V.v: New Restaurants in Vancouver: August 2016

Vv Magazine’s Helen Siwak fills us in on Vancouver’s best new restaurants, those opening in August 2016 and the most talked about hot spots coming up this month.

It is August and so the Diner en Blanc white madness begins. Best known for their incredibly organized events, The Social Concierge once again brings people together in a secret location to dine and be part of a spectacle. This year’s event will have 5,000 people trucking in gear (table, chairs, food, decor) to enjoy an evening with friends under the stars. Those who do not wish to bring their own food have the option to order a special meal in advance.

The Craft Beer Fest kicks off on August 20th at the annual PNE. Tickets are $10 and samples are $2. Highly recommended that you stop in and grab a bag full of those little donuts, corn dogs, and giant pretzels from the midway, to complement the beers.

There are two summer foodie pop-ups worth checking out. First, the Birds and the Beets is holding a craft cider bar in the evenings at their location on Powell Street. Aptly rechristened Orchard and the Sea, patrons will also have a selection of tapas plates available. Try the Manchego cheese with quince paste appie to prepare for a sweet night. Second, Mensch Jewish Delicatessen and its owner, Nitzan Cohen are serious about meat. Sandwiches include home-made Montreal Smoked Meat, lox made with beet cured salmon, egg salad and more. 666 East Broadway from Mon-Thurs 11am to 3pm and open until 6 on Fridays.

August Openings

Fluffy Kittens Ice Cream
Chinatown’s latest dessert spot has opened and they’re selling many of Vancouver’s Summer faves ranging from dairy to vegan. Pop in for delights from Nice Vice, Brown Paper Packages, Artisto Gelato, Salt Lick, and Johnny’s Pops.

Tacofino
The Yaletown location boasts a 40-seat dining room, plus a 16-seat patio, a full bar, and a take-out counter styled after their Gastown “Burrito Bar” set-up. The restaurant occupies the space at 1025 Mainland. This is the fourth brick-and-mortar restaurant for Tacofino, which began in 2009, and now includes locations in Vancouver and Victoria, and operates three food trucks. This is a company on a major roll.

Lucky Taco 
Una más de tacos favor! This 36 seat diner replaces James Iranzad and Josh Pape’s restaurant Supermarine and prepares super-tasty tacos but we recommend a binge on the roasted corn when available. Smothered in mayonnaise, spices, pico de gallo and fresh goat cheese, it is a real palette pleaser!

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Lucky Taco (Image: Instagram/@luckytacoyvr)

Mak N Ming
This spot is almost ready to open at 1629 Yew Street in Kitsilano. At last check-in (on Twitter) Amanda and Makoto were picking out ceramic bowls for the new venture. Chef Makoto Ono, who opened Pidgin in 2013, will open the new restaurant in Kitsilano with chef Amanda Cheng. Mak N Ming will bring a slightly more formal take on Japanese-French fare which is unique and inspiring. Look for the opening by the end of summer.

Fife Bakery & Toast Bar
Bread, bread, and more bread! Located at 64 East 3rd Avenue, Fife uses some of best natural ingredients from the lower mainland. BC farmers are repped by the hearty flours of Chilliwack, the golden rich eggs of Langley, and milk of Abbotsford dairies. Fife creates some of the most mouth-watering, aromatic, deliciously addictive bread in the city.  Watch their Twitter for upcoming bread tastings. Yes, tastings are not just for whiskey and beer anymore.

Juke
From tacos to fried chicken and ribs, everyone waited patiently for the hole-in-the-wall Juke to launch at 182 Keefer Street and so far, so good and crunchy. The chicken has been receiving two thumbs up from friends. Recommendations include following it up with a batch of Yo Mamma’s Doughnuts and/or a Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar.

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Juke Fried Chicken (Image: Instagram/@jukefriedchicken)


Fable Diner

Situated at 151 East Broadway is the second venture from Chef Trevor Bird, now open with expanded hours (from the soft launch) at Main and Broadway. Bird is continuing his farm-to-table theme from Fable Kitchen, albeit at lower price points, and with more casual comfort food dishes keeping everyone enjoying their twist on burgers and milkshakes. 86 seats is a great size to bring the whole gang to catch-up with while munching.

Crowbar
Located at 646 Kingsway is the new restaurant and bar from young (former L’Abattoir staffers) Jeremy Pigeon and William Johnson. The two have crafted a menu that specializes in tantalizing adult bevies and tiny things (some on a stick), petite stuffed chicken wing pies, and a juicy $21 secret burger.

DD Mau 
Located at 145 East Pender Street in Chinatown, the Tran siblings do bánh mì west coast style. Their love of food has created this sought after handheld torpedo which blends traditional and modern flavors which take the bánh mì to the next level. They serve up simple, fresh food with a twist, 7 days a week. *Correction: DD Mau will not open their new location until the end of the year. 

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Eats from DD Mau (Image: Instagram/@ddmau)

BowsxArrows
Opened officially on August 5, BowsxArrows is fully licensed and is serving up more than just coffee. Pair the best roast with flakey pastries, breakfast, lunches, weekend brunch, and simple dinners. For those who never touch coffee but like to hang with the bean brew crowd, cocktails, beer, and wine are also served up with no judgment.

The Captain’s Boil
Craving a seafood boil without the mess at home? Then you’ll want to check out Toronto-import, The Captain’s Boil, which opened their first West Coast resto in Richmond this month. The new resto serves up Southern-style seafood boil using fresh crab, lobster, clams, shrimp, mussels and more, which is then dressed in delicious spices, boiled to perfect and served up in… plastic bags! Plastic gloves and bags included.

Other Food News

Tasting Room at Secret Location
This restaurant closed at the end of July and the space is scheduled to be swallowed up by more of the beautiful couture and vintage Chanel of the adjourning retail space.

Slow Fish Dinner
Next month, the Chefs’ Table Society of BC, will be hosting their 3rd annual Slow Fish Dinner with the assistance of PICA students and BC wines representing local vineyards. The venue is the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and the event is for one night only.

(This article by Helen Siwak was originally published on ViewTheVibe)

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V.v: The 10 Best Patios in Vancouver

August 3rd is Vancouver’s first Patio Day, officially declared by the city of Vancouver. Businesses will be able to create a patio for one day but who wants to wait? Check out these renowned patios and then let your thirst push you to explore more off the beaten path. You never know what great conversation or adventure can be found in those few chairs outside of a tiny cafe or a new brewery.

Cactus Club Cafe 
1085 Canada Place 
This open air patio is brilliant in its layout and location. Situated with great views of the Olympic Cauldron, the harbour and its traffic, the city skylines and the magnificent mountains, patrons can enjoy the menu items and beverages that they enjoy in their ‘home zone’ but with a surrounding million dollar view.

Chill Winston
3 Alexander St.
This patio is attached to a food-focused gastro-lounge that carries a menu perfect for sharing. The Chill Winston patio is known for being the hippest hang-out in the city and can accommodate you and 99 of your hungry or thirsty friends. We suggest that you get a table with an umbrella, as you never know how long you will be staying and how much sun you may be taking in.

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Chill Winston (Image: Instagram/@j_admire)

Pat Quinn’s
5133 Springs Blvd
This classic steak and seafood restaurant is situated right on the Tsawwassen Springs Golf Course and with the view of the mountains, this patio is the ultimate location when you are searching for fresh air and a great selection of food and beverages.

Reflections: The Garden Terrace
801 W Georgia St.
The Garden Terrace is a cleverly hidden ‘roof-top’ on the fourth-floor patio of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. With no structures blocking it, night-time dining is truly under the stars. With its design, beauty and lushness taken into consideration, it’s definitely one of the top patios downtown.

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Reflections: The Garden Terrace (Image: Instagram/@@rwhotelgeorgia)

The Naam
2724 West 4th Avenue
If you live a 24/7 lifestyle, the Naam has the only patio available 24 hours a day. Enjoy delicious vegetarian food and dishes geared to those with sensitivities and proclivities towards a cleaner diet. The desserts are blue agave sweet, oversized, and oh so suitable for sharing.

The LIFT Bar & Grill 
333 Menchions Mews
LIFT offers patrons spectacular views of the harbour, sailboats (and occasional yachts), struggling seawall tandem bike riders, and pretty much all the beauty of Vancouver, combined with a delicious menu. This patio is pretty upscale, so pull out The Preppy Handbook before making reservations.

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Joe Fortes (Image: Instagram/@joefortesvan)

Joe Fortes
777 Thurlow St.
To escape the chaos of an afternoon shopping frenzy on Robson Street, those in the know pop over to Joe Fortes and relax in the flower garden of the rooftop patio. Enjoy their signature seafood dishes alongside a bottle of chilled white.

LOCAL Public Eatery
2210 Cornwall Ave
Loved by the locals, this patio is huge and in-your-face sports oriented. Always overflowing and full of hustle, this patio is incredibly popular due to its pub grub and proximity to Kits Beach – which is right across the street.

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The Dockside Patio (Image: Instagram/@aletheabarr)

Dockside Restaurant
1253 Johnston St.
With cool white furniture and views of the North Shore Mountains, Yaletown, the Dockside patio has such a chic look and feel that it makes it unbeatable in False Creek. Pair that with great food and a chilled bottle of your favourite vino, and you may never leave.

The Keg
1011 Mainland St.
The Keg is notorious across Canada for being the steakhouse of choice for those serious about meat, but Yaletown’s Keg has something that all the others do not have. They have the most amazing patio in the centre of Yaletown that overlooks the whole neighbourhood and is truly spectacular.

(This article by Helen Siwak was originally published on ViewTheVibe)

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V.v: The Best New Desserts in Vancouver

The newest trends in urban desserts involve a level of creativity that has our taste buds tingling. Vv Magazine’s Vancouver contributor, Helen Siwak, gives us the down low on Vancouver’s best new desserts. 

Not content with the usual box of popsicles or a store-bought pie? Vancouverite’s are getting down and delicious with their interpretations of desserts. Nothing is sacred anymore and the kitchen gloves have come off this summer.

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720 Sweets & Etc. (Image: Instagram/@720sweets)

720 Sweets & Etc.
3278 West Broadway
Using nitrogen to create smoking soft serve and launching the ice-cream pie craze with flavours such as Vanilla, Matcha and Milk’ee, this newcomer is now kicking some serious dessert butt with multiple awards within months of each other. So far in 2016, 720 is the winner of Best Desserts and Best Ice Cream in the Golden Plates, and squeezed their way into the Top 10 Best Emerging Entrepreneur and Premier’s People’s Choice at the Small Business BC awards.

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Tangram Creamery (Image: Instagram/@tangramcreamery)

Tangram Creamery
2729 Arbutus Street
Artisan ice creams in unique flavours are drawing line-ups at Tangram. You have the option to try the ‘regular’ flavours such as Black Sesame, Coffee, Houjicha, and Green Tea or opt for a cup of steaming deliciousness called affogatos, made with rich espresso.

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Icy Bar (Image: Instagram/@icybar)

Icy Bar
4940 No.3 Road
As crazy as it sounds, the 8 Mix Icy’s are what is happening at this frozen dessert shop. Top your shaved ice base with 8 frozen toppings such as mango, mochi, coconut jelly, lychee poppers, almond jelly, bubble tea pearls, pineapple and a big old scoop of ice-cream. Think about sharing before ordering one of these or you may find yourself in the emerg with hypothermia or a severe case of brain freeze.

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Nice Vice (Image: Instagram/@nicevicecream)

Nice Vice
1022 Mainland St.
Nice Vice is Vancouver’s first ever 0% daily, plant-based micro-creamery. It is organic and free of dairy, soy, allergens, GMO and cholesterol but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of flavour. When not cruising around in the Nice Vice van, they are batching up flavours like Banoffee Pie with Graham Crackers, Blue Raspberry, Chai-Me with Aslan Chai, Orange Cardamom Kreamsicle, and Watermelon Hibiscus.

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Chicco Coffee & Dessert Bar (Image: Instagram/hanyisan)

Chicco Coffee & Dessert Bar
1504 Robson St.
Chicco has nestled in at Robson and Nicola and serves a range of Japanese sweets to the hoards, but the Green Tea Parfait is the most often ordered treat. The cup contains a melange of sweet red bean, rice cake, melon, green tea ice-cream and mousse, frosted corn flakes, melon, sponge cake and a green tea stick. Other available parfait cups contain various crispy, crunchy, squishy and baked (think macarons) thingys. Who knows what they are and who cares, just scoop them up!

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Sai Woo (Image: Instagram/@vanfoodster)

Sai Woo
158 E Pender St.
For a while, all we heard about was a dessert that looked like the rich thick earth. At Sai Woo, the chef created a dish that looked like a dewy spring morning in Stanley Park. The Chocolate Panacotta with espresso crumble, Dulce de Leche, roasted cashews, black sesame, and mint is pure heaven in an earthen ware bowl. Surely such a creation deserves its own category.

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Eternal Abundance (Image: Instagram/@eternalabundance)

Eternal Abundance
1025 Commercial Dr.
Having lived near Eternal Abundance, I can testify with the draw of their mounds of sweets and not just cakes but squares, cookies, tarts, cones, triangles, every shape you can imagine. All these vegan desserts stacked up the width of the store, are affordable and the various flavours invoked memories of world travel from Ireland to India.

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Che-licious (Image: Instagram/@che.licious)

Che-Licious Desserts & Snacks
1120 Denman St.
The home of Vietnamese smoothie-type desserts with straws that use real exotic fruits, various jellies and beans, coconut milk or coconut juices sweetened with palm sugar. Recently the small business won a Vancouver Foodster People’s Choice 1st Place for the pictured concoction, entitled the Crouching Coco Hidden Dragon. Almost too gorgeous to scoop up – said nobody ever.

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Vegan Pudding & Co (Image: Instagram/@vegan_pudding_co)

Vegan Pudding & Co.
422 Richards St.
Probably the smallest ‘shop’ ever! A sliding window on the side of a building on a side street between downtown and Crosstown is where you find the original Vegan Pudding Co. Their vegan, organic custard pudding is hand-made and the only one of its kind in Vancouver. These tiny creamy cups come in a variety of flavours including vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and matcha (green tea) and black sesame and they are packaged in biodegradable containers.

Whether you enjoy your fruity and fresh or flash frozen, Vancouver is crazy over sweet delights this summer and if you want to try the best, we hope this list does not disappoint.

(This article by Helen Siwak was originally published on ViewTheVibe)

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V.v: 10 Best Affordable Summer Dates in Vancouver

Planning a fun and affordable date in Vancouver is possible, you just need to steer away from the mainstream. Vv Magazine’s Vancouver contributor, Helen Siwak, rounds up the best affordable outings to take a date on this Summer. 

We all know how expensive Vancouver is. At most places a cup of coffee and a sandwich will run you $20 bucks and that is just a quick lunch by yourself crammed in your cubicle. Let’s not even get started on renting or buying a home, so when you meet someone you want to get to know a little bit better, what are your options that won’t knock you out? Here are 10 suggestions that run from no fee at all to a maximum of $20.

Free Yoga
Dude Chilling Park
Seven days a week, the Karma Teachers will guide you and a bendy friend through free yoga classes in the morning from 10am-11:15am. Afterwards, if all goes well, transition to a lunch date with a box of croissants and coffee from your favourite cafe or go to the evening class followed with a brown bag picnic and a bottle of wine.

best-affordable-summer-dates-dudechillingpark-yoga
Dude Chilling Park Yoga (Image: @karmateachers)

DanceSportBC Free Dance Lessons
Robson Square
Does your true love have two left feet? Free lessons in swing, samba, waltz and jive are all coming up on Friday nights. It’s free and after you have either swept your date of their feet or are cooling your heels in St. Paul’s Emergency with a fracture, the two of you will have a better idea of your future together.

Farmer’s Market Wednesdays
Main Street Station
A mid-week market just steps from the Main Street-Science World Skytrain Stop, is convenient and allows for a quick get-away. Who knows what could go wrong at a farmer’s market but in case things go sideways during the organic composting demonstration or your new friend lingers too long at the local grown zucchini table, you have an out for $2.75.

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Mainstreet Farmer’s Market (Image: Eatlocal.org)

Hot Wet Art City
Main Street
HWAC is the brainchild of Chris Bentzen and is a weird art gallery and comedy venue with as much edge as can be squeezed in. Open Wednesday to Saturday, use their online calendar to watch for free opening nights. Take your date and see how much they squirm (or laugh hysterically) at the more politically incorrect pieces.

Hot Art Wet City |
Sculpture piece (Image: @hotartwetcity)

East Side Flea Market
1024 Main Street
Free to get in and with over 55 vendors in their new giant space, the ESF is a great place to find out how sentimental your potential new mate is. Are they gravitating towards vintage jeans jackets, army boots and the vinyl, or are they picking succulents, furniture and kitchenwares? Clothes horse or homemaker. Sometimes an eclectic Flea Market can service as both fortune-teller or psychologist.

Jokes Please
Little Mountain Gallery on East 26th
Everyone you meet always says that they are looking for someone who ‘makes them laugh’. What they laugh at is much more telling. Take your Thursday night date on a $5 test run at Jokes Please and find out what makes them giggle and by evenings end, you will know what makes them tick.

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Jokes Please (Image: Instagram/@jokesplease)

The Sunday Service
Fox Cabaret on Main Street
Test your dates devotion by suggesting a date at the Fox Cabaret for Sunday Service. This completely non-denominational improv troupe of 5 performs for $7 a head and never fails to bring down the house. Check your halo at the door and get ready for some couples comedy karma.

The Vancouver Canadians
Nat Bailey Stadium
A baseball game is a great place to check out your dates reflexes when the balls start flying. An afternoon game is the perfect opportunity to observe your new friends claim to love all sports, whether it is high priced Canucks game or the family (and wallet friendly) Vancouver Canadians.

Evo Summer Cinema Series Free Movies
Stanley Park
On Tuesday nights, pack a blanket (or Snuggley) and make your way down to Ceperley Meadow in Stanley Park and treat yourselves to a cozy date night with a 4,998 others who enjoy outdoor movies in the dark, in the middle of city’s largest park. Be mindful of blanket shenanigans, this is a family affair.

 

Wreck Beach, the Official Nude Beach of Vancouver
UBC
Not the most original way to see each other without your clothes, but at least it won’t set you back a $20+ cover charge and taxi fare. Besides, frolicking in the rolling surf without a care in the world is, without a doubt, priceless.

Meeting for an affordable date in an unconventional location is a great way to find out so much about a person. Try a few of our recommendation before hitting the crowded nightclub or squeezing produce at Urban Fare, you may find it much more satisfying and enlightening.

(This article by Helen Siwak was originally published on ViewTheVibe)

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