This is your indispensable companion to all that is fresh and delicious in Vancouver right now
I’m so full of summer happiness right now. I’ve been eating peas and raspberries straight from my garden, as many blueberries as I can get my hands on (they taste so, so good this year!), and endless barbecues of beautiful, sustainable B.C. salmon. It’s peak season and I am here for it! Maybe this is the hot girl summer we were promised? Let’s see.
In the meantime, get ready to dive into seasonal deliciousness, fun events, and some outrageously great eats. As always, grab a napkin, it’s gonna get messy...
1. Help out Dosanko’s staff
DosankoI was unfortunate enough to experience a house fire myself last year. It was hugely traumatic and turned my world upside down for months. I was horrified to hear that the building Dosanko restaurant is in was hit by a fire—and subsequent flooding damage—this month. They will, of course, be closed for a while which means the whole staff just lost their jobs. GM and co-owner Akiyo Lowey has started a fundraiser to help her team get through summer until they can reopen again. If you can help, please do.
2. Keep it simple at Bufala
BufalaIs there anything better than something simple done wonderfully? Surely, that is at the heart of truly delicious food. Find it every time at Bufala when you order the pesto and ricotta pizza. I had some the other night, and it was heaven on a plate. A tangy bright basil and dandelion pesto with fresh ricotta, scattered pine nuts and Parmigiano cheese. We shared, but not gonna lie—we wish we’d all gotten one each. So good!
3. Get your licks in at English Bay
Marck GuttI’ve loved Rain or Shine ice cream since they opened years ago, so I was delighted to find them serving up the good stuff a stone’s throw from the Inukshuk on English Bay in their food truck. Join the queues and order a sugar waffle cone piled high with their Philly-style egg-free ice cream. I highly recommend the Honey-Lavender made with raw honey from Vernon and lavender from Maple Ridge.
4. Raise a glass with get happy
I stumbled upon Get Happy’s amazing natural wine store the other week on Instagram and am now completely obsessed with checking out one of their super-fun tasting nights. Tickets are only $40, which gives you a chance to try at least nine different wines (they tell me they always pour surprise extras), plus there are tasty snacks from T&T or their pal Al Cashin and his fresh-baked focaccia—and you can buy whatever bottles you loved to take home. Their next event is August 18th and it’s going to be birthday-themed, as it’s co-founder Drew’s birthday month.
5. Hit up Paul on Robson for a sweet-tea-infused high
It’s like Paul found my favourite things and put them all together: buttery, flaky pastry with rich, ooey-gooey buttery caramel, and a generous topping of Earl Grey-infused patisserie cream on top. Not gonna lie, I was vibrating from the sugar rush for an hour after eating this, but it was worth it.
6. Eat at Caffe La Tana immediately
Caffe La TanaI lost count of the number of times people have recommended that I visit La Tana café-bar next to Pepino’s on Commercial. I finally ate lunch there and am now furious with myself for not going before. What a perfect spot for everything from breakfast to brunch to lunch to dinner—and an aperitivo hour along the way!
We tried a couple of house-made pastas and a piled-high muffaletta sandwich and I can tell you we would have licked the plates clean if we could have. I am still dreaming of the delicate agnolotti stuffed with chicken and pork in glossy, buttery, meaty roasting juices, topped with crispy sage. There is a wildly tempting grocery there too loaded with everything from olive oils and bottled Amarana cherries to fresh pastas, sauces and, oh, everything! Don’t leave it a minute longer if you haven’t been. You need this wonderfulness in your life.
7. Demand the Homer St. Cafe beef and cheddar sandwich
Nikki BayleyCheck their social to see if it’s back on as a special, but the insanely tasty beef and cheddar sandwich from the Homer Street Cafe and Bar is so damn good it really needs to be a permanent addition. It features a buttery brioche bun topped with thinly sliced rotisserie beef shoulder, crispy onions and aioli, drizzled in a gooey cheese sauce. It’s kinda like a deconstructed cheeseburger but a billion times better. Hunt this down!
8. Celebrate B.C. at White Spot
White SpotLove this from White Spot! They’re launching a Celebrate B.C. menu from the end of July until September 4th, showcasing many of the beautiful ingredients which make our province so damn tasty. Brand new on the menu, a brie and bacon burger with cheese from Golden Ears Cheesecrafters; a summer salad bursting with locally grown produce; and, back by popular demand, the famous fresh B.C. blueberry pie made with blueberries sourced entirely through Silver Valley Farms in Maple Ridge. It’s great when large organizations support local, so in turn, show your support to them!
9. Say: Yes Shef! at Chambar
ChambarI’m just gonna let the fine folks at Chambar explain this, as it’s an excellent cause and will be a super-fun dinner experience:
“Chambar is thrilled to welcome WORTH Association back for Yes Shef! this summer. Join us on Monday, August 15th for an inspiring evening of elevating women in food and wine. This long-table five-course culinary experience is prepared by Vancouver's top female chefs, who are [teamed up with] local culinary apprentices. Each course is paired with a wine, selected and presented by the industry’s most notable female sommeliers.
Yes Shef! aims to raise scholarship funds to support the next generation of hospitality leaders, as well as supporting WORTH Association’s programs and initiatives for women."
For more information and tickets, please visit WORTH Association.
10. Cheers to Picnic and Bubbles
sobolevnikSpeaking of awesome causes, Les Dames d’Escoffier’s summer fundraiser returns on August 21st showcasing two of my favourite things: picnics and bubbles. Actually, make that three—supporting women is right up there too, and this fundraiser does that and also helps Food Banks BC. Take part by ordering up a picnic which includes a main, two sides, dessert and bubbles (either beer, wine or cider) in a ready-to-go package. Picnics are $150, serve two, and will be available in limited numbers, so snap ‘em up now as you need to order in advance. Participating restaurants include Vij’s, Published on Main, Provence Marinaside and Popina. Order here now.