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By Kristi Alexandra

When the weather cools and our palate warms up, sending Metro Vancouverites on the search for soups, stews and steaming bowls of noodles. Welcome to ramen season!

Traditionally, ramen is a Japanese noodle dish served up in a meat or fish-based broth, flavoured by shoyu or miso, and topped with accoutrements such as sliced meat, eggs, dried seaweed and more. There’s no one-way to do ramen, as evidenced by the ramen variations that represent different regions of Japan—from the mild-tasting, cloudy ramen of Kagoshima to the miso-style ramen of Sapporo. So, perhaps there’s really no tradition at all.

In fact, a great ramen experience is all about choice and customization. One can choose to have their noodles thick or thin, chewy or soft; their broth with a pork-bone base (tonkotsu), or with fish or miso; then topped off with dressings to their heart’s content. We’ve rounded up a few places in Metro Vancouver that you’ll be able to slurp up a rockin’ bowl of ramen.

Yaguchiya Ramen

4679 Kingsway, Burnaby

Burnaby’s Yaguchiya Ramen restaurant is one of three iekei ramen spots by the franchise. The other two are—you guessed it—in Japan. According to the restaurant, iekei is a type of ramen originating from Yokohama, and is the “perfect balance of the popular Tonkotsu style from Kyushu in the West, and Shoyu style from Tokyo in the East.” The unpretentious eatery boasts big flavours, doling out bowls of Shoyu Ramen (served with spinach, dried seaweed, sliced pork belly, and green onions) and featuring its house bowl, the Yaguchiya special ramen (a boiled egg, spinach, leeks, seaweed and more). The noodle spot offers up grated garlic, grated ginger, vinegar and chili bean paste to add to your broth, creating the perfectly customizable ramen.

Yuu Japanese Tapas

#1118 – 3779 Sexsmith Road, Richmond

If you’re looking for innovation with your ramen, look no further. Yuu Japanese Tapas is the home of the beer ramen: a bonito-flake broth served cold and in a beer glass, topped off with an egg-white and gelatin foam. The Richmond tapas spot doesn’t just do it for the novelty, though: Yuu serves up more than 20 other ramen bowls, including the spicy “hell fire” ramen and a new rich black pepper garlic broth topped with grilled beef.

Beer Ramen | Image courtesy of Yuu Japanese Tapas

The Ramen Butcher

233 East Georgia St., Vancouver

Ambiance is key at this trendy Chinatown eatery. The Ramen Butcher doles out popular tonkotsu ramen flavours directly from Japan, but with a twist. From the orange miso ramen (a pork broth with rich miso marinated ground pork) to the black garlic ramen (another tonkotsu broth with roasted garlic oil) to the straight up vegetarian, there’s a ramen here for experienced noodle slurpers and newbies alike. Not sure what you like? Try a “ramen flight” during happy hour, where you can snag a pair of half-portions in any given flavour (red, black, green and orange) for $10.

Ramen Hachi

120 – 88 Carnarvon Street, New Westminster

No bells or whistles are needed at this soup spot. Hachi Ramen is located just underneath New Westminster SkyTrain Station and is the perfect place to sit down (and slurp down) with a simple, traditional bowl of noodles. They serve up the staples: shoyu, tonkotsu, and even a vegan ramen. Sides such as gyozas and chicken karaage round out the humble menu, making this the perfect pit-stop for Japanese comfort food.

Full Ramen

15925 Fraser Hwy #103, Surrey

Get full at Full Ramen. If you’re sitting south of the Fraser but still have a craving for ramen, you’ll find all you need at this Fraser Highway ramenerie. The spot has been pegged as “small and cozy,” and its menu could be charged with the same. No surprises here: this spot serves up a couple variations of tonkotsu-style ramen, with sides such as gyoza to fill the tummy.

Ramen at Kamamarui Ramen & Don | Image by Kartika Wisjnu-Lim via Facebook

Kamamarui Ramen & Don

6514 Royal Oak Ave, Burnaby

A little fusion can be found at this modern-style eatery in South Burnaby. Kamamarui is known for their Korean-style ramen, along with their “bombs” which are rice balls seasoned with seaweed and teriyaki sauce, not unlike risotto balls. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out the spot’s basil ramen, and if you’re looking for a classic fix, the Tonkotsu ramen and bomb combo ($10.50) will keep you satiated.

By Brittany Tiplady

For West Coast Canadian 90s kids, donuts serve up some serious childhood nostalgia. Tim Hortons trips before hockey, Long John’s served with elementary school hot lunches, boxes of Krispy Kreme at a birthday party. You get the jist. Today, donuts are somewhat of a cultural currency. The beloved pastry continues to be elevated and topped with unique, showstopping ingredients that are as delicious in real life as it looks on Instagram. Hungry yet? Browse the list below to find some local favourites to indulge in.

Doppio Zero Pizza

1655 Como Lake, Avenue, Coquitlam

Because, you can never eat too many carbs in our opinion, after dinner try the Graffe. It’s an Italian made-to-order style doughnut drizzled with hot caramel.

Outpost Mini Donut Company

110-12240 Second Avenue, Richmond

Image courtesy of Outpost Mini Donut Company

Located in the heart of Steveston’s idyllic village, Outpost Mini Donut Company lives up to its name, serving up gourmet mini donuts; delightfully fresh and coated in sugar or topped with vanilla bean or maple icing. Classic and seasonal flavours include salted caramel, blueberry, lemon, boston cream, and coconut.

The Victor

Parq Vancouver, 39 Smithe Street, Vancouver

Parq is one of Vancouver’s hottest spots right now for a classy, elegant night out. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with your food. At the end of your meal at The Victor, order the Crème Brûlée Doughnuts: a sensationally sweet treat, topped with cotton candy, to cap off the night. 

Cartems

Downtown: 534 West Pender, Vancouver
Mount Pleasant: 2190 Main Street, Vancouver
Kitsilano: 3040 West Broadway, Vancouver

The Earl Grey Donut at Cartems

Oh, Cartems! How you’ve grown. What was once a tiny donut shop in the Downtown Eastside, is now a booming company, pioneering the donut and coffee shop culture in Vancouver. Their inclusive lineup of goodies is stunning: almost all flavours come in a gluten free and/or vegan option so everyone can enjoy! Cartems releases new seasonal donuts or feature donuts regularly but their core lineup is just as exciting! A must try: The Earl Grey Donut (available in a gluten free and vegan option as well); bursting with the classic Earl Grey flavour in an Earl Grey glaze and topped with rose petals.

Lucky’s Donuts

Mount Pleasant: 2902 Main Street, Vancouver
Kitsilano: 2198 W 4th Avenue, Vancouver
Downtown: 689 Thurlow Street, Vancouver

Another Vancouver staple that keeps on expanding! This donut shop, paired alongside 49th Parallel Cafe is always bustling; expect a lineup at any time of day, and one that’s worth the wait. There are many fan favourites at Lucky’s but the Lemon Meringue Bismarck is one of the stars. Bite into a torched meringue, pillowy donut and sweet lemon filling.

Lee’s Doughnuts

1689 Johnston Street, Vancouver

Lee’s has been serving up classic donuts, notably their honey dip recipe, since 1979! Next time you’re exploring Granville Island stop by and try a Vancouver classic.

Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery

1025 Royal Avenue, New Westminster

Hey gluten-free readers, we’ve got you covered! Cloud 9 Bakery is just a 10 minute walk from the New Westminster SkyTrain station. Cloud 9 serves up a vast selection of g-free goodies, but Saturday’s are not to be missed. Donut Saturday’s at Cloud 9 feature cinnamon sugar donut holes, a freshly baked selection of vanilla and chocolate donuts with a variety of icings and glaze. Check out our in-depth feature on Cloud 9 here.

Honey Doughnuts & Goodies

4373 Gallant Avenue, Deep Cove, North Vancouver

Deep Cove’s coveted cafe is the spot for a pre or post hike treat. On your next visit to Quarry Rock, stop into Honey’s for one of their famous donuts (before prepared for a line!) and live like the Deep Cove locals do.

Black Tiger Coffee

110-19255 Fraser Hwy, Surrey

Image courtesy of Black Tiger Coffee

Black Tiger Coffee is new to Cloverdale, but has already garnered quite the Instagram following largely due to to their mouth-watering donut selection! Check out feature on Black Tiger Coffee to learn more about their menu.

 

 

Win a trip for two to Vancouver, Canada, complete with transportation, accommodation, a guided food tour, dinner and a basket of local culinary delights.

Bring a friend for a foodie experience that represents a taste of what lies beyond Vancouver’s cityscape.

You’ll make the Westin Bayshore your urban oasis for two nights with views of the mountains, the coastline, and scenic Stanley Park. Relax in your beautifully designed guest room or energize at the fitness studio or a yoga class to prepare for your foodie adventures.

Vancouver Foodie Tours

During your visit you’ll enjoy Vancouver Foodie Tours’ Gastronomic Gastown Tour. From savoury to sweet, this is an all-inclusive ticket for a full, progressive meal complete with Vancouver craft beer, award-winning wine, cocktails, and immaculate desserts.

Atlas Steak + Fish

Settle in for dinner at Burnaby’s newest high-end dining experience; Atlas Steak + Fish is a modern twist on the iconic North American steakhouse. Selecting the finest ingredients, exploring global flavours, showcasing unique cooking techniques, and engaging table-side service are all elements that combine to create a distinctive dining encounter.Lobster Burger

(photo credit: Food Burnaby)

Indulge in a chef-inspired meal at the idyllic Burnaby Mountain Restaurant.  Situated on a verdant and forested golf course, this charming venue presents an almost magical setting along with fresh, local and seasonal ingredients at every opportunity.  Burnaby Mountain’s award-winning Executive Chef Jason Mok has created a world of culinary offerings inspired by the West Coast.

Head home with your belly full and a basket full of gastronomic goodness from communities across Metro Vancouver. Enjoy wine from the finest wineries, chocolates from the top local chocolatiers, spirits from a small-batch distillery and more take-home treats.

Fields marked with an * are required

*Itineraries are all subject to seasonal changes, availability, open dates, and other limitations. Substitutions may apply.

  • Prize is valid from January 15, 2019 – May 15, 2019 (subject to availability and blackout dates)
  • Contest closes at 11:59:59 PM PT on November 30, 2018
  • The winner will be selected randomly from all eligible entrants and will be notified by email within 10 business days of the contest close date.
  • The contest is open to all legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of 19 years, and is open to all legal residents of the United States (excluding Florida), 21 years of age or older at the contest start date.
  • Non-alcoholic itineraries can be substituted, and will be accommodated.
  • Note: Only one entry per person allowed. Multiple entries will result in disqualification.
  • A Taste of the West Coast – Rules & Regulations

Images by Michele Mateus
Words by Alexis Baran

Seven years ago, Teresa Townsley and her husband Bill bought a 5-acre hobby farm in Langley, and got to work on delighting the palettes of wine lovers in BC and any visitor lucky enough to find them. From an unfenced grown-over lot next door to Campbell Valley Regional Park, the two of them have cultivated the land to mind horses; chickens; and best of all (for the rest of us), colonies of honey bees, which happen to help make some of the region’s most delicious varieties of mead.

The tasting room welcomes guests daily May – November

Festina Lente’s specialty is mead, or honey wine. Although it’s made by fermenting honey, the end result is not necessarily sweet. Varieties are smooth and crisp, some with herbal and fruit infusions.

The unique coffee-infused mead, “Zephyr” and the lavender-infused “Flora” are absolute must-try flavours. Far from novelty, these meads are as sophisticated as their most traditional variety (which is the “Nectaris Deorum” mead, which translates to “nectar of the gods”).

The nectar of the gods that goes into this mead is produced on site by thousands of honey bees.

A visit to Festina Lente can also mean a visit to meet their lively horses and their chickens who are dressed up in black and gold feathers.

Herbs grown on-site are used to infuse the mead, such as the fresh ginger in “Minerva Metheglin” which pairs deliciously with many South Asian dishes, such as pad Thai.

Teresa and Bill Townsley, owners

Festina Lente Estate Winery
21113 16th Ave, Langley BC
festinalente.ca


Experience the diverse culinary scene Vancouver and the Metro Vancouver area has to offer through public transit, from the bustling bars of local breweries to the tucked away restaurant serving up steamed dumplings. Get ready to Dine the Line with 7 exciting maps packed with local hot spots, all accessible by 
TransLink! Travel light and leave full.

 

THE BREWS CRUISE, THE LAGER ROAD AND RAILS & ALES

HOP on board to discover the incredible beer being made by Lower Mainland brewmasters. You’ll BARLEY notice the time pass as you while away the hours on sunny patios or friendly communal tables. (We might even take you past that pizza joint on the way home.)

DOWNLOAD THE BREWS CRUISE    DOWNLOAD THE LAGER ROAD    DOWNLOAD RAILS & ALES

ROUND UP THE KIDS

Whether you’re treating the more adventurous eater or the no-green-stuff-whatsoever stoic kind, we’ll make it easy to find a family dinner sure to please the whole clan. Let us do the driving so you can focus on that game of Eye Spy.

DOWNLOAD ROUND UP THE KIDS

THE WORLD TOUR

Imagine lunch in Beijing. Dinner in Mumbai. Why not stop in Florence for dessert? With Vancouver area’s culinary scene quickly becoming world-class there’s a taste to suit the most discerning foodie traveller. Take your taste buds on a world tour, all for the price of a transit ticket!

DOWNLOAD THE WORLD TOUR

A SWEET RIDE

Everyone deserves a break once and awhile. Sometimes that break means avoiding the hassle of traffic. Sometimes it means a large slab of decadent chocolate cake. Either way, we got you covered! Jump onboard for a sweet ride to the best dessert spots Vancouver and area have to offer.
DOWNLOAD A SWEET RIDE

A FARE TO REMEMBER

Vancouver and the surrounding areas are loaded with charming activities-for-two dotted all over the transit map. Hopping on and off the line is just part of the fun when you discover a gem of an intimate eatery or cozy cocktail. There’s a reason those seats on the Skytrain are doubled…
DOWNLOAD A FARE TO REMEMBER