This is your indispensable companion to all that is delicious (and available for takeout) in Vancouver right now
The main takeaway from social media these days? Food continues to unite us and bring us pleasure. All of the cooking and baking that we're sharing with our friends online (the only way we can share right now) is really a way for us to nourish and nurture each other.
May brings us fresh chances to eat all the good things springing from the ground right now: the first asparagus, peppers, new potatoes... but let’s be thoughtful about where we spend our CERB, and put those dollars in the hands of the folks who nourish and nurture us year-round: our local farmers and restaurants.
Stay safe, stay well and maybe invest in stretchy pants to go along with the usual napkins, as it looks like we’ll be here for a while...
1. Support Vancouver Farmers Markets
Vancouver Farmers MarketsThis one’s pretty important: we all need to eat and without our farmers, we are nothing. The Vancouver Farmers Markets (VFM) support 280 small B.C. farms and artisan food makers and help keep 3,400 acres of local farmland in sustainable food production every year. All six VFM locations will be opening this year, starting on May 2nd at Trout Lake. I’m going to quote their press release here so you can fully see the difference this season:
“Shoppers should take note that the markets will look very different to the community gatherings they were previous to COVID-19. In accordance with BC Public Health Officer Bonnie Henry’s orders, VFM will be food-only for the time being, with no craft, flowers, or non-food nursery items available for purchase; full physical distancing and safety measures will be in place, including limiting shopper capacity inside the markets. There will be no live music or eating on site, and shoppers will be asked to follow the “Shop, don’t stop” protocol in effect at grocery stores and other businesses.”
In the next few weeks, a new online platform will be released for centralized pick-up and delivery, so bookmark that now and keep checking back, and please plan to do your grocery shopping in a way that supports our farmers.
2. Get fancy takeout from St. Lawrence
Indulgent French-Canadian food champs, St Lawrence have joined the takeout gang, and you can now order from their à la Maison menu to enjoy succulent treats such as tortiére and duck confit to feast on at home. Add a bottle of wine to your order or join the St. Lawrence wine club for six perfectly curated bottles straight from their well-stocked cellar. A percentage from each meal goes to help folks via the Union Gospel Mission.
3. Oh damn, pints of Uno Gelato to your door
Uno GelatoYears ago, I belonged to a monthly ice cream delivery program which was honestly one of the best decisions I ever made. The joy of knowing there was always a sweet treat in the freezer (with more to come) helped me through so many tough times. With that in mind, Uno Gelato is now open for takeout and delivery so you can pack your freezer with pints of their farm-to-cone gelato and vegan sorbetto. It’s a four-pint minimum order but at a special price of $12.50 plus GST per pint, they will deliver for free in most of the GVRD when you order online. You can also go pick up from their shop in Kitsilano (Monday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
4. Shop at the Coho Collective Market
Joshua SaitoThis is very cool! The Coho Collective crew has opened an online market featuring more than 100 items from 20 different local brands for delivery across Metro Vancouver. I took a look and wow, affordable treat central! There is everything from kombucha, nut cheese, artisan chocolate and frozen cookie dough to humous, tapenade, sourdough loaves and ready-to eat-meals. Order online here, and orders placed by Saturday at 9 p.m. will be delivered the following week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, depending on location. Looks like a great way to support those small suppliers who may be really struggling right now.
5. Scream! Hy’s at Home!
The cheese toast at Hy’s is likely one of my all-time favourite things to eat in the whole wide world, and now you can order up those foil-wrapped babies to eat at home. Hy’s has just launched a Hy’s at Home menu featuring: "a range of prime Canadian beef and seafood entrées, delicious sides and accompaniments, and decadent desserts. The upscale takeout service includes fully cooked ready-to-eat items in addition to gourmet meal kits that come with step-by-step instructions for grilling and assembling at home.”
I say, recreate the atmosphere at home: order it up for a late lunch (pick-up goes from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.), draw the blinds, mix yourself a stiff martini as you cook, and let a bottle of something red and velvety breathe. Then, revel in day-drunk, steak-sleepy bliss for the rest of the day and night…
6. Aperitivo awaits with Di Beppe
Missing your fix of divinely decadent Italian? Look no further than Di Beppe where they're doing daily takeout and delivery. Pick from pizzas (mildly obsessing over the house-made fennel sausage one with provolone, rosemary and balsamic), silky pastas (say yes to proper guanciale carbonara), baked goodies and—crucially—a quartet of bottled classic Aperitivo cocktails. Just saying them out loud feels comforting: "Bicicletta, Aperol Spritz, Negroni, Americano." Bring them to my door!
7. Make a (brief) trip to Granville Island
Granville IslandYou know what's still open for grocery and food business? Yup, Granville Island Public Market. I ordered up some chai blend from the Tea Company there last week. The market is currently open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with seniors-only shopping for the first hour. Leave the friends and family at home and head on over to support local growers and producers. There’s a full list here of every vendor that is open—along with instructions on how to shop in the market in these COVID-19 times. Good news! Lee’s Donuts and Oyama Sausage are still in business so get your fill of the city’s best from them.
8. Get ready for the Hospitality Hustle
You may have already seen some #HospitalityHustle posts online. Wondering what that is? Wonder no more. The original plan for the Hospitality Hustle was an in-person 5km walk/run around Burnaby’s Deer Lake, followed by Sunday brunch at Hart House Restaurant to raise funds, as well as to raise awareness, about the importance of mental and physical health. Obviously, that can’t happen now, so it’s gone to a virtual event to encourage hospitality workers and food-lovers to get moving by training for a province-wide #HospitalityHustle that will take place on May 31, 2020 anytime from sunrise to sunset.
“Keeping social distancing front of mind, we encourage participants to join this free event. Pick your activity—walk or run 5km, dance for an hour, skip, prance, skateboard or take a 10km bike ride—and start your training today! Then, on Sunday, May 31st, our entire community will virtually get their ‘Socially Distant Hustle’ on for hospitality. Donate here!