22
Mar

Destination Diary Vancouver

Posted By Trav

After spending over 3 weeks in Vancouver, Heather and Trav are well versed in the best things to do in this beautiful city.  Discover how many breweries Trav went to in 21 days (hint:  it’s a lot!), Heather’s favorite pizza and coffee spots, and the activity that they both say you “can’t miss” when visiting Van.

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What are your favorite spots in Vancouver? Let us know @PackofPeanuts!

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In This Episode

Places to Eat:

  • Go Fish – The best fish and chips in the world, according to one expert (Heather).  Go, and you’ll see why.
  • The Fish Counter – A close second, the Fish Counter on Main Street is also an amazing choice with lots of different seafood options.
  • Carp – Awesome poke and sushi place tucked in to a small shop in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood.
  • Pacific Poke – A decent poke shop located right downtown
  • Railtown Cafe – Big, delicious sandwiches on Main Street.
  • Via Tevere – Some of Heather’s favorite pizza ever.
  • Sal y Limon – A quick, fast, fairly cheap, and casual taco spot with lots of good choices.
  • Tacofino – The Vancouver outpost of the this crazy popular taco truck originally started in Tofino.
  • The Flying Pig – And upscale dining option in Gastown for Italian fare.
  • Fable Dinner – Incredible brunches make the inevitable hour long wait on weekends worth it.
  • Cartem’s Donuts – Conveniently located on Main Street, this donut place is has an ever rotating selection of eclectic flavor choices, including Heather’s favorite, earl grey.

Ice Cream:

  • Rain or Shine – My favorite ice cream in Vancouver.  Big portions, nice people, and fantastic flavors.  What more could an ice cream lover want?
  • Rooster Ice Cream – A small, new place that not only has good ice cream, but makes a mean ice cream cookie sandwich!
  • Earnest – With 4 locations in Vancouver, Earnest gets recognized by many as Vancouver’s best ice cream.  While I personally think Rain or Shine narrowly edges it out, you can’t go wrong by trying it out for yourself!
  • La Casa Gelato – Quantity over quality, this gelato shop has the most flavors of anywhere in the world – 238 at any given time! The spectacle itself is worth going for, even if the gelato is just average.
  • Bella Gelateria – You know a gelato place is good when it’s won international award from real, Italian judges in Florence!
  • Tangram Creamery – Jeremy Enn’s (founder of Rain City Scoop) swears the vanilla ice cream in a chocolate chip cone here will change your life…and I’m not one to argue!

Breweries:

Main Street Area

  • 33 Acres – The best brewery in Vancouver, this place ticks all the boxes – great beer, friendly staff, and a beautiful interior.  Go early, because it gets packed (for good reason).
  • Brassneck – After hitting 33 Acres and then Cartem’s Donuts, wander over to his fantastic brewery.  Our second favorite brewery in the Main Street area, it shouldn’t be missed.
  • Faculty – A small brewery with only 4-5 beers on tap, it’s worth the visit, especially if you’re biking by on the Ontario Street bike path.
  • R&B Brewing – The atmosphere here is like being in your friend’s basement (in a good way) and the pizza is pretty decent too.  Unfortunately, the beer left a bit to be desired.
  • Main Street Brewing – Nothing fancy or exciting here, but hey, it’s another brewery to stop at if you’re trying to hit them all!

“Yeast Van” Area

  • Strangefellows – Unique beer selection, good bar snacks, and a cool vibe make this one of Vancouver’s top breweries.
  • Luppolo – A relative newcomer, their hazy IPA was my favorite of the entire trip.
  • Callister – With 3 rotating guest breweries plus Callister itself all brewing under the same roof, coming here means you can try 4 completely different breweries all at once, which is a great concept.
  • Storm – Vancouver’s oldest, and certainly most unique, craft brewery, Storm is a must visit for the “ambience” alone.  Enter the no frill “tasting room” through the loading door and be treated to some of the most eclectic beers you’ll ever find.

Other Breweries

  • Steamworks – This huge brewery and sports bar is found right on the water in Gastown.  With good food and good beer, this is what ever large brewpub should strive for.
  • Coast Mountain – Found up north in Whistler, this tiny tasting room is exactly what you’d expect in a ski town – crowded, lively, and fun with fantastic beer to boot!  A personal favorite.
  • Superflux Beer Company – A gypsy brewery with no tasting room, if you can find their cans at the craft bottle shops in Vancouver, buy them.  This brewery is setting the standard for hazy IPA’s in Vancouver…and beyond.

Coffee:

  • Matchstick – Heather’s favorite coffee in Vancouver, this quaint coffeeshop tucked away in Mount Pleasant is a must for coffee aficianados.
  • 49th Parallel – This big, comfy cafe with good coffee is a great place to come, hang out, and relax (especially if you snag one of their overstuffed leather chairs)!
  • Revolver – Want good coffee in Gastown?  This is your spot!
  • Prado – If you find yourself in the Commercial Drive area, this is the place to head for great coffee!

Accommodations:

  • One of the best parts of Vancouver is the neighborhoods, which is why we recommend finding a fun AirBnB in any of the following neighborhoods if you’re staying for more than 2 days (click here to create an AirBnB account and get $40 credit)
    • Mount Pleasant
    • Kitsilano
    • West End
  • HI Hostel Central – A decent choice if you’re really on a budget.  But if you can afford it, we recommend you head elsewhere.

Activities:

  • Bike the Stanley Park Seawall – An absolute must.
  • English Bay Beach – Located in Stanley Park, this is one of the more lively beaches in Vancouver and great place to spend the afternoon.
  • Granville Island – Fantastic views of the city and great indoor markets.
  • Drive to Whistler – Rent a car, get out of Vancouver, and take the beautiful drive up through Squamish to Whistler.
  • Dude Chilling Park – Is it the best park in the world?  No way.  But does it have the best name?  You bet.
  • Wreck Beach – Head here if you’ve got a hankering for a bit of adventure. 300+ stairs down to the beach keep it pretty isolated, which is a good thing, because once you get down, you’ll realize it’s clothing optional (but discouraged).
  • Jericho Beach – One of Vancouver’s best beaches, especially for sunsets.
  • Sea to Sky Gondola – At $40 CAD, it’s a bit pricey, but if you’re driving to Whistler, it’s worth it if you like gondolas, suspension bridges, and want to hike around for a few hours.
  • Capilano Suspension Bridge – Like Sea to Sky, at $42 CAD it’s a bit pricier than it should be, but it’s also every little kid’s dream.  Walk along a huge suspension bridge and then a bunch of smaller ones that take you through the treetops.
  • Shopping on Main Street – Lots of neat shops to poke your head in between eating and drinking along this great stretch of the city.

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