8 Essential Vancouver Dining and Drinking Establishments

This past weekend saw my kid brother fly in from Edmonton with his girlfriend in an attempt to wine and dine Vancouver into her heart in a bid to persuade her to move ‘out west’.

Arriving Thursday evening, I met them at the Yaletown Roundhouse Canada Line stop at 7:55pm, and immediately ventured (bags in tow) a block further into Yaletown for an 8:00 PM reservation at Minami , one of Vancouver’s more innovative Japanese restaurants. An extended fine dining experience ensued until the one hour time change served notice and it was time to retire, our bellies full and entirely satisfied.

Friday morning my brother commandeered my vehicle and pointed it in the direction of Squamish, via the beautiful Sea to Sky highway, with a pit stop at Whytecliff Park . His intentions were to show off the road cycling routes he’d been enjoying on previous visits this summer, alongside the views hiking the Chief offered of Squamish. Rain ensued and the hike was called off upon arrival in Squamish, only to be replaced with a much more refined activity – sitting down in the Howe Sound Brewery to sample the products of the environment. Returning Friday evening in the continued rain and wind, hot ramen seemed only too appropriate. Motomachi Shokudo in the West End is a small, quant establishment serving authentic ramen and served as a good progression from the previous evening’s meal.

Saturday morning was greeted with sunshine and starting the day in Kitsilano at Lucky’s Doughnuts with local 49th Parallel coffee was a good kickstart to the day. After a couple hours traversing from Kits Beach up to Spanish Banks, it was time for lunch. A quick ride across town to Gastown, we arrived at La Taqueria for the best pinche tacos Vancouver has to offer. Washing these down with just one cerveza wasn’t enough, and we continued our Gastown tour to the Irish Heather for another pint. With so much activity, a nap was had by all on the grass of Crab Park overlooking the shipping cranes in the Burrard inlet, before eventually making our way to Nook for some solid Italian bistro style fair that never ever fails to impress.

With such a hectic Saturday, Sunday began rather lazily. My brother took his girlfriend on a walking tour of the West End, showing off Stanley Park, the local beaches, and potential apartments that would afford immediate access to everything Edmonton does not have. I caught up with them sitting at a local dog park. They do not have a dog, but my brother was willing to leverage the possibility of getting one as further inducement for a move. Lunch was served up by the famed Japadog food cart downtown (the Terimayo dog topped with nori was ordered by all), before making our way to 33 Acres, a local microbrewery, close to the junction of Main and Broadway for some very respectable afternoon hops and charcuterie. Returning home, thoughts of dinner emerged, and we walked down to the closest Sea Taxi for a trip to Granville Island to pick up the wears for a planned evening BBQ. Sitting on the banks of Sunset Beach that evening and eating kebabs and pineapple direct from the grill while watching the sunset may have just sealed the deal in tempting my kid brother’s girlfriend in a move ‘out west’.

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