By: Henry & Stephanie Yuen
Emails from readers and friends visiting west coast come more frequently these days, guess it has to do with the warming sun we Vancouverites have been blessed with lately.
Questions usually circle around which restaurants to eat, what to do, where to go for family fun. Ergo we sat down, flipped through some notes and came up with a list. For our local friends, we encourage you to play visitors of your own city one weekend or two, and promise you’ll fall in love with Metro Vancouver and FraserValley all over again!
Fun Fun Fun:
Stanley Park – A must for visitors from afar and nearby, all ages. The Aquarium, the outdoor theatre, the boardwalk, the totem poles and so much more, not a bad idea to rent a bike to do the touring. www.vancouver.ca/parks/
Granville Island – Please allow a full day (and evening if you can, there are theatres and great restaurants)! The public market, Artisan Sake Makers, unique artsy shops and houseboats. Oh, do take an ‘Aqua Bus’ ride across the water. www.granvillisland.com
Lonsdale Quay – Another Public Market? Not quite at all! The Quay, on the other side of the waterfront, has its own setting and character. Check out the weekend outdoor dance which welcomes everyone, and of course, all sorts of festivals are lining up as well. www.lonsdalequay.com
Richmond Night Markets – We go there for the ethnic street food, others go there to hunt for bargains. Hey, there are two markets now: The International Summer Night Market www.summernightmarket.com and the Richmond Night Market www.richmondnightmarket.com .
Steveston – A village by the sea with lots of stories and hidden gems: Salmon Festival, Kite-flying beach, historic buildings and the fisherman’s wharf where one can pick up the seafood dinner entrée. www.steveston.bc.ca
A little bit out of town…
Maplewood Farm, North Vancouver – More than a farm for sure. After your kids give the adorable baby animals a big hug, they’ll give you one bigger ‘thank-you’ hug! www.maplewoodfarm.bc.ca
Krause Berry Farm, Langley – Ready for some U-pick action? Sit around the picnic table for a huge peach pie? Here is the place. www.krauseberryfarms.com
Harrison – Home of the mysterious ‘Big Foot’ and Harrison Hot Spring, white beach and a discovery river cruise. The route to Harrison is already a lovely journey itself. www.tourismharrison.com
Circle Farm Tours – A delicious way to visit the suburbs and to learn and appreciate what the farms and farmers are doing to make our lives easy and yummy. www.circlefarmtours.com
Whistler – The world renowned ski resort shines in a different way under the sun. There’re tons of kids activities and for adults, gorgeous dine and wine spots.
Check out Aura and Bearfoot Bistro. www.hellobc.com/whistler-BC
Vancouver Island – For those who spare the time, Vancouver Island is home to many magnificent hideaways and awesome destinations. Tons of romantic resorts are awaiting where honeymooners, anniversary-celebrators and dream-seekers go to enhance their bodies and souls. Check out www.hellobc.com, the official Tourism British Columbia website for details.
Where to eat
Cachè Bistro, on Hamilton at Yaletown – A small cozy and friendly restaurant where food is the passion and life of Chef Alex. www.cachebistro.com
La Parisienne, on Denman near StanleyPark – A warm and homey place to share family-style authentic country food and hearty laughter. www.laparisienne.ca
Provence Marinaside, waterfront at Yaletown – The view and the relaxing ambiance are just the beginning. www.provencevancouver.com
Campagnolo, on Main near the Skytrain Station – Great charcuterie and thin-crust pizza! Give yourselves and the chef time, and be ready for a feast! www.campagnolorestaurant.ca
La Quercia, on W. 4th near Arbutus – For $50 pp, the kitchen sends out at least 7 courses of piles of great hearty food and makes you feel like you are in Italy! www.laquercia.ca
Edible at the Market, Granville Island – The name says it all – everything they serve is sourced locally. Do stop by the shop to see what Canadian yummy products you can bring home. www.ediblecanada.com
Forage on Robson at Listel Hotel - The flavour, the colour and the true culinary spirit of the west coast captured and redefined. Thursday is the Pork Belly Day! www.foragevancouver.com
Yew Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel – This is the restaurant where everyone can and will enjoy his/her craving. Come Sunday and open a bottle of wine at a great discount, and check out their special promotions. www.yewrestaurant.com
The Parlour Restaurant, on Hamilton at Yaletown – Another great joint to share creative dishes (and pizza!) at reasonable prices! The pizza-making at the open kitchen may awe your kids – a live Food channel episode! www.theparlourrestaurant.com
New World Asian :
Happa Izakaya, various locations www.happaizakaya.com
Kaya Malay Bistro, West Broadway at Oak. www.kayamalay.com
Sen Bistro, West Broadway at Burrard. www.senchinesebistro.com
Maenam (Thai), W. 4th at Cypress. www.maenam.ca
Vij, W. 11st at Granville. www.vijs.ca
Tojo Japanese Restaurant, W. Broadway at Spruce. Beauty to the eyes and the palates. www.tojos.com
Lin Chinese Cuisine, W. Broadway at Granville. Best Xiao Long Bao and Northern Chinese dimsum. www.linchinese.ca
Congee Noodle House, E. Broadway at Quebec. Good congee and best hand-made rice rolls! (Sorry no website)
Café Kathmandu, Commercial at Grandview. The one and only Himalayan restaurant in town. www.cafekathmandu.com
Prince Chinese Restaurant. Grandview Hwy at Renfrew. Constantly good dimsum. www.princeseafoodrestaurant.com
Corner 23 (Taiwanese), Cambie at W. 23rd. Their ‘pork hock’ dishes originate from Taiwan. (Sorry no website)
Master Hung BBQ Restaurant, Blundell at Garden City. Richmond. An neighbourhood eatery offering crafted Chinese barbeque and high wok-energy wok dishes (sorry no website).
Empress Seafood Restaurant, No. 3 at Westminster, Richmond. This beautiful room with top-notch service is an excellent choice for either casual or eventful family dinner gatherings. www.empirerestaurant.ca