By Avneet Takhar
In honour of International Women’s Day (IWD), we pay homage to those who are women-identifying that serve up some mean meals in and around Metro Vancouver.
From bakers to caterers and servers of ancestral cuisine, these ladies are showing how it’s done and running the show with other supportive women and allies to keep the “girl power” realness intact.
Here are our recommendations on where to dine, knowing that your dime is going towards equality-driven enterprises.
Named after the owner, Thea, this bakery is a welcome addition to the Main Street location and a long-time favourite in Langley.
The trademark red packaging makes their infamous fruitcake even more luxurious, containing brandied sour cherries from Okanagan and just the right amount of rum and spices to pack a punch. And if going savoury is more to your taste, they have focaccia and sourdough all week long, with fig & walnut rye available on weekends.
4305 Main St, Vancouver / 20540 Duncan Way #203, Langley
Vancouver Transit: The number 3 bus will get you there, hop off at Main @ E King Edward Ave and walk another 2 minutes.
Langley Transit: From Surrey Central SkyTrain station, grab the 502 bus, then it’s a 10 minute walk heading towards Logan Ave, then reaching Duncan Way.
Owner, CiCi proudly operates with an all-women team who are also Mexican, and they don’t mess around when they say the food is ancestral with an emphasis on nourishment. Non-GMO, gluten and preservative-free, they practise what they preach.
I tried the Veggies Huaraches (handmade tortillas with veggie stew) and creamy mushrooms, Carnitas (pork) Tacos and Rajas Poblanas Machetes (poblanas spicy peppers, onions and non-sweet corn); rico (rich) and deliciosas.
The Machetes was extra spectacular, a 2-foot quesadilla packed with vegetables, a spicy sauce and salsa on hand for toppings. Me gusto mucho (I liked it a lot)!
Order online directly or from Uber Eats, Doordash or Skip The Dishes.
302 Industrial Ave, Vancouver
Transit: A 7-minute walk from Main St/Science World SkyTrain station.
Manager Pearl Jin-Ju Lee is head of the house and runs a tight ship with this understated sushi bar, a stone’s throw from New West station. With reasonable prices and an adventurous menu, there’s lots to try here. Fresh sashimi, meat and seafood don, cold noodles, soup, tempura and wild salmon rolls- which are super popular and sell out fast!
Bring a friend and enjoy a cozy evening here, or go for takeout; they have handy gift cards too that are reloadable and reusable for fun times ahead.
55 Eighth St, New Westminster
Transit: A 3-minute walk from New Westminster SkyTrain station.
As a chef for 6 + years, Princess Aligbe has a simple yet effective motto: Eat, Drink, Enjoy. Her catered food is a blend of African and some fusion mixes.
The ones that stick out as particularly appetizing are the Jollof Spaghetti, Yam Porridge, with shredded fish and spinach and Ofada Stew, consisting of cooked green and red peppers with meat and egg, served with rice.
Her All-Purpose Pepper Sauce is also available online if you want to try some home cooking of your own and there’s even a Loyalty Program, so we suggest splurging for future savings!
Order online, with at least 24 hours notice and enjoy Princess’ offerings for individual, small or large gatherings. Delivery is available on Saturdays and Sundays.
An Eastern-European bakery and deli owned by Maria, she makes traditional Polish foods from scratch. Sweet buns, custom cakes by order, perogies, European sausages and cold cuts, cabbage rolls and soups, she’s got it all.
Drop by and take a seat on the quaint patio if it’s a sunny day!
2541 Shaughnessy St, Port Coquitlam
Karima is a chef, decolonial nutritionist, educator, speaker and writer. With Asian and Tunisian roots, the lineage runs deep, her ancestors rice growers and harvesters in China, and pretty much most of her immediate family also working in the food industry.
Her food is so good, she’s been featured in Vancouver Magazine for a community event she catered, with fellow chef, Kym Nguyen. She’s available to be booked for events when she’s not busy cooking up a storm at Oh Carolina Cafe as Head Chef.
Peep her Insta’ for some of her drool-worthy creations.
And if you’re on the lookout to team a takeout with some TV, there’s a new show that combines food and fabulous women. “We Are Lady Parts” is about Muslim, queer and God-loving women who are in a British punk band, with one of the members working at a halal butchers. There are certainly some meaty episodes you’ll encounter, in more ways than one!
Headline image: Karima Chellouf, image by Doaa Jamal