Learn about 17 places you should eat (and drink beer) in Vancouver, Canada’s third largest city and a beacon for international cuisine, based on a trip from May 27-30, 2016.
Numbers on the map correspond to listings below and appear in alphabetical order instead of order of preference.
1. 33 Acres Brewing Co.
Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood, southeast of downtown, has become a craft beer hub in the past few years. Josh Michnik founded 33 Acres Brewing Co. on a bucolic side street in 2013. The name refers to a “master” number in numerology that combines the effects of two other master numbers – 11 and 22 – to “create a triangle of enlightenment.” I’d believe it at 33 Acres, a wonderfully airy cafe with white walls, wood accents, white three-group Slayer espresso machine, and beer brewed on-site. Four-beer flights allow for variety. I enjoyed 33 Acres of Nirvana amber ale, 33 Acres of Cider, a cloudy, pale apple cider; 33 Acres of Audrey, a golden-hued Belgian rye IPA with lingering bitterness; and 33 Acres of Frank, a copper-hued single hop sour. Selections change with the seasons.
MUST ORDER: Beer Flight
2. Ask For Luigi
A white house with PASTA sign above a green door has been a bastion for Italian food since 2013, which is when chef Jean-Christophe Poirier and GM Matthew Morgenstern opened Ask For Luigi by the railroad tracks. The 36-seat restaurant accepts no reservations, so people line up prior to their 5:30pm opening. Once you get inside, the space features wood panel walls lined with black and white photos of sign language gestures, black and white flooring, and an open kitchen. Start with albacore tuna crudo with clams escabeche, tomato and sherry vinegar sauce, shaved fennel, and dill. Luigi meatballs seamlesssly blend chuck and brisket with golden raisins and pine nuts. House-made pastas are essential. Tagliatelle verde combined spinach pasta and lighter than normal ragu with shredded lamb, mirepoix and sorrel. Pappardelle with chicken livers and artichokes was heartier.
MUST ORDER: TBD Luigi Meatballs, Albacore Tuna Crudo with Clams Escabeche, Pappardelle, Tagliatelle Verde
3. Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe
Longtime designer Jackie Kai Ellis switched careers, attending École Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil in Paris, which enabled her to open Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe near the entrance to Granville Island to end 2012. The glass-fronted space features exposed rafters, marble and glossy wood, 16 seats, and fully loaded counter and shelves. Pastries include a buttery almond croissant with flaky crust and small, circular kouign amann with winning caramelization. Beaucoup’s coffee program centers on 49th Parallel Coffee Roaster beans and a two-group La Marzocco espresso machine.
MUST ORDER: Almond Croissant, Kouign Amann, Coffee
4. Beta5 Chocolates
A Mount Pleasant industrial park hardly seems like a destination for sugary creations, but Adam Chandler and Jess Rosinski have managed to bring Beta5 Chocolates into the spotlight since 2011. The basic space features a marble counter, white walls, light wood accents, stacks of chocolate bars on a central table, and a photo menus on the walls. The name Beta5 apparently refers to the structural ideal for sugar crystals. Raspberry Earl Grey Cream Puff featured an Earl Grey core, tart raspberry layer, raspberry lid and crisp choux pastry. Bourbon cashew bar finished with fleur de sel, developed for Meat & Bread, outperformed their maple bacon bar. Ice cream includes 66% dark chocolate, rhubarb vanilla swirl, toasted oatmeal, and strawberry lavender sorbet. Chocolate bars include intense 90% Dark Forces.
MUST ORDER: Raspberry Earl Grey Cream Puff, Bourbon Cashew Bar, 90% Dark Forces