With the weather warming up, it’s time to start thinking about al fresco eating. Richmond’s Garry Point Park is an ideal location with its waterfront views of the Gulf Islands and the Fraser River, and its many opens areas for picnicking and exploring. All you need is a blanket, a carefree attitude, and plenty of delicious nibbles and drinks from establishments in nearby Steveston Village.
Win Win Chick-N
Seriously. Is there anything more satisfying than fried chicken, especially with a side of sunshine? Win Win Chick-N (12160 1st Avenue) prides itself on its local sourcing, as well as the juicy brined meat and crisp golden coating of its fried chicken.
The spicing is subtle but addictive, and works really well with the light crust. Get their 2, 3, or 5-piece meals that come with thick-cut fries, dinner rolls, or mashed potato. Or, order 8, 10, or 20 pieces of their fried chicken for a big group picnic (you’ll be fighting over the last drumstick). Homemade gravy, Filipino-style sweet macaroni with sausage, and ube (purple yam) dessert cakes round out the menu offerings.
Ichiro Japanese Restaurant
No west coast picnic is complete without nigiri and some of your favourite sushi rolls. Richmond has some of the best sushi in the Lower Mainland, with Steveston’s Ichiro Japanese Restaurant (#110 – 12011 Second Avenue) being a local favourite.
The chefs at Ichiro specialize in traditional Japanese cuisine that evidences fresh, high quality seafood and an attention to well-practiced technique. Make sure to order some of their excellent nigiri, like the salmon toro (belly) or the mirugai (geoduck), or one of their sashimi selections, such as hotate (scallops) or uni (sea urchin). The Steveston roll with sweet shrimp, tuna, and cucumber wrapped with salmon is a popular option, as is a prawn roll with prawn tempura, avocado, cucumber, tobiko, and mayo sauce.
Hog Shack Cook House
Since barbecue and the outdoors are basically synonymous, make your way to Hog Shack Cook House (#160 – 3900 Bayview Street), where they take their southern BBQ seriously. This Kansas-style BBQ is the product of extensive research in Kansas and Texas, as well as plenty of research and development related to rub ingredients, different types of wood for smoking, and cooking times and temperatures. The result is highly flavourful meat that is tender without being overdone (expect a bit of chew).
Smoked brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken, smoked hot links, smoked beef back ribs, and St. Louis-style pork ribs would all make for perfect picnic feasting. Hungry picnickers might want to order one of the platters that come with your choice of sides, like corn bread, baked beans, and coleslaw. Just make sure to pack plenty of wet wipes since this is pleasurably messy gorging.
Purpose Smoothie Co.
All that eating is bound to make you thirsty, so don’t forget to stop by Purpose Smoothie Co. (#115 – 3900 Bayview Street) for one of their refreshing—and good-for-you—beverages.
Expect health in a cup, evidencing Purpose’s commitment to all-natural ingredients. Their “Super Smoothie” menu includes an anti-inflammatory drink with mango, banana, turmeric, cinnamon, chia seeds, coconut oil, and coconut water; as well as the detoxifying and hydrating Green Monster with green apple, mango, spinach, ginger, moringa, chia seeds, and coconut water. Also available are superfood lattes, kombucha on tap, and a selection of teas. Purpose, additionally, offers healthy food options for your picnic, such as poke bowls or a chana wrap with curried chickpeas, cranberry chutney, spinach, and basmati rice.
The Sweet Spot
You’ll have some unhappy picnickers if you forget to buy the all-important last course. The Sweet Spot (#110 – 12000 First Avenue) is a charming patisserie offering European-style treats that showcase local, organic ingredients, as much as possible.
Cookies like madeleines or chewy coconut macaroons are great two-bite indulgences. Or, choose from viennoiserie selections such as flaky pain au chocolat or fruit danishes. For more decadent options, choose from their rotating selection of mousses, cakes, and tarts, such as chocolat pot de crème, lemon meringue tart, and vanilla bean crème brulée.
And after your sweet bites, you can bask in picnic bliss as you watch the stunning sunset from Garry Point Park.
Top Photo Credit:
Picnicking at Garry Point Park | Photo: Tourism Richmond