Only about 3 hour drive from Seattle (then add another hour for border customs…ugh, but whaddya do?) is the coastal city of Vancouver, British Columbia. Luke and I had never been, so we decided to take the drive up and spend a cosmopolitan weekend away. We ate lots of GOOD food, stunning scenery and exploring the city in search of a solid cup of coffee.
I outlined our trip by the meals we ate because, you know….that’s how the Stillingers roll.
Food trucks are in abundance in the PNW, and Vancouver is no exception. This truck was recommended to us by the hotel concierge and his mouth was watering just telling us about it. I felt like the food was a tad on the spendy side ($10 for a sandwich, pickles and fries) but loved that they had a gluten free bread option and really quality ingredients. We got the gluten free bread, applewood smoked cheddar and rosemary ham grilled cheese meal and split it- perfect lunch break.
After walking around the shopping district of Robson St., we headed toward the next eating event…
We headed across the water via passenger ferry (so anti-climatic by the way…literally a 30 second ride. Geez.) to the famous Granville Island and Market. It’s like Pike Place meets Fremont. Lots of artisan shops and eateries and a huge indoor market. Also home to the most succulent and enormous strawberries I’ve ever eaten in my life!
A hole in the wall place that had a very authentic atmosphere. It felt special without trying too hard to be “fancy”. When we think back to dining here, one piece of meat won’t leave our minds- the blessed Pork Belly. Oh. My. Gosh. SO scrumptious!
Just look at this goodness…
paired with FRESH nigiri…
We would go back to JUNO fo’ shizzle.
We feel like this would be a fun lunch spot too…but we decided to check it out for a late night tasty treat. I had rosewater pudding and Luke ordered a dessert naan sandwich with chocolate and bananas. Delish. It’s a tiny restaurant with Saj himself workin’ the naan grill. Really unique Lebanese/Middle Eastern flavors and reasonable prices too!
Although Cafe Medina gets the majority of the Yelp press, Luke and I would highly recommend its sister restaurant Chambar- we were actually able to get a brunch reservation (9:30am, but still!) and the caliber of food and atmosphere was perfect. One of the best brunches I’ve had.
Sunday Mid-day bite
About an hour outside of the city lays the town of Squamish. We took the VERY picturesque drive after brunch and bought two tickets on the Sea to Sky Gondola.
Drinking in the beauty. Get it?
Luke and I would HIGHLY (oh man- I’m full of puns today!) recommend a jaunt up the gondola during a Vancouver visit. It was breathtakingly beautiful. Exhaling, chatting and sipping wine overlooking that beauty is something we will not soon forget.
Vij’s was recommended to us and has the most incredible reviews…but the wait when they opened was 2+ hrs with no reservations. Soooo…we, and our extremely irritable and hangry selves, opted for Vij’s next door sister restaurant- Rangoli. Same chef and quality of food, but a much more relaxed atmosphere. One day we’ll get to Vij’s, but Rangoli was a delicious choice for the evening! Tip: The curries were splendid!
We had to get in one more brunch (our FAV meal of the day) before we headed south, so once again Yelp came to our aide! We found Scoozi’s a few blocks from the hotel and gave it a shot. Great atmosphere, family-run and incredibly delicious cinnamon rolls! Uh. Yes. Please.
And no Stillinger vaca would be complete with a coffee stop (and when I mean stop, I really mean stopS…like 12) Timbertrain Roasters won out for our last stop of the weekend and we sipped those lattes like the coffee snobs we are.
We center most of our getaways around food and scenery, but we also enjoy finding affordable, and yet unique, place to stay. Our Vancouver home was the Executive Hotel Le Soliel. A great choice with easy access to all the downtown eateries and shops, with a quite elegant feel. Would definitely return.
Until the next PNW getaway! We are planning to make the most of the beautiful PNW summer and find some fun new places to stay (and eat) ! I’ll keep you all posted.
Feel free to steal our dining choices and steal away for a weekend yourself!
Summer is the perfect time to explore! Let me know where you’d like to go below…