What's your country's cuisine in a nutshell?
Canadian Cuisine is so diverse, influenced by so many European and Asian cultures. The geographic regions also affect the cuisine as Canada is such a large country. Vancouver itself is seafood oriented, seeing as we are a coastal city and all! Vancouver cuisine is also fairly cutting edge in terms of North American cuisine (I did a project in culinary school about Vancouver restaurant trends forecasting what was to come in other North American cities).
What's the current food trend?
The current food trend in Vancouver is sustainability and eat local. Every hip and happening new restaurant features “local”, “organic”, “sustainable” and “biodynamic”. The runner up would probably be Izakaya (japanese small plates, pub food)
What local food is not to be missed?
Fish and chips from Go Fish! On a sunny yet crisp spring day.
Which local food might I want to steer clear of no matter how much locals insist?
Honestly, I can’t think of anything BAD from Vancouver.
What are the food oddities in your country?
Again, not sure about this. Because our cuisine is so derivative, I think that the things we choose to eat are considered to be edible somewhere on the globe. By the same token, every cultural cuisine has something no one else would eat (take a walk in Chinatown if you don't believe me: splayed dead lizards, anyone?)
What to bring home from my trip?
What a question. Whenever I travel to a new destination, I bring a suitcase FULL of food home. I love the sea salts from C restaurant, particularily the smoked. Pick up a jar of preserves from the Stock Market on Granville Island. Smoked Salmon or Indian Candy are huge sellers. And maple syrup for some reason (its actually from the East!!). Check out Thomas Haas’ chocolates at Senses or better yet, the truffles from Chocoatl. If you are from a place that doesn’t have a heavy asian influence, hit T&T or Chinatown for some fun snacks.
Which cuisine features most strongly in your city?
I think the featured cuisines in Vancouver are Vietnamese, Cantonese, Philipino, Southeast Asian etc.
Which are your favourite gourmet addresses?
Budget: Hon’s House of Noodles
Break the bank:C, where I had the most amazing meal of my life
What's your city's attitude to food in general?
Eating out is HUGE in Vancouver. There are literally thousands of restaurants, several dozen of which I would classify as top of the line. Vancouverites also culture the foodie atmosphere at home, with Whole Foods, Urban Fare, Capers, Meinhardts, Granville Island Market, Gourmet Warehouse and countless farmer’s markets thriving.
Which area is best for food – where to browse for restaurants while on the go?
I can’t think of one specific standout area…maybe Yaletown. The largest collection of new and higher end restaurants in one neighbourhood, West 4th maybe pulling a second for me.
What's the biggest flop and best avoided?
I tend to avoid the evil late night donair places and most Greek restaurants (the majority are generic to the point of being totally interchangeable)
What are the big names in the restaurant scene?
Biig names… Well, David Hawksworth of West, Rob Feenie of Lumiere (he was on Iron Chef America - and he won), Rob Belcham (formerly C, now Fuel), Tojo. Restaurants: C, West, Fuel, Lumiere, Tojo‘s. Why? Because they are the best of the best.
What are the most reliable restaurant guides for your area?
I use Open Table exclusively for booking. The most reliable source of restaurant information for me would be Egullet or Urban Diner. I hate all the anonymous review sites (You never know what the motivation is behind the review. ) I also like reading local bloggers such as Nancyland and Vancouver Foodie.
What to be aware of when dining out?
Use Open Table, don’t smoke in restaurants or bars (totally illegal), tip 15-20%, dress codes are generally a little more casual than you might expect (can’t think of a place where a suit or tie is de rigeur)
Vancouver has an amazing, diverse food scene. If I were a tourist, I would be spoiled for choice. I think our greatest culinary strengths lie in our access to the very best produce, seafood and organic, sustainable meats. That and we have some killer patios to soak up the beautiful West Coast summer sun…
This city snapshot was kindly put together by and published with permission of Linda of Kayaksoup who lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.