Ever been to Vancouver? As of 24 hours ago I can say that I have!
As a proud Canadian, I was more than ashamed that I had never spent time in the most well-known west coast city in our country. I had flown there when I was younger on the way to a family ski trip in Kamloops, where MuchMusic’s Snow Job happened to be on and I saw Treble Charger and Shaggy in all their early 2000’s glory, but that's the closest I got.
So, when my colleague told me we’d be heading there for a conference this past weekend, I couldn’t have been more excited! While my trip was very short lived (I was there for about 42 hours) here is what I did that I would recommend.
First food stop – Revolver Coffee in Gastown. Now, I might be biased because I was exceptionally exhausted, but my cappuccino was one of the best cappuccino’s I’ve ever had outside of Italy. Even if you’re not super into coffee, you’ll love the atmosphere and appreciate the apothecary-esque coffee accessories.
Friday night I hit up Ask For Luigi. I was jetlagged and still on Toronto time, so when a local recommended we get there super early, I was more than okay with that. When we showed up at 5:15 (it didn’t open til 5:30), not only was there already a line, but we also just managed to sneak into the first seating. Two people behind me were told to leave their names and come back at 7pm! This little Italian restaurant recommends eating family style with shared plates, so we split two appetizers – the bocconcini fritti and the meatballs – but both ordered the pappardelle wild boar ragu for our mains. As you can see, I couldn't even wait take a picture before digging into my ragu.
Saturday was the meal I’d be waiting for – sushi! Miku was right across the street from my hotel with a beautiful view of Vancouver harbour.
We had the seaweed salad and calamari to start. I think the salad could have used a bit more spice, but the calamari was THE BEST I've ever had (and I've had a lot!). This was followed by the salmon oshi sushi, the miku roll, and the premium aburi nigiri sushi plate. Heaven.
Gastown: Basically the only neighbourhood I saw, I loved all the unique shops and stores. My favourite was The Old Faithful Shop where I found amazing goat milk and sea salt chocolate (two different bars, though together that sounds good, too), and short recipe book with recipes all centred around prosciutto. Also, grab a drink at Chill Winston if you're there. Their patio looked great, and any bar that garnishes cocktails with crushed sugary cereals is top in my books!
Stanley Park: Duh. Walk along the Coal Harbour Seawall to Brockton Lighthouse at sunset for the best experience.
My first trip to Van, while far too short, was definitely great, and I can't wait to go back!
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