Every now and then, Jeff and I will take a quick, spontaneous road trip somewhere. We don’t go with any real agenda. Generally, we’re just in pursuit of some relaxation and good food. This time we decided to head up north for an overnight trip to Vancouver, dog in tow. We visited the city’s beautiful parks and window shopped a bit. But mostly, we ate. Armed with word of mouth recommendations, a couple Yelp leads, and intuition, we found some truly amazing food. What’s your favorite place to eat in Vancouver?
1. Cafe Medina
I will preface by saying that I am not wild about American brunch food. Most of the time it’s simply too heavy and bland. You will never find me (willingly) waiting in line in the cold for pancakes and waffles. That being said, Cafe Medina is the complete opposite of any typical American breakfast establishment that I am used to. Cafe Medina is known for their Belgian waffles with a variety of creative toppings such as fig orange marmalade and white chocolate pistachio rosewater. The waffles are very small, but packed with flavor. But the highlight of the meal was my lavender latte, which was made with house made syrup. Well worth the wait!
2. Alibi Room
There are not many small breweries located in Vancouver proper, but that doesn’t really matter when you have the Alibi Room. This is a place for beer lovers (aka my boyfriend). The drink list is overwhelmingly long, with an emphasis on local breweries. While the focus is on beer, the establishment is far from dive-y. The space is very modern and inviting, and the kitchen offers a full range of locally-sourced food.
No trip to Vancouver would be complete without a visit to Tojo’s. As always, the food was delicious, including this tuna “sushi”, deep fried and topped with pickled plum sauce and shiso leaves. Jeff and I both noticed that the restaurant was starting to look a little dated, but the food was still delicious nonetheless.
If I were a hungover Canadian, my first stop would be La Belle Patate. La Belle Patate is known for their smoked meat, so naturally I gravitated toward the smoked meat poutine. The cheese curds were huge and the gravy was delicious. I don’t recommend this for a well balanced meal, but it makes a great snack to share with a bottle of beer.
5. Dirty Apron
Upon entering Dirty Apron, I immediately had an urge to move to Vancouver and become a Canadian. This place encapsulates everything that I love. It’s a cooking school, specialty food store, deli, and bakery all rolled into one. Dirty Apron is small, but absolutely charming with its exposed brick and old converted warehouse feel. The owners of Cafe Medina also own Dirty Apron, which may explain why I love it so much. Don’t miss the cheesecake pistachio brownie if it’s available.