Move­able Feast

Vancouver Magazine - - News - by Maia Ode­gaard Ariana by Gill­rie pho­to­graphs

Eat your way through New West­min­ster.

The Royal CiTy, the Brook­lyn of Van­cou­ver, Queens­bor­ough—what­ever you want to call it, New West­min­ster is fast be­com­ing ades­ti­na­tion for young peo­ple with an ur­gent de­sire for af­ford­able real es­tate and an even more ur­gent de­sire for up-and-com­ing spots to dine and drink. And while more trendy rooms pop up around the orig­i­nal cap­i­tal city, its solid blue-col­lar roots will likely keep the gen­tri­fi­ca­tion mon­ster at bay, and the ma­jor­ity of new ad­di­tions have a home-grown ethos and a fo­cus on lo­cal charm rather than big names.


New West­min­ster’s main drag, Columbia Street, is home to many op­tions, but a re­cent ad­di­tion is steal­ing the spot­light. 1 El Santo ( 680 Columbia

St., el­— so named for owner Ale­jan­dro Diaz’s child­hood hero, a luchador known as The Saint—serves in­no­va­tive takes on tacos, but ven­ture be­yond to his more in­no­va­tive cre­ations, like Yar­row Mead­ows duck leg car­ni­tas with roasted tomatilla. Great mez­cal and tequila list, too (which can be sampled while ad­mir­ing a wrestling-mask wall dis­play made en­tirely of wine corks). At the foot of the river runs rough, in­dus­trial Front Street, home to 2 Old Crow

Coffee ( 655 Front St., old­crow­cof­, which is owned by Cal­i­for­nia na­tive Stephanie Vu and fea­tures ro­tat­ing art ex­hibits, live mu­sic and an all-around chill vibe. Solid beans (Tim­ber­train, Phil and Se­bas­tian), good light fare (av­o­cado toast with pick­led onions) and great train watch­ing. Take a short walk down the Fraser to

3 Raincity Juicery ( 417 Front St., rainci­tyjuicery.

com), but don’t for­get your growler—yes, this cold-pressed-juice em­po­rium will fill your 64-ounce jug with New West Sun­set (a colour­ful mash-up of or­ange, car­rot and beet) for a scant $30. As a coun­ter­bal­ance, feel free to snag their en­vi­able gin­ger beer, too—perfect for cor­rupt­ing with some Gosling’s rum (or vodka, in a pinch).


A few steps from the New West­min­ster SkyTrain sta­tion lies the food-fo­cused River­side Mar­ket, home to the likes of An­gus An’s 4 Long­tail Kitchen ( 116–810 Quay­side Dr., long­tailk­ with its mod­ern take on tra­di­tional Thai street food and his re­cently added sis­ter spot, 5 Free­bird ( 105–810 Quay­side Dr., free­bird­chick­, serv­ing up Asianstyle free-range, hor­mone-free ro­tis­serie chicken with chicken rice, a ro­bust chicken broth and green pa­paya salad for sides. Also, there is the for­ever home of famed food truck 6 Re-Up BBQ ( 114–810

Quay­side Dr., re­— a 2013 bus ac­ci­dent taught the truck the ap­peal of an im­mov­able build­ing—where the Lower Main­land’s pulled pork and ribs pi­o­neers con­tinue to im­press, South­ern-style. If you’re look­ing for more of a sit-down meal, 7 Wild Rice ( 112–810 Quay­side Dr.,, that for­mer Pen­der Street stal­wart, has moved east to where owner Andy Wong and chef Dante Ramos have found a new au­di­ence for their fu­sion clas­sics like Pek­ing duck tacos and gin­ger mar­gar­i­tas.


Many lo­cals seem to grav­i­tate to­ward cozy spots over cav­ernous chain restau­rants, ex­em­pli­fied by 8 An­gelina’s

Restau­rant ( 960 Quay­side Dr., break­fast­newwest­min­, where they go for Dutch-style pan­nekoeken (and waf­fles and pan­cakes), all made from scratch. Head up the steep hills of the Royal City for 9 Wild Thyme ( 705 12th St.), a pint-sized Le­banese café known for its fresh brick-oven flat­bread, or man’oushe. Fol­low­ing the same small-is-bet­ter ethos is 10 Solodko Ukrainian Bak­ery ( 444 6th St., face­ Young couple Iryna and Sergii Kuzni­etsov started out sell­ing their dark rye bread and choco­late babka at farm­ers’ mar­kets in RIch­mond, but soon found they couldn’t keep up with the de­mand. A bricks-and-mor­tar lo­ca­tion was the only so­lu­tion, and now New West na­tives can stuff them­selves with handmade varenyky (a.k.a. per­o­gies), sauce-drenched cab­bage rolls and spinach-and-feta-loaded piroshki, in ad­di­tion to baked goods and borscht just like Baba used to make.

Solodko Ukrainian Bak­ery

Long­tail Kitchen




Wild Thyme


Wild Rice

Raincity Juicery

El Santo

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