SD: The Best Hot Dogs in Vancouver

We all grew up on hot dogs, graduated to burgers, then hit steak hard but in our hearts we still love the simplicity and ease of a hot dog. Whether made with beef, pork, bison or boar, you must admit that it is really all about the toppings! Some people are ketchup and mustard fans and others are craving the elegant edge that lobster and caviar toppings will give them. Where ever you sit on the hot dog toppings debate, chances are you will find your perfect dog on this list of the 7 best places in Vancouver.

The Black Lodge in a cabin in East Vancouver

best hot dogs in vancouver

The Black Lodge is a Twin Peaks themed vegetarian restaurant that offers up a big dose of weirdness (check out their IG) and then get down to the business of feeding satisfying your gut. Start by ordering a chili cheese vegan hot dog smothered with all toppings with a side of chili cheese fries. There is nothing glamorous in this joint and beware the taxidermy giving you the eye as you scarf down this heart attack waiting to happen.

IMAGE VIA @THEBLACKL0DGE

Big Dogs Street Hots – Food Truck

best hot dogs in vancouver

Serving up organic hot dogs made with exotic meats – can you say ‘bison and boar smokie’ – tasty uniqueness is how this mobile cart keeps the dog lovers coming back.  Plus all hot dogs are nitrate free, low in calories due to lean meats, and offer gluten free buns!

IMAGE VIA MOBILEFOODNEWS.COM

The Naam in Kitsilano

best hot dogs in vancouver

Not the most sophisticated of hot dogs but unique. You will find that building this baby is half the charm. The platter arrives with a steamed veggie dog in a grilled roti with melted cheese, a side of shredded carrots, beets and sprouts and a little scootch of mayonnaise. Pile it all in, roll and eat like a big wrap. Squishy deliciousness and low sodium to boot.

IMAGE VIA LAUREN L.

What’s Up Hot Dog in East Hastings-Sunrise

hot dogs, vancouver

If you are looking for a casual place to catch a game (they are all about baseball), to grab a brew or two, and indulge in some hot dog love, What’s Up is where you need to be heading.  The dogs come in traditional red plastic baskets with checkerboard wax paper. Try the Wrigley with fresh tomatoes, spicy mustard and lots of fries on the side.

IMAGE VIA @WHATSUPHOTDOGVAN

Dougie Dog – Food Truck

best hot dogs in vancouver

Founder Dougie (yes, he goes by one name) introduced the world to the most expensive hot dog in the world a few years ago. The Dragon Dog is made by combining Kobe beef, lobster, Cognac, truffle oil and secret spices. That may make it expensive and damn fine tasting dog but not so visually appealing! Check out these bad boys but make sure you check your food truck app for availability.

IMAGE VIA @DOUGIEHOTDOGS

The Dog House at UBC

best hot dogs in vancouver

This dog house is on wheels and rolling around the UBC Campus. Hot dogs run the gamut from vegan to super beefy and the toppings are west coast inspired with shredded veg, spicy peppers, cheese and squirty sauces to make them extra luscious. Grab extra napkins.

IMAGE VIA @UBCFOODIE

Japadog with 7 locations in Vancouver & Suburbs

best hot dogs in vancouver

This hotdog phenomenon has taken the whole Lower Mainland by storm and has now expanded into the US. The Kurobuta Terimayo is the most popular hotdog and starts with a soft but chewy white bun, a kurobuta sausage, some terimayo sauce and poof suddenly you have a Japanese hotdog that people stand in line for daily. If one is not enough, Japadog has also created a ‘dessert dog’ of a bun with 3 scoops of ice cream inside. Talk about simple pleasures.

IMAGE VIA @JAPADOG.CANADA

Hot dogs aren’t a dying breed in Vancouver but they are a little harder to find than other traditional comfort foods that are surging on menus citywide. Don’t despair, though, on the weekend, Granville Street is a hot spot for ‘street meat’ that will do the trick quite nicely after too much Petron shooters.

FEATURED IMAGE VIA @AMANDALADALA

Nordstrom: Aesop creates a Bamboo Pop-In

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Upscale Australian skin care brand Aesop has popped into Vancouver’s downtown Nordstrom in a swirl of bamboo and black bottles. Structurally serene and cozy, the space is inviting and many customer’s were keeping the sales associates very busy!

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The latest in the Pop-In series, Aesop is expanding rapidly and getting in the door of Vancouver’s hottest retail property is a giant step.  With Nordstrom being dogfriendly, Snickers and I couldn’t resist a visit! After a complimentary signature bone biscuit from the concierge, our next stop was Aesop.

The company was founded in 1987 in Melbourne by hairdresser Dennis Paphitis. Product packaging is simple, and its quality is considered to be exceptional. It sources plant-based and laboratory-made ingredients, and uses only those with a proven record of safety and efficacy.

Aesop’s bamboo Pop-In worth a 1000 Words

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Aesop PopIn at Nordstrom 1

SD: 10 Best Places to Brunch in Vancouver

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Sunday morning. Yawn. Is there anything that gets you up and out of bed quicker on a rainy morning, than the thought of brunch? Just the name of that in between meal conjures up a mash up of sweet, savoury, crunchy, crispy, spicy and greasy. Pull on those rubber boots, grab an umbrella and know that a delicious brunch will always cure what ails you, especially if you were hanging in Gastown last night!

Even in the line-ups you can hear impatient patrons arguing over the best brunch spots to visit – the top rated locations are numerous, scattered all over the city and all vying for the attention of your appetites and wallets.

Brunch be happening now!

10. Medina Cafe

Best-Brunch-Medina-Cafe
Medina Cafe | @MEDINACAFE

Located in the downtown Library District, the cuisine is Mediterranean inspired and the crowd eclectic. The line-ups are not reserved for weekends and are more like attending a ‘happening’ outside the L’Hermitage Hotel. The concierge will politely nod as you helplessly stare through the window at the dwindling display of Belgium waffles made daily by Chef Deniz Tarakcioglu.

9. Nuba

BestBrunch-Nuba
Nuba | @NUBATOWN

Founded in 2003 by Victor Bouzide, Nuba is synonymous with the exotic cuisine of Lebanon. Organic and local when available, the meat is clean, with food and juices made to order. Hearty fare for the most hungover with a large vegan selection.

8. Edible Canada

Best-Brunch-Edible-Canada
Edible Canada on Granville Island | @EDIBLECANADA

A full service bistro that focuses on Canadian cuisine, this Granville Island eatery is elegant, chic and accessible. Start with a maple bacon Caesar and the popular duck fat frites, while you peruse the menu, then hit the retail store and pick-up a box of truffle flavoured sea salt before catching the Aquabus.

7. The Tasting Room @ Secret Location

Best-Brunch-Secret-Location
Secret Location Tasting Room | SECRETLOCATION.CA

Executive Chef Montgomery Lau makes mini-plates of deliciousness that can only be described within your mind. Do not come expecting to gorge on grease but to have your soul satiated.

6. Belgard Kitchen

Best-Brunch-Belgard-Kitchen
Belgard Kitchen in The Settlement Building | @BELGARDKITCHEN

Venture into Railtown and be prepared to be awed by 90 year old The Settlement Building. Once alive with manufacturing, the building now houses a craft brewery and boutique winery. Whether your craving is simple radicchio salad with a gravlax add-on and a glass of Blasted Church or a simple customizable Health Nut Breakfast Bowl with avocado and goat cheese, you can always lay-down on the giant couch and nap.

5. Heirloom Restaurant

best brunch spots in vancouver
Heirloom Veg off Granville Street | @HEIRLOOMVEG

Follow the avocado Eggs Benedict with a raw dark chocolate brownie and an extra side of fresh strawberries and heaven is only a sin away! Heirloom is vegetarian and unapologetically so. The owners went meatless but they are far from kale pushers.

4. Acorn

Award-winning veggie cuisine in the heart of Main Street is a destination for those who seek freshness, locally sourced ingredient and the ability to craft their dishes as vegan or gluten free.

3. Tuc Craft Kitchen

best brunch spots in vancouver
Tuc Craft Kitchen | @TUCCRAFTKITCHEN

If you want your dishes to be rustic, to hear the tearing of bread, feel the comfort of a noisy but cozy room, and then travel to Gastown to Tuc. Curious flavoured coffees and the crispiest chicken and waffles live here.

2. La Mezcaleria

best brunch spots in vancouver
La Mezcaleria on Commercial Drive | @LAMEZCALERIAYVR

Over on Commercial Drive, this little taste of Mexico will assist  in pairing your savoury brunch choice, made with locally sourced ingredients, ocean-friendly seafood, and gluten-free dishes with their infamous selection of mescal and tequila.

1. Yolks on East Hastings

best brunch spots in vancouver
Yolks on East Hastings Street | @YOLKSBREAKFAST

When the Brave Bull House of Steak closed in East Vancouver, the carnivores lament could be heard across the land. Yolks has 2 locations and a popular food truck, no reservations and a limited time frame for fans to indulge in eggs done to perfection accompanied by locally sourced ingredients.

Are you still thinking about rolling over and grabbing some cold pizza later from the kitchen? Why oh why? Jump up, pull on your cleanest dirty jeans and head to the transit stop – deliciousness awaits you just around the corner.

(Article by Helen Siwak and originally published at StyleDemocracy.com)

ZEND Conscious Lounge Opens in Yaletown

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This weeks official launch of Zend Conscious Lounge saw close to 100 guests drawn to the new 1130 Mainland location in Yaletown.  Media and VIP took in upbeat jazz tunes courtesy of The Rossi Gang while tucking into tantalizing 100% plant-based creations showcased by Zend’s culinary team and helped raise funds for local charity.

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For every social media message sent with one of three pre-picked hashtags, benefiting the David Suzuki Foundation, Dalai Lama Centre and Growing Chefs, a $5 donation was made by ZAG Heartbeats program.

Owner, CEO and Entrepreneur Steve Curtis was on hand to chat with media and VIP guests and announced that 100% of Zend profits are donated directly to charity.  The restaurant is also gluten and alcohol-free with communal seating, has write-on inspiration boards and there are communication games on each table.

Ultimately it was the David Suzuki Foundation that scored the most votes with nearly $1000.00 raised through the evenings ‘get-social and give-back’ initiative.  I know that we tweeted at least 10 times before giving in to the artisan faux-cheese platter!

ZEND, vegan, gluten free, yaletown, restaurant, david suzuki foundation

ZEND, vegan, gluten free, yaletown, restaurant, david suzuki foundation

Zend Conscious Lounge is a social enterprise with a pioneering, founding vision that invites people to engage in charitable giving while making better lifestyle choices.

In a society that can feel like a concrete jungle, we invite you to share meaningful moments with us, connect in an uplifting communal space and share healthy healing food and drinks. We invite you to join our community and our movement.” – Steve Curtis

Steve has found a General Manager in Brook Cairns to the and used the culinary consulting skills of Brad Godin (Optimal Hospitality Solutions Inc.) to assist in crafting an array of mouth-watering, nutritious offerings for their 100% plant-based menu. Godin has spent the last 20 years working in the hospitality industry – holding an Executive Chef position with Earls and has worked in fine dining establishments around the world.

ZEND, vegan, gluten free, yaletown, restaurant, david suzuki foundation

Thank you ZEND for opening in Yaletown and providing a place for those who live vegan and/or enjoy a plant-based diet to come and relax and enjoy!

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene