Stretching along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean and tucked along the edges of centuries-old rainforest, Vancouver is a young city defined by its natural geography in ways unlike any other. It’s known by many names: Lotusland in reference to Homer’s Odyssey, the City of Glass from a Douglas Coupland novel, and Hollywood North thanks to a few seasons of the X-files and oodles of films.
Vancouver is a port city that came of age in the prohibition era and grew up into a diverse urban center with much to offer, including a burgeoning culinary scene and wine culture. Destination or layover, Vancouver is where you want to spend a few hours or days to eat and drink your fill. Lucky for us, there’s the annual Vancouver International Wine Festival as one reason to visit and explore.
For more than four decades the Festival has brought together wineries from around the globe and each year features a different region or country. This year is California, holding center stage with almost a third of the 160 wineries attending. More than 25,000 people descend on the Festival and by proxy Vancouver, in search of food (and drink) to sustain them over eight days of wine tastings, seminars, and workshops. This city offers hundreds of restaurants of all kinds to fortify one’s self and no choice is wrong when discovering them, but a tour guide can come in handy. Happy adventuring.
Five Places to Eat & Drink
- Chewies Oyster Bar for southern inspired eats and deliciously fresh oysters from around British Columbia, Washington, the Atlantic, and PEI plus a delectable wine list with bubbly BC treasures like Bella Gamay Noir Rosé and Evolve Effervescence
- Nightingale for an impeccable menu by chef David Hawksworth and team that includes small and large shared plates of bone marrow, pork cheeks, and fennel salsa verde among dozens of others and a spectacular wine list with glasses and bottles served at exactly the right temperature – because details
- Forage Vancouver for its original and continued commitment to working with producers who focus on sustainable food and drink, and creating such memorable dishes as Vietnamese style bison carpaccio and lamb neck fettucine while dedicating their entire wine list to 100% British Columbia wines – truth
- Timber for a tribute to all things Canadiana in ways few thought possible, with its robust and rotating selection of local BC beer on tap and ridiculously good comfort food – like deep fried cheese curds (get out) as a starter and a “Canadian shore lunch” of fried market Ocean Wise fish with Timber x Main Street Brewing Pilsner batter
- Ugly Dumpling as the new kids who have been around the culinary block individually but came together to create this taste sensation. In their own words: “It’s not pretty, it’s not fancy, probably not authentic, and definitely not meant for photos – but it’s exactly what we want to eat. Maybe you do too.” Yes, we do.