August 22nd, 2013
There’s no doubting the amazing West Coast summer we’ve had so far. And it’s still far from over.
Looking for some adventurous inspiration? Check out this picture-perfect weekend that Club Intrawest documented along the Sea to Sky Highway. Cycling, SUPing, hiking, oh my!
If that doesn’t make you want to immediately pack your bags and explore your own backyard, then maybe a chance to win a 7-night stay at Club Intrawest in Whistler or Vancouver will? Outdoorsy fun plus comfy, boutique accommodations: Enter the contest here.
Carpe diem - seize this great weather, get out and find summer.
June 14th, 2012
Vancouver has become the first Canadian city to inspire a highly-coveted palette from Stila.
“Vibrant in Vancouver” pays homage to the city’s iconic locales, from the golden green Cypress to pearly English Bay. Vancouver Island’s native flower, the Tiger Lily, plays double duty as a convertible lip and cheek colour. The hues are fresh and lovely, and definitely worthy of our gorgeous city. As for the rest of Canada’s beauties, don’t be jealous, maybe it will be you next. —Anya Georgijevic
March 8th, 2012
Our highly subjective ranking of the best places to eat and drink right now:
Best Business Lunch: Hawksworth
When someone important comes to town, this is where you take them. Sit under the Damien Hirst in the bar for a glass of Henriot, then head into the elegant-yet-cool dining room. Order the apple and beet salad (a masterpiece of execution) and whichever fish or pasta is offered that day and you’ll have sealed your deal. Hawksworth, 801 W. Georgia St., Vancouver, 604-673-7000, www.hawksworthrestaurant.com
Best Yoga Brunch: Che Baba Cantina
Something about this new restaurant reminds me of my parents’ Volkswagen van (The batik? The starburst cushions? The three shades of brown?) Still, the haute hippie vibe (it’s below a yoga studio on a gentrified strip of East Van) feels right now, as does the grilled polenta topped with poached eggs and pulled pork with a side of gently tossed arugula. Bliss. Che Baba Cantina, 603 Kingsway, 604-558-1519, www.chebaba.ca
Best Lobby Bar: Fairmont Pacific Rim Lobby Lounge and Terrace
The scent of jasmine floats overhead in this lofty and bright space warmed with couches and a floating fireplace. There’s the requisite white grand piano for traditionalists, yet the vibe feels pan-Asian at this indoor/outdoor space where sashimi and oysters, rather than tea sandwiches, are the order of the day. Fairmont Pacific Rim, 1038 Canada Pl., Vancouver, 604-695-5300, www.fairmont.com
Best Dim Sum: Kirin
Views of the mountains and City Hall, white tablecloths, attentive table service: this is where chefs eat on Sunday, in rounds of 12. Crispy, spicy squid, scallop and pea shoot dumplings, plus all the dim sum favourites you know and love. Kirin, 555 W. 12 Ave., Third Floor, Vancouver, 604-879-8038, www.kirinrestaurants.com
Best Street Meat: Meat & Bread
Ok, so technically there are seats, though they are probably all full. Luckily there’s a swift turn of foodie hipsters who know their porchetta from their brisket at this smartly-conceived concept that would be right at home in Williamsburg or London’s East End. Meat & Bread, 370 Cambie St., Vancouver, 604-566-9003, www.meatandbread.ca
Best Bar Snacks: Boneta
Sure the new restaurant is a fishbowl (quite literally with walls of glass) but the back bar off Blood Alley is a lovely place to spend an intimate hour before a show, bonding over excellent microgreens, house-made octopus chips, warm bread and wines paired by the inimitable sommelier Neil Ingram. Boneta, 12 Water St., Vancouver, 604-684-1844, www.boneta.ca
Best Out-of-Vancouver Experience: Medina
Breakfast and lunch via the Ivory Coast, France and Spain (think merguez tagines and Paella), or Belgian waffles, both savoury and sweet, make this Crosstown destination a cosmopolitan hotspot. Medina, 556 Beatty St., Vancouver, 604-879-3114, www.medinacafe.com
Best Restaurant that isn’t Vij’s: Rangoli
Yes, you can wait in line for two hours to get into Vij’s. Or leave the mutton to the sheep and head to its sister restaurant next door where dishes are swiftly served by excellent staff in a modern Indian room. Black chickpea fritters and a glass of Gewürz: what else could you want? Rangoli, 1488 W. 11th Ave., Vancouver, 604-736-5711, www.vijsrangoli.com
Best Threesome: ReFuel, Campagnolo, and Campagnolo Roma
Some of the best dinners we’ve had in the past year have been from the team behind this culinary trifecta. We especially like Campagnolo for its central location and Tuesday night $19 prix-fixe, which may be as simple as fennel sausages, peppers and polenta, but perfectly so. Campagnolo, 1020 Main St., Vancouver, 604-484-6018, www.campagnolorestaurant.ca, ReFuel, 1944 W. 4th Ave., Vancouver, 604 288-7905, www.refuelrestaurant.com, Campagnolo Roma, 2297 Hastings St., Vancouver, 604-569-0456, www.campagnoloroma.com
Best Patisserie: Thierry
New, yet already evolved enough to be an international brand. Yes, you can order a glass of red wine at 9 p.m. with your Hazelnut choux: That’s progress. A Pear Charlotte purchased here will be the hit of your next dinner party (along with your pithy repartee). Thierry, 1059 Alberni St., 604-609-6870, www.thierrychocolates.com —Sarah Bancroft
February 16th, 2012
We can give ourselves a little break from weekly trips across the border to the happy place known as Trader Joe’s.
Transylvania Trading is sure to satisfy a quick Trader Joe’s fix with its stock, almost entirely merchandised with the US brand’s shelved goods. There is such a thing as healthy junk food: try the boxed gluten-free Organic Shells and White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese ($3.49), or Dark Chocolate Edamame ($4.99). Hooked on Trader’s Joe’s beauty products? Transylvania Trading carries a small selection of cult favourites like the refreshing Citrus Body Wash ($4.49). While shopping there, a customer joked and affectionately called the store owner a “Pirate Joe.” Although completely legit, this is one pirate we can get behind. —Anya Georgijevic
Transylvania Trading , 3474 W. Broadway, Vancouver, www.transilvaniatrading.ca
February 10th, 2012
Vancouver’s new coffee revolution continues with a welcome addition to its many artisanal coffee joints.
Settled in a beautiful space on Kingsway, Matchstick Coffee Roasters serves up a mean Cup o' Joe, using Calgary’s stellar Phil & Sebastian beans. Grab a seat at one of its stylish reclaimed wood tables and enjoy a proper cappuccino ($3.25), rich and frothy, the way it was intended. Feeling snacky? Take a baguette from Baguette & Co ($2.50) or one of Matchstick’s delectable sandwiches, including the roast beef ($8), assembled with tasty protein courtesy of Save On Meats’ butchers. In a hurry? Take your goodies to go but, trust us: you’ll want to stay and partake in the coffee shop’s culture, a place to enjoy a much-needed break from a hectic day. —Anya Georgijevic
Matchstick Coffee Roasters, 639 E 15 Ave (Fraser & Kingsway), Vancouver, 604-558-0639, www.matchstickcoffee.com
February 9th, 2012
It’s time to take a dip in the city’s past, take a visual history lesson, and imagine Vancouver life as it once was.
No other artist has captured the evolution of our city like Fred Herzog. The beloved photographer’s work is the subject of Equinox Gallery’s inaugural exhibition in it's new 12,000 square foot Project Space. With over one hundred works on display, most mesmerizing ones capture Vancouver vibrant street life in the late 1950s and early ’60. Vivid locales like Hastings, Robson and Main are forever encapsulated in a time—much like the semblance of the streets themselves—that is long past. Fred Herzog, Vancouver’s time capsule. — Anya Georgijevic
Equinox Gallery’s Project Space, 525 Great Northern Way, Vancouver, 604-736-2405, www.equinoxgallery.com
January 18th, 2012
Pioneering Vancouver restaurateur Mark Brand (Boneta, The Diamond) hits the airwaves tonight with his new docu-drama Gastown Gamble about leasing derelict landmark butcher shop Save-On-Meats and attempting to revive it and its diner.
Brand's wife Nico (an ex-Aritzia exec) manages the butchershop with grace under pressure, while his old friend "Fat" McDougall runs the increasingly tenuous numbers. The local talent (former addict Mike "Football" Haggerty) acts as handyman.
But while the gentrifying East Hastings Street neighbourhood may be touted as the true star, there's no doubt that the charismatic Mark is what's keeping us watching.
Now that's what we call Brand power. —Sarah Bancroft
Gastown Gamble premieres tonight (6:30 PST/9:30 EST) on the Oprah Winfrey Network. View the trailer here.
To see photos of the launch event, please visit our Editor's Diary.
August 8th, 2011
It is incredibly glamourous to leave the West Coast and move to the Grasse region of France to study perfumery.
That’s exactly what Jessica September Buchanan did, who is now the founder and the nose behind 1000 Flowers, an independent artisan perfume house. Her signature scent is Réglisse Noire (Black Licorice), made from organic, botanical raw ingredients like star anise and licorice with notes of white pepper, ginger, vanilla and musk.
Personally, I don’t like black licorice. But as a perfume, it suddenly has a whole new appeal. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Réglisse Noise, 15ml splash flacon, $45. At Lark online, and 2315 Main St., Vancouver, 604-879-5275.
May 6th, 2011
It was tough work having to eat great food on a gorgeous spring day, but someone had to do it!
La Brasserie, Granville and Georgia
Brought to us by the beloved West End restaurant, La Brasserie’s cart does one thing and one thing only: a great sandwich. We’re talking rotisserie chicken, mouthwatering but light, with deep fried onions added for crunch, all served on a buttermilk bun ($7). Need we say more?
The Kaboom Box, Granville and Robson
The epitome of West Coast cuisine, The Kaboom Box has an extensive menu that caters to pretty much everyone. From an epic hot smoked salmon sandwich, fish and chips, to both venison and veggie burgers. Our favourite? The Gulf Island Fried Oyster Po’Boy (market price), the perfect combination of smoothness and crunch.
Roaming Dragon, location varies
The most infamous of all the food carts, this one is hard to miss. Just look for the big red Roaming Dragon truck! Although we are impatient when it comes to waiting, we will gladly stand in line any time of the day for their Korean short rib tacos (2 for $6). Why? The combination of braised ribs, sautéed spinach, mushrooms and kimchi all wrapped up in a perfect little soft tortilla.
Eli’s Serious Sausage, Beatty and Dunsmuir
Of course, we have to include a sausage, the granddaddy of street food. Eli sources his from a local, fifth generation sausagemaker, and serves it on a caraway seed bun made by a local Polish bakery. This is no ordinary hot dog cart though: Eli serves currywurst ($6), one of Germany's favourite street foods, where the sausage is served up with ketchup and curry powder.
Re-Up BBQ, Georgia and Hornby
We can’t think of anything more comforting than their Southern style BBQ pulled pork sandwich ($7). If you think you can’t finish one of these bad boys yourself, think again. It’s the real deal: smoked to perfection, messy, served with cole slaw, and cherished with every bite.
Believe or not, there’s an app for that! —AG