Posts Tagged ‘Communal Table’


shanti 1 4191 Main St, Vancouver

Tel: 604-568-7699


Twitter: @ShantisCurries

Advice: Communal tables for sharing. No reservations. Bring your own wine (they provide the glasses. And if you can’t finish the bottle they will re-cork it and seal it for you to take home).

Samosa Chaat

Samosa Chaat

Malabar Fish Curry

Malabar Fish Curry

Inspired by the food they grew up eating at home, co-owners Danila and Sonny have created a menu of delicious eats based on the recipes Danila’s mom Shanti cooked. It’s a wonderful place that is bright, sustainable and provokes sharing tables with others and perhaps conversation. I had the Samosa Chaat ($9) potato, peas, chutneys, yogurt, onion & cilantro made with 2 delicious samosas; I also had the outstanding Malabar Fish Curry ($15) with ling cod and a delicious sweet and spicy curry that was served with Non-GMO white basmati rice.

You will find an array of curries from chicken, beef and fish to vegetarian, along with samosas, raita and more, they are licensed with beer and ciders, and of course there is chai which is house-made.

Review by: Richard Wolak


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15 W 8th Ave, Vancouver

Tel: 604 620 4589


Twitter: @33Acres

Advice: Food Trucks parked in front change often, watch twitter for daily updates.

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Off the beaten track, on the edge of False Creek and close to Olympic Village, sits a very cool new tasting lounge with a large communal table, a bar with seating and a gift shop. You can get glasses of 33 Acres beer on tap, coffee, waffles on weekends, a range of snacks and ice cream daily. You will also find a food trucks parked out front for you to purchase larger meals which you can eat inside the lounge.

Gingerbread Waffles

Gingerbread Waffles

33 Acres of Malt Ice Cream & 33Acres Melaco

33 Acres of Malt Ice Cream & 33Acres Melaco

This is a very cool spot to hang out, I have been in a couple of times, on the first visit I am pretty sure I shocked the server as I wasn’t in for a beer, it was a late Saturday brunch and I was in for the outstanding Gingerbread Waffles ($7.50) served with orange butter and maple syrup. My next visit was on Saturday night pairing 33 Acres of Malt Ice Cream ($4) (made for them by Earnest Ice Cream) paired with the 33Acres Melaco ($2.50 6oz glass) (Robust Porter).

If you are looking for a place to hangout, eat some great snacks, enjoy a beer or not, this is a go to place you are going to love!

Review by: Richard Wolak


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4241 Fraser St, Vancouver

Tel: 604-877-1270


Twitter: @PizzaCarano

Advice: Closed Sunday/Monday. Limited seating. No Alcohol .

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As my ongoing quest for pizza continues, this shiner sits on the border of both Riley Park and Kensington-Cedar Cottage in East Van. Specializing in thin crust pizza with quite an array of show stopping toppings, the regular menu is fairly simple, the specials throw a curve ball and best of all customers delight. I like the fresh herbs growing in front of the kitchen for chefs to easily garnish the pizzas. It’s a fairly small room, with steel tables and stools and a nice communal table for sharing.

Sausage and Roasted Fennel Pizza

Sausage and Roasted Fennel Pizza

I had the very good, Sausage and Roasted Fennel Pizza ($15) with a delicious white sauce, ground sausage, fennel, fior di latte and arugula. Keep an eye out for their new special pizzas by following them on instagram and twitter. I am watching as I can’t wait to try their Spicy Coconut Kale Pizza.

Review by: Richard Wolak


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261 Powell St, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 559-7585


Twitter: @CuchilloYVR

Advice: Bring a friend or two and share dishes. Reservations suggested.

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Off the beaten track, hidden away in Railtown is a gem that is already packed most nights with diners yearning for Latin American cuisine, personally I love the range of flavours and spices merging  from the Latin American cultures. Chef Stu Irving loves creating dishes that are latin inspired offering diners flavours and an adventure. His former restaurant Cobre guided our palates and now his new restaurant with partner John Cooper takes us on another exciting culinary journey.

Chipotle y Sea Salt Dusted Fry Bread

Chipotle y Sea Salt Dusted Fry Bread

 Local Albacore Tuna y Pipian Rojo

Local Albacore Tuna y Pipian Rojo

Corn Bread Azul

Corn Bread Azul

I have been in twice for dinner over the past month; I loved the Chipotle y Sea Salt Dusted Fry Bread ($6) which bodes well for sharing. The Local Albacore Tuna y Pipian Rojo ($13) with Peruvian double smoked bacon causa was superb, as was the Corn Bread Azul ($7) with Guajillo chili butter which gave it a nice heat kick.

Mole Lamb Albondigas

Mole Lamb Albondigas

Bison Ribeye Broil

Bison Ribeye Broil

Dulce de Leche with Churros

Dulce de Leche with Churros

The outstanding Mole Lamb Albondigas ($8) sardo parmesan browned are topped with garlic popcorn. Another outstanding dish was the Bison Ribeye Broil ($21) walnut manchego tostadas, topped with green apple chimichurri and valdeon cauliflower mash, the dessert menu boasts only one but divine creation, the outstanding rich Dulce de Leche ($8) with Churros.

The wine list is made up of wine from BC, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina to marry the flavours of Latin America, Spain and the local ingredients found in our region. The cocktails list is creative as well and you will find an extensive range of tequila and mezcal. The servers are knowledgeable on the food and drink offerings, leave it to them to be your guide.

Review by: Richard Wolak


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3835 Main Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-569-2494


Twitter: @Portland_Craft

Advice: Sit at the communal table. Takes reservations, Walk-Ins welcome.

Trio Beer Sampler

Trio Beer Sampler

Put a Bird on It

Put a Bird on It

The star of this room with its high ceilings, long communal table is its long list of craft brews many of which are from Oregon and others that are local. With it’s focus on the brew, they also offer up a good range of eats. I started off with a Trio Beer Sampler with 3 Oregon beers which went well with the delicious Put a Bird on It ($15) Hop-fried buttermilk organic chicken, Belgian waffle, maple syrup and gravy.

On the eats side of the menu you will find burgers, wings, mac & cheese and other pub fare eats that is locally sourced and is a step above the usual pub fare eats. On the drinks side of the menu you will find a large selection of draught beers, bourbon and more.

Review by: Richard Wolak


farmers apprentice 1

1535 W 6th Avenue, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 620-2070


Twitter: @gunawan_dave

Advice: Advance reservations are a must.

farmers apprentice 2

Finding the spot that is somewhat hidden, overflowing with passion isn’t always so easy to find even in a city such as ours which has one of the most vibrant culinary scenes in North America. The Farmer’s Apprentice is that very special spot which I discovered recently, its hidden off of busy Granville street in a space that’s never fared well, it has a chefs team that is guided by Chef/Owner David Gunawan who knows his ingredients, he puts the love into his food and its presentation. One thing that I loved about my dining experience was that each dish was delivered to the table by the chefs themselves, not the servers, each chef explained the dish as it was served, such a wonderful touch that made the experience special.

Beyond Bread Sourdough

Beyond Bread Sourdough

Cylindtical Beets

Cylindtical Beets

Hay Roasted Carrots

Hay Roasted Carrots

Smoked Spring Salmon

Smoked Spring Salmon

The Dungeness Crab

The Dungeness Crab

Grilled Octopus

Grilled Octopus

My friend Marck joined me to share some plates and we ordered a selection of dishes of the menu which by the way changes daily. We had the Beyond Bread Sourdough ($4) with a delicious house made onion butter & olive oil which was simple & wow! The outstanding Cylindtical Beets ($10) was made with an aerated Yogurt, radishes and a frozen horseradish that added a touch of heat and was so subtle; the Hay Roasted Carrots ($8), with whey caramel & buckwheat was delicious and my favourite dish of the night. The Smoked Spring Salmon ($14), with a hint of jalapeño & beets was another outstanding plate. The Dungeness Crab ($13) with zucchini emulsion, turnips and radishes was the only dish that didn’t provide me with the wow factor, lastly the Grilled Octopus ($11), with riaja potatoes and parsley was hearty and delicious.

The menu which changes daily highlights local vegetables, is seasonally oriented and will leave you with dishes full of flavour, and I expect you will be happy having enjoyed your dining experience. You will find a small wine, beer and cocktail list to accompany your experience.

Review by: Richard Wolak


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397 Railway Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604.428.0800


Twitter: @RailtownCafe

Advice: Avoid the 12-1pm lunch hour rush. Sit at the communal table if dining solo.

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Hidden in the heart of Railtown which is off the beaten track just East of Gastown. This is a go to spot for an amazing lunch, which is what I had on my most recent visit. This is an eatery that I had been to on previous occasions to attend events, this was the first time I have visited for a meal and am I ever glad I ventured over to Railtown for lunch. The menu boards are large and high-up on the kitchen side and you will see a full line-up of house-made soups, sandwiches (ones that are in the regular list, and daily specials), salads (ones that are on the regular list and a huge offering of a build your own salad), quiche, and more on the savoury side. Then there are bars, cookies, cakes and more on the sweet side and then there are hot and cold beverage selections.

Beef Dip

Beef Dip

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Strawberry Mint Tea

Strawberry Mint Tea

Pork Sandwich

Pork Sandwich

I had the daily special which was the outstanding Beef Dip ($11) which was filled with their beef brisket, fried onions, cheese on a French baguette with jus for dipping and it was delicious, I added a side Quinoa Salad for ($3.50) extra which added more goodness and was quite a large serving. I also had one of their refreshing Strawberry Mint Tea ($2.75). My friend had the Pork Sandwich ($10) tender shoulder, jalapeño, cilantro, pickled vegetable aioli, french baguette, which he loved along with the addition of a Caesar Salad ($3.50) extra.

I was too full for dessert this time around, I can’t wait to return to try the Ice Cream Sandwich with salted caramel brittle.

Review by: Richard Wolak


lost and found cafe 1

33 W Hastings Street, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 559-7444


Twitter: @LostFoundCafe

Advice: Free wifi, ask the staff for the code. Watch the event board and their twitter for upcoming events.

lost and found cafe 2

Over the years I have visited well over a thousand cafes in cities around the globe, in each city I have sought out the cool and hip cafés where creativity can flourish. This café reminds me of some that I had previously visited, and this one is in our backyard so to speak. It’s a large space, exuding creative energy, from a moving film at the back of the café to the art on the walls, funky tables and chairs in different areas around, an indoor picnic table perfect for the hideaway on the side, with couches up front. The menu features a selection of sandwiches, salads, soups and more. Coffees and other beverages, all the food is made from scratch, breads baked fresh each morning, friendly staff and more!

Espresso Macchiato

Espresso Macchiato

Vegetarian Sandwich

Vegetarian Sandwich

I had my usual beverage of choice which is an Espresso Macchiato ($2.75) along with the Vegetarian Sandwich ($7.50) on a large house-made spinach, feta bun that was filled to the rim with cheese, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and many more vegetables, delicious goodness on the soft bun. With each of the sandwiches they offer your choice of freshly baked bread (their bread is actually in the form of these large buns) and each comes with a side dressed salad.

I will be returning very soon as this is one of those places that I could call my home away from home!

Review by: Richard Wolak


3980 Fraser Street, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 620-8822


Twitter: @GrazeFoodVan

Advice: Reservations suggested.

With its focus on plant based cuisine this east side jaunt is striving to be sustainable using locally and organically produced ingredients in their innovative cooking. They grow their own herbs & vegetables, collect rainwater for their garden, compost their kitchen waste, reduce their power consumption, and solar heat their hot water.

Antipasti Platter


Rhubarb Crumble

The kitchen team lead by talented Executive Chef Karen McKathy is creating unique vegan dishes, I had the Antipasti Platter ($15) to start with a delish beet & cheese tartar, smoked tofu, candied nuts, pickled watermelon and more. I then had the Perogies ($16) which were made with buckwheat flour along with flax and chia seeds in the dough, and filled with Yam & Eggplant, topped with oyster mushrooms, crisp shallots, beet shred with an amazing spicy tomato jam. For dessert I had the Rhubarb Crumble ($7) with white chocolate ganache and caramel sauce, this dessert as well as most of their desserts are a collaboration with In the Oven baking.

The menu is made of a selection of Grazing boards, small and large plates along a few desserts and creative cocktails from the very cool bar. This is place to be if you are vegan as well if you aren’t and want to experience this type of cuisine.

Review by: Richard Wolak



1328 Hornby Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-685-4569


Twitter: @Glowbal_Group

Advice: Counter service.

This is second location of the Italian Kitchen spin-off featuring a casual self-serve counter and seating for 40, offering take-out or leisurely dine-in meal. There is a large communal table for solo diners or others who want to eat with friends. They offer freshly baked scones, pastries and breakfast sandwiches to start off the morning along with a coffee beverage line-up. Lunch and dinner menu options include a variety of antipasti, charcuterie, salads, soups, specialty paninis, and strombolis.


Pine Nut Tarts & Fruit Croistata

Apricot Croistata and other pastries

I have dined in and had take-out on a few occasions and have tried several of their dishes including their notable Meatballs, Couscous, Farro, Tuna Sandwich, as well as several of the baked goodies.

They also offer hearty pastas and an array of traditional meat, seafood and poultry dishes, such as Veal Milanese, roasted chicken and salmon.

Review by: Richard Wolak


655 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tel: (604) 639-4770


Twitter: @HyattVancouver

Advice: multi-course tasting menus, you can ask to have the chef create you a customer tasting menu.


Windset Farms Fresco Cucumber Gazpacho

Chilled Dungeness Crab Cannelloni

With a star chef at its helm, my friend Nikki Caine joined me to explore and enjoy the chef’s tasting menu as I knew we were in for a culinary journey. Chef Thomas Heinrich is the visionary culinary master who is creating artful masterpieces on the plate. Our 1st course was the Windset Farms Fresco Cucumber Gazpacho in refreshing ginger coconut gelee. The next course was the outstanding Chilled Dungeness Crab Cannelloni with English pea, meyer lemon and mint where the presentation was perfection.

Spring, Green Garlic Grits with Scallop

Pan seared Branzino

Galbi marinated Pork Jowl

Slow Roasted Lamb

The journey continued with the next course, a taste of Spring, Green Garlic Grits with Scallop which was delicious, this followed by the Pan seared Branzino with celery noodles and carrot reduction with an oregano citrus emulsion served to us on a mirrored slab. From there the flavours exploded with the Galbi marinated Pork Jowl with Asian pear, fiddle heads, lotus root and edible flowers, the sauce was heavenly. On to the 6th course it was another stunning plate with the the delicious Slow Roasted Lamb with mustard and fennel streusel and a pomegranate gastrique along with edible flowers.

Braised Rhubarb

We finished off our impressive meal with the Braised Rhubarb with white chocolate meringue, ginger and pink peppercorns and green strawberries, this dessert was the perfect ending with more stunning flavours. I am looking forward to many return visits and to follow the seasons with Chef Thomas Heinrich leading the way.

Review by: Richard Wolak


1829 Robson St,  Vancouver

Tel: (604) 606-4680


Twitter: @TavolaVancouver

Advice: If eating solo or not, snag a spot at the communal table.

Hidden off the beaten track in the West End is spot that fills up fast nightly with fab service and divine modern Italian fare. The large communal table is the star in the center of the room and it’s the table that guests all want to be seated.

Lamb Ragout Pasta

Sticky Toffee Pudding

I had the house special outstanding Lamb Ragout Pasta ($18) that the server highly recommended followed by the Sticky Toffee Pudding topped with vanilla ice cream in a pool of toffee caramel sauce that was delicious.

The menu features a selection of Mozza Bar favourites along with Croistini’s, share plates, pastas, big plates and desserts. The wine menu is equally impressive featuring a selection of white and red wines from Italy along with a few Pacific Northwest reds and whites. I’ve got my eye on the Brick chicken, and the Brown Sage Butter Gnocchi, I will be back soon.

Review by: Richard Wolak


4675 Arbutus Street, Vancouver

Tel: 604-266-1904


Twitter: @FinestAtSeaVan

Advice: Located in a strip mall, no reservations.

With my love for fish, I had missed eating at one of the city’s notable seafood boutiques. I can’t believe it took me so long to visit for the 1st time and I returned within a week for more of their delicious fish. The seafood boutique as they call themselves is part fresh fish store and part fish & chips stand within the store. You get a bit of the best of both worlds when visiting, they also have a large deli case of home made prepared foods of which were calling my name as I was waiting for my fish & chips to go.

1 Piece Halibut & Yam Fries

2 Piece Halibut & Yam Fries

On the first visit I had the Halibut & Chips and substituted the chips for Yam Fries which were absolutely delish! On the 2nd visit, which was purely to have more of the delicious halibut, I ended up getting a 2 Piece Halibut & Chips with more yam fries and while waiting I also took a selection of dishes home including a delish polenta, gnocchi, some of their house smoked salmon candy as well as their black cod candy which were both outstanding.

If you love fish and seafood, this is a boutique you are going to want to visit repeatedly. It’s like going to the beach without actually going to the beach.

Review by: Richard Wolak


1509 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver

Tel: 604-733-2231


Twitter: @HeirloomVeg

Advice: This is a restaurant to dine with a friend or more friends, not ideal for eating solo unless you are seated at the bar. Sharing is key here.


One can always tell when a kitchen has passionate chefs by the care and imagination they have put into creating a menu full of goodness and flavours. Imagination is not only key, being creative with the ingredients, flavours and such makes the dish and is part of the over-all experience. This hit home with me and my friend Peter who visited for dinner recently, the room has a great vibe, it’s bright, has unique art adorning the walls and is well layed out from the large bar to the communal table in the dining room. The menu is filled with vegan and vegetarian options which is indicated in the description of each dish this is quite helpful if you lean towards a particular way of eating. We started with the delish Dips ($14) – beetroot, sunflower seed tapenade, lentil pecan homous, vegetables with sangak chips with sheeps feta cheese.

Swiss Chard Salad

Kale Salad

Blackbean Molasses and Coco Chili

We then shared the outstanding Swiss Chard Salad ($10) swiss chard, lime satay vinaigrette, hemp heart tahini, pickled peanuts along with the delicious Kale Salad ($10) full of delicious flavours and the smoked salt added good flavour. The next dish was one of their daily specials and it was so good, the Blackbean Molasses and Coco Chili ($17) with brown basmati rice, cashew cilantro cream fresh lime and tortillas.

Chocolate Vegan Cake

To finish of the meal we opted for a taster of their Chocolate Vegan Cake ($12 for regular sized portion) which was the perfect finish to a fab meal. I am looking forward to trying out brunch next time around with a group of my friends.

Review by: Richard Wolak


5052 Victoria Drive, Vancouver

Tel: 604.568.9508


Twitter: @chowatCHAU

Advice: Go light on the tableside satay sauce if you are not a fan of spice.

Coconut Shake

Night Market Stroll

Rickety Rickshaw Ride

Located off the beaten track, yet in the middle of the city is an oasis of veggie delight and dishes full of wonderful flavours. I was so happy to finally visit Chau, it took me 8 months to visit for the first time and then a few days to visit again. There is a large communal table which is perfect when dining solo or with a friend. On the first visit I had the delicious Night Market Stroll ($7) Papaya salad, shredded apple, carrots, herbs, peanuts, tofu, with a lemongrass citrus dressing along with a Coconut Shake($4) Fresh coconut, coconut water and crème and on the next visit I had the outstanding Rickety Rickshaw Ride ($8.25)  Mungbean spring rolls, shredded bean curd, peanuts, crispy shallots, pickled vegetables, greens, herbs and rice vermicelli.which is my friend Alejandro’s favourite dish so we both had the same dish on this visit.

The dishes are creative, inventive and all veggie, served in big bowls with condiments such as their spicy home-made satay sauce which you can add at your discretion. You will also find beer, wine and some desserts to put the finishing touch on your meal.

Review By: Richard Wolak


6011 Hastings Street, Burnaby

Tel: 604-299-8002


Twitter: @cottoenoteca

Advice: Make reservations for large parties, sit at the communal table or the bar if dining solo.

Pizza Oven

My love for Italian food took me East last week to dine at the newly opened North Burnaby restaurant that has Chef Alex Tung at the helm. Upon visiting I discovered more than just Italian food, there is a beautiful communal table, and a spectacular bar made of Italian white marble, very cool light fixtures and the star wood burning pizza oven. They are also featuring the FreshTap revolutionary system for Wine on Tap as well as Beer on Tap, and Q Water that uses a high tech water filtration system which is eco-friendly and sustainable.

Cotto Fior di Latte

Pizza Polpetti (left) & Pizza Funghi (right)

My friend Jason Sanders joined me to be my sharing partner in crime, we started off with the Cotto Fior di Latte ($8) roasted mushrooms, crema di balsamico followed by a pizza with halfers of the Pizza Polpetti ($15 for regular) crushed Cotto meatballs, ricotta cheese, Grana Padano, spinach, San Marzano tomato sauce, basil; and the Pizza Funghi ($15) for regular)  roasted mushrooms, goat cheese, fonduta, caramelized onions, chives.

Bucatini Pomodoro

Gnocchi Patata

We then had the Bucatini Pomodoro ($11) fresh mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, basil, San Marzano tomato sauce; followed by the delicious speciality of the house, Gnocchi Patata ($12) fried potato gnocchi, Sloping Hill pancetta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, arugula, herb oil.

Salted Caramel Budino

For dessert we each had the Salted Caramel Budino ($8) Butterscotch pudding, Maldon sea salt, rosemary biscotti which was outstanding and worthy of us each indulging in our dish of this yummy goodness! We also had a taste of their house made Limoncello which is a beverage you must indulge in with your dessert. With Executive Chef Alex Tung at the helm you will always know this is where you are going to want to dine!

Review By: Richard Wolak


1 Athletes Way, Vancouver

Tel: 604-685-2223


Twitter: @tapandbarrel

Advice: Sit on the upstairs patio on a sunny day or sit in the upstairs library or at the long bar downstairs.

The Library

From the minute I walked up to the door I knew this was going to be a very cool and unique restaurant. First of all the location has one of the best views of the city along with two large outdoor patios, one on the main floor and the other upstairs. Inside the bar on the main floor is a stunning centrepiece that features an extensive selection of beer and wine on tap. They even have a lending library full of books which works on an honour system, come by and find a book you like and read while you are eating or drinking or take the book home.

Upstairs Bar

There are over 23 beers on tap along with an extensive selection of beer by the bottle, there is also well over 15 selections of wine on tap as well as an extensive wine list. You can even bring in your own wine bottle and pay the corkage for the privilege.

Coffee Glazed Dry Ribs

Sticky Yam Fries

Local Wild Mushrooms Hand Tossed Pie

Beer Bratwurst

I enjoyed some of the food offerings on my visit starting with the Coffee Glazed Dry Ribs ($8) along with the outstanding Sticky Yam Fries ($8) with burnt marshmallow fluff, this is one dish that is best shareable even though its one you are going to want to devour on your own. Next was the Local Wild Mushrooms Hand Tossed Pie ($15) which is basically a really good flatbread topped with wilted arugula, mushrooms and truffle cheese; and the last dish being the Beer Bratwurst ($18) Two Rivers brats, scallion mash, sauerkraut, and grainy mustard sauce.

There are so many dishes on the menu that I want to try such as the Spiced Rubbed Roasted Chicken scallion mash, market vegetables, ale reduction; PB & J Burger as well as the Stout Milkshake, must get back there soon!

Review By: Richard Wolak


122 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC

Tel: 604-731-3474


Twitter: @catch122

Advice: Reservations suggested at lunch time.

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Love the spacious room with its exposed bricks walls and open kitchen, it is a fairly large room with a take away home meal section up front, and lots of seats for dining. I have visited on a couple occasions, having been in for an Espresso Macchiato on the first visit and then lunching with a friend on the 2nd visit, where I had the delicious Pulled Pork Sandwich ($12) with salad.

There is a vast selection of French inspired as well as Comfort food dishes on each of the menus. The pricing on the dinner menu seemed a bit high for the neighborhood, though the room is very cool and it’s a place you are going to want to visit. I am intrigued to visit for weekend brunch as the menu selection looks divine!

Review By: Richard Wolak


1938 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Tel: 604-255-5537


Twitter: @PradoCafe1938

Advice: Featuring 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters, Open daily, free wifi.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich

Iced Coffee

I have always loved the simple white walled room that isn’t adorned with pictures and nicknaks that clutter walls. Over the years since I have been frequenting this café things have only improved, you will now find a very cool wooden communal table to add to the seating mix. This café has always been a great spot for me to write whether on a laptop or a notebook sipping on an espresso macchiato. Yesterday I had the Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich ($3.90) – a home-made gluten-free flourless peanut butter cookie that is filled with local Birchwood Dairy vanilla ice cream which was delicious. I decided to switch up my usual espresso beverage for something cold and refreshing and went with an Iced Coffee ($1.80) which is now served in a very cool mason jar.

On the food side of things you are going to find eats that are a bit out of the ordinary of what every other café seems to be featuring, here there are home-made Calzones, and Ice Cream Sandwiches; along with Coffee Floats and Root Beer Floats enhancing the beverage side of the menu offerings. You will also find passionate and friendly baristas lead by Sammy Picollo who is not only the owner but an international award-winning barista who is continuously recognized as one of the top baristas in the world. This is a must visit spot on the drive for all coffee lovers!

Review By: Richard Wolak



111 West Hastings, Vancouver

Tel: 604-689-9896


Twitter: @W2MediaCafe

Advice: the café is located on the main level off of the Hastings Street entrance to the right.

Royal Chicken Wrap with coconut vegi korma

This is where creativity begins, the café is a hideaway worth your discovery, here you will find a creative team of chefs lead by Chef Karen McAthy who create delicious healthy food. I have eaten here on several occasions as well as have held a couple of my events here this past year including Tasting Plates and Food Talks Vol. 1. On this visit I was in for lunch and had the special of the day, Royal Chicken Wrap with coconut vegi korma which was delicious and healthy too. On a previous visits I had their Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie, and other baked goods.

W2 Media Cafe is an artist-run, globally networked media arts lab, Incubator, community meeting space and social enterprise cafe serving artists and residents of the Downtown Eastside and Vancouver. Serving healthy, high quality food and drink and employing DTES residents, you will find a full espresso bar featuring Salt Spring Coffee, home-made baked goods, sandwiches, wraps and soups along with other daily creations.

Review By: Richard Wolak



1121 Alberni Street  Vancouver

Tel: 604-609-0600


Twitter: n/a

Advice: Go with a friend or two and share some plates.


The restaurant is hidden off of Alberni Street and upstairs and it is situated next to the Shangri-La Hotel. Once inside the restaurant is large and spacious, featuring an elegant dining room, a spectacular hidden patio outside and an upper area of seating with the sushi bar. I had dinner here last week for the very first time and enjoyed the wonderful service and fine Japanese cuisine, my friend and I were served an Amuse to begin along with some hot towels.

Seaweed Salad

Organic Baby Greens Salad

Ki Spider Roll & Ki Beef Maki

We then shared a couple of salads including the refreshing Seaweed Salad ($9) with a sesame-ponzu dressing along with the Organic Baby Greens Salad ($6) with Ki ginger-apple dressing; this followed by a sushi platter featuring these delicious sushi rolls, the Ki Spider Roll ($15) soft shell crab, mango, perilla leaves, chives and the Ki Beef Maki ($15) teriyaki-glazed Canadian AAA striploin, scallions, sesame seeds, sweet potato tempura + asparagus.

Atlantic Salmon Kushi

Tofu & Eggplant

Next was the kushiyaki (skewers) and we shared the flavourful Atlantic Salmon Kushi ($16) and the subtle and delicious Tofu & Eggplant ($10) glazed with Aka-miso.

Black Cod

Jumbo Shrimp

Sweet Potato Wedges

This followed by a couple of Hot Plates, the melt in my mouth Black Cod ($19) saikyo-marinated + broiled with rapini, salmon roe + orange reduction and the tangy Jumbo Shrimp ($16) wok-tossed + tomato rayu-chili sauce along with one side of Sweet Potato Wedges ($8) with wasabi mayo.

Almond Asian Pear Cake

Lemongrass Chamomile infused Creme Brûlée


For dessert we shared the beautifully plated and delicious Almond Asian Pear Cake ($10) along with the Lemongrass Chamomile infused Creme Brûlée ($9) along with a glass of Nakano Shuzo Ume ($6). To finish the meal we were served a complimentary box of home made chocolates. The restaurant features one of the most comprehensive Sake lists in the city that I know of, where you will find Sake from Japan as well as locally brewed.

Review by: Richard Wolak


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