You’ve Gotta Try This in March

This is your indispensable companion to all that is fresh and delicious in Vancouver right now

This is your indispensable companion to all that is fresh and delicious in Vancouver right now

Call me crazy, but I think we’re in for a good month. Cocktail week is back and bigger than ever; the spring release of wines from the Okanagan and Similkameen are tasting terrific; and I feel like we’re due the delights of an early warm spring ’cause I am dying for patio season already.

The first fresh spring salmon is already on menus across the city, and that means asparagus season will be here before you know it. Sunshine’s a-coming, people! So go out and eat all the delicious things.

As always, grab napkins ’cause it’s gonna get messy…

1. Get tickets now to Vancouver Cocktail WeekVancouver Cocktail Week

Back for another glass-raising cocktail extravaganza, The Alchemist has put together a very fun week of events, dinners and seminars around the city which are already selling out. The Golden Era Cocktail Revival Gala on Saturday, March 11 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s glamorous Pacific ballroom looks all kinds of magnificent and offers the chance to get gussied up, and enjoy live music, dancing, delicious food and 40 cocktail stations. There are some amazing cocktail-paired dinners (L’Abattoir is collaborating with the terrific Esquimalt Vermouth & Apéritifs, and Homer St Café has a Negroni fountain in the works!) and dozens of venues are hosting special ‘Cinq a sept’ happy hour sessions too. Score tickets now so you don’t miss out on the fun.

2. Brunch it up (almost) daily at Their There

Brunch it up (almost) daily at Their ThereOn the search for a new brunch spot? Their There on West 4th has switched it up to an all-breakfast, brunch and lunch service (Tuesday to Sunday) from 9 a.m to 3 p.m., with a two-hour happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m., featuring crisp fried chicken sandwiches, cocktails and featured snacks and drinks. The space has opened up a little more and added additional seating, so wait times should be shorter—but it’s well worth hanging out to get a seat because you will be rewarded with delights such as a sweetly jiggly cereal milk panna cotta with generous servings of glazed blueberries; and crispy fried chicken with dense cornbread waffles with a punchy spicy maple syrup.

3. Make it pizza at Community & Taps

I popped into this cute neighbourhood spot on Commercial as I’d seen a few TikToks about Community’s colour-changing cocktails (spoiler: it’s Empress gin doing its usual fabulous butterfly pea blossom purple-to-pink thing), but what I didn’t know was their pizzas are absolutely terrific. They do two different kinds: New York (thin crust and round) and Detroit (beautifully puffy thick crust and rectangular) and we taste-tested both of ’em (basic margherita styles) and man! What a win. Freaking delicious all-round (and all-rectangle). There are plenty of daily deals and happy hour specials, so if you’re looking for a fun new pub for pizza night, I think you found it.

4. Give in to deliciousness at Chicko ChickenChicko Chicken

I’m a sucker for Korean-fried chicken, and the finger-licking, joy-bringing, lip-smacking (teeth-picking) delights that it brings. Usually, my heart—and furred-up arteries—belongs to Zabu on Robson, but I was out in Marpole for a few weeks recently and discovered the heady glee of Chicko Chicken. First things first, I like that you have to wait for your order to be fried. Nothing is sadder than wilted-under-the-lights chicken and you’ll never have that here. Also, if you’re feeling hungry/ordering for more than one, you are in the right place. I wildly over-ordered as I didn’t expect the portions to be so massive. I had half Yangyeom (semi-spicy) and half cheese snow (super fakery cheese powder on fried chicken. Oh, so wrong. Oh, so right), and greedy bitch that I am, even I couldn’t pack this away in one seating. I adored the Yangyeom so much, it was Goldilocks-level just-right heat, spice, crisp, sweet, everything! Grab a friend (or wear your loosest pair of pandemic pants) and order up some today.

5. Worship the amazing omelette at NovellaOmelette at Novella

You know when something super simple is done just right and it makes your heart sing with happiness? Go to Novella, the new café from the team at Published, and after saying hello to every off-duty server/bartender/front of house manager/chef in Vancouver who is also there, order up this French omelette. It is buttery, creamy, scattered with herbs and so good. We immediately ordered a second, ’cause I couldn’t cope with how magnificent it was. You may do the same.

6. Obsess over Bánh Khot at Anh & ChiAnh & Chi

I know you know how great they are at Anh & Chi, but I was reminded of this recently whilst cramming their Bánh Khot (Crispy Prawn Cakes) into my face. I can’t stop thinking about how fantastic they are! Super crispy little turmeric cakes with an almost custardy filing of sweet prawns, coconut milk, and green onions. Have ’em at lunch. Have ’em at dinner. Have ’em whenever you possibly get the chance. Yum!

7. Head back to L’AbattoirL’Abattoir

I hadn’t been to L’Abattoir since the Before Times. Like many folks in the city, I was a little surprised that they’d been skipped completely off the Michelin list, but after a recent visit, I suspect that may not be the case next time around. I’m still drooling and dreaming over two of the dishes, especially the vivid green of an impossibly silky, buttery parsley sauce with bouncy Comté spätzle and juicy Snake River Berkshire pork chop, and the glowing orange-red of the smoked wild sockeye with a tasty, just-punchy enough gribiche which was straight-up excellent. Pop by to this old favourite and find your new favourite Gastown spot.

8. Comfort awaits at Provence MarinasideProvence

I’m all about finding great value these days and chef-owner Jean-Francis Quaglia down at Provence Marinaside is doing something fun from March 15 through to April 15. It’s called ‘Quelle Surprise’ and it’s going to be a little different every day, but the basics are that it’s two courses for $49. The ‘surprise’ is that each morning the team will make a limited number of dishes from a rotating assortment of bistro favourites such as duck confit, French onion soup, or Provençal Beef Stew and you’ll find out what’s on offer on the day‑but when it’s gone, it’s gone. Quelle surprise!