take Advantage Of Free Samples

At the Public Market in Granville Island you’ll often find vendors giving out free samples of their products. Cobs Bread is another venue often giving away free samples of made-from-scratch goodies. Additionally, Rogers’ Chocolates, the oldest chocolate shop in Canada since 1885, will hand out samples of freshly made maple chocolates and other treats. BC Liquor Stores often give free tastings on weekends when sales reps are there, and at Swirl Wine Store you can try complimentary tastings daily.

feastro the rolling bistro Explore Vancouver’s Explosive Food Truck Scene

Vancouver is home to over 50 food trucks, offering full meals without the worry of paying extra for service or space. Some of the city’s best food trucks include:

  • Feastro The Rolling Bistro- Located on the corner of West Cordova and Thurlow Streets, this food truck offers delicious entrees like soft tacos, fish & chips and smoked chicken gravy poutine. Breakfast is $2.25 to $4.95, while brunch and lunch range from $8 to $13. Specials are featured daily.
  • Mom’s Grilled Cheese- Residing at Howe Street and West Georgia, this rolling restaurant features home-style grilled cheese, as well as more complex sandwiches, soups and sweets. Meals range from $5 for carmelized apples, candied pecans and cinnamon mascarpone cheese on Brioche, to $8.50 for daily specials like Monday’s homemade meatloaf on French bread and Tuesday’s turkey and brie on cranberry pecan bread.
  • Re-Up BBQ- You’ll find this food truck at 700 Horby, selling items like southern-style pulled pork sandwiches for $7 and beef brisket for $9. For $2.25, you can also get a “Southern Sweet Tea,” with orange pekote, lemon and sugar.

You can find out more about Vancouver’s street food scene with the free Vancouver Street Food App for iPhone, iPad and iTouch.

Get Half-Price Tickets To The Game

Located in Tourism Vancouver’s downtown Visitor Information Centre on 200 Burrard Street, you’ll find Tickets Tonight. The budget-friendly outlet sells tickets for events sold by both Ticketmaster and independent retailers.

peppers Take A Budget-Friendly Day Trip

About an hour away from Vancouver is the Fraser Valley. If you have a car you can do a self-guided Circle Farm Tour, which offers free tours of wineries, farm-gates, open-air markets, heritage sites, fairs and special events. Click on a specific community for a map.

Browse Antiques In Gastown

Walk down to the historic Gastown, and you’ll find tons of antique and vintage clothing shops. While it costs money to purchase items, window-shopping is free. Some of my favorite shops include Salmagundi West, L’atelier Home and Deluxe Junk Co.

Go To Brunch

On weekends, Vancouverites take to the streets to fill up at the many brunch spots in the city. During brunch, you’ll get excellent deals on meals and drinks. For example, La Brasserie offers brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and will often have deals like $5 mimosas and ceasars. The Blarney Stone features a Sunday brunch and many times has deals like $4 Irish beers and $5 brunch drinks. Just take a stroll and look for the colorful chalkboards littering the sidewalk.

Stay At Budget Hotels With Ambiance

Just because a hotel isn’t expensive doesn’t mean it isn’t comfortable and nice. The Urban Hideaway Guesthouse is a cross between “a hostel, a B&B and a Traveler’s Inn.” It has character, as it was built in 1896 and is set in a 19th century Victorian house. You can book their best room, a super double with private bathroom and continental breakfast, for about $85 per night. Additionally, the Budget Inn Patricia Hotel is centrally located and offers comfortable, no-frilled rooms from $41. If you’re looking for something more luxurious, boutique hotels like Hotel LeSoleil, L’Hermitage Hotel and Opus Vancouver offer reasonable prices and often offer sales and packages. And remember, traveling during shoulder season will almost always ensure a better deal.

[Images via Jessie on a Journey, kimba, Jessie on a Journey, Shutterstock, Jessie on a Journey, Feastro, Jessie on a Journey]

5 Must-Try Food Trucks In Vancouver, Canada


fresh local wild


It’s been more than a year since the launch of the pilot project that expanded Vancouver‘s street food from hotdogs and chestnuts to fresh international fare and local cuisine. Because of the project’s success, the number of mobile eateries has expanded, meaning it’s harder to find the really worthwhile carts and trucks. To help guide you, here are five must-try mobile eateries in Vancouver.

1. Fresh Local Wild

You’ll find this truck in the downtown core on the south side of West Hastings, just east of Burrard. The menu offers West Coast staples like the Chicken Fried Oyster ‘Po-Boy’ and Tuna Melt, as well as seasonal seafood sourced from local fishermen and ethical farms. Personally, I love eating poutine in Canada, and they serve their own spin on the fries and gravy meal with the “Local Seafood Chowder Poutine,” a mix of clams, mussels, salmon, cod and double-smoked bacon, and their “Chanterelle Mushroom Poutine” with Quadra Island chanterelles, cheese curds and green onions. Their focus is on being part of the change concerning unstable food sources, over-consumption of fossil fuels and over-harvesting of natural food resources. For example, they’ve created the industry’s first carbon-negative food truck. What’s also interesting is the moving eatery boasts having the city’s “only mobile dining patio,” making the vehicle even more like a typical restaurant.


feastro


Feastro, The Rolling Bistro

Located on the corner of West Cordova and Thurlow Streets, this food truck serves brunch and lunch all day. Items like huevos rancheros with homemade salsa, maple grilled ham steak bennies topped with Howe Sound beer and cheddar cheese and “Fisherman’s Pie” stuffed with Pacific scallops, red snapper, Alaskan line-caught ling cod, prawns and truck-smoked salmon make this a sustainable yet flavorful roaming eatery. Their focus is on creating unusual combinations with local ingredients, and you’ll be surprised that such delicious food can come from such a tiny kitchen.


re-up bbq


Re-Up BBQ

With various locations, this mobile eatery serves southern style pulled-pork sandwiches that transport you from British Columbia to the deep south. One of the perks about having a menu with only a few items – pulled pork sandwiches, beef brisket and southern sweet tea – is you learn how to slow-cook the dishes perfectly. While you’ll get authentic southern flavor, this food truck places an emphasis on health and sustainability by using locally sourced and organic ingredients. You can find them Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hornby and Georgia Streets. On select Saturdays, they move to 800 Robson, between Horby and Howe. Additionally, each day you’ll find them at their cafe at River Market at Westminster Quay from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. At this location you’ll also find additional menu items.


japadog


JAPADOG

While technically they do sell hotdogs, this mobile eatery is anything but ordinary. Probably the most famous food cart in Vancouver – and for good reason – JAPADOG serves wieners with Japanese-style toppings. Some menu items include the “Okonomi,” made with Kurobuta sausage with bonito flakes, the “Yakisoba,” created by topping an arabiki sausage with Japanese noodles and their signature hot dog, the “Terimayo,” topped with Teriyaki sauce, mayo and seaweed (shown above). While you’ll find JAPADOG in an array of forms throughout the city, their mobile shops are located at Burrand and Smithe, Burrard and Pender and Granville and Pender from around 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and later.


moms grilled cheese


Mom’s Grilled Cheese

Located at Howe Street and West Georgia, on the corner of the Vancouver Art Gallery, this cozy food truck operates under the idea of bringing home to the road. They specialize in classic home-style grilled cheese made with love and precision. All their breads are artisanal and made fresh daily, with gluten-free options available as well. You can choose between making your own grilled cheese and choosing the breads, cheeses and add-ons, or ordering the daily special. For example, on Mondays they serve a thick slice of homemade meatloaf topped with mozzarella and marinara and served on French bread, while on Tuesdays you can get “Sam’s Special,” a helping of turkey and brie on cranberry pecan bread.

What’s your favorite mobile eatery in Vancouver?