GUIDE TO A PERFECT WEEKEND IN VANCOUVER
These are our favourite places we visited in Vancouver and you should too if you ever make it out there. Thanks to everyone who sent recommendations!
STAY + GET AROUND THE CITY
From the airport, the city is easily accessible by train which costs 9$ for a one-way ticket. We stayed at The Burrard, an inn that first opened in the 50s that’s been fully renovated a few years back. The room wasn’t cheap, but Vancouver has the most expensive hotel rate in the Country. It did charm us with its retro look and we were able to cruise all over the city with their free Brodie bike rentals. Vancouver also offers their own bike share system. They have an accessible public transit system that can bring you anywhere by bus. We were surprised to find out that Uber is currently not available in B.C., but it might be soon. However, getting a taxi was easy enough when trying to get back to the hotel after a late night.
MORNING STUFF: COFFEE + BREAKFAST
From a local coffee roasters in Vancouver, this shop was by far my favourite one. Amazing coffee? Check! Delicious pastries? Check! Their raisin oatmeal cookie was out of this world. Tasty food? Check! We devoured their pulled pork toast served with poached eggs on sourdough toast. Beautifully designed space? Check! This coffee shop really has it all!
Bows x Arrows roast their beans out of Victoria, B.C. We visited their location in east Vancouver, a bright and cozy spot. We sat at their long communal table with plants that were hanging from every corner of the room. The coffee was delicious and so were their pastries. They also have a well stocked bar and food options from breakfast to dinner.
At Revolver, they offer multiple choices of beans for any of their espresso based drinks, which proved to us that they take their coffee seriously. The place itself is beautifully designed, from the leather cushioned booths to the wall world map made out of nails. They also have a separate room with extra seating along a giant communal table.
This Mediterranean-inspired brunch spot seems to be the most popular in town, so show up early or be prepared to wait for a while to get a table. We took a seat at the bar and within minutes, we were sipping on cappuccinos and nibbling on waffles until we got our main plates. Their coffee is on point, which is a pleasant surprise for a breakfast restaurant, and the waffles were crunchy yet fluffy on the inside. If that’s all you want, you can save the wait and head directly to the front for take out orders. Our favourite dish was their fricassée, braised short ribs served in tomato sauce topped with fried eggs and a focaccia to pick up all the drippings.
We went to Forage for brunch. Focused on sustainable and local ingredients, the small menu had something for everyone. We loved their simple satisfying food.
If you want a good cup of coffee or good cold brew in yet another beautiful space, Timbertrain will satisfy your caffeinated needs. Designed to feel as if you were sitting on a train to an unknown destination, it’s a unique decor will that will make you want to sit back and dive into the lives of fellow patrons sitting next to you. They even roast their own beans in the city and offer cupping sessions, which is pretty sweet if you’re a coffee nerd.
Places we didn’t have chance to visit, but would’ve loved to:
Pallet Coffee Roasters
EAT + DRINK
If you’re into saison and sour beers (which I definitely am), then I recommend you visit their brewery. You can sample their beers in their tasting room, which also has an attached small art gallery that features a new artist every month.
Alibi Room describe themselves as a “modern tavern.” I would tell anyone who wants to try local beers on tap from all over B.C. in one location to go there. Their selection of brews is impressive, but they also have cocktails and wine if that’s what you fancy. Sit at their bar, talk to a stranger while sipping on good stuff and eating their uncomplicated locally sourced menu.
At Pidgin, you’ll find Asian dishes with a touch of French cuisine served family style. Top that with classic cocktails such as Negronis served on tap and a solid list of whiskeys, you have a recipe for a wondrous evening.
We are spoiled by having a great neighbourhood brewery back home called Bellwoods Brewery. We often compare newly discovered beers to theirs, because it set the bar for us in terms of creativity and quality. When we saw a guy with a Bellwoods t-shirt at Alibi Room, Jon almost jumped on him to ask where we could find similar beers. The guy recommended us to visit their other location, Brassneck brewery. With their distinct flavour profile, they’ve created a dynamic line that will appeal to a variety of beer drinkers. The atmosphere at their tasting room was cheerful. All in all, a cool laid back brewery that makes outstanding beers. Out of the few breweries that we visited, Brassneck has won us over.
Wildebeest serves delicious locally sourced food, but what we thought really sets them apart was their cocktail list with simple yet inventive concoctions. They pride themselves for their list of reinvented old fashioned drinks.
Four winds is a brewery we quickly stopped at on the way to take the ferry to Victoria, so it’s a bit out of the way from Vancouver if you don’t have a car. However, once you’re there, their welcoming tasting room is filled with happy faces. Their beers are well crafted and I can see why they’ve won so many awards. On top of that, the whole place smelled of their street style tacos as soon as we entered. A must place to go if you want to taste some of the best beers in B.C. If you don’t have the chance to make it out there, we found that many bars in Vancouver included their beers on their roster.
This is one of those restaurant that stands the test of time and it’s easy to understand why. They do the classics and they do them well. Go there for oysters and seafood on a sunny afternoon and sit on their roof top garden.
ADVENTURES + SHOP
If you only have time for one activity while in Vancouver, we suggest you rent bikes and go around the sea wall that hugs the coast. This massive park will give you beautiful views of the waterfront, beaches, mountains and many more. Entering into Stanley park is like stepping into another world, nature’s comfort that’s only a stones throw away from the city.
There is obviously lots of shopping options in the city, but we highly recommend to go for a stroll on Granville Island for an experience unique to Vancouver. At the public market, you can find fresh produce as well as local artisanal creations. Sure it’s touristy, but honestly, it’s just fun to walk around this totally cute tiny island tucked under a bridge.
Now, here’s the only activity I suggest you don’t do. Unlike Granville Island, which is still touristy, this place is just uncomfortably touristy. It’s expensive and honestly, there is so much nature surrounding Vancouver that would be 100% more authentic and beautiful than this place.
If you are interested in some nature escapes, I’ll be sharing soon the rest of our trip in Victoria and Whistler where we were really able to disconnect and enjoy the beautiful landscapes.
Hi! I’m Steph. Originally from Montréal, I moved to Toronto in 2015. I spend my days working at the most quaint Swedish coffee shop making cinnamon buns and adding cardamom to everything I bake. In this blog, I want to share with you recipes that remind me of home, travel stories filled with new food discoveries and the restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries I love to visit most in my new city.