Farmers’ markets are dotted around the city, each luring locals and savvy visitors with their cornucopia of fruit and vegetables grown just a few miles away. There are currently five summer markets (see www.eatlocal.org) in Kitsilano, Kerrisdale, the West End, at Trout Lake and in front of the Pacific Central railway station. They typically run weekly from May or June to October, with an additional winter market at Nat Bailey Stadium from November to April. These markets are a great opportunity to meet local producers as well as those Vancouverites passionate about B.C. food.
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Gastown's Irish Heather has a "hidden" bar out the back that claims to have the biggest whiskey selection in B.C. The tiny nook is called the Shebeen Whiskey House.
B.C. is arguably Canada’s seafood capital and Vancouver’s salty dining scene is swimming with great aquatic ingredients. It’s the diversity that is most striking, from top-notch fine-dining establishments to street food taco stands and finger-licking fish and chip spots on Granville Island and beyond. But if you’re a true marine-noshing adventurer, hunt down the following regional specialities - and keep your eyes peeled for menus citing the Ocean Wise (www.oceanwise.ca) sustainable seafood initiative.
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Take an adventurous dip into Vancouver’s fresh seafood scene. Start onboard a boat with a local fisher then take your fresh catch to a city chef who specialises in seafood preparation. Learn a few tricks of the trade and end your day with a dining crawl around the city’s great seafood restaurants.
Vancouver’s much-anticipated street food scene launched in 2010. The city had eased bylaws that previously prevented anything but hotdogs and chestnuts from being sold on sidewalks and, after a tense application process, 17 vendor spots were awarded. Within months, more carts arrived and the scene took off. Now an established and expanding part of the city’s dining scene, hungry locals and visitors can have their pick of fish tacos, dim sum, barbecued pork sandwiches, fusion Korean barbecue beef and much more. Ask Vancouverites for tips – they’re always happy to recommend their favourites.
Vancouver’s new street food scene isn’t the only way to eat great grub al fresco. Chinatown’s summer weekend night market is suffused with fresh-prepared dishes, while the Summer Night Market in Richmond offers an even bigger selection of steamy treats from chicken satay to barbecued squid and beyond.