Wednesday, May 30, 2018

36 hours in Vancouver - what I did and how I did it

Turns out 36 hours wasn't very long...but is long enough if you jam that 36 hours with as much good food, coffee and craft beer that this city has to offer. And that's lots as it turns out.

First thing. Hotels are hideously expensive. I stayed at the Opus in Yaletown which was okay value all things considered - easy access from the airport meant a quick train trip and a walk across the road from the subway station.

For a late night snack close to the hotel I'd recommend Homer St Cafe and Bar (898 Homer Street). Great cocktails and bloody good pate. The end.

For perfect Sunday vibes, head out to Granville Island via Vancouver's cute little ferry system. Great perspective of the city and harbour all in one. Granville Island is a paradise of fresh produce, coffee and the BEST BAGELS*. Also really lovely shops and laneways to walk around.

Vancouver is a great walking city, so from Granville Island it's a nice walk downtown to the Vancouver Art Gallery. I was lucky to catch the end of an exhibition by that Japanese artist whose name starts with 'T' *checks Instagram... Takashi Murakami* who I always forget (coincidently the second time I've seen a massive exhibition of his work by accident, the first being in Tokyo). Anyway his work is definitely worth seeing even if you can't remember who he is. Otherwise, just follow him on Instagram.

From the gallery it is a short walk to Gastown, home of hipsters and lots of brunch venues. For a smaller city, Vancouver has an edgy vibe and in with all the cafes and craft breweries are parks filled with homeless people and streets which you might think twice to walk down late at night...or as it turns out in the middle of the day time. China has desensitised me of many things, but one thing I'm not used to so much these days is seeing drug deals out in the open, individuals struggling with mental health issues and a large volume of people out on the streets. 

So at the edge of Gastown, near a big open park is a bunch of semi industrual streets and it is here you'll find a sweet brewery at the back of Vancouver Urban Winery called Postmark Brewing. It's a great starting point for the Vancouver Hop Circuit, where you can guide yourself through a whole bunch of craft brews. Start there and pick up the Hop Circuit map.

A walk back to Gastown brings you to a street of great little restaurants, but what to get at that awkward time of day where you have missed lunch and it's too early for dinner? Tacos! Tacofino at East Hastings Street has a great deck, good margaritas and solid (excellent) fish tacos.

And what about dinner? There are so many options in Vancouver, it's a foodies paradise. I ended up choosing Campagnolo due to its proximity (about a 20 minute walk from my which I wouldn't / didn't necessarily repeat on the dark walk home). It's a great restaurant but I think past its heyday. It was empty, it was late on a Sunday night so maybe just the timing... but the pizza was great, the negroni excellent and the wine list interesting.

So that was Vancouver. Those who have been to this fine city are possibly horrified at all the amazing bits I missed, but what's a gal to do? If your holiday is a road trip, you can't dilly dally in the big stop Vancouver Island!

*From the perspective of someone currently living in China.

No comments:

Post a Comment