While the temperatures are still warm, take your dining experience outdoors. And what better place to dine al fresco than White Rock? Bordering the Semiahmoo Bay, White Rock is a stunning seaside city with a sandy beach that stretches eight kilometres across the city. From the oceanfront promenade to the grassy open spaces, there are plenty of places on White Rock beach to enjoy a bite to eat and the fresh, open air.
For a Romantic Stroll:
Cool off from the summer heat by dipping your toes in the water and walking along the shore. Away from the crowds, the shoreline is the perfect place to share an intimate conversation with a partner. Enjoy your peaceful walk and appreciate the slower pace of life with light eats like a flaky Jamaican patty or savoury Johnny cakes from PG’s Jamaican Takeout.
Take your pick from chicken, beef, or vegetarian Jamaican patties.
Indulge in an outdoor feast on the sandy beach. Grab take-out from one of White Rock’s award winning restaurants such as ONYX Steakhouse. Voted BC’s best steakhouse, ONYX has exquisite eats to choose from. The One + Only Steak sandwich, made with forty-day aged 6oz NY striploin, caramelized onions, mushrooms, an onion ring, and a garlic toasted baguette, is perfect to get to-go. Then lay out a blanket on the sand, turn on some great tunes, and enjoy!
1225 Johnston Road, White Rock, BC V3H 5N1
Phone: (604) 542-0334
A Family Picnic:
Set up a family picnic nearby White Rock’s namesake. The large white rock, significant in the narratives of local Coast Salish First Nations peoples, is a favourite among children to play and climb upon. Pick up authentic Sicilian pizza from Emilio Finatti’s for both a kid-approved lunch. The kids will find it hard to say no to pizza and the organic and premium house ingredients will satisfy health-conscious parents.
15223 Pacific Ave, White Rock, BC V4B 1P8
Phone: (604) 542-2522
An Evening with Friends:
Sit back, relax, and watch the Westcoast sunset from the grass by the pier. This is the perfect place to set up a blanket and pillows with friends, good vibes, and good food. Share conversation and laughs over takeout from The Wooden Spoon Co. Try the Spoon Burger, a delicious beef and pork burger served with maple bacon, aged cheddar, arugula, pickles, tomato jam, a crispy onion ring, and smoky garlic aioli.
A trip to White Rock beach isn’t complete without a walk on the pier. Grab some delicious finger food from Little India Restaurant. The paneer pakora (cheese fritters), pakora (vegetable and chick pea fritters), and samosas (fried triangular patties filled with potatoes and peas) are all delectable choices to choose from to snack on the pier.
What beach adventure is complete without a stop at the ice cream parlour? Enjoy a generous helping of smooth ice cream from Cones Creamery, where the ice cream is made from scratch and quality ingredients. Choose from eclectic flavours like London fog latté or caramel apple then head down to the shore. Plenty of logs are scattered throughout the beach. Choose the comfiest one and sit down to enjoy your ice cold treat and the spectacular view.
14961 Marine Dr, White Rock, BC V4B 1C3
Phone: (604) 536-7644
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 only thing on offer during the foodie fete.
Running in conjunction with the food truck festival, is a special artisan market. Tucked in the air-conditioned comfort of The Anvil Centre, the British Columbia Artisan Society is hosting more than 50 local artists. Feasters can take a break from the heat and shop for jewellery, paintings, chocolate, tea, clothing, beauty products and more.
New Westminster-based boutiques such as Mila + Paige will be styling up fashionable feasters, along with Grand Central Consignment, Inner Fire, Lofty Living, and the city’s very own brewery Steel & Oak will be hawking their suds-inspired duds.
For those who would rather lay back and relax, there are four different stages to catch some live music acts, while sipping on a draft under a shaded patio or in one of the eight beer gardens.
“Like always, we’ll have tons of bands and performers through the Arts Council of New West,” Whitfield assures, “and we’re once again showcasing the Artisan’s Market inside the Anvil Centre, and the Farmer’s Market will be part of the event.”
As if food trucks, live music, arts, and fashion still weren’t enough to entice you to strut Columbia Street during the festival, admission for the event, as always, is free!
#GetTruckedUp at the fifth annual Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Festival on July 28, 2018 from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Under the sweltering summer heat, there’s nothing better than cooling down with a walk on the White Rock pier and an ice cold treat. Whether it’s gelato, frozen yogurt, or traditional ice cream you’re craving, this beachside city is a haven for icy desserts. Here are four must-try places.
Sandcastle Sea Shoppe
Located at the east beach in White Rock, Sandcastle Sea Shoppe has the largest selection of ice cream in the city. They carry fifty flavours at all times and nearly seventy during the peak season in the summer. Take your pick from gelato, ice cream, milk shakes, smoothies, or old fashioned frozen yogurt.
The Sandcastle Sea Shoppe is home to the twin cone, a cone with a platform for two ice cream flavours side-by-side rather than on top of each other, which you won’t find anywhere else on the beach. They also carry an assortment of beach gear, beach toys for children, and beautifully hand crafted souvenirs.
Try one of the homemade waffle cones at Sandcastle Sea Shoppe. Choose from Skor, rainbow sprinkles, white chocolate and coconut, chocolate dipped with chocolate sprinkles, chocolate and chopped peanuts, or caramel and peanuts.
Pictured is a double scoop of Sandcastle Sea Shoppe’s creamy peanut butter chocolate ice cream with peanut butter cups over a chocolate dipped peanut waffle cone. This one is for peanut butter lovers!
For a fun nostalgic 50’s diner experience, make a stop at Seaside Scoops. This vibrant ice cream parlour features old fashioned milk shakes, ice cream, slushies, and carnival and fair eats like hot dogs, nachos, and cotton candy.
Seaside Scoops has a large window front where you can sit and enjoy your ice cream along with the beautiful view of White Rock beach.
14893 Marine Drive, White Rock
For luxurious gourmet gelato and sorbetto, head over to Dolce Gelato! Dolce Gelato makes their gelato fresh daily and in small batches with high quality and local ingredients.
Dolce Gelato’s authentic Italian gelato and sorbetto has a beautiful consistency and is perfectly creamy. From lavender and honey to classic Italian favourites like stracciatella, bacio, and cioccolatto, there are plenty of flavours to choose from.
The sorbetto is vibrant, packed with fresh fruit, and rich with flavour. Pictured is the mango and strawberry sorbetto. Refreshingly perfect on a hot summer day!
Indulge and enjoy the view!
15045 Marine Drive, White Rock
Funky, fruity, estery, tart, dry, and sour; these beer flavours can be under-appreciated but, this July, the fourth annual Farmhouse Festival returned to Vancouver to tease some diversity into a sold-out romp of discerning palates. If you didn’t make it to the festival, not to worry, we’re here to help you find some of the featured flavours.
Over 50 breweries and cider makers were invited to the UBC Farm, bringing their most innovative concoctions with them. From mouth-puckering to thirst-quenching, it was a field day (quite literally) for beer enthusiasts. While the majority of recipes were created specifically for the event, a handful of items are will be available for British Columbia locals. Here are 5 locals Farmhouse Festival beers to look out for:
Hailing from Burnaby, Dageraad Brewing was the proud supplier of this year’s official Farmhouse Fest beer. The Genever – a gin barrel aged saison – was a collaboration with Steel & Oak Brewing and Odd Society Spirits. You’ll now be able to get your hands on it in Dageraad’s Burnaby tasting room, while supplies last.
Vancouver’s Parallel 49 will have their Late Bloomer (barrel aged sour with cherry) and Blue Shift (barrel aged sour finished on blueberries) at their tasting room only, typically on Saturdays. Because these two beers have a fruity profile that’s quite subtle, they are a good introduction for those new to saisons and sours.
Luppolo, one of Vancouver’s breweries that’s regularly known for their farmhouse ales, sours, and saisons, will have their Albicocchina (barrel aged apricot sour) in their East Van tasting room.
The brewmasters from Vancouver’s Powell Brewery were on site at Farmhouse Fest, noting that La Belle, a gin barrel aged sour farmhouse ale, is now available in bottles at their shop, select liquor stores, and restaurants around the city. The Super Sexy Flanders, a barrel-fermented flanders red, was a crowd favourite from the event and is said to be available in 6 months at the tasting room.
Funky and fruity beers were in abundance at Farmhouse Fest, but there were several cider companies sharing the spotlight. We were blown away by Windfall Cider, Vancouver-based cider-makers that blew our tastebuds away with their Jackpot cider. Made with 100% BC dessert apples, it’s a light, sweet cider that would pair perfectly with a sunny West Coast day. Keep your eye out for Jackpot at local Vancouver restaurants like Bells and Whistles, and Liberty Wine Merchants.
Vancouver Foodie Tours is locally-owned, walking food tour company run by passionate beer, wine and food lovers! You can experience Vancouver’s vibrant food scene through their four Foodie Tours and their online food blog at foodietours.ca.
Remember W Network’s The Shopping Bags? Co-host and co-producer Anna Wallner may have closed that chapter of her career some time ago, but she’s moved on to an exciting new project.
Wallner has recently purchased Vancouver catering and event-planning company, Savoury Chef Foods. After wrapping her last series, Anna and Kristina’s Grocery Bag, she studied at Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver. Since Anna is a culinary enthusiast, we asked her to share her favourite picnic spots in the lower mainland, and what she likes to eat. Here’s what she had to say:
“I love a picnic. And eating al fresco is my favourite way to enjoy a meal with friends. A gorgeous summer’s eve, cold drinks, delicious food and a relaxed atmosphere is pretty much perfection in my mind.
When you picnic with me you’ll be getting a gourmet offering. I’m in favour of grazing. A little of this and a little of that. A charcuterie board ticks the box perfectly. Cured meats, terrine, cheeses, dried fruits, compote, olives and fresh bread are a great way to get things going. And instead of traditional sandwiches why not go with wraps that can be sliced diagonally, which have great visual appeal and lend itself to the snacking approach.
Pack a nice bottle of wine or if you’re going non-alcoholic I suggest a bottle of sparkling water in a mason jar filled with mint and citrus for added flavour and refreshment.
Including cloth napkins and cutlery from home (not plastic), proper outdoor plates and a blanket also elevates things and helps to make your picnic feel special.
Picnics are a fun and affordable way to make the most of summer – who needs to sit on a restaurant patio when we’ve got so many free picnicking locations on offer?
When choosing a location, I personally avoid the beach. Who wants sand in their food?! I also avoid dog parks. I love my dog but I don’t love other people’s dogs nearly as much and I definitely don’t want them sniffing around my supper! I avoid anywhere that draws a crowd (i.e. playgrounds.) Seclusion is key. Pebbly beaches are a good choice as are grassy areas with shady trees and views.
Of course, those of us who are dedicated to the art of picnicking are always on the lookout for new and unknown locations and we are extremely protective of our secret spots. So don’t ask me to draw you a map. But I will share a few starting points: In North Van head to Cates Park and Lynn Canyon. Port Moody is still surprisingly undiscovered for picnicking and you’ll finding picnic bliss around Buntzen Lake.
I always like to include some kind of activity around getting to my picnic location, be it a bike ride or a hike.”
Sweet, delicate, light and delicious, British Columbia’s spot prawns are highly coveted by chefs and foodies from around the world. In addition to their unique taste and spotted markings, fresh spot prawns, bred and harvested off the coast of British Columbia, are one of the most sustainable seafood choices on the market.
BC’s spot prawn season is a short 6-8 weeks, which kicks off with an annual Spot Prawn Festival in Vancouver. On May 12, 2018, sun poured over the docks at Fisherman’s Wharf for the 12th Annual Spot Prawn Festival, where chefs, foodies, and seafood lovers gathered together to greet the fishing boats and indulge in the season’s first harvest.
While the festival may be a one-day event, anyone is welcome to partake in the daily spot prawn spectacle at Fisherman’s Wharf. Just two minutes from Granville Island, anyone can walk down to the dock, chat with the fishermen, and buy a few pounds of live spot prawns caught just hours prior. The experience is so nonchalant, but that’s exactly the thrill. The exchange from fisherman to foodie is strikingly simple.
Peter, owner of the Bay Spirit, is a friendly face to look for at the docks. Fisherman’s Wharf is where Peter grew up – his father was a fisherman and these docks are like home to him. Despite more than 30 years of experience under his belt, Peter still greets all those who arrive at the dock with a friendly conversation before sending them on their way with a scoop of fresh spot prawns.
British Columbia is known for its bounty of local ingredients, but spot prawn season is a perfect time to experience what that really means. According to Peter, “between 1 and 2 o’clock is the best time to catch a few boats pulling in.” Peter helps supply the numerous seafood shops at the Granville Island Public Market but also noted that this year, he’s seen more “everyday people” alongside chefs buying directly from the boats. Straight from the Bay Spirit, spot prawns are going for $20 per pound – a steal of a deal, as seafood aficionados can attest.
Though you may see “spotted prawns” at sky-high prices in select stores year-round, these are often farmed overseas in freshwater pools, often exposed to chemicals, and pre-frozen. During May and June, you’ll want to look for “BC Spot Prawns” on local restaurant menus, paired with the Ocean Wise certification symbol.
In Vancouver, Boulevard Restaurant, Maenam and Miku are just a handful of restaurants to feature local spot prawns on their special menus. For an evening of seafood & bubbles, grab a ticket to Edible Canada at the Market’s May 29 event.
Vancouver Foodie Tours is a locally-owned walking food tour company with a passion for Vancouver’s food scene. The Best of Downtown Tour is a must-do for seafood lovers, and includes beer, wine and cocktail pairings. This is the city’s #1 Rated Tour on TripAdvisor! Learn more about Vancouver Foodie Tours at www.foodietours.ca.
Ice Cream has blown up on Canada’s West Coast and charming new shops and parlours are popping up all over. But what about the folks who have allergies, sensitivities or make choices not to eat gluten or dairy? And who doesn’t like a cooling, sweet, creamy treat? Fret not folks, I did the research for you! Here’s my list of the best, where to go for it, and what to taste.
Try: Most ice creams here are gluten-free so, if you are as well, skip the cone and get a cup. Top your treat with a marshmallow or meringue (also gluten-free). Vegans and the lactose-intolerant will love the Chocohuete, which is made with peanut butter and dark chocolate. It’s dairy-free and made with their own made-in-house cashew milk base.
Is there anything sweeter than the fruits of your own labour? U-pick berry farms in the Lower Mainland would attest there isn’t.
While abundant rain at the end of a long winter had many farms opening their picking seasons a little late this year, the results are still oh-so-sweet. With a shortened growing season, farmers are seeing strawberries and blueberries as a bounty of fresh-picked treats. We visited a few farms to find out where you can gather a basket of your own before the season’s over.
Please note that availability of berries is subject to weather and crops may end early, or be extended. It’s best to contact the individual farms to determine availability of your favourite berries.
Krause Berry Farms 6179-248th Street, Langley
U-pick, a winery, fresh-made waffles, and a kids’ farm – is there anything this farm doesn’t have? Set on 200 acres of well-groomed farmland, Krause Berry Farms uses all of its berries in farm-to-table (and from field-to-glass) style. There’s always something to pick from late May to mid-October in the fields, from ever-bearing strawberries getting their second-wind starting in late July to pumpkins and autumn harvests. Open every day 8:30am to 5pm.
CanWest Farms 13051 Blundell Road, Richmond
With families in mind, CanWest hosts U-pick blueberries for five weeks between mid-July and late August. At just $1.50 per pound, you can pick a year’s worth of berries to store. Open from 10 am to 6 pm.
Birak Farm 4200 No 6 Road, Richmond
Fruit stands are no longer just a roadside attraction whilst vacationing in BC’s Okanagan Valley – this Richmond-based fruit stand has a legacy of its own. For 30 years, Birak Berry Farms has been growing six different varieties of strawberries: Albion, Totem, Hood, Tillamook, Honey Owe and Pugent. Open seven days a week from dawn to dusk.
Surrey Farms 5180 – 152 Street, Surrey
This little Surrey-based farm is famous among locals for its sweet strawberries. “The season is slowing down but the U-pickers seem to be very happy,” they told WestCoast Food. Here, strawberries can last until mid-September, with blueberries usually staying strong into September. U-pick opens mid-June to mid-October from 9 am to 6 pm.
Maan Farms 790 McKenzie Road, Abbotsford
Open from 9 am to 6 pm every day, this 80-acre farm currently boasts late harvest strawberries and seasonal blueberries. A $2 admission fee is refundable when you pick more than 5 lbs of berries.
Willems Berry Farm 33736 Vye Road, Abbotsford
Running since 1983, Willems Berry Farm is a family-run farm with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries abound, when in season. Picking typically opens at 9 am on the weekends, but hours can vary, so it’s best to call ahead at 604-864-1149.
Didar Berry Farm 5580 104th Street, Ladner
Blueberry season for this family-farm is short but sweet. It opened in mid-July for u-picking and its last day of the season is August 19. Owner Aujlay Didar dubs his fruits “nature’s candy” and is happy to drive visiting pickers through his 80+ rows of berries in a golf cart to find the sweetest treasures.
Formosa Nursery Organic Farm 12617 – 203rd Street, Maple Ridge
If you want to save your money, do the dirty work yourself. Formosa Nursery offers blueberries at $5 per pound, ready-picked, or just $3 per pound when you u-pick. There are just 2 weeks left in the u-pick season, so there’s a limited amount of time to collect your bounty and get some exercise in. Open from 8 am to 8 pm daily.
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 farmers’ markets are a smart place to stock up on the freshest summer ingredients. Not only is the food fresh and local, you can get great advice from the farmers who grew it! Ask for tips on produce varieties, preparation, storage, preserving, and recipes.
Step 2: Bring your appetite
High summer is prime time for taste, no matter which region you visit in BC. Nectarines, plums and peaches are all must-buys at farmers’ markets from the Vancouver area to the Thompson-Okanagan, and cherry fans can sample their fill fresh from the Kootenay/Rockies. If you’re looking for blueberries, head to Langley, Richmond, and the Fraser Valley – farmers from Richmond to Agassiz supply 97% of Canada’s highbush blueberries. On Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, look for wild crafted delicacies like seaweed and blackberries, along with delicious cheeses from the Cowichan Valley. And if you need a reminder that farmers’ markets are a perfect place to find locally produced baked goods and handmade treasures, check out the farmers’ markets even further north – Prince George’s award-winning year-round farmers’ market features outstanding baked goods and locally roasted coffee, while markets throughout the Cariboo/Chilcotin area offer locally sourced pasture-raised meat…including interesting products like llama!
Step 3: Put your money where your heart is
BC farmers’ markets are tasty and fun, but they also play a vital role in the local economy. Did you know that for the first time in 20 years, the number of farmers aged 35 and younger in BC is on the rise? But expensive land, and high start-up costs can be challenging for new farmers starting out – choosing to shop at BC farmers’ markets is one way to help these new farmers grow (and keep all farmers productive!) The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets runs the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program , which helps increase access to fresh, local food for lower income families and seniors in BC.
Step 4: Take your time
BC farmers’ markets are the ideal place to connect with “slow food”: investing in local crops and taking the time to prepare food carefully. But while the approach is slow, the market isn’t. It’s no surprise that farmers’ markets are a hive of activity: on any given visit you might find live music, chef demos, family activities, new trends like wild harvested food and products, and artisanal food producers. With more evening farmers’ markets popping up across the province, you can enjoy exploring new foods under the stars.
Ready to tour BC farmers’ markets? Take your camera along for the ride and enter the BC Farmers’ Market Road Trip Contest: just share a photo of your farmers’ market adventures with the hashtag #BCFarmersMarketRoadtrip for a chance to win one of five weekly prize draws for a $50 BC farmers’ market shopping trip! This contest runs from July 17 to August 18, 2017. Follow BC Farmers’ Markets on Facebook and Instagram for details.
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.
Visitors to past Fridays on Front have been treated to Air Canada En Route People’s Choice award winner, Vij’s Railway Express, the mouthwatering authentic recipes of Thai Box on Truck, and the dessert delicacies of Rocky Point Ice Cream. Cheeses Crust was also on hand with their signature Bacon Bomb and Cheese Steak alongside food truck staples Brazilian Roots and Japadog. So, if you’re in the mood for Butter Chicken Schnitzel, Green Curry, a real fruit smoothie, an amazing grilled cheese, or more, come hungry!
Needing a caffeine pick-up after a long day? Be sure to stop by Old Crow Coffee, a well-loved local coffee house, open until 8 pm during Fridays on Front. Or, if you’re in the area early, and love everything wine, New Westminster’s very own award-winning Wine Factory offers a chance to explore over 250 wines from across the globe. Raincity Juicery, open until 6 pm, offers healthy and tasty cold-pressed organic juices perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot summer night. For a complete list of participating Front Street businesses, please click here.
Fridays on Front is conveniently located near the New Westminster and Columbia Street Skytrain stations with entry via McKenzie Street and Columbia Street.
Drink tickets can be purchased from the cashier stations along Front Street with cash or credit card only. Don’t forget your ID!
Bingsoo Korean shaved ice dessert may make you forget about traditional ice cream forever.
Also known as patbingsu or bingsu, this treat traditionally uses water as its icy main ingredient, however Snowy Village Canada uses 100% Canadian milk which is frozen and shaved to create a snowy consistency. Red bean paste is the traditional topping, however fresh fruit like strawberries, jelly, Oreo cookies, roasted grain powder and other toppings give it a modern texture that is suited to Canadian tastes.
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.
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!
The scoop: Brought back for another summer, this fave 4th Avenue shop roasts local strawberries, adds a dash of balsamic vinegar, and mixes into the creamiest of ice creams to create summer in a cup. Or cone. You get the idea.
The scoop: Trendy and from Thailand, “rolled gelato” is all the rage. The folks at Spiritual got the machine sent from the source, taught themselves how to make it, and serve theirs like a sundae. Blueberries and maple syrup are mixed into the actual gelato, which is then topped with fresh blueberries, maple syrup, and whipped cream. Multi-cultural cool – just like Canada.
The scoop: This Korean shaved ice dessert is a refreshing treat on a hot summer day. Think balls of honeydew melon atop shaved ice, sprinkled with slivered toasted almonds, whip cream and served in a melon bowl.
The scoop: The classic combination of orange popsicle with vanilla ice cream has been around for decades. Top this froyo with anything from sour gummi worms to animal crackers to fresh fruit depending on your tastes and enjoy.
Where to get it: Urban Gate, Coquitlam
The scoop: Who says ice cream can’t come in unusual flavours? This saffron infused treat has that gorgeous yellow colour you would expect and a subtle flavour. Give it a go.
Take a gourmet stroll off the beaten path, spend the afternoon with top chefs, and leave filled with stories of food and the people that bring it to life. Local culinary celebrations don’t get bigger than the annual Feast of Fields festival, held this year at Laurica Farm and Fraser Common Farm in Langley. Once you wander through the gates (and past some goats and pigs), British Columbia’s food and beverage artisans await to offer a complete taste of the region.
Guests meander between tents and sample dishes that highlight local produce, prepared by more than 50 restaurants, farmers, and beverage crafters. Live music, orchards, and the open sky provide ambiance. Whether you’re into craft beers, ciders, or wines, or are looking for a chance to experience the province’s culinary creativity this “wandering gourmet harvest festival” includes items you won’t find on restaurant menus.
And, it’s not just the food that will leave you feeling good. The event is a fundraiser for FarmFolk CityFolk. Every dollar raised supports their mission: to cultivate sustainable food systems in British Columbia and build a market for local produce through celebration.
“It gives you the local flavour, people say, ‘wow, so that’s what it’s really like here. This is what fish from the Fraser River taste like, this is what grapes from local vines create, that’s what food by BCs top restaurants is like.’ And it’s all in one place,” said Nicholas Scapillati, executive director of FarmFolk CityFolk.
Ever try bacon jam? Cornbread made with honey from bees buzzing nearby? How about a glass of Syrah wine produced on BCs Black Sage Bench (a small interior region known for its reds)? Every dish connects you with the full flavour of the people and places that crafted it.
Vancouver’s Forage restaurant is a natural participant. Their chef is a fisherman, forager, hunter, and even keeps bees. They minimize food waste by using every part of the produce served, including repurposing gnocchi peelings to make potato skins. Like Feast of Fields, the restaurant has experts on staff to answer locavore questions, from sourcing organic vegetables to the environmental impacts of mono-cropping and multi-cropping.
“It’s an event where people get to be curious and ask questions about their food. They bring back stories about where it came from and who made it,” said Margot Baloro, restaurant operations manager at Forage. “People who come are keen, they want to learn as much as they can. It’s fun and it’s different and it feels good to do good.”
Where can you find more local produce? What can you cook with seasonal vegetables or pasteurized meats? Guests get answers to their farming and cooking questions right from the source. Chefs, beverage crafters, and farmers are on hand to personally field them.
“Farmers know best. I ask them what they have, what they need me to use. I don’t dictate. For the event, Laurica Farm had some pigs’ heads so I wood-fired them and made tacos,” said chef Adrian Beaty, a participating chef. “I kind of go with the flow. I was just at a farmer’s market and found someone nearby growing (hot) peppers that I’m using in the BBQ sauce. Normally, they are brought in from China or abroad. I was like ‘Whoa! You have this here, great!’”
Beaty first saw that there was so much more to food while watching a cooking show years ago. It featured a chef talking to a farmer about growing and using peppers. There was a clear connection between people, land, and nutrition. Since then, he’s educated others on how to find and cook with produce that’s available locally. His most recent find: a nearby farm that grows spinach, kale and other greens all winter long.
Before the 100 Mile Diet, before farmer’s markets were popular, there was Feast of Fields. Envisioned as a “roving picnic on a working farm” the festival is thriving today. It celebrated 22 years and 50 feasts this year and has attracted hundreds of locavores and culinary curious guests to the Fraser Valley, the Okanagan, and to Vancouver Island.
You’ll leave the festival with fresh ideas for restaurants to try and knowledge about the bounty available in BC. Bring your appetite for learning and a straw hat next year and drop by a Feast of Fields event.
Meet FarmFolk CityFolk and Feast of Fields:
Feast of Fields is a four hour wandering gourmet harvest festival that highlights the connections between farmers and chefs, field and table, and between farm folks and city folks. With a wine glass and linen napkin in hand, guests stroll across a farmer’s field, traveling from tent to tent (sometimes through the barn, past the tractor or around the chicken coup) listening to live music, and tasting gourmet creations from BC top chefs, farmers, fishers, ranchers, food artisans, vintners, brewers, distillers and other beverage producers. www.feastoffields.com
Meet Laurica Farm:
Laurica Farm is a five acre family farm in Aldergrove, BC. “We started our farm in 2013 after feeling disenchanted with the food industry – we wanted to stage a personal food revolution. Since then we have built a ‘farm family’ around us, gathering people who share our values. From foodies, to nutritionists, to locavores, to ethical shoppers, our customers have a shared vision about what their food choices should look (and taste) like.” lauricafarm.com
Meet Fraser Common Farm:
Through a unique balance of food production, habitat conservation, communal and individual housing, and a sincere desire for long term sustainability – this is a social and community experiment, a work in progress, and a dream come true. “The food tastes really great. We grow certified organic food, including pre-cut salads, vegetables, culinary herbs, edible flowers, fruit and market vegetables. We care about the food we grow, and the land upon which we live.” www.frasercommonfarm.com
When most kids are playing and vacationing during their summer break, Jonah Daniels is pursuing his dream of building and running his artisan food business. He is the precocious 13-year-old founder and kidpreneur behind Rebel Pops which are 100% all natural, healthy, homemade, whole fruit popsicles or ice pops made from the finest organic and wild ingredients that are mostly harvested by Jonah and his family. His Rebel team of five family members, based in the Lower Mainland, includes his mom, Roxayn, (ice pops designer) and dad, Jamey.
Get to know Rebel Pops in our recent conversation with Jonah and Roxayn:
KM: What inspired you to make 100% all natural ice pops as a business?
Jonah: When I was in Grade 5 doing research for a project on kid entrepreneurs, I found lots of examples of kids who had their own successful business. This is what inspired me to start my own business. The hardest part was coming up with a really good idea and I thought about it for a long time. One day I was eating one of our delicious homemade organic fruit popsicles and I suddenly realized that I could turn them into a great business.
How did you come up with the name Rebel Pops?
Jonah: Well my mom sometimes joked about us being food rebels since we eat mostly organic and grow and make a lot of our own food. She calls it “joyously rebelling against processed & fast foods loaded with chemicals and GMOs!” About 5 years ago my mom and dad decided to make our kitchen GMO free as well. I thought Rebel Pops would be a great name for my business, and out of all the business names I thought of, everyone liked this one the best.
Why is organic important to you and your family?
Jonah: My mom is a certified nutritionist so I grew up eating very healthy foods like green smoothies and lots of fruit and vegetables. I don’t eat much processed or fast food. I haven’t really thought about why it’s important to me to eat organic, it’s just the way it has always been.
How are Rebel Pops different from other local artisan popsicles?
Jonah: We use only the best quality ingredients in our pops. We use mostly organic. We even pick a lot (about half) of the fruit ourselves from local organic farms or out in the wild or we buy it from organic farms in B.C. so we know how it is grown and where it is grown. We grow some of the fruit and vegetables ourselves, and almost all of the herbs and edible flowers. And we also create a lot of own unique flavours that you won’t find anywhere else such as huckleberry wild rose & yogurt, bumbleberry & lemon cheesecake, and many others. We even have sugar-free fruit and veggie pops like pineapple wheatgrass.
Roxayn: The only things we pick that are truly wild are huckleberries, blackberries, blackberry leaf and wild roses.
How much fruit is in a popsicle?
Roxayn: Our ice pops are not juice pops. We actually use the whole fruit in the pops so they have all the nutrients and fibre. Each flavour is different but there is about 2/3 of a serving of fruit on average in one of the fruit popsicles. Our sugar free fruit and vegetable pops like “power-up”, “glow”, and “refresh” have more.
What inspires the flavours or flavour combinations?
Roxayn: Inspiration for ice pop flavours can come from many different places, a favorite jam we have made in the past, or a drink we try in a restaurant or see on a menu, or an interesting dessert recipe. With a lot of experience cooking, I have a good idea of what flavour combinations will be good. But there is still a lot of experimenting involved and sometimes we have to tweak a recipe several times before we get it just right and we all think it’s good enough to bring to market!
How are the popsicles made?
Roxayn: We make so many different popsicle flavours and each is made a little differently. For some of our flavours, we roast the fruit to bring out the full flavour potential before it is blended. Some pops are made with raw fruit. For the most part, we use the whole fruit in the pops but for some of our flavours, we also add in some freshly juiced ingredients. We use small amount of sweeteners such as organic raw cane sugar, or sometimes honey or maple syrup, coconut sugar or a pinch of pure monkfruit sweetener or stevia depending upon the flavour. Some flavours contain organic simple syrups infused with spices, fresh herbs, or edible flowers. Once all of our ingredients are blended, they are poured into molds and frozen in our popsicle machine that freezes them at super cold temperatures in about 25 minutes. The fast freezing process we are now using makes the best ice pops and makes a big difference to the final texture of the pops.
To make our product in the way that we, taking ingredients from farm to stick is a very time consuming and labour intensive process, but we enjoy the process and think the results are worth it!
Do you have sugar free, vegan and dairy free versions?
Roxayn: We usually bring 10-12 different flavours at each market, with a variety of fruity pops (vegan/dairy free flavours), some that are more creamy/dessert-like (these include some local organic dairy from Avalon, such as cream or yogurt), and 1 or 2 of our sugar-free flavours for health foodies and people who are avoiding sugar.
What are your top selling popsicle flavours this summer?
Jonah: Our flavours change from week to week at the markets so it’s hard to say. But some fan favorites are definitely bumbleberry & lemon cheesecake, all of our chocolate flavours, toasted coconut, and some of the fruity pops like roasted peach and strawberry watermelon hibiscus.
What are your personal favourite flavours?
Jonah: Lemon buttermilk, huckleberry wild rose & yogurt and real mint chocolate are my 3 favorites.
Are your customers mainly kids or adults?
Jonah: Our customers are all ages. When I first started Rebel Pops I thought most of my customers would be kids. But it turns out that adults like our popsicles just as much!
Do you run the business on your own?
Jonah: The business has grown to a point where it can’t be done by one person. I was lucky that I chose a business idea that the whole family is excited to help out with. My mom does most of the experimenting with new flavours and makes the pops, my dad manages the equipment and does most of the setup and take-down at markets, my brothers and sisters sometimes help with sales at busy markets, and everyone helps to pick and process fruit. But I’m involved in almost all aspects of the business including some of the accounting, banking and marketing, doing some of the artwork for our table, stamping sticks, picking fruit, packaging, doing presentations at schools and for special groups, and I do most of the customer service at markets.
What is the most surprising part about starting and running your own business?
Jonah: To be honest, at the beginning, the reason I wanted a business was just to make a lot of money. But the most surprising thing to me was that making money did not even end up being my favorite part! I was also surprised at how much I have learned from having my own business.
What is the most fun part of being an entrepreneur?
Jonah: My favorite part is running the table at the markets and meeting so many great people. It’s also really cool to make people smile and to see everybody’s reactions when they try their very first bite of a Rebel Pop. I like that even something like a kid’s popsicle business can make a positive difference in the community.
What is the greatest challenge in your business?
Jonah: Trying to figure out how to take the business to the next level and produce more pops.
Do you have plans to grow and expand Rebel Pops?
Jonah: People always ask me if Rebel Pops are in stores but right now we can barely make them fast enough to sell at our markets! We’re trying to figure out ways that we could make a lot more pops without losing the special quality that comes from hand making them in small batches.
Where would you like Rebel Pops to be in five years?
Jonah: Within the next 5 years, I would like to have more employees, get some bicycle carts, and also be at more farmers markets and events. For that to happen we first need to have a bigger commercial kitchen to make the pops.
What is the best part of being a kidpreneur?
Jonah: The best part about being a kid entrepreneur is being able to learn so many things that you wouldn’t normally learn in school. When I first started Rebel Pops, I didn’t even know the difference between gross and net sales, but in just 3 years of having my own business I can’t believe how much I have learned. I have learned how to do things like accounting, finding the best quality ingredients, different ways of marketing a business, and what great customer service really works. I have learned a lot about money management and even donate 10% of what I earn to buy fruit trees and seeds for hungry people in other countries. And I have learned how to overcome obstacles and setbacks (there have been a lot) and to never give up when things get hard or don’t turn out the way I wanted.
What is your advice to other aspiring kidpreneurs?
Jonah: If you’re a kid, you’ll probably need some extra support or mentors to help you at least get started with a first business. I was in Grade 5 when I started my business and once I had my great idea, I wouldn’t have even known where to begin without the help of my parents. But by creating a business together with other people in my family I ended up learning a ton. If you’re a kid with a good business idea, you should give it a try. You will be amazed at what a kid can do and all the different things you will learn!
Whether you’re interested in people watching or simply soaking up some sun, dining al fresco has never been easier or more enjoyable with Coquitlam’s outdoor restaurant patios. All you have to do is settle in, order a cool drink and figure out what to order.
Where to go? Here’s a list of some of the city’s best patios for dining and relaxing outdoors:
Featuring a generous patio, Cactus Club Coquitlam makes it easy to enjoy the outdoors while still being close to the city’s entertainment district (the Hard Rock Casino and SilverCity Coquitlam are just a few minutes away).
This popular neighbourhood joint in Coquitlam’s eclectic Austin Heights neighbourhood features a friendly atmosphere, a cozy patio for those lazy summer days and nights, and an irresistible menu with more than 40 types of craft beer.
Tee it up or simply stop by to enjoy the creative menu and scenic views from this incredible patio that boasts some of the city’s best vistas (not to mention the good food and drinks) at Coquitlam’s Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club.
While this spacious eatery offers an outdoor patio for dining al fresco, you might just be tempted to stay inside with its lounge-y feel and five 70” LED TVs (as well as a quiet seating area for a more relaxed experience).
Another neighbourhood favourite in Coquitlam’s City Centre area, this contemporary Persian eatery (plus a deli/market) includes a leafy patio and shade-friendly umbrellas for outdoor dining and people watching.
Ask anyone, biking Vancouver’s picturesque seawall is an absolute must-do. Stretching 28 kilometres (about 17.5 miles) long, biking the seawall is a fun and leisurely way to take in the beautiful West Coast scenery.
A lesser-known secret? Biking is just half the fun…you’ve got to EAT your way around the seawall for the full Vancouver experience! For a bite here, a craft beer there, there isn’t a stretch of the seawall without something to devour.
So, hop that bike and start your appetite. Here are 17 stops to eat your way around the seawall:
Local Public Eatery
A legendary watering hole for a day at the beach. Nachos, Fish Tacos, Tuna Club sandwiches, craft beers, lucky lemonades and all the usual suspects.
Go Fish at Fisherman’s Wharf
One of Vancouver’s best fish & chips stops. A little blue shack hidden behind a large hedge; you may only notice Go Fish from the line up of eager foodies lining the seawall.
Edible Canada Restaurant
Sit down for a refreshing glass of BC wine and Oxtail Poutine. There’s always a seasonal menu featuring the best of BC fare.
Excellent sourdough bread, pastries, and treats! The fresh flatbread pizzas are unique to this location. Indoor and outdoor seating.
Earnest Ice Cream
A 2-minute walk from the seawall at Olympic Village. The whisky hazelnut, cookies and cream, and vegan mint chip are local favourites. Take a pint for the road or have a cone on the spot.
Red Truck Brewery
A 5-minute walk from the seawall at Olympic Village. Taste the famous Red Truck Lager and indulge in gourmet hot dogs, burgers, and mac and cheese from the “truck stop” menu. Indoor and outdoor seating.
Beta 5 Chocolates
Immaculate cream puffs, unlike any other. Award-winning chocolates and sweet treats. No seating available.
As winners of the largest international gelato competition, Bella Gelateria is no joke. This is their second location in Vancouver, which features gelato, chocolate on tap, and traditional Neopolitan pizzas.
A casual Japanese café with a West Coast twist. Ahi poke bowls and wasabi mayo chicken cubs make for perfect combinations of hearty and healthy.
Waterfront and Convention Centre
Local foodies beeline to the Fairmont Pacific Rim café for their famous sugar buns – freshly baked, cream-filled buns of joy. A wonderful stop for coffee, pastries and knick knacks.
Gourmet salads by the scoop, homemade stews and hearty sandwiches. The summer lemonades are ultra-refreshing.
Yes – again! The original Bella Gelateria, known for some of the the best gelato in the world, will likely have a line wrapping around the block on a hot summer day. One taste of the salted caramel or dark chocolate sorbetto and you’ll know why it’s worth the wait.
Vancouver Foodie Tours runs food tasting and cultural walking tours to explore to one-of-a-kind dishes that define Vancouver’s culinary scene. Find out more at foodietours.ca.
Sit back and relax with a pitcher of cold beer, pub comfort food, and good company on the patio at The Hemingway Public House. The large patio space makes it the perfect place on the strip to take in the ocean view with a group of friends. Then when the sun sets, put on your dancing shoes and show off your best dance moves on the dance floor.
This large waterfront eatery has been a local favourite for nearly 30 years. Especially in the summer, locals hit the patio at Charlie Don’t Surf to enjoy fresh, wild, organic and sustainable seafood, gluten-free and vegetarian eats, and local craft beer.
Bask in the sun, sip on a glass of wine, and savour a plate of authentic Greek food on the patio at Cosmos Restaurant – you’ll feel like you’re vacationing in Santorini! Their sangria is a crowd favourite to share on the patio.
Seafood and inventive bistro fare join house cocktails at the recently renovated, Pearl Bistro and Oyster Bar. Arguably the best tapas and oyster bar in White Rock, Pearl’s has a stylish, contemporary space and their patio has one of the best views overlooking the stunning waterfront.
For a romantic ocean view and an intimate experience, head over to The Giraffe Restaurant. The patio is uniquely beautiful – a climbing plant has covered most of the patio rooftop and an opening cut through the wall of vines reveal a stunning view of the ocean. The Giraffe offers luxurious west coast fusion cuisine and has weekly specials.