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

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


The su­perb menu at Wilde­beest ( 120 W. Hast­ings St., 604-687-6880. Wilde­ 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. La­bat­, an el­e­gant, French­back­boned, 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. (Lo­cal, sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents are given in­ge­nious treat­ment, like roasted scal­lops with lemon mar­malade.) Seats at the bar are highly prized.

An ever-ro­tat­ing menu of in­spired Ital­ian fare is on of­fer at Not­turno ( 280 Car­rall St., 604-720-3145. Not­turnogas­town. ca). Share plates are the fo­cus: sous-vide lo­cal oc­to­pus with fen­nel salad; tangy pork and veal polpette bal­anced with pecorino cheese; or the famed Long Board, a daily as­sort­ment of ter­rines, pâtés, and seafood. Cock­tails are play­ful but bril­liantly lay­ered. Devil’s El­bow Ale & Smoke House ( 562 Beatty St., 604-5590611. Devilsel­bowale­ is as cool as it sounds—nes­tled in­side a con­verted ware­house, with long walls of ex­posed brick, taps and whisky bot­tles stretch as far as the eye can see. Ten­der smoked meats (brisket, chicken, duck) and de­li­cious sides and starters (ve­gan op­tions, too) make it the per­fect drop-in at any time of the day.

Ta­cos have never been trendier in Vancouver, and Ta­cofino ( 15 W. Cor­dova St., 604-899-7907. Ta­ has more than a lit­tle to do with it. The en­trance is through Blood Al­ley, an his­toric bit of Gas­town that sounds much scarier than it is. Brave it, be­cause the bur­rito and taco ros­ters of­fer up mouth-wa­ter­ing com­bi­na­tions like chicken karaage with black chili mayo, and chorizo with arugula and pick­led onion.

Find cof­fee’s per­fect mate at the city’s favourite donu­terie, Cartems ( 534 W. Pen­der St., 778-708-0996. Ex­pect line­ups for these crazy-good dunkers ($3 each; $30 per dozen): Maker’s Mark bour­bon glaze and ba­con shav­ings, any­one?


The mas­sive In­form In­te­ri­ors ( 50 Wa­ter St., 604-682-3868. In­forminte­ri­ is a three­level, 30,000-square-foot mon­u­ment to the world’s most unique and covetable con­tem­po­rary home fur­nish­ings. Not in the mar­ket for a B&B Italia sec­tional? Then peruse the city’s best-cu­rated in­ven­tory of archiec­ture and de­sign books and mag­a­zines.

Oak + Fort ( 355 Wa­ter St., 604566-9199. Oakand­ 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.

Wa­ter Street

Af­ter­noon beer and bites

LO­CAL ICON Wood­wards 128 W. COR­DOVA ST. The orig­i­nal city cen­tre is rife with his­toric build­ings dat­ing back to the 1880s. Among the most re­mark­able is the 2009 Wood­wards tower, an ex­per­i­ment in com­min­gling gen­tri­fi­ca­tion, so­cial hous­ing, ed­u­ca­tion,...

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