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By Sonu Purhar Nothing beats a creamy cold treat on a hot summer day – but unfortunately for us vegan and non-dairy folks, options are often limited. Sure, we can wander into an ice cream parlour with a hypnotizing array of flavours, but something in us dies a little when we spot the sad collection of ice crystal-studded sorbets in the corner. So, we’ve uncovered seven spots all around Metro Vancouver that churn genuinely delicious, adventurously flavoured vegan ice cream – nary a sad sorbet in sight. Enjoy! Umaluma Dairy-Free Gelato 235 East Pender Street, Vancouver and other locations Umaluma’s creamy plant-based gelato is available in stores across Metro Vancouver, though the trendy Chinatown shop offers a cool vibe where you can savour your flavour among like-minded dessert addicts. There are more than 35 options to choose from, including innovative daily specials – we like the Drunken Cherry, which combines…

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 Anna Black Do you ever wonder what happens to all those bumped, bruised, or misshapen fruits and vegetables from your local farms and markets? Thanks to Surrey’s social enterprise Luv The Grub, produce seconds are finding a second lease on life, as delicious chutneys and jams rather than food waste, perfect for cheese and charcuterie boards, spread in sandwiches and wraps, or served with meats and sausage. Founded by social entrepreneur and Simon Fraser University Sustainable Innovation Lecturer Alia Sunderji, Luv the Grub was inspired by student research and Sunderji’s passion for poverty alleviation. The business partners with both farmers and markets to turn normal food waste into a pantry staple and along the way mitigate environmental and socioeconomic issues in the community. Sunderji and her team create paid employment training programs for women with varying barriers to employment, including those from the Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House’s Drive Youth…

By Kristi Alexandra Tucked away in Crescent Beach, the Seahorse Grill is the perfect spot to eat if you’re in the mood for fine dining with a laid-back West Coast atmosphere. The neighbourhood bistro has been a staple at the corner of Sullivan Street and McBride Avenue–so close to the ocean, you can practically hear the waves break as you savour your mussels avec pomme frites or the melt-in-your-mouth braised beef short ribs. From all descriptions, you could call the menu eclectic–but if you’ve followed executive chef John Kavanagh’s career, you might be able to glean where the inspiration for his dishes comes from. “This place is an extension of our travels,” says Kavanagh, who co-owns the restaurant with his wife and general manager, Francina. “Being raised in the French style of food, then moving to Australia and then moving to Holland, you’re seeing a variation of all those menus.…

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 Fine diners, ethical eaters, and locavores alike can find common ground in Bees Knees Microgreens. While many revere the farm-to-table culinary trend, South Surrey-based entrepreneur and grower Samantha Stewart does one better by providing local chefs with fresh microgreens grown in their own backyard. Literally. “My house in White Rock has a small greenhouse,” Stewart tells WestCoastFood. “It’s an old glass greenhouse from the sixties, so, for [my] first season, I was able to grow out of that greenhouse for the market.” Talk about homegrown. Bees Knees Microgreens sprouted at the White Rock Farmer’s Market just a couple years ago where Stewart retailed microgreen varieties and mixes. Now, the small business supplies select local eateries with microgreens, along with catering and events. Sunflower and pea shoots, along with arugula, radish, and broccoli microgreens were among Bees Knees’ regular offerings at the market. “From there, I made some…

By Kristi Alexandra Just a stone’s throw away from Surrey Central Station is one of the most inventive sushi joints you’ll find south of the Fraser. With presentation that pops and fish so fresh you’d think it had been caught today, Sushi King George certainly lives up to its royal allusion. The food’s not the only thing that’ll keep crowds coming back, though. We tried on the eatery’s inventive cocktail menu along with a few dishes. Here’s what we ate. Get started with a house-made sake cocktail. Pictured are the Pina Colada and the Blue Hawaiian made with sake in place of rum. The Samurai is made with 2oz of sake, soda and grenadine syrup. The starter platter has edamame, takoyaki, korroke, and gyoza. ($10.50) The Spicy Heaven Roll above is spicy tuna on top of California Roll with spicy and unagi sauce ($10.95). The Hawaiian Roll above is cream…

by Catherine Dunwoody Imagine 28,000 square feet of Christmas entertaining ideas, delectable gift shopping, and décor all under one roof. The Christmas Store at Potters Nurseries in South Surrey is open now until Christmas Eve, and you have never seen a thing like it. The foodie on your list will love the thought you put into creating your own culinary gift basket, delicious hostess gift, or stocking stuffers for them. Think hot chocolate packs, dips, soups, crackers, sauces, jellies, British biscuits, and preserves from local wineries. Bacon candy canes? Why not. Ornaments with a food theme? How does the burger and fries grab you? And nutcrackers? Imagine an entire section dedicated to a jaw dropping display and variety of options that make fabulous gifts. And this year, the Gourmet Food area has been expanded with some fun new items, like popcorn in 10 fun flavours, a staggering 30 flavours of…

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…

What says autumn more than pumpkins? Their round, orange brightness instills thoughts of harvest moons, delicious pie filled with warm spice, the aroma of melon on Halloween night as the gourd becomes a glowing face, and that old classic scene of Linus awaiting his special reward every year. (Poor Linus.) Heading out to the pumpkin patch to pick the perfect future Jack O’ Lantern, is one of those special traditions that kids of all ages look forward to. When heading out to a local farm to pick out your family’s pumpkins here are some helpful tips: Don’t pick your pumpkins too early in the season. If you pick them too soon they will be piles of mush long before you can take a knife to them or they will just be too soft to carve. Try to head to the pumpkin patch during “non-peak” times like mid-afternoon during the week…

by Catherine Dunwoody When it comes to outdoor activities geared to get you into the spirit of the changing seasons, it doesn’t get much more autumnal than this. Fall is most definitely here, and getting lost in a zigzagging corn maze or choosing which big orange beauty to take with you from a pumpkin patch is part of the fun when it comes to living in or visiting BC – and especially in Surrey. The city boasts 4 different mazes and patches, each unique and fun for the entire family. Bose Family Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch 64th Avenue & 156th St, Surrey www.bosecornmaze.com Since 1891, this farm has been serving the community, and it just keeps getting better. Every year the corn maze is cut so with a jaw-dropping design meant to been from an aerial view. This year the maze features the logo of Vancouver’s Western Hockey League…

By Joyce Chua, Vancouver Foodie Tours If you don’t mind a light jacket and a slight chance of needing to move inside while a shower passes through, there’s still time to soak up British Columbia’s stunning vistas outside with a cold beer in hand this year. For the sunny days still to come, take note of these five local beer staples – easy-drinking, crowd-pleasing, ultra-refreshing – that you can find almost anywhere. 33 Acres of Sunshine 33 Acres Brewing, Vancouver This French Blanchè beer is inspired by the sun.  Fruity, orange-like, with a slightly sweet aftertaste, you’ll easily spot it on the shelves from its minimalist white label. Destiny IPA Fuggles and Warlock, Richmond Let’s say you’re the kind of person who picks beer by the label. You might already be familiar with Fuggles and Warlock for their whimsical illustrated labels and quirky names. The Destiny IPA has the hoppiness…

By Kristi Alexandra With sushi being a long-held staple of the Vancouver diet, it’s a wonder that Hawaiian poke—a cubed raw fish salad served atop rice—hadn’t hit the city’s mainstream earlier. Since 2016, though, it seems a new poke-fusion place is cropping up on every block. So, pescatarians rejoice! Now, the raw fish dish can be found trickling in to communities outside of Vancouver, and Steve Huynh is bringing his authentic poke to the community. But what is authentic poke, anyway? “Poke means chopped in Hawaii,” imparts Huynh, owner of Steve’s Poke Bar, “there’s different variations of raw fish. In Japan, you get sasami; if you go to Puerto Rico or Mexico, you’ll get ceviche. Different dishes have different ways to present raw fish,” the restaurateur tells WestCoastFood. Huynh and his wife, Camy opened the doors to Steve’s Poke Bar at SFU Burnaby in early 2017, serving up an authentic…

By Brittany Tiplady Our beloved BC salmon season is here and whether it’s baked, grilled, smoked, or served raw, BCers love their salmon (and preferably, of course, Ocean Wise). As the summer continues to be heated (this BC heat wave sure is intense), cooking in-doors becomes less of an option and outdoor BBQs, waterfront patios, and AC-clad restaurants reign supreme. Check out this helpful list of local Metro Vancouver restaurants and small-scale shops who are serving up fresh BC salmon to enjoy this season. Vancouver’s North Shore The Salmon House A truly stunning and coveted spot serving Indigenous West Coast fare for over 40 years. The Salmon House On The Hill is not for any old dinner, this iconic North Shore haunt is perfect for anniversaries, birthdays, and really, celebrations of any kind. Bonus: the window-wrapped dining room bares the breathtaking view of the Vancouver and Burrard Inlet. As the…

By Brittany Tiplady Giddy-up for the inaugural Clover Valley Beer Festival, happening August 11  in the heart of Cloverdale! This first-time festival— hosted by the powerhouse team that also produces the Whistler Village Beer Festival and the Great Okanagan Beer Festival—promises an afternoon of coveted craft beer, food truck favourites, live music, and event support from local sponsorship. Clover Valley’s festival team has also partnered with Twins Cancer Fundraising as their charitable partner, who will receive proceeds from ticket sales to support their efforts on raising money for cancer-fighting charities. Over 40 craft breweries are expected to set up camp at the fest, including Langley’s Trading Post Brewing, Central City Brewing, and Port Moody’s Yellow Dog Brewing and Parkside Brewery. “We really want to highlight BC craft beers and ciders but we also have some international brews joining us,” explains events manager Tara Myers. For cider lovers, this festival has…

By Ariane Fleishmann We all have one: that friend who posts pictures of every meal on Instagram; who hosts immaculate dinner parties and amps up the carefully curated cheese board with homemade sourdough and prosciutto cured in their own garage; who frequently visits farmer’s markets or forages for fiddleheads. They’re a foodie. But who ever said foodies were exclusively adults? With the ubiquity of cooking shows, YouTube tutorials, and wherever else kids get their information these days, Gen Z is ready to make something delicious. And what responsible parent wants to ignore their child’s desire to be in the kitchen? (So long as they learn to clean, anyways.) Indulge your kid with one of these top-notch cooking classes whether you live in BC or are just visiting; after all, the best way to experience regional cuisine is to make it yourself. Your kids will learn to appreciate different kinds of…

By Brittany Tiplady In search of the perfect cuppa, coffee connoisseurs generally flock to the many Vancouver cafes pouring quality espresso. Outside the city though, you can find some hidden gems. Black Tiger Coffee Co. a new Cloverdale haunt, is offering the city cafe vibe in Surrey’s burgeoning subdivision. You may have heard of the place: Black Tiger has garnered some significant attention on Instagram, posting frequent photos of their mouth-watering-Voodoo-like donuts, frothy lattes, and decadent sandwiches. “Black Tiger is a fun, relaxing, open atmosphere. This is a place for friends and young families in the neighbourhood to come, chat, and catch up,” says Black Tiger owner and operator Natasha Multani. “We have a lot of regulars coming in. We’ve been open only eight months and we’ve grown quite a bit since we [opened our doors] and I think we can still grow even more.” Multani, a chiropractor by trade,…

By Kristi Alexandra & Mary Ann Bell 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 ninth annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week, running from May 25 to June 5. Once again 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 three breweries found along the spectacular Sea to Sky Highway: North Vancouver’s Beere Brewing, Backcountry Brewing in Squamish and Whistler’s Coast Mountain Brewing. In keeping with craft beer trends, this year’s VCBW…

By Catherine Dunwoody Locally born and raised, Chef Alistair Veen worked his way up from dishwasher to Red Seal chef. To get to where he is now at Tap Restaurant in Surrey, BC, his message is simple and humble: It’s about hard work. Where were you born? Alistair Veen: I was born in Langley, BC, many, many moons ago. The rest of my family still lives there. What was food like in your growing up household? Veen: Both my parents worked, so dinner was a lot more function than form. They shared cooking responsibilities, which was pretty unique among my friends. My dad was a make-up-your-own-pasta kind of chef where my mum was more of a cookbook test kitchen. She had recipe cards that were tried tested and true, and she never deviated from them. Once she found a recipe she liked, she stuck with it, and there’s something to…

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 Brittany Tiplady Beer can be romanticized in so many ways but the great Charles Bukowski nailed it: “stay with the beer,” he penned “beer is continuous blood. A continuous lover.” The holidays have come and gone, but Metro Vancouver’s mild winter weather is here to stay, at least for a few months. Curl up with these seasonal winter brews found in Surrey, White Rock and Coquitlam. Russell Brewing Company 13018 80 Ave, Surrey Winter Stout, 6.5% The name says it all. Available now in 650ml at private liquor stores, Russell Brewing’s Winter Stout is chock-full of chocolate and black malts and roasted barley. Black Death Porter, 6.5% Buckle up for this one! The Black Death Porter, part of Russell Brewing’s Brewmaster Seasonal Series, is a heavy porter brewed with Canadian and Scottish malted barley. Find it on tap or on the shelves at private liquor stores but buyer beware:…

By Brittany Tiplady We have Europe to thank for the invention of olive oil and balsamic tasting bars. Now, olive oil specialty shops are popping up around Metro Vancouver and making quite the impression on curious foodies. Artisanal olive oil shops don’t just have bottles of beautiful oils (and most also have a large selection of vinegars) on display, olive oil tastings bars present an interactive and educational experience. Customers can peruse the lineup of fustis, special stainless-steel jars that store olive oil and balsamics, and learn about the flavours, origins, and make of each oil and vinegar. Tasting olive oils offers a sensory experience for the consumer, bringing the flavour profile we usually read on a label right to your palate. “Smaller boutique shops get people talking about traceability when it comes to olive oil. Shops like ours educate customers on who you are supporting, and the freshness of…

By Kristi Alexandra Tucked away in South Surrey on the near-rural Colebrook Road, a stone’s throw away from Highway 10 (and just 15 minutes from the Canada-USA border), are acres of fertile vineyard. Rows and rows of grape varieties at Vinoscenti Vineyards give Vinoscenti wines their flavour – but they’re also the focal point of the winery’s other offerings: guided winery walks, wine classes, and private events. I visited the thriving winery to find out more about their 20+ year-old vines and to see how the business’ recent makeover (the winery was formerly known as River’s Bend but re-opened in July 2017 as Vinoscenti under new ownership) is a growing renaissance. If you’re looking to peel off the road and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the vineyards, complete with a wine tasting and a slice of mango cake in the tasting room, you won’t miss the big oak barrels welcoming…

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:   Central City Brewing and Distillery, Surrey Known for their line of Red Racer beers, including their signature Red Racer IPA, Central City also produces offer a variety of craft beverages including specialty beers, ciders and both brown and…

By Brittany Tiplady Best known for the annual Cloverdale Rodeo, Cloverdale is a sub-division of Surrey that’s charming beauty has made it the setting for several fictional TV towns and movie sets. But inside the doors of this quaint setting of potted plants and upkept brick facades is bright modern cuisine and craft beer. What’s special about Cloverdale is its small-town charm within a rather large city. Dining options are a no brainer: for dinner with your family, celebrating a new job, or maybe just a weekend date night, The Vault is the place to go. If you’re looking for a casual meal and a healthy selection of craft beer, it’s gotta be Hawthorne Beer Market. Both of these popular joints are owned by Aaron Hotell, a local restauranteur who has found the secret recipe to owning and operating lucrative, busy, and quality restaurants in a tight-knit community. The downtown…

By Kristi Alexandra 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…

By Catherine Dunwoody Seriously. Just when I’d given up on finding gluten-free baked goods that were remotely close to the real thing, the skies parted and along came Pikanik Bakery. I was diagnosed with celiac disease (which is a serious gluten allergy) not long ago, and naturally as a food writer and having eaten gluten all my life, my quest for bread that didn’t have the texture of a dry, sandy sponge was all too real. (You don’t know what you’re missing until you can’t eat it anymore!) And I miss great, chewy-textured bread in a sandwich. And real pizza. And pie crust that isn’t made entirely of nuts – you get the picture. Pikanik is a dedicated gluten-free and allergen-safe bakery based in South Surrey, that also happen to be nut and dairy free and offers vegan options too. Best part? They deliver. Order a minimum of $30 online,…

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 Catherine Dunwoody Sure. We have salmon, spot prawns and Dungeness crab aplenty here on the west coast, but that doesn’t mean we don’t crave fresh lobster every summer as well, like our neighbours out east who get to feast on it regularly. Loving fresh lobster is easy right now on Canada’s west coast. Here’s a hot list of restaurants serving it up in a variety of ways. Lobster. The love is real, people.  Vancouver Lobster Fest is an annual thing at Provence Marinaside, returning every July and on now ‘til month end. Executive Chef Jean-Francis Quaglia created a three-course menu for a sweet deal at $62 with optional wine pairings for an additional charge. Choices of starters like lobster salad with fresh peas and puree or classic lobster Thermidor whet your palate for even more, with main options offered x3. The whole Atlantic lobster done Provençal style is ridiculously…

By Catherine Dunwoody 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. Snowy Village opened its first location in Richmond back in 2015, then a second in downtown Vancouver, and a third in Coquitlam.  Surrey and Langley locations are planned for this summer. As well as bingsoo, the shops serve croissant taiyaki (which is like a filled, press-grilled sandwich), healthy smoothies, great coffee and a variety of savoury and cheesy snacks. snowyvillages.ca

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 Kristi Alexandra When you’re known for producing some of the nation’s best beer, having twice won the title of Canadian Brewery of the Year, you might think you’d stick to the winning formula. But ambition does not elude the key players at Surrey’s Central City Brewers + Distillers, who released a small batch premium whisky at the end of January. Brewmaster Gary Lohin, along with head distiller Stuart McKinnon, created one of only a handful single-malt whiskies in British Columbia. Aptly named Lohin McKinnon, the 43 per cent alc. per vol. craft spirit is aged in select oak barrels in small batches. While whisky-making might seem like a misnomer for a company known best for its beers, the duo maintains the process is not so different. “Brewing and distilling really isn’t that far apart so it’s a natural progression for us to start distilling,” says McKinnon. “The distilling process…

By Anna Black When you’re looking to enjoy the finest lagers and ales and superior seasonal and specialty beers down at your friendly neighbourhood pub, Big Ridge Brewing Co. in Surrey is the place to go. Not only do they have an impressive array of beverages to choose from, their menu offers up a fine selection of comfort food and wok-prepared dishes using only the freshest ingredients. And the best part? You don’t have to be a beer snob to enjoy any of it. Located at 5580 152nd Street, Big Ridge Brewing Co. is Surrey’s original brewpub, serving patrons their time honored, handcrafted lagers, ales, and beers since 1999.  Part of the Mark James Group, British Columbia’s premiere collection of craft brewery restaurants, Big Ridge Brewing Co. keeps good company with six other West Coast area breweries and distilleries including Vancouver’s Yaletown Brewing Co. and the Brewhouse Brewing Co. in…

By Anna Black Hop-centric IPAs, crisp pilsners, traditional lagers, golden pale ales, brilliant porters, a rich coffee stout – there’s all this and more just waiting for you to enjoy at White Rock Brewing, White Rock and South Surrey’s popular tasting room. Located at #13 – 3033 King George Blvd in South Surrey, White Rock Brewing is the perfect place to truly experience the art of small batch, chemical and preservative free, unpasteurized hand-crafted beer. You’ll find White Rock Ocean Lager and White Rock Mountain Ale always on tap and seasonal beers while supplies last. Not quite sure what you’re in the mood for? Free samples are available on a daily basis, and then you can buy a bottle or fill your growler with your pick. Originally opened as a brewery in 1994, White Rock Brewing added a tasting room in the spring of 2014 after repeat requests from customers…

By Anna Black Award winning wine with hand-selected grapes from the Okanagan Valley can be found in a tasting room as refreshing and modern as their extensive selection just a ten-minute drive from the USA-Canada border in Surrey, BC. 1st R.O.W. Estate Winery’s delicious and unique dessert wines are a Canadian specialty. Combining a perfect blend of Chardonnay, Muscat, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier, the Winery’s 2013 Late Harvest White “displays [an] excellent balance between sweetness and acidity with fresh and lively flavours” of citrus, honey apricots, and a candy apple finish” (1row.ca). For those craving a warm, tropical touch to contrast the frozen grapes, the 2013 White Gewürztraminer Ice Wine has aromas of ripe pear and lychee paired with tropical fruits. For intense strawberry richness, try 2014 Red Merlot Ice Wine to complement chocolate dessert or fresh fruit. The winery offers wine aficionados a diverse selection of white and…

By Catherine Dunwoody Sometimes slowing down during the holiday season is the greatest gift of all. Through all the craziness, the non-stop hustle and bustle, just settling in for a hot cuppa and some delicious treats with family or friends is an ideal time out. Not only is most of the honey served at Honeybee Centre collected from their own bees, it is a big part of their new Holiday High Tea. Served from December 1st to 31st, choose from a variety of high quality teas (black, green and herbal) that come to your table in a French press, along with a tiered tray (doesn’t everyone love those?) with Christmas-themed cupcakes, macarons, cheesecake, shortbread cookies, cranberry orange scone with clotted cream and honey, plus savoury treats like the brie and roasted chicken panini, artichoke baguette, and a turkey and cranberry roll. Not a tea drinker? No worries, have a peppermint…

By Ashley Lockyer Classic red tractors, fields bound by forests, and bright red beets that radiate nutrition with their sweetness: That’s what you’ll experience at A Rocha farm in Surrey, BC. Their dedication to good taste doesn’t only apply to flavour. It’s their farming philosophy to use organic, sustainable farming methods that support the environment and build community. Group tours get a chance to wander through fields with the farmers, who point out organic growing techniques and show the benefits of eco-conscious gardens. “Often conservation and farming seem to be at odds with one another… we want to, in a really small way, demonstrate that a garden can be a really thriving ecosystem that’s diverse and healthy and has a place for animals and insects within it,” says farm manager, Paul Neufield. Farmers here encourage you to expand your palate and taste test new varieties of your favourite produce, beyond…

By Lenée Son Across the street from a busy road and tucked away behind a tall hedge fence is one of Surrey’s best hidden gems, Zaklan Heritage Farm. The 8-acre urban farm was founded in the 1920’s by Dragan and Marta Zaklan who immigrated to Canada from Europe. Continuing his great grandparent’s legacy, Doug Zaklan is leading the farm through a revitalization project along with his partner, Gemma McNeill. The pair met at UBC Farm in Vancouver and share a passion for sustainable and organic farming. At the farm you’ll find a variety of fruits of vegetables but you won’t find any pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers. “We fertilize with compost,” said Zaklan. “For pests we cover with a Reemay cloth and mostly just make sure things are healthy.” Pick up fresh seasonal produce from Zaklan Heritage Farm on Saturdays from June to October. They also offer a community supported…

By Lenée Son Located in the agricultural centre of Surrey, 20 minutes from the USA border, the Honeybee Centre is buzzing with things to do and eat. As a commercial honey farm, the Centre produces their own natural honey which you can taste and purchase at their Country Store. They also have a Visitor Centre, where you can learn about the amazing world of the honeybee through a tour or beekeeping course. Their latest creation, Fry’s Corner Beestro, offers a divine dining experience in a modern greenhouse dining room. Whether you are a honey connoisseur, a beekeeping aficionado, or you are looking for an educational activity to bond over with your little ones, The Honeybee Centre has something for you. Fry’s Corner Beestro Indulge in a decadent honey inspired menu at the Honeybee Centre’s Fry’s Corner Beestro, a revamped modern greenhouse turned bistro. A favourite on their seasonal menu is…

By Lenée Son Anyone who has been Thailand can tell you how significant food is to Thai culture. Particularly in Bangkok, food is a social affair and both locals and tourists alike can be found in the lively city enjoying and sharing food – and you can get a taste of the dishes they share in Surrey. From the crack of dawn to all hours of the night, the streets of Bangkok are constantly stirring with street vendors. Food is the social glue in Thai culture, and dishes are made to share with friends and family. Whether it’s a steaming pot of joke (Thai rice congee) for breakfast, fresh fruit for a mid-day snack, a bowl of Gang Dang (red curry) for lunch, or heaping plate of pad kee-mao (drunken hot and spicy noodles) after a night out, Thai dishes are a social occasion. In Surrey, many of these Bangkokian…

By Snak Shak in Surrey Kathy Thongprasert, daughter of Snak Shak owners Jeerya and Supakan Thongprasert, says her dad’s Pad Thai is her absolute favourite. “It reminds me of home and it’s very flavorful.” Read Snak Shak’s story here. INGREDIENTS Dried flat rice noodles (1 package or 12 ounces) Palm sugar (1/2 cup) Distilled white vinegar (1/2 cup) Crushed chilli (1/4 cup or to taste) Fish sauce (1/4 cup) Tamarind paste (2 tablespoons) Oyster sauce (1 tablespoon) Vegetable oil (2 tablespoons) Protein of your choice (firm tofu, 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, beef, pork, or shrimp, sliced into thin strips) Garlic (4 cloves, minced) Eggs (4) Coarsely ground roasted peanuts (1 cup) Bean sprouts (2 cups) Carrots (1 cup, match sticks) Cabbage (1 cup, finely chopped) Fresh chives (1/2 cup, chopped) Lime (1, cut into wedges) DIRECTIONS To soften noodles, place rice noodles in a large bowl and cover…

By Joanne Sasvari Think of it as a fragrant invitation. When Paul Hanley opens the oven door, the mouthwatering aroma of fresh-baked bread wafts through his South Surrey neighbourhood. Within minutes, locals are lining up for his baguettes and scones, quiches and artisanal country breads. And not just locals – increasingly, Fieldstone Artisan Breads is drawing customers from all over the Lower Mainland. “It’s worth the trek,” says Hanley, who co-owns the shop with his wife Nicola Erasmus. “It’s designed as a destination and not just a location. It’s beautiful to look at and it’s beautiful inside and there’s French music playing. And I can honestly say I use the most local ingredients – I actually have a farm that grows stuff for us.” Fieldstone was a second act career for Hanley. But he also provided Fieldstone with its own successful second act. It opened in 1998, one of the…

By Joanne Sasvari Long before they met, Lynn Le and Steven Lee knew they wanted to open a restaurant. But it took a long time – and an even longer journey – before they would see their dream become reality. Reality it is, though. On Aug. 1, 2012, the couple opened Chopsticks on Pho in Surrey. They’ve since developed a loyal following for their fresh, healthy and flavourful Vietnamese fare. They’ve also become proud members of their community, even though it is a world away from where they started out. Vietnam is where they started, back in the bad old days that followed the end of the war in 1975. Many Vietnamese, especially in the south, feared retribution from the Communist government of the newly unified country, and rightly so: It is estimated that a million Vietnamese were sent to brutal prison camps after the war and some 65,000 executed.…

by Catherine Dunwoody Any serious food lover knows that not all olive oils are created equal, not by a long shot. As wide in variety and as subtle in nuances for the palette as wine, the Fraser Valley is home to All of Oils, with 2 locations; one in Langley and the other in Surrey. Wife and husband proprietors Kimm Brickman-Pineau and Glenn Pineau carry only certified, ultra-premium extra virgin olive oils (EVOO), plus a number of flavoured oils and balsamic vinegars. “Many of our products are also certified organic and our supplier, Veronica Foods Company of Oakland, California is registered on the Non-GMO Project,” says Glenn. The products are sourced from select, high-quality growers all over the world, some of the Italian balsamic vinegars are aged up to 18 years, and every item sold in the stores, or online, has a complete backstory, referencing when it was made, the country…

By Tourism Surrey You can’t help but feel as if you’ve stumbled across a well-kept secret on a first visit to Tap Restaurant in South Surrey. A few blocks away from busy 152nd Avenue, Tap is nestled in between designer homes in a commercial complex in the Rosemary Heights/Morgan Creek area. The cuisine is distinctly French-inspired with a contemporary West Coast perspective. A refined menu features just a handful of appetizers, soups, salads, and plates principaux from which to select. Chef Alistair Veen partners with farmers to provide customers with the best in local meats and vegetables. Dining at Tap Restaurant is an intimate experience, with the kitchen fully open and looking out on the small, romantically lit dining room. Veen steps out from behind the counter often to deliver plates and check in on tables, with many patrons addressing him by name. Based on the freshness of ingredients, caliber…

By Tim Pawsey Header photo by Tyler Ingram Way back, when it was still a sleepy little resort, decades before the George Massey Tunnel was opened (in 1959), the best way to reach White Rock from Vancouver was by rail. The reminders are still all there, from the vintage train station (now restored as White Rock Museum & Archives), to the freights that regularly trundle along the tracks that separate the expansive, sandy shore and promenade from the view cafés and patios of the main street. East Beach Cod is God at East Beach (closest to Highway 99 and Peace Arch border crossing), which may well have the highest concentration of fish n’ chip shops anywhere in the land. Take your pick, from ling cod and clam strips at The Fishboat or fresh cod and chips at Coney Island (15487 Marine Dr) to fish and oyster burgers plus specialties like…

Just an hour’s drive from Vancouver lies one of the region’s most delicious culinary destinations: from wineries and cheese makers, to one of the country’s most exciting Indian restaurants, the area surrounding Langley and Surrey has it all. Celebrity chef and famed restaurateur, Vikram Vij is one of the region’s most ardent fans, “It’s like being in the countryside without having to go far from the city,” he enthuses. “You can rent a car and drive through the mountains and past the ocean, you don’t have to take a plane or a ferry, it’s right here and the best of the best foods come from this area. We’re so lucky to have everything to make a great culinary destination right in our backyard.” It’s an area that many visitors might miss out on, but Vikram says they’ll be missing a treat if they do– and he has a few recommendations…

By: Catherine Roscoe Barr Conscious culinary trends are taking root in British Columbia and the farm-to-table philosophy is flourishing in Surrey, where an abundance of agricultural land provides fresh, seasonal food year round, and an array of multicultural influences provides endless flavour combinations. Surrey’s new Food with Thought campaign highlights the city’s passionate purveyors of food, from farmers to chefs to artisanal shop owners, and is a comprehensive resource on where to shop, what to eat, where to dine, and upcoming events. Farms Over 35-percent of Surrey is designated agricultural land, and local farmers proudly offer their seasonal produce and naturally-raised meat directly from the farm, through the city’s farmers markets – like the Surrey Urban Farmers Market and the Cloverdale Market – and/or at select retailers and restaurants. Buying local is not only good for the environment and your community’s economy, it’s good for your personal and financial health,…