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What We Ate in Vancouver, BC

Guess what guys – Vancouver is a huge foodie city! How does one decide what places to visit in such a short trip? I guess you just have to chip away at them one at a time! In Vancouver, fresh seafood is where it’s at (although I did manage to find a couple of vegetarian items that were quite satisfying). Here is a sampling of what we ate in Vancouver, BC over our weekend adventure there.

Fanny Bay Oyster Bar

A relatively newer spot in Vancouver, I’d say this was probably our favorite grub stop on our trip to B.C. We visited Fanny Bay not one, but two times. We walked in on a late Saturday afternoon for happy hour and they had a killer 80’s music playlist going. There’s nothing like having fresh oysters, a cocktail and a little Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now from Starship. Really though, you should read this post while listening to that magic.

Our first visit to Fanny Bay Oyster Bar was purely motivated by Micah’s oyster addiction, and at Fanny Bay, they have dollar oysters for happy hour. Beat that! For my U.S. friends – one Canadian dollar is a steal with the current exchange rate.

Your freshly shucked oysters are served with a trio of sauces – mango habanero, Thai watermelon, and a shallot type of sauce (I think). You also get finely shaved fresh horseradish, cocktail sauce, and lemon if you prefer a more traditional way of eating your oysters.

oysters

We also had the ceviche, made with scallops, shrimp, and ling cod cured in lime juice, and clams and fritz with a white wine, dill, and garlic sauce.

And the crab cakes were pretty delicious too.

crab cakes

I decided to give scallops a try one more time – not always a fan of the texture – with their smoked scallops and risotto. I must say that they we were really good! Although, by that time, the wine I consumed could have made most things taste heavenly.

smoked scallop risotto

I highly suggest sitting at the bar on your visit – interacting with the bar staff was entertaining and getting your fresh oysters and drinks is much faster. Plus, you have a front-row seat to watch all the oyster enchantment happen. We even stayed pretty long on our second visit and chatted it up with one of the bar staff talking about what life is like living in Canada, reminiscing about Seinfeld’s memorable moments (“She eats her peas one at a time!”), and even a touch of politics (it was kind of a hard topic to avoid in 2016). That is the experience I want to have at every restaurant. We’ll come back to you, Fanny.

Fanny Bay Oyster Bar & Shellfish Market
762 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2P2, Canada
fannybayoysters.com

The Parlour

Definitely giving off that hipster vibe is The Parlour in the Yaletown neighborhood.

We shared the ahi poke bowl as an appetizer. It didn’t photograph well in the dark light of this restaurant, but it included Albacore Tuna, Brown Rice, Mango, Red Onion, Cucumber, Pickled Ginger, Spicy Ponzu, Spicy Sauce, Avocado, Crispy Shallots, Sesame Seeds, and Wasabi Peas. Believe it or not, this was the first poke bowl I’ve ever had. It was pretty good – nice and fresh.

I know it’s a weee bit dark in here, but this pizza was amazing! We had The Big Prawn, with prawns, pesto, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella, parmesan, and lemon. SO. GOOD. What a clever combination. The lemon is a small touch that really makes this pizza a star. I will seriously come back to The Parlour for this deliciousness.

shrimp pizza

And I tried my first ever Bloody Caesar – a drink consumed primarily in Canada. The difference between a Bloody Caesar and a Bloody Mary is one ingredient – clam juice! Make mine a double s’il vous plait.

bloody caesar

The Parlour
1011 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5T4, Canada
http://www.theparlourrestaurants.com/

Tuc Craft Kitchen

Nestled in the bustling neighborhood of Gastown, you’ll find Tuc Craft Kitchen. This place steps it up a little in the fancy department, and presented us with another dim lighting dinner spot (which is totally cool, it’s just a bit hard to take my foodie photos). This is kind of one of those places where you want to try and make a reservation ahead of time, especially on a weekend night. Lucky for us, there was one table for two available when we dropped in. I think people were more concerned about celebrating Halloween in the city that night.

We started off with the Emperor’s Greens – a delicious Caesar salad with hearts of romaine, shaved Pecorino Romano, toasted capers, lemon & anchovy dressing with a Ficelle crisp (Ficelle is a type of French bread – and yes, I just totally Googled that). Call me crazy, but I kind of adore this kind of Caesar that requires a little more knife and fork action.

caesar salad

Micah had this Elk Carpaccio all to himself.

carpaccio

My main dish was the Cauldron au Gratin, a cauliflower gratin with navy bean fondant and blistered wild mushrooms. The navy bean fondant gave the dish an interesting texture and I while thought the mushrooms were really tasty, I think they were a bit too large for the dish and a little chewy. But it was definitely one of the more interesting vegetarian dishes I’ve had lately.

cauliflower gratin

Micah had the Crab and Fish Stew with the local daily catch, shrimp & rock crab cake, green curry broth, a noodle pouch, and roasted squash. A bit of brave step for Micah since he usually isn’t a huge fan of curries, but he really loved this dish!

seafood curry

Tuc Craft Kitchen
60 W Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1C9, Canada
http://www.tuccraftkitchen.com/menu/

Ciao Bella

So, we were really craving some pasta, and Ciao Bella just happened to have a lunch special of 50% off pastas on Mondays at lunchtime.

We started off with a nice Caesar salad that we split.

caesar salad

I had the Vongole (linguine and clams), and Micah had the Linguini alla Mediterranea with wild salmon, baby shrimp, tiger prawns, calamari & scallop tossed with a garlic basil white wine rosé sauce. I wouldn’t say that it was a killer meal, but for the price and portion size, I don’t really think you can complain too much.

linguini and clams

seafood pasta

We were literally the only customers in the restaurant at the time so we were well-tended to. If you want a giant plate of hot pasta on one of those rainy Vancouver days, I don’t think you can go too wrong here! Also, it’s quite close to the entrance of Stanley Park, so after we had our fill of pasta, we headed there for a little scenic drive.

Ciao Bella
703 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G 2L5, Canada
http://www.ciaobellavancouver.ca/

Granville Island Brewing

I covered our entire visit to Granville Island in this post, but just to give you a little rundown, Micah had his first ever poutine experience. When the server says it’s the best introductory poutine in the area, you want to believe it – and she was right (according to the big guy). Melty cheese curds, gravy, and pulled pork. I’d say it’s probably a meat lover’s delight.

And I mowed down these tasty little roasted veggie tacos with crispy onions.

And of course, you can’t visit a brewery without trying dat beer! The sour was our favorite.

Granville Island Brewing
703 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G 2L5, Canada
http://www.gib.ca/tours-tastings/

Postmark Brewing

We came to Postmark Brewing simply for one thing – the beer. We had to try another Canadian IPA! The IPAs in Canada are not quite what we are used to, meaning they are not as hoppy as our favorite West Coast IPAs from the U.S, but it’s a great place to grab a brew when you’re in town. I love the atmosphere and vibe in here.

They do serve food here (from The Belgard Kitchen), but we didn’t end up ordering anything since we weren’t quite ready for dinner yet, although we could watch the chefs at work from our bar stools and the food they were churning out looked pretty delicious.

Postmark Brewing
55 Dunlevy Ave, Vancouver, BC V6A 1G7, Canada
http://postmarkbrewing.com/

There are so many highly rated eateries in Vancouver – we just barely scratched the surface. I hope we can get back up there in the next few months to add to this list! Please, we would love your recommendations for all levels of food in Van City.

Happy eating, travelers!

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