Gas­town ......................... 20

Vancouver Magazine - Best of the City 2016 - - Contents -

Van­cou­ver’s old­est dis­trict is now home to high-de­sign shops (a mustvisit for lovers of fur­ni­ture and cloth­ing alike) plus some of the city’s best din­ing. Weath­ered brick and cen­tury-old cedar are ev­ery­where—as are the young video game de­sign­ers whose stu­dios are tucked through­out

EAT

The su­perb menu at Wilde­beest ( 120 W. Hast­ings St., 604-6876880. Wilde­beest.ca) may well con­sti­tute the most ex­cit­ing din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in the city: how about roasted bone mar­row with al­mond but­ter and tomato jam fin­ished with a sherry “luge” poured down the scraped-clean bone?

Lee Cooper and Paul Grun­berg have a win­ner with L’Abat­toir ( 217 Car­rall St., 604-568-1701. La­bat­toir.ca), a French-back­boned, el­e­gant, but en­tirely un­fussy gem that plays host to both the neigh­bour­hood hip­sters and the city’s big-money play­ers. Cooper’s menu reads sim­ply, which adds a wow fac­tor to ev­ery plate de­liv­ery (lo­cal, sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents are given in­ge­nious treat­ment, like roasted scal­lops with le­mon mar­malade). Seats at the bar, run by award­win­ning ten­der Shaun Lay­ton, are highly prized.

Au­then­tic Neapoli­tan piz­zas are the cen­tre­piece in Ni­cli An­tica Pizze­ria’s ( 62 E. Cor­dova St., 604-669-6985. Ni­clip­izze­ria.ca) stark-white mod­ern room. Piz­zas come fresh out of the wood-fired oven (made of stone from Mount Ve­su­vius… re­ally), the crust blis­ter­ing and crispy but soft enough to fold, top­pings min­i­mal­ist and au­then­tic. The wine list in­cludes some de­cent buys; the ser­vice is ef­fi­cient and friendly.

If you’re plan­ning to turn a café into your of­fice for the day, join the lap­top set that hangs out amid the shabby-chic yet ro­man­tic café am­biance at Nel­son the Seag­ull ( 315 Car­rall St., 604-681-5776. Nel­son­the­seag­ull.com). Lo­cal cre­atives hover over strong, su­pe­rior cof­fee—no de­caf al­lowed!—and daily su­per-food sal­ads.

Find cof­fee’s per­fect mate at the city’s favourite “donu­terie,” Cartems ( 534 W. Pender St., 778-708-0996. Cartems.com). Ex­pect line­ups for th­ese crazy-good dunkers ($3 each; $27 per dozen): Maker’s Mark bour­bon glaze and ba­con shav­ings, any­one?

SHOP

Oak + Fort ( 355 Wa­ter St., 604566-9199. Oakand­fort.com) is a sur­pris­ingly af­ford­able, pared­down space filled with clean lines and soft, wear­able fab­rics. A col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween lo­cal and Korean de­sign­ers (who over­see pro­duc­tion in Korea), the shop also dis­plays gor­geous, min­i­mal­ist ac­ces­sories, many de­signed in-house.

De­sign-for­ward, well-heeled men make Ro­den Gray ( 8 Wa­ter St., 604-689-7302. Ro­dengray.com) a kind of rit­ual. They come for Mon­cler jack­ets and Jil San­der cardi­gans (and those manda­tory Her­schel back­packs).

From bold men’s and women’s col­lec­tions to one-of-a-kind jew­ellery and ac­ces­sories, ev­ery­thing in the dap­per The Board of Trade Co. ( 206 Car­rall St., 778318-9697. Board­of­tradeco.com) bou­tique is care­fully cu­rated to showcase top up-and-com­ing de­sign­ers.

Around the cor­ner is swish Neigh­bour ( 125–12 Wa­ter St., 604-558-2555. Shop­neigh­bour.com), which stocks la­bels like Our Legacy from Swe­den and Mismo from Den­mark, as well as an in-house line of rugby

crew­neck sweat­shirts made by Port­land’s Columbi­aknit.

Hill’s Na­tive Art ( 165 Wa­ter St., 604-685-4249. Hills.ca) has the finest se­lec­tion of abo­rig­i­nal totems, masks, and carv­ings in the city. An in­spir­ing col­lec­tion by any stan­dard.

EX­PLORE

Gas­town is many things to many peo­ple, and nowhere does that mul­ti­plic­ity get ex­pressed bet­ter than at Wood­ward’s ( 149 W. Hast­ings St.), where so­cial hous­ing is stacked next to lux­ury con­dos in a brave ur­ban de­sign ex­per­i­ment that helped to re­shape this neigh­bour­hood in 2009. Check out the enor­mous Stan Dou­glas pho­to­mu­ral in its atrium, which de­picts the fa­mous Gas­town Ri­ots that shook this same area in 1971.

Wa­ter Street

Wilde­beest

TASTE TH IS

Braised Lamb Shank

CHAM­BAR The decade-plus suc­cess story that is

chef Nico Schuer­mans’s Cham­bar was built upon dishes such as this tajine d’Aziz à l’agneau: a com­plex, deeply aro­matic North African stew in which a Flintsto­nian shank is braised in honey, figs, cin­na­mon, and cilantro 568 Beatty St., 604-879-7119. Cham­bar.com

Cana­dian whiskey ba­con from Cartems

Wood­ward’s atrium

Neigh­bour

L’Abat­toir

Board of Trade

Ni­cli An­tica

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