Vancouver Adventures: Our To Do Picks for Jan. 25 – 31

This week: Scope out food truck heaven, try out for The Bachelor Canada, fall in love with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet all over again and more

Credit: Facebook / Aussie Pie Guy

Street Food City III – Until January 26

Why eat at one street food cart when you can load up over 20? From January 22 to 26, Street Food City, one of Dine Out Vancouver Festival’s signature events, returns to tempt the masses with a rotating round-up of nearly two dozen food carts and trucks at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s North Plaza for five days of al fresco feasting, ranging from tried-and-true favourites like gourmet grilled cheese to exotic eats like East Indian kebabs. Lunch date, anyone? (Check out our Street Food City picks here).

The Bachelor Canada Casting – January 25

Are you single and ready to mingle? The hunt is on for the next stars of The Bachelor Canada. Citytv is criss-crossing the country on a casting tour to find the next TV hunk and 25 “vibrant bachelorettes,” aged 19+, for the second season of the reality series. Auditions begin January 25 in Vancouver at Opus Bar (322 Davie St), from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., then head east with stops in Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.

Credit: Glutino

Vancouver Gluten Free Expo

Is your New Year’s resolution to go gluten free? It’s not as tough as you think, especially if you pick up product tips at the 2014 Vancouver Gluten Free Expo, held January 25 and 26 at the Forum Building at the PNE (we’ve got advice for how to get the most out of the Gluten Free Expo). You can discover, sample and buy hundreds of gluten-free products, talk to leading dieticians and nutritionists, plus visit the Choices Markets’ booth to take home the Gluten-Free Food Guide at a special price. Tickets are available at the door for $15 (cash only). Kids ages 10 or under get in for free but must be supervised by an adult.  

Credit: Flickr / ici-c-la-capitale-du-monde

Robbie Burns Night – January 26

You don’t have to be Scottish to celebrate Robbie Burns Night. On January 26, it’ll be a case of the more the merrier at 05 Rare Tea Bar (2208 West Fourth Ave, Vancouver), where fans of the “ploughman’s poet” can toast Scotland’s national hero with whisky, tea (or both!), while enjoying plenty of haggis, poetry readings and Scottish-style fun, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 by phone at 604-558-0500.

The Flame – January 27

Award-winning actor Deborah Williams (who’s a co-creator of the hit stage play Mom’s the Word) is fanning The Flame at Victoria’s Belfry Theatre on January 27. This hit storytelling series features real local artists sharing their personal true stories in front of a live audience, backed by original compositions from B.C. composer Tobin Stokes. Admission for the 7 p.m. show is free, but get there early because this event is known to pack ‘em to the rafters.

Credit: Flickr / jack o'diamonds

Jim Byrnes and Babe Gurr – January 31

Back by popular demand and becoming an annual tradition, Juno-winning bluesman Jim Byrnes and folk artist Babe Gurr are set to share the stage at Deep Cove Shaw Theatre (4360 Gallant Ave, North Vancouver) on January 31 and February 1. Starting at 8 p.m., this fundraising fete for First Impressions Theatre is a rare chance to see two of Canada’s finest recording artists sharing their songs, stories and journeys in an intimate setting, making for an inspiring and uniquely entertaining show. Tickets are $30.   

Credit: Flickr / vpickering

Chow down on Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year! To celebrate, why not chow down, Chinese style, on some of the “unfailingly authentic dim sums” that Vancouver is known for? You’ll enjoy a succession of sweet and savoury dishes, like shrimp dumplings and congee, served up in style on bamboo trays. You won’t lack for choices about where to dine, but you can’t go wrong checking out Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood (4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond), which won the 2013 Chinese Restaurant Award for “Best Dim Sum.”

Credit: Soirette

Tea Time at Soirette

One way to cheer up the dreary days of winter? By warming up with a tete-a-tete over High Tea at Soirette, a jewel-box of a bakeshop located in downtown Vancouver. Choose from over 30 exquisite loose-leaf teas then sample savories such as thyme-and-chicken pot pie, carrot-and-parsnip soup and feta-and-quinoa salad rolls. Save room for delicious desserts including handmade macarons, carrot cake and Scottish shortbread. Held on Saturdays and Sundays for $35 per person, High Tea is also available in gluten-free and vegetarian versions, by calling 604-558-3308.

Family-Style-Feast at La Pentola della Quercia

Acclaimed as one of Vancouver’s best new restaurants, La Pentola della Quercia (350 Davie St, Vancouver) is warming up the winter nights with a Famiglia Supper Series, a hearty dinner featuring traditional dishes from the Trentino region of Italy. Book your spot for the 6 p.m. feast, then chow down at a communal table on a 10-course menu that includes bread dumplings, stuffed trotters, tortellini and local venison. Cost is $55 per person, with reservations by phone at 604-642-0557.    

Romeo and Juliet – January 30 to February 1

Long before Twilight’s Bella and Edward or Fifty Shades of Grey’s Christian and Anna, there was Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The star-crossed lovers take the stage in Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s rendition of literature’s most tragic love story from January 30 to February 1 at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre. This full-length production stays true to the original tale, complete with riveting sword fights, breathtaking choreography and Prokofiev’s gorgeous score. Go online for tickets and info.