This is your indispensable companion to all that is fresh and delicious in Vancouver right now
Vancouver seems positively bursting at the seams with visitors right now, so thank goodness patio season is here—and we have covered patios (I see you on the horizon, June-uary!) The cold spring is making all our seasonal produce rather late, but there’s still rhubarb to enjoy, the first strawberries will be here soon, and we still have a few more weeks of sweet, sweet spot prawn season to enjoy.
Go, eat and drink all the delicious things—and as ever, don’t forget napkins, it’s gonna get messy!
1. Have everything at Bar Susu
Facebook/Bar SusuMake a reso with a couple of friends because, trust me, you are going to want to order absolutely everything from the small but beautifully formed menu at this pop-up from the folks behind Published on Main (who, by the way, just scored first place on the Canada’s Top 100 restaurants list). The wine list is thoughtfully curated, leaning towards low and no-intervention wines, the cocktails are delicious and if they have any of Ontario’s superb Soif cider on the menu, you gotta have that too. Tell their very excellent bar manager Joe Casson that I sent ya.
2. Hit the cellar with happy hour wine at Cactus Club
Nikki BayleyI spotted this sign while I was barrelling down Burrard, and it stopped me in my tracks; I’d totally forgotten that they did this! I went to check online to see what kind of deals would be available and—woah!—I think I just found my new mid-week drinking spot: Cactus Club! Look in the ‘cellar’ section and you’ll find gems such as Premiere cru Chablis, Oregon Pinot Noir and some sensational 2015 Sangiovese. Lists vary depending on location, so look online to see what’s available; it’s also worth knowing that only the Bentall 5, Coal Harbour and Yaletown locations offer this deal on Tuesdays and Wednesdays—everywhere else it’s just Tuesday. Happy (good deal) drinking!
3. Revisit the classics at Tavola
We went old school the other night and hit up Tavola for pillowy ricotta gnocchi, juicy meatballs in a bright tomato sauce and, honestly, the best tiramisu I can ever remember eating. I really hope this doesn’t sound too precious, but as someone who spends a lot of time eating cheffily fancy food, it was kind of awesome to dive into simple classics done so very well. The tiramisu gets props because A.) it was huge, B.) it wasn’t too sweet as so many seem to be, and C.) it had great glorious gobs of mascarpone cheese thickly-layered through it. Just awesome. Three of us shared it and scraped the plate clean. Oh, and D.) It was just $10!
PokerritoHats off to Pokérrito for this initiative! I remember a few years back, Sarb Mund—who used to run the much-missed Soho Road food truck and now is the founder and CEO of Commissary Connect—wanted to get a reusable tiffin tin scheme off the ground in the city. The idea being that you’d buy a tiffin tin and then be able to use them anywhere that was part of the program; no more waste containers! Sadly, that never happened (although I still believe it’s a brilliant idea), but we need to see more of this waste reduction at work, so support them in this and start asking everyone else to do it!
5. Say cheers to South African chenin blanc
Pexels: Valeria BoltnevaI do love a random wine day and it turns out that Friday, June 17th is South African Chenin Blanc Day! I was sent a few to try, and I’m recommending that you dive into the very approachable Terre Brulée for a wild ferment, hand-harvested 100 percent chenin from old vines that’s bright with aromatic honeysuckle and fresh zesty lemon, or splurge on the Spier 21 Gables 2019 Chenin Blanc, with gloriously plush almost Chardonnay-like levels of buttery vanilla and spice on the finish, but with a peachiness all of its own.
6. Book a Vancouver Foodie Tour
Facebook/Vancouver Foodie ToursI was showing a U.K. friend around Granville Island last week (still the place that’s guaranteed to lights up a visitor’s eyes!) and I spotted something which made my heart soar: Van Foodie Tours are back. It’s been so hard seeing beloved places so empty, and to not see people laughing and sharing food, so to see a full tour of hungry visitors enjoying the delights of the market was just the absolute best. It’s been a tough two years for everyone in the tourism and hospitality businesses, so maybe be a hungry tourist in your own town and book a tour this summer!
7. Road trip: Covert Farms cookout
Facebook/Covert Farms Family EstateThere are few things I love more than gathering around the campfire, so I adore this summer experience from Covert Farms in Oliver. From now 'til July 3rd, and then again September 1st to October 30th, you can book a private two-hour campfire cookout with your own personal fire pit and grill kit, complete with Two Rivers organic dogs or smokies, buns, paletas and wine (or organic juice)! It’s worth knowing that they have live music every Sunday, and—if you’re travelling with kids—they have farm games, a jumping pillow and plenty of other fun distractions.
8. Get fancy at 'The Cup'
Facebook/The CupRe-named 'The Cup' (read why here), the city’s most fabulous social racing event is back at Hastings racecourse on Saturday, July 23rd. New this year, a $10,000 grand prize in the Style Stakes contest, a Vie Vité rose wine garden, pop-up cocktail bars including a modern cigar lounge pouring Alfred Girauld whisky, a mint julep experience with four different bourbons and, of course, horse racing! Pre-sale tickets are available until June 7th for $55, then prices rise to $95. You know what to do!