Vancouver revels in its abundance of fresh, local ingredients, and menus around town frequently tout the goods of nearby farmers and small-production companies. Take advantage of this focus on fresh Pacific Northwest ingredients with the latest trend: artesian cheeses and specialty meats. Whether you’re inclined toward pungent blue, creamy Brie or mild mozzarella, taste test Vancouver’s best cheeses and charcuterie plates at these quaint eateries.
Rub elbows with Vancouver’s beautiful people at The Refinery, a trendy enclave on Granville Street where cocktail connoisseurs and gastronomes will feel equally at home. When you’re not too busy sipping a complex, handcrafted libation, take some time to enjoy cold appetizers like the charcuterie board, house-made pâté or cured salmon. Many of The Refinery’s charcuterie items are made on-site, but they also place a heavy emphasis on sourcing fresh, local ingredients, so you can get a taste of British Columbia without ever leaving your barstool.
Oyama Sausage Co.
Like a kid in a candy store, one glance at Oyama Sausage’s generously stocked deli counter will send your carnivorous cravings into overdrive. Their cornucopia of specialty meats includes everything from silky duck prosciutto to Scottish black pudding to shaved Praga-style ham, all made from pasture-raised heritage breeds. Visit Oyama Sausage at the Granville Island Public Market where you can stock up on unbelievably tender sandwich meats, creamy pâtés, colourful terrines, spicy chorizo, perfectly marbled bacon and paper-thin prosciuttos.
Au Petit Chavignol
We all know France can hold its own when it comes to covetable cheeses, and at Au Petit Chavignol, gourmands can indulge in all their French favourites, from robust Roquefort to fresh fromage. The selection changes daily, but diners can expect a range of sheep, goat, cow and mixed-milk cheeses, as well as an extensive list of accompaniments, such as balsamic cipollini onions, Fraser Valley apricot preserves, red currant jelly and piccalilli relish. The charcuterie menu is equally impressive, with pâté maison, spicy Vancouver-made pork chorizo and duck rillettes served with onion jam. Make sure to check their website for deals, like 15 per cent off bottles of wine on Mondays.
Salt Tasting Room
When a pre-selected cheese board simply won’t do, just go for the mother lode. Specializing in cured meats and artisanal cheeses, Salt Tasting Room touts rustic elements like a communal dining table, exposed brick walls and a chalkboard featuring a handwritten menu, and it’s easily one of the best places in Vancouver to score hard-to-find charcuterie items, small-batch beers and British Columbia wines. The selection changes daily, so as you build your own tasting plate, feel free to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. After all, you could always try again tomorrow.
The Irish Heather
It’s hard to pass up an appetizer with a name like “Best Cheeseplate in the City,” so our best advice would be: don’t — just order it. At The Irish Heather, a cozy gastropub with home-cooked fare and an astonishing collection of whiskey, diners can indulge on hearty favourites like warm marinated olives, grilled sausage with Guinness mustard, slow-cooked crispy pork belly and charcuterie plates. Wash it all down with an Irish-imported brew or a locally made beer like A Wee Angry Scotch Ale or Blood Alley Bitter. View Vancouver's Best Places for Cheese and Charcuterie in a larger map