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By Brittany Tiplandy Let’s be honest: cocktails are to be enjoyed all year-round. But there’s something special about sipping on a spritz, sour, or mojito during the sweet, sweet summer heat. Because we respect the beauty of a good, seasonal cocktail (especially when the spirits are made locally), we’ve rounded up seven spots across Metro Vancouver that are shaking up seasonal cocktails. Southern-Italy Spritz Lineup What: Aperol Spritz, House Lambrusco Spritz, Cocchi Americano Spritz, White Peach Moscato Spritz, Marrow Vermouth Spritz, Blood Orange Cynar Spritz. Where: Savio Volpe Savio has gotten extra creative with this ultra-refreshing, super unique, almost-feels-like-you’re-on-the-beach-in-Southern-Italy spritz lineup. But truly, there’s no one else we trust more to do it. There’s only a few weeks to celebrate and indulge in #summerofspritz at Savio Volpe, so run don’t walk. BC Bramble What: Wallflower Gin, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, crème de cassis. Where: Odd Society Spirits A thing…

By Brittany Tiplady Patio season is in full-swing and sadly, will be over before we know it. Soak up the sun with a beer in-hand (is there any other way?) and take advantage of the funky, juicy, sweet and sour beers that are pouring a plenty across Metro Vancouver. From New Westminster to North Vancouver, we’ve researched some of the best beers and breweries to quench your thirst for the rest of the summer. Framboise Noir at Strange Fellows 4.5%, located in East Vancouver, near VCC-Clark SkyTrain station Not to be confused with its equally delicious cousin, the Roxanne, Strange Fellows’ Framboise Noir is beloved for it’s bold raspberry flavour, deep crimson colour, and additional black raspberry and humble raspberry flavour boosters. Enjoy this fruity delight on tap at the Strange Fellows tasting room. Bonus: the lower alcohol percentage of the Framboise Noir is perfect for afternoon brewery hopping, naturally.…

By Sonu Purhar Summer is in full swing, and that means more hours of sunshine in which to enjoy ice cream! Though we love a solid chocolate or cookies-and-cream scoop, there are plenty of next-level variations of our favourite warm-weather treat served at dessert cafés, parlours, farms and eateries across Metro Vancouver. Read on for 10 suggestions that will satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you screaming for more ice cream. Mister 1141 Mainland Street, Vancouver It sounds like an Insta-bait science experiment, but liquid nitrogen plays an important role in producing creamy, flavour-packed ice cream: because nitrogen freezes the cream so rapidly, fewer ice crystals are formed and less air is allowed into the final product (science lesson over). Situated in trendy Yaletown, Mister is converting ice cream aficionados to the liquid nitrogen way one made-to-order cup at a time. Try the Marshmallow Crème Brûlée for a nostalgic treat…

Bu Sonu Purhar Summer is here, and that means even longer days to fill with… well, food! To maximize your warm-weather enjoyment, we’ve rounded up eateries across Metro Vancouver where patios meet palate-popping brunches. Slap on your sunscreen, slip on your sunnies and let’s go! The Boathouse 900 Quayside Drive, New Westminster Lazy Sundays were made for brunching alongside a shimmering river. Situated along the New Westminster Quay, the Boathouse is best known for a traditionally West Coast menu starring locally sourced seafood, and brunch is no different. Try the Dungeness crab cake benny, topped with eggs, greens and creamy hollandaise; it pairs nicely with a sunny mango mojito. MARKET by Jean-Georges 1115 Alberni Street, Vancouver MARKET’s sun-washed patio is an idyllic spot for warm-weather brunching – especially with an innovative menu that raises the bar for morning meals. Start with avocado bruschetta for the table, topped with heirloom tomatoes,…

By Jenni Sheppard Fridays on Front is back, bringing artisan markets, live music, delicious food, and craft beers to Front Street in New Westminster every Friday evening this summer. Now in its third year, the free series showcases a myriad of food trucks and micro breweries, with new vendors joining each week, for eight weeks in July and August. Fridays on Front will also feature guest food trucks from New Westminster’s Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest, North America’s largest one-day food truck festival, in July. Of course, with so many tasty options, it can be tough to know where to tickle your tastebuds first. To help you out, here’s our guide to where to eat at Fridays on Front. Prebāk Prebāk is a cute little food truck that serves up raw cookie dough made with heat-treated flour, organic cane sugar, and chia seeds instead of egg. Flavours bound to bring…

By Kristi Alexandra Here are five delicious places to go vegetarian and vegan in New Westminster. V Café 789 Carnarvon Street Set kitty-corner to New Westminster Station, V Cafe takes a cruelty-free approach to Vietnamese cuisine. For those who crave the comfort of a warm bowl of pho while enjoying a meat-free diet, V Cafe has got you covered. A large steaming bowl of vegetable pho in a vegetarian soup base, complete with broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, tofu and meat-free protein will run you $9.95, while vegetarian and vegan banh mi baguettes are $6.60. We tried the vegetarian lemongrass “chicken” banh mi and it was virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. Soup and sandwiches aren’t the only thing vegetarian Vietnamese cuisine lovers can find, though. Explore V Cafe’s 8 different salad rolls, from the vegan California roll to the vegan smoked BBQ rib rolls ($6.60 per pair). Old Crow Coffee…

By Sonu Purhar Once a hot culinary trend, buffet dining has slowly dwindled into obscurity, replaced by farm-to-table dining, organic and sustainable everything, and tapas-style small-plate meals. But who says you can’t enjoy the best of both worlds? We’ve rounded up our favourite AYCE experiences across Metro Vancouver, many incorporating the exquisite platings, cultural diversity and sustainable ethos we’ve come to expect from our food. So, what are you waiting for? Step into those stretchy pants and let’s go. Mongo Bongo Mongolian Grill 512 6th Avenue, New Westminster Dishing up an intriguing selection of Eastern Asian cuisine, Mongo Bongo is renowned for its Mongolian-style stir-fry. You can take advantage of the restaurant’s AYCE lunch and dinner by filling up your bowl with crisp veggies, meats or tofu, piling on the sauce, and then carrying the concoction to the chef, who will cook it up on the grill. Diners with big…

By Sonu Purhar Move over, Mothers – it’s Dad’s time to shine! Father’s Day is coming up Sunday, June 16, and what better way to tip your hat to the man who taught you how to start a campfire, change a tire, hit a baseball, cook a meal, or shave your beard? What about the man who boasts about you at the office, even though you’re a grown-up, too? Or the man who danced with you at your wedding, even though he hates (like, really hates) dancing? Whatever your relationship with your dad, seize the day – Father’s Day, that is – to show him that he’s appreciated, too; and when the cheque comes, take pride in pulling out your wallet and saying, “Don’t worry, Dad – I’ve got this.” For the dad who secretly adores mimosas: The Taphouse Coquitlam 405 North Road #2, Coquitlam Weekend brunch here will satisfy…

By Kristi Alexandra It’s been more than a decade since New Westminster’s Brewery District actually housed a brewery, but all of that is about to change when Another Beer Co. opens its doors. The Brewery District, which resides in the Royal City’s Sapperton neighbourhood, was named in homage to the Labbatt Brewery that operated in the area from the late 1800s to 2005. Nearly 15 years later, the area is getting a new watering hole just a stone’s throw away from Sapperton Skytrain Station. While we know Metro Vancouver has no shortage of craft beer makers, Another Beer Co. takes a unique — if not cheeky — approach to craft draughts. Want to know more about what the company has up its sleeve? Well, it’s all in the name. “Our name is ironic, but there’s also a lot of reasons behind it,” owner Alex Jopson tells WestCoastFood. Jopson co-owns the…

By Kathy Mak Before you say yuck to cricket protein, you may be surprised to learn that a large portion of the world and most cultures are consuming edible insects by choice, a practice known as entomophagy.  For centuries, feasting on insects as a source of nutrition has been common in Asia, Africa and South America. The concept of eating bugs as an alternative protein has more recently started to make sense in North America. And one of the companies banking on bugs is Coast Protein. This New Westminster start-up is on a mission to normalize eating crickets as a viable, sustainable and healthy food source in various types of cuisine. Currently, they make edible cricket-based protein bars and powders that are available in 225 stores in Canada, of which there are 175 locations in British Columbia and 120 in the Lower Mainland. Crickets constitute the largest portion of the…

By Wade Kinley New Westminster has grown out of the early settlement along the banks of the Fraser River into one of the lower mainland’s most charming cities. Now with a newly revamped waterfront showcasing entertainment, shopping, and dining, any time of day is a good time to visit New West, but we know the best time, and that is approximately 3:00 to 6:00 in the afternoon. Carlos O’Bryan’s Housed in the old Canadian Pacific Railway Station in downtown New Westminster, Carlos O’Bryan’s Pub is big on tradition. Sports, pool, darts and, of course a great draught list can all be found in the traditional Irish pub upstairs in the building built back in 1899. Luckily for us, they’ve kept the tradition of happy hour as well. From 2 to 5 PM daily, along with drink specials that range from $4.50 to $6, their extensive menu of appetizers are available…

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…

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 Located in the heart of Steveston’s idyllic village, Outpost Mini Donut Company lives up to its name, serving up gourmet…

By Kristi Alexandra It’s no wonder that New Westminster’s downtown hub is warming up to its nickname “Delicious Downtown.” It’s home not only to a handful of hip eateries, but to Canada’s largest-ever food truck festival. The Royal City’s residents and their neighbours are about to get all trucked up as the annual Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Festival celebrates its sixth year on July 28, 2018. With more than 150 vendors on the docket for the mouth-watering milestone, there will be no shortage of options to treat the taste buds. From newly-scouted trucks such as the Frying Pan (crispy fried chicken) and Taco’N Todo (authentic Mexican fare) to returning favourites like Vij’s Railway Express and Gypsy Trunk Vegan Food Cart, there’s a nosh or nibble for everyone. REEL Mac & Cheese, Japadog, Crab Park Chowdery, and Feastro the Rolling Bistro also feature on the lineup — but food isn’t the…

By Kristi Alexandra Meaty, cheesy, messy, mouthwatering. Depending on who you ask, the most savoury junk food treat to come out of French Canada–maudite poutine–roughly translates to “a damn mess” or “a fine mess.” The hodge-podge of ingredients–meat, gravy and fresh cheese curds atop fries–has been around since the 50s. In its younger days, poutine’s appeal was questionable, but twists on this classic comfort dish have been picking up steam on this side of Canada of late. It’s a damn fine mess that we don’t mind translating to our tastebuds, and here’s a few places you can find it. Big Red’s Poutine Traveling food truck Go meat or go home! That’s the way Big Red likes it. This roaming poutine-only food truck serves up 14 meat-based poutines, from “the original” all the way to the spring roll poutine, packed with vegetable spring rolls cut into pieces in a homemade beef…

By Kristi Alexandra Newly yoked vegetarians may have a hard time breaking their ties with Canada’s favourite comfort food, but good gravy – going meat-free is no reason to quit poutine altogether! We did the legwork to find the best vegetarian poutines beyond Vancouver so you can split a meal with your meat-eating friends, guilt-free! Bon Appetit, as the French Canadians say. Spud Shack 352-800 Carnarvon Street, New Westminster Breeze into this New Westminster’s poutinerie by way of the Skytrain for a healthy handful of meat-free options. The Spud Shack creates all ten of their poutine dishes with meat-free gravy, including “The Original.” If you’re looking for a few more twists on this classic Eastern Canadian dish, try out The Big V–loaded with vegetarian chili, sour cream, cheese, and green onions. The buffalo chicken poutine also comes with a vegetarian option, complete with Frank’s Hot Sauce, ranch, and green…

By Mary Ann Bell Cupcakes are little hand-held delights of the baking world. They’re just enough to feel like you’re enjoying a decadent treat, but not so much that you feel like you’ve eaten the entire cake. With as many variations as you can dream up, they come in simple as well as unique flavours, and are topped with everything from frosting and sprinkles to bacon and pickles. Every February, animal rescue organizations including the BCSPCA are holding their annual National Cupcake Day* to raise money for animals, and what better way to get into the spirit than with a cupcake party? Bake your own or visit one of these Metro Vancouver bakeshops: Pink Ribbon Bakery 103-306 6th Street, New Westminster This funky little shop is New West’s go-to spot for cakes and cupcakes.  With their newly introduced “flavour of the week” cupcakes like Mountain Dew x Doritos, Nanaimo Bar…

By Catherine Dunwoody Spoil your sweetheart and yourself with one of these sumptuous treats just in time for Cupid’s big day. Remember nothing says “I Love You” more than chocolate. Or cake. Or pastries. You get the idea. Every Community in Metro Vancouver is whipping up something special this year; have a look at our picks from each: Fieldstone Bakery Surrey Their Heart Shaped Cake for 2, ($16) is a chocolate cake filled with hazelnut mousseline and topped with a chocolate mirror glaze. Available from February 9th –18th at the store, but pre-orders are always recommended. Chez Christophe Burnaby A new Velour dessert has red velvet sponge, lemon yogurt mousse, pistachio ganache, pistachio beet chocolate crunch, and raspberry jam. Available February 9th – 14th. Cakes N Sweets Coquitlam Valentines High Tea features buttermilk scones with Devonshire cream and jam, cucumber and lemon aioli finger sandwiches, red pepper and cream cheese croissant, three cheese quiche, chocolate…

By Catherine Dunwoody It’s February – have you made your Valentine’s Day reservations yet? Celebrate your most beloved loved one with a special evening for two at one of these restaurants across Metro Vancouver. Champagne optional (but not really – bubbly is pretty much essential). My Shanti Surrey Considered to be one of the best restaurants for Indian cuisine in the lower mainland, this Vij’s owned eatery has an exotic, dreamy vibe that is sure to set hearts aflame. Plus, spicy food helps. Wild Rice New Westminster, in River Market Order the share table for two, $60, with $5 from every meal donated to Ocean Wise. Nibble on sautéed prawns, organic Angus beef carpaccio, seared sablefish and more. A sexy sharesie meal indeed. Horizons Burnaby The view is absolutely spectacular in the gardens of Burnaby Mountain Park. Book soon to reserve a table early in the evening before sunset. Globe@YVR…

By Kristi Alexandra Winter’s far from over, but the Christmas rush has many of our local craft breweries drying up their stores of limited release selections. If you’ve got a hankering to bring back the holiday season with a few sips of the suds just north of the Fraser, here’s where you can still pour some pints in New Westminster and Richmond. Steel and Oak 1319 3rd Ave, New Westminster This Third Street brewery is still going strong with its limited release, Windrose. This four-grain porter will bring you back to Christmas morning by the fire with the rich taste of chocolate, caramel and toffee fit for overindulging. Sadly, you won’t find it on tap but there are still a few cases of the Zusammen Cardamom Fig Stout floating around Metro Vancouver liquor store shelves. This spicy beverage was brewed by the women of Steel and Oak along with Head…

By Kristi Alexandra You don’t always need wheat to stay sweet, and Cloud 9 specialty bakery owner Ray Porelatto knows it to be true. His gluten-free company started baking up treats for those with a taste for the toothsome in 2008, becoming a pioneer in wheat-free baking. Nearly 10 years later, the gluten-free movement is more of a lifestyle than a craze, and the New Westminster bakery and test kitchen’s popularity can attest to that. The delicious downtown haunt plays storefront to their wildly popular baking brand, serving up cupcakes, scones, buns, breads and more. That’s not to mention the baking mixes and custom-ordered cakes that can be purchased in the shop too. In the back of the shop is the test kitchen, where you can find your cupcakes being created or any other combination of the mad science of sweets. And just how has this speciality bakery kept alive…

By Catherine Dunwoody New Westminster’s Wild Rice may well serve some of the best Asian soul food around, and young chef Jericho Garcia can most certainly be credited. He shared his journey with me, and clearly he is a talent to watch. Where were you born? Jericho Garcia: I was born in the largest group of islands in Philippines – Luzon, in the town of Pampanga which sits on the northern shore of Manila Bay. It is surrounded by commercial fishponds and rice fields. What was food like in your growing up household?  Garcia: I grew up in a culture where food preparation is taken seriously. Authentic traditional recipes are handed down generation after generation and kept as a family treasure. We had access to the best seafood the Pacific Ocean has to offer. Where did you study cooking and when? Garcia: When I was about 8 years old my parents had…

By Kristi Alexandra Eighteen months ago, Marwan Kanj revolutionized cuisine on New Westminster’s Twelfth Street. While the street is dotted with eateries that smell of Eastern influence, Kanj’s Wild Thyme brought full, authentic Lebanese meals to diners beyond the grab-and-go. Wild Thyme is the definition of “homey.” With just 12 seats, diners will want to get chummy with their neighbours or take a peek at the wood-burning stove that warms the entire space (and, of course, cooks the flatbread). Be prepared to get cozy and hunker down for a several-course meal over small, crowded tables — and try not to sweat the line-up that is sometimes out the door. Upon entering the quaint Lebanese eatery, rows of pickled vegetables catch the eye; they’re lined on ledges near the cash register in repurposed glass jars. Cauliflower, turnips, carrots, and baby eggplant fill the jars, tinted pink by beet juice. The best…

By Catherine Dunwoody El Santo, Spanish for “the saint”, was a masked legend of Mexican sports, a famous luchador (wrestler) and it is the two-year-old restaurant founder Alejandro Diaz’s childhood hero. For Diaz, choosing Vancouver-born Chef Sam Fabbro to helm his New Westminster restaurant’s kitchen made good sense. When it came to creating a menu that focused on the freshest seasonal West Coast ingredients available with a traditional, Mexican slant – Fabbro gets it. While still in high school, Sam hopped on a work experience opportunity at Cobre in Vancouver’s Gastown, then known for its real-deal Latino cuisine. After landing stints at Raincity in English Bay and Cin Cin; El Santo is where you’ll find him now. Always inspired by Mexican cooking, Fabbro spent time in Jalisco, Mexico to immerse myself in the food and culture, and brought some authentic ideas back to El Santo. “My dishes are always changing and that…

There’s never been a better time to be a beer drinker on Canada’s West Coast. The region is undergoing a craft brewing renaissance and it seems that there is a new craft brewery popping up every week. Let WestCoastFood and our transportation partner, Burnaby Tours, be your host as we guide you to some of the best craft breweries in the region. Enjoy an in-depth look at the art of beer making with a behind-the-scenes tour at one of the breweries, and get a full sampling of the breweries’ finest beers. (If you left beer fans at home, be sure to pick up a growler or two!) On this tour, you’ll visit:   Mariner Brewing, Coquitlam One of the new kids on the block, Mariner Brewing opened recently to much fanfare. Beer enthusiasts can expect their first offerings to include a sour weisse, a dry-hopped cream ale and a Northeastern…

By Catherine Dunwoody Back for its third year, New Westminster, BC is once again hosting its culinary showcase Feast on the Fraser taking place September 22 to October 1, 2017. Ten days of delicious tastings, cocktail parties, food tours and long table dinners are yours for the taking, but make special note in your calendars for these themed parties: Mad Men Mixer at Mid-Century Modern Home Store, a Speakeasy Prohibition Gala at 100 Braid Street Studios, a Beauty and the Beast children’s tea party and a Canada 150-themed dinner cruise on a paddleboat on the Fraser River. The entire festival champions local restaurants and local ingredients from the Fraser Valley, withTej Kainth, executive director of Tourism New Westminster, summing it up well: “It’s creating these cool collaborations between chefs and producers and the unique spaces we have in New West. Our events are smaller and more intimate, to give visitors…

By BC Association of Farmers Markets The BC growing season is in full swing, and you can experience the palette of summer with a trip to some of the 145+ BC farmers’ markets. Whether you’re headed here on a weekend with family or friends, or taking the summer to explore Canada’s West Coast, here’s everything you need to build a farmers’ market visit into your summer travels across the province. Step 1: Know your BC farmers’ markets With over 145 BC farmers’ markets across the province, you’re sure to discover more than a few that you’ll love to return to year after year. This helpful BC Farmers’ Market Finder tool will help you make the tough choices (popsicles in White Rock, or honey in Richmond?) and you might be surprised to see how easy it is to access more than one farmers’ market closer to home. Here’s a tip: BC…

By Anna Black If you’re looking for something fun and different to do in historic Downtown New Westminster, then be sure to check out Fridays on Front, a free family-friendly event. A brand new weekly community experience that launched July 7th, 2017, Fridays on Front runs every Friday from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm until August 27th along Front Street in New Westminster. The event takes place in the 600-block of Front Street, which has recently been transformed into a modern, pedestrian friendly walkway that still retains a sense of industrial character. The fully licensed event offers visitors artisan, farm, meat, baked goods, and dairy vendors from New West Farmers Market and New West Craft, live music from the New Westminster Arts Council, and food trucks from the fifth annual Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest (happening July 29th from 4 pm – 10 pm). This includes Vancouver’s first bar truck,…

By Catherine Dunwoody How cool is it (literally) that this most delicious and special day happens to fall on our very own Canada Day, July 1st? Vancouver and its diverse surrounding communities certainly know how to celebrate two things at once, and the proof is in the cone. Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by toasting with one of these super special flavours, and some for a very limited time only. Here’s what they are and where to find them. Flavour: Canadian Maple Bacon Where to get it: Welcome Parlour Ice Cream, Vancouver’s North Shore The scoop: This shop just opened this past spring in a 1909 heritage building, and this special flavour is only available for 1 day. Made with caramelized bacon and real maple syrup. Patriotic and proud! Flavour: Roasted Strawberry Where to get it: Rain or Shine, Vancouver The scoop: Brought back for another summer, this fave 4th Avenue…

By Catherine Dunwoody Chef Angus An’s restaurants go well beyond his flagship eatery, Maenam in Vancouver, and we’re doing a happy (chicken?) dance that his Freebird Chicken Shack in New West has reopened, this time in the River Market. Yep, after a short move from the previous location, some renos and a revamp of the menu, the new space is now open on the market’s lower level. The 800-square-foot counter-service eatery seats 24, including 4 bar stools. Eat-in or take-out, new deliciousness added to their already famous Asian-style rotisserie birds, includes an 8-piece bucket of fried chicken ($25), and a grilled chicken vermicelli bowl with fermented pork, fresh herbs, and nuoc cham (small for $11 or large for $15). Turmeric fried chicken with curry and roti ($11/$15) sounds amazing, and vegetables? How does fried brussel sprouts or fried cauliflower for $6 sound? Bonus? All chicken dishes are gluten- and dairy-free…

By Kristi Alexandra With indie breweries becoming almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks’ in Vancouver, you’d have to be wearing blinders to miss a brewpub or tasting room on any given block between Boundary Road and Kits Beach. But Vancouver’s not the only city under the influence, as the craft brewing boom has reached through Burnaby to the Valley, taking root in the communities in between. This year, brews from outlying towns are making a splash at the eighth annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week, running from May 26 to June 4. “We keep growing and changing every year because we want to create this beer experience that all of us want to experience ourselves,” says co-founder and events director Leah Heneghan. This year, it seems communities outside the big city are unofficially on show. The week-long fete’s feature collaboration beer is a shared effort between the four breweries that dot Port…

By Anna Black Tucked just a few blocks from the New Westminster Skytrain station, you’ll find a cozy little Vietnamese eatery on Carnarvon Street called Banh Mi Bar. Now in its second year of operation, the restaurant has become a popular choice with locals because of their affordably priced and freshly made traditional Vietnamese baguette subs and friendly customer service.  Owners Lily and Tung have been described on Yelp Canada as an “absolutely lovely pair of people” that are “nice and friendly” and always “deliver with a smile”. The restaurant has received numerous five star reviews and as a result was recently named one of the site’s Top 100 Restaurants for 2017. The menu, although simple, offers a delicious choice for every sub lover complete with delicately flavored grilled meats, pickled vegetables, cilantro, and just a splash of sriracha, all served on crisp freshly toasted baguette. One of Banh Mi Bar’s…

By Kristi Alexandra Global grub can be found all over the Lower Mainland, but where do you go to find a bite of comfort food? A map of some of the best places to find a great sandwich (besides the corporate franchises) in the Royal City of historic New Westminster will put your mother’s brown bags to shame. 1. Big Star Sandwich Co. The most obvious haunt to hit when craving a huge hunk of sandwich is downtown New Westminster’s Big Star Sandwich Co. Offering up 27 different sandwiches — like the beef dip with demi-glace gravy or the turkey and stuffing — on a fresh baked filone, this Columbia Street spot pairs subs with vintage sodas that Pop Tate would be proud to serve. 2. Columbia Street Sandwich Co. Tucked into a narrow shop front along Columbia Street, you’d be forgiven for missing this gem if not for its…

With a backyard of clean rivers and lakes, the Pacific Ocean, and rich fertile land, the farmers, chefs, brewers, distillers, fishers, and producers are able to bring their diverse traditions, cultures, and creativity to the plates, cups, and glasses of Canada’s west coast. The taste is hyper local, from Vancouver to the Fraser Valley. Featured in this video: The Vancouver Aquarium, The Liberty Distillery, Fraser Valley Cider Company, Cherry Lane Farms, Burnaby Village Museum, Bella Gelateria, Crazy Cows, Steveston Seafood House, Campbells Gold, Central City Brewers and Distillers, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Trading Post Brewing, Steel & Oak Brewing, Vij’s

By Kristi Alexandra It’s one of New Westminster’s most iconic landmarks — the catch is it isn’t always on land. Returning gourmands will be all aboard the Paddlewheeler, the 100-passenger, authentic replica of a sternwheeler that would have worked the mighty Fraser in British Columbia in the mid-19th century and beyond. Part-epicurean and part-history, the dinner cruise, held October 1st, 2016, is a highlight for the second-annual Feast on the Fraser event put on by Tourism New Westminster. Kicking off on Sept. 23, the 10-day Feast on the Fraser festival features locally-inspired menus from participating Royal City restaurants — not the least of which includes the back-by-popular-demand dinner cruise. “While New Westminster is already well known as a food destination in the Lower Mainland, this is a great way to showcase the city’s diverse restaurants – and flavours of the Fraser Valley – in a tasty and creative way,” says…

by Catherine Dunwoody New Westminster’s culinary scene is getting more impressive by the day, and the Feast on the Fraser 10-day festival showcases the bounty of great food grown and produced along the mighty Fraser River. With a different signature event each day, and The Fraser Valley a proud sponsor, Feast on the Fraser ensures that New Westminster local businesses have sourced at least one ingredient from Langley, Abbotsford, or Chilliwack farmers and providers. Kicking off on September 23rd in the River Market, $45 will give you a sampling of tastes for the next 9 days with eateries like Wild Rice Bistro, El Santo, Longtail Kitchen, MATCH Eatery, Tre Galli involved, and your choice of beer or wine from Steel & Oak or Pacific Breeze Winery. Noshing, sipping and live entertainment – think of it as a mini Feast on the Fraser under one roof. If you have time to…

By Kristi Alexandra The River Market is thriving with multicultural cuisines, and really is a bon marché of sorts. From Hainanese poultry to European sweet treats, the River Market is a hot bed of gastronomic discovery, so you can live the life of a travelling gourmand without the pricey plane ticket. Bon appetite… or should we say bon voyage? Italian Aa a country built on its reputation for personal pleasure, it’s no secret Italians pride themselves on their indulgences. Those “indulgences” include fine cheeses, cured meats and, of course, gelato. Grab a made-to-order Italian sandwich at the La Grotta Del Formaggio’s deli counter inside Donald’s Market, along with some plum olives, and enjoy it as a picnic at the adjacent Pier Park. A scoop of Tre Galli Gelato’s homemade lemon gelato in a waffle cone will transport your tastebuds to Florence. Thai Fitting that traditional Thai coastal cuisine should be…

By Kristi Alexandra Often hailed by locals as the future “little Brooklyn” to Vancouver’s NYC, Downtown New Westminster has undergone significant revitalization in the past few years. Along with it came a new shopping centre, Shops at New West, located right inside the New Westminster Sky Train Station. The transit hub — populated by shops, restaurants and even a movie theatre — has become its own culinary destination, with a plethora of regional cuisines to choose from. We took a trip to the Shops at New West to bring you five food pairings on offer for under $15. Four Tacos & Café Mexicano at Originals Restaurante Mexicano (Pictured above.) For $11.50, Original’s Restaurante Mexicano offers up four traditional-style tacos. You can mix and match your flavours from nine options, including pastor (pineapple marinated pork), Baja Fish (chipotle-crusted tilapia with cilantro and avocado), barbacoa (lamb) and lengua (beef tongue). We washed…

By Kristi Alexandra Quickly reclaiming its reputation as an epicurean locale, New Westminster is set to host North America’s largest food truck fest. Hosting 90 food trucks, 24 shaded patios and six beer gardens, the Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest promises to dish out a full-day of chow, drinks and entertainment in the heart of New Westminster’s downtown area. Playing on its tongue-twister of a title and the nature of the foodie affair, the Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest is operating under the tagline, “it’s a mouthful,” which will also serve as the event’s social media hashtag #itsamouthful. Now in its fourth iteration, this year’s event cordons off Columbia Street on Saturday, Aug. 20 from 4 to 10 p.m. — and it’s as big as it can possibly get. “This year we’re at 90 [trucks], and it’s basically only because that’s as big as the street is. There wasn’t anywhere…

By Kristi Alexandra When wine connoisseurs in BC want a sip of the perfect cabernet sauvignon or a pinch of pinot, they usually look no further than the Okanagan Valley, Canada’s proclaimed wine country. With rolling country hills and miles and miles of ripening vineyards, anywhere from Kelowna to the Naramata Bench to Osoyoos is the prime destination for a carafe of the best wine on offer to British Columbians — or so we thought. Enter Pacific Breeze, Canada’s first garagiste winery located in the most unlikely of settings. Owned by Maurice Hamilton and Frank Gregus, Pacific Breeze sits in an industrial sliver of New Westminster located behind the waterfront quay and a busy set of train tracks, with no vineyard to speak of. “The garagiste concept is very much the idea of being a small, independent operator who doesn’t necessarily own this giant vineyard, but is buying a small…

By Catherine Dunwoody Photos by Nicol Spinola Photography With over 150 types of tea sold, New Westminster’s Great Wall Tea Company, located in the River Market since 2010, has one of the most impressive selections in the lower mainland. With that much choice however, teatime could make your head spin a little. We asked co-owner of the shop, Lauren Bowler, for some tips on what tea can offer, so we can choose what suits us best. Catherine Dunwoody: First off, how did you get into the tea business? Lauren Bowler: I work primarily as an actor, but I was very intrigued by the idea of operating a small business. My business partner, Sean Smith, was also very interested in small start-ups and we knew we wanted to operate in a public market environment. I’ve had a passion for tea since high school, so when we brainstormed businesses we thought would both…

By Alexis Baran Meandering up and down the hilly riverside streets of New Westminster is a great way to work up an appetite and a thirst. If you are down to hunt for the perfect local food to pair with locally brewed beer, the walk from restaurants to the neighbourhood brewery with your take-out feast in-hand is a great way to explore the streets on a nice day. Here are pairing suggestions from the crew at Steel & Oak Brewing: Restauraunt: Rivers Reach Food: New West Deli Pizza Beer: Smoked Hefeweizen Daniel Johnston, front of house manager, recommends that the “rich, meaty and savoury pizza is balanced perfectly by our smoky and subtle Hefeweizen. Great pizza and great beer, how could you go wrong?” With all of the meat piled on this pizza – salami, pepperoni, ham, ground beef, and Italian sausage, a smoked Hef is both complementary and refreshing.…

By Tim Pawsey Only a few minutes from Richmond, YVR or downtown New Westminster, smart and sparkling Starlight Casino blends a range of dining options with everything from Blackjack to Roulette. If you’re having a tough time leaving your favourite slot spot or roulette table, barely a few paces away, the Buffet at Starlight offers a set price brunch, lunch or dinner, with themed buffets that vary by the day, from Italian to Mediterranean and Mexican. Feeling a need to celebrate those winnings? Cozy in to a booth at the red velvet festooned Redbar Lounge, where you can also cut loose on the dance floor with live entertainment. Adjoining the main casino, expansive Match Eatery & Public House offers a friendly welcome, along with an army of taps, featuring a full spectrum of local and imported brews, as well as good pub fare. Pasta, fish ‘n chips, gruyere stuffed meatballs,…

By Tim Pawsey The craft beer revolution has made itself at home along the Fraser River, down from the hills in New Westminster. Steel and Oak Brewing Co. is a delightful discovery, tucked away in a still fairly industrial part of town, cheek by jowl beside automotive repair shops and train tracks – yet a short walk away from the bustling River Market and the rest of Downtown New West. Steel & Oak arrived with a bit of a bang upon their arrival into the scene in the summer of 2014 by quickly scooping first place in the 2015 BC Beer Awards Amber / Dark Ale category with its gently bitter and quite floral Flagship Royal City Ale. Step inside and chances are you won’t be alone, as the word is out on S&O, which has already built a strong following. Open for just over a year, this compact, wood-trimmed…

by Kathy Mak Winter may seem an unlikely time to visit an outdoor farmers market in Canada, but the milder climate in the Lower Mainland allows the markets and abundance of seasonal products to thrive. Deserving of more recognition, a winter market’s appeal lies not only in the quality and range of offerings, but also in knowing that it’s served by a passionate community of both food artisans/farmers and shopping foodies, all prepared to brave the elements in support of fresh local products. The charm of a winter market is in the smaller and manageable crowds. With shorter line ups, there’s time to sample and chit-chat with merchants. Live entertainment, food trucks and heating stations are also on hand to add some extra warmth. To visit a winter market is to crave comfy and warming flavours. It’s easy to take inspiration for cozy dishes from the bounty of seasonal products…

By Kathy Mak There’s no denying it, eating counts as sightseeing, and when you have a sweet tooth, bakeries, pastry shops and other sweet stops are the attractions! You don’t have to go far in Vancouver to find every possible sugary delight, from award-winning ice cream, to-die-for pastries, and gourmet macarons to handcrafted chocolates. But, finding some of the unsung sweet treats further afield can be the real taste-adventure. Take this sweet-packed outing to discover a selection of local, laid-back gems in Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond and Vancouver, all easily linked by convenient public transit and short walks. Your self-guided, sweet tasting spree begins in downtown Vancouver with an early morning stop at Cartems Donuterie (534 West Pender). It’s hard enough to resist regular donuts, but resistance is futile when it comes to Cartems’ donuts as they are dreamy! (And, literally, Cartems was born out of a dream by the…

New Westminster is packed with classic dimly-lit brick pubs, bright patios and friendly diners; all perfect places to chow down on a good ol’ burger and fries. Here are some of New West’s best-known burgers: The Manwich Match Eatery & Public House A 7oz flat-iron steak on a garlic French loaf topped with crispy onion strings, roasted grape tomatoes and garlic aioli – served medium rare or to taste. Cajun Chicken Sandwich The Terminal Pub A Cajun-spiced grilled chicken breast topped with aged cheddar, bacon, crispy onion strings, lettuce, tomato and a chipotle aioli. It is served on a kaiser buns that is freshly baked and delivered to by their neighbour, Pamola Bakery, at the River Market in New Westminster. Breakfast Burger (with an elk patty) Burger Heaven Mozzerella, a fried egg (like the Aussies do it) and bacon – try it with an elk patty for an…