Vancouver Foodie Tour reveals a more palatable Granville Strip

Sample your way through one of Downtown Vancouver's culinary hot spots.

Credit: Nick Chau

Discover new restaurants and taste delicious samples in a gastronomic tour of downtown Vancouver’s Granville Strip

Last week, I was invited to take part in the newly launched Foodie Tour of downtown Vancouver’s Granville Strip, a section of the city, I’ll admit, I’ve come to look upon with disdain.

For three years I worked in an office nearby as a weekend and evening reporter, and at the end of my shift, I’d regularly have to battle it out with pickled beefheads to get a cab. As a result, I’ve come to consider the Granville Strip the place where the worst of the suburbs comes to life.

Needless to say, my expectations going into the Foodie Tour were low. And certainly I wouldn’t have imagined it would ever play host to any of Vancouver’s culinary gems.

Yet that’s exactly what I discovered on the Foodie Tour, a summertime gastronomic exploration of some of Granville’s more choice restaurants and bars, offering samples of popular dishes and a chance to meet the staff.


Foodie Tours

Tours run every Friday and Sunday through September 3.

Reserve by calling host Michelle Ng, 604-339-0078.

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The tour completely transformed my impression of the Granville Strip.

Though the Foodie Tour visits four restaurants, our media preview tour sampled seven (phew!). Here are the highlights…


In photos >>>


Granville Foodie Tour stop: Twisted Fork

The Twisted Fork did an amazing job of sampling some of their popular menu items in bite-sized portions. We got to test cured duck breast on a crouton; roasted beet, grilled pear, goat cheese and arugula on a crouton; and frozen chocolate terrine with raspberry sorbet and wild mint on a spoon. Just enough of a taste to leave you wanting so much more.

The Twisted Fork served up roasted beet, grilled pear, goat cheese and arugula on a crouton.

Frozen chocolate terrine with raspberry sorbet and wild mint.


Granville Foodie Tour stop: The Refinery

I was completely blown away at The Refinery, which specializes in bitters that are made in house. Prior to this I had no idea what a bitter was. Good thing mixologist Lauren Mote was around to unleash her fierce expertise on us.

We also got to test the new brunch menu, with a Southwest Kickass Benny. It consisted of a deep-fried egg on a cornmeal biscuit, which quite simply, blew my mind.

Southwest Kickass Benny: a deep-fried egg on a cornmeal biscuit.

The Refinery mixologist Lauren Mote.

The Refinery dining room with reclaimed wood beams, LED lighting and a horde of Foodie Tour-ists.


Granville Foodie Tour stop: The Edge

Hotel restaurant The Edge proved to be a pleasant surprise, offering little flatbreads with beef and blue cheese, and smoked salmon and goat cheese. The grilled veggie gazpacho was outstanding and much welcomed on a hot Friday.

Flatbreads with beef and blue cheese, and smoked salmon and goat cheese at The Edge on Granville Street.

Chilled and grilled veggie gazpacho.

Foodie Tour host Michelle Ng shepphards blogger Elianna Lev (centre in blue) and the rest of the media group to the next stop.

Foodie Tour guide Michelle Ng briefs the media group on their next stop, the cocktails at Granville Room.


Granville Foodie Tour stop: Granville Room

The newly renovated Granville Room opted to sample one of their specialty drinks, a Mr. Pink—vodka, muddled watermelon, mint syrup and lime juice. It tasted like a fruit salad bath in my mouth.

Granville Room’s Trevor Kallies’s Mr. Pink cocktail.


Granville Foodie Tour stop: ShuRaku

I have passed ShuRaku probably a thousand times and have never thought to try it out because I’ve always assumed it was too touristy. My loss. We sampled epi mayo harumaki, Angus beef wrap and zuke aburi, all of which were exceptionally delicious. I will be back.

ShuRaku executive chef Masahiro Omori.

ShuRaku’s zuke aburi: lightly seared tuna with the chives and sea salt served in a traditional sake box.


Granville Foodie Tour stop: Art Institute of Vancouver

We got to sit down and have a bit of a breather at the Art Institute of Vancouver, which trains future culinary geniuses. There, we were served crab ravioli, duck confit and chocolate decadence cake. None of it tasted amateur. Rich and toothsome, but certainly not amateur.

Granville Street’s Art Institute of Vancouver served the Foodie Tour-ists crab ravioli, duck confit and…

… chocolate decadence cake.


Granville Foodie Tour stop: Crème de la Crumb

The tour ended at the recently opened Crème de la Crumb, a sliver of a bakery at the bottom of Granville. Run by two former financiers who decided to try something new (and delicious), the bakery is committed to baking everything from scratch, with no shortening or preservatives. And dear Lord, can you taste the difference!

Standouts include the cinnamon buns and lime and coconut scones. A little taste of homemade goodness in the middle of the downtown core.

Lime and coconut scones baked fresh, from scratch, with no shortening or preservatives at the newly opened Crème de la Crumb.

Vancouver Foodie Tours

Tours run every Friday and Sunday through September 3. But they’re selling out fast! 

Reserve by calling host Michelle Ng, 604-339-0078.

Michelle is also hosting Downtown and Richmond Foodie Tours. Visit the website for dates and times.

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Elianna Lev

Elianna Lev is a writer, broadcaster, media consultant and storyteller. She lives in Vancouver. | | Twitter