We had the wonderful opportunity to go on a vacation Vancouver last week. It came about because Drew was attending the OpenStack Summit, a tech conference, and I decided to tag along and make a vacation out of it. For the first four days, I walked through Stanley Park many times and frequented lots of coffee shops while Drew was at the conference. Then we took two extra days after the conference was finished to see and explore the city together.
I thought Vancouver was an incredibly lovely city. It’s on the coast, surrounded by mountains, and filled with towering blue-green skyscrapers. It also has great food and lots of cheap, fresh sushi. My favorite part of the trip was Stanley Park. It’s definitely the best public park I’ve ever been to and puts Atlanta’s Piedmont Park to shame. Unfortunately, I did a terrible job documenting the trip with photos, so I didn’t have a huge selection to chose from for this post. But I hope you enjoy hearing about a few of my favorite places we ate . . . and that it’s helpful if you ever visit Vancouver!
The Flying Pig (Yaletown):
This is hands-down my favorite place we ate. I don’t enjoy brussels sprouts, but after reading lots of rave Yelp reviews, I ordered their side of brussels sprouts and was blown away. Halved brussels sprouts, roasted to crispy perfection, tossed with freshly grated parmesan? Mmmm. I think I’m going to have to give brussels sprouts a second chance in my life. I also ordered the veal piccata with risotto, which was also incredible. My favorite part was the little oven roasted tomato that they snuck in there – the acidity worked wonders alongside the rich piccata. I meant to take a photo of it . . . but when the plate came out, I totally forgot until I was a few bites from finishing it. I think that’s recommendation enough.
Timbertrain Coffee Roasters:
Located in historic Gastown, Timbertrain has a simple menu featuring exceptional coffee. It has a pretty cool interior, with wooden booths instead of the usual coffee shop chairs. I sipped the below latte while I read the Call the Midwife memoir and was very pleased with my choice.
Meat and Bread:
I loved Meat and Bread. They only serve four kinds of sandwiches each day: porchetta, corned beef, vegetarian, and a daily special. So, it’s perfect for someone as indecisive as I am because I’m not overwhelmed with options (and I know all the options are going to be really good). To keep their small menu from getting boring, they rotate the toppings and sauces on all the sandwiches. I went there twice and had a hoisin pork sandwich the first time and an eggplant parmesan sandwich the second (pictured below). See, I don’t even care that my bangs are looking rough because I love the sandwich so much.
I think there are two key secrets to their delicious sandwiches:
- Fresh-from-the-oven ciabatta bread.
- They use flavorful, fresh ingredients, but don’t pile them on the sandwich. I mean, I hate it when I get a sandwich that’s so thick I can barely bite into it (much less bite into it gracefully), so it’s nice to have something that a normal human can eat that is still substantial.
Nero Belgian Waffle Bar:
Drew picked this place for lunch one day and it was a great decision. I would have walked past the tiny entrance without paying it a second glance, but Drew was drawn to it. I had a sweet waffle with dark chocolate mousse and orange wedges. Drew had a savory waffle with goat cheese, greens, caramelized pine nuts, and raspberries. They were hands-down the best waffles I’ve ever had.
About a year and a half ago, when we got engaged, Drew resisted registering for a waffle iron because he thought it took up too much space. After we finished our meal at Nero Belgian Waffle Bar, he asked if we could get a waffle iron so we could “make waffles like this.”
Sorry for the blurry picture. I was carrying luggage and kind of in a hurry when I took the photo. But I guess it’s only fitting because SMAK markets itself as a fast-food restaurant – a gluten-free, whole foods fast-food restaurant. We ate breakfast there twice and I had lunch there twice. I loved the morning nymph oatmeal, which featured oats topped with coconut milk, cacao nibs, cinnamon, and sliced banana (which I gave to Drew because of my banana allergy). It was a wonderful breakfast because it was slightly sweet, but not too much. I had barbecue pork bowl for lunch one day and wasn’t thrilled with it – but I guess they don’t know how to make barbecue like they do in Georgia 😛 The prices were somewhat high for the portion size and quality of food, but I really appreciated feeling like I got some healthy food while on vacation.
This was my second-favorite restaurant after The Flying Pig. The sushi was inexpensive and super fresh. Drew got a combo with 18 rolls for $7 and I got a combo with 6 rolls and 6 pieces of sushi for $11. And it came with free miso soup and green tea. The only downside was sitting at a large communal table.
That’s all for now! What are your favorite places to eat in Vancouver?