Exploring New Spots in Vancouver in the Honda Passport SUV

I recently spent a week test driving the Honda Passport 2024 car around Vancouver visiting some new cafes and such.

I headed over to Point Grey Village and visited Oohlala Donuts & Coffee which had already been open for more than a few months. You can’t miss this pink boutique on the corner where it’s all pink on the outside as well as the inside, colourful interior with colourful glazed donuts in the front pastry case. They make about 20 different varieties each day and often change the flavours daily.

I got a box filled with a half dozen different flavours which included the Creamsicle, London fog, Key lime, Lemon raspeberry, Maple and Nanaimo fill. My favourite flavours were the Nanaimo filled donut (aka Nanaimo Bar) and the Maple glaze and then the London fog glaze.

There have been so many new cafes and restaurants opening in Vancouver lately, I spent a few days visiting these spots driving this terrific mid-size SUV.

The SUV features a large cargo space at the rear of the car to take everything you need for road trips or for groceries when out shopping. As I was going to do some shopping before returning home, I didn’t want the boxed donuts to be out in the sun, one of the great features in this vehicle is the hidden trunk under the cargo area and this worked out perfectly to keeping the donuts out of sight and out of the sun.

One evening I visited Tutto Belle il Gelato that recently opened in the Kitsilano neighbourhood. Lawrence and I sampled several different flavours before choosing a couple different ones each.

I had the delicious Pistachio and the Cheese Fig; and Lawrence had the Mango and the Pineapple Coconut.

The next day I visited Honest to Pete coffee roasters in the False Creek neighbourhood which isn’t as new as it is unique and probably one of the smallest cafes in the city, there isn’t any inside seating but you can have a coffee while you stand around and chat with the owner which is what I did. The coffee here is very good, I had a Nitro Cold Brew and it was made with their house-roasted blend of Mexican, Brazillian and Ethiopian coffee beans.

The next night I visited Tozen Sushi Bar that had opened a couple of months ago in the Fairview neighbourhood that specializes in Japanese cuisine and sushi.

Our city prides itself on having some of the best Sushi around and with so many restaurants that specialize in Sushi, to stand out requires thought, a creative menu, delicious food and great service. I recently had a solo dinner at this beautiful new restaurant.

As I was solo I only tried a few items, but the Sesame Lettuce Salad had a tasty sesame dressing and great crunch; the Tuna Bomb ‘signature roll’ was not a roll, it was crispy rice, with a spicy tuna and black tobiko in a little bowl that is meant to be interactive, it was and it was delicious; they also served me a complimentary bowl of Miso Soup; and the service here was spot on.

The vehicle that I was driving was the Passport Black Edition which featured the top trim level, and a fancier interior. Plus, all Passports get an updated center console with more space for storage. I also loved the new diffused sky blue colour of the vehicle, very snazzy.

The next day I visited another new café, Estratto Coffee, this one was located in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood and it was also very small with only a few seats, but the coffee was superb, I had a Flat White.

Over in Kitsilano another recent newcomer to the area is Virtue Natural Bakery which is named after owner Lisa Virtue, she had been on the scene for years already baking breads and baked goods out of a commissary for the farmers markets before opening this bakery location. Here it is all about gluten-free baking and she has customers coming in droves for her baked goodies and breads.

The next day I met up with a friend at Paul Bakery on Robson and although this spot had been around for several years already it was my first visit. Everything in the case looked great including all the sandwiches, as it was lunch and not dessert, I opted for the Tuna Sandwich which was delicious.

By: Richard Wolak

Disclosure: Honda Canada provided me with the 2024 Honda Passport to test drive, and photograph. As always, all opinions and photos are my own.