I was quite excited for this tour. Living in Vancouver City, or any city, can have it’s ups and downs. You can start to take for granted living in a city. And maybe, like me, always long for somewhere else. Vancouver Food Tours made me fall in love with this city and what it has to offer, all over again. Most of the credit has to go to my guide Christina. Of course, the food and drinks were something I was dreaming about for days after, but the knowledge and passion Christina had for Vancouver, was nothing short of beautiful.
Meeting the smiling and lovely Christina at The Waterfront Station was enough to get me excited. She was engaging, honest and genuinely excited herself for the tour she was about to take us on. Seriously I loved her! Our tour was focused on the top eateries in Vancouver’s historical Gastown. Declared a National Historical Site in 2009, Gastown is known for its shopping, restaurants, bars, and nightlife.
Our First stop was Salt. Salt is located down a small alleyway called Blood Alley. Blood Alley has a long history, which I won’t go into to much detail here, this all about the food! I honestly, would never have thought to just walk down Blood Alley in search of good restaurants or bars. I was surprised to see that there were a few bars and restaurants down this hidden alley, and they were busy! When we stepped through Salt’s doors, they already had our table set up and our 3 wine pairings poured and waiting for us. Our wines were paired with brie cheese, honey, corn beef and salami, all locally sourced from around the Vancouver region. The customer service throughout the day at each restaurant was great, but Salt definitely kicked butt in this department, with the staff being super friendly and always asking how we were doing.
When our second stop had us walking through the doors of Calabash. I felt like I was back in the Caribbean, and I had just stumbled upon a great little restaurant. The food at Calabash was my favourite for the the day, and the cocktail we got to enjoy was amazing! Vegetable, beef and chicken empanadas were served along side the most perfectly cooked jerk chicken skewers. I must admit that cocktail, perfectly named The Dark and Stormy, was more-ish! I think I could have easily gone 1, or 2 or, maybe 3 more! That just might of been a little dangerous.
After the wine and cocktails, we needed a place to change our palette, and what better place than a good old Irish Pub! The Irish Heather was a small bar/restaurant, and it was very Irish, right down to the staff! The menu consists of authentic Irish pub food, beer and a whole lot of whisky! We each got a tasting plate of Irish bites. My favourite was the toast. Yep, toast! Extremely unassuming in the looks department, then you take a bite! Yum! How did white toast, layered with honey and melted cheese, with a little bit of seasoning on top, get so good! And why have I never tried this before! I kid you not, I have actually incorporated this into my diet. With our Irish tasting plate, we all got to enjoy 3 different beer tastings and a cider. As much as I love my wine and cocktails, I am definitely true blue Australian at heart, and love few things more than a good cold beer!
With the tour coming to an end it was time for our last stop, and that means dessert! Winding down in Bambudda with some fine dining Asian Cuisine. We finished of our savoury eats for the evening with fried tofu and dumplings. I’m already a lover of tofu so I couldn’t get enough it. If you’re not a tofu lover, be brave and try it! It is seriously delicious, crispy, and the flavours put into the sauce hides any of that ‘boring’ taste. Washing that down with warm kombucha sake was perfect! Ok, finally dessert! I love asian inspired desserts! Light and fluffy donuts with green tea and taro sauces, was a nice touch to the end of all our meals. It was simple and not so heavy that it sat in my stomach.
With the tour completed and the food consumed, Christina walked us out of Bambudda and made sure we all knew our surroundings. She made sure we got back to where we needed to be safely. Vancouver Food Tour was the best way to see the city of Vancouver in such a short time. It made me appreciate what a great city I live in, and I know that everyone who passes through this diverse city is sure to fall in love.
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Tour I ate and drank my way through: Gastown Tasting Tour
Note: Thank you to Vancouver Food Tours for providing me with this tour! All opinions of my experience are written honestly, and as always, are entirely my own!