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hungrySLIF Exploring Food Guy

Travel cravings

Exploring cities as a local

Best travel experiences

Having coffee outside an independent coffee shop, in an area devoid of tourists, and watching the locals do their thing. This trick works in any city. Don't be afraid to chat up the table beside you. It's expected behaviour.

    • Morning
      • Granville Street Bridge

      • Put on your comfiest (and most stylin') walking shoes and head south over the Granville Street Bridge to watch the sunrise kiss the North Shore Mountains. Put a little spring in your step - believe me - you'll be replacing all those lost calories soon enough.
      • Beaucoup Bakery

      • Now that you've worked up an appetite - warm up with some coffee and decadent pastries at Beaucoup Bakery. Get there early (it's just past sunrise after all!) to get first dibs on the goodies and one of the few window seats.
      • South Granville

      • Stroll around the South Granville strip and lazily check out the shops and art galleries.
      • Go Fish

      • Head underneath the bridge towards Granville Island, and take a left turn to get in line at Go Fish (and believe me - there WILL be a line - and it's sooo worth the wait!).

        Get a salmon tacone, a soup (if it's chilly out), and whatever their daily sandwich special is. Don't skip the slaw - it is the best thing ever. Take a seat and chat up your neighbours!

        If you want a more private eating experience, take your food back up the trail and take a seat by one of the ponds. If you're there during Spring, you may luck out and see Momma Duck and her entourage of fuzzy ducklings swimming around.
    • Afternoon
      • Granville Island

      • Now that your appetite's all satiated, head towards Granville Island. If the little ones are with you (and even if they're not!) - check out the Kid's Market and the duck pond behind it. Head towards Railspur Alley to visit the artisans, metalsmiths and of course, Vancouver's only sake maker (tastings are available!).

        Warmed up by the sake - head towards the house boat docks. Walk around the docks, or take a well-deserved siesta on the grassy hillside with a gorgeous view of the city.

        If it's a bit too chilly or wet - duck into the Net Loft and peruse through all the local shops therein. I'm quite partial to Paper-ya's huge selection of Japanese paper products and Blackberry Books always has suggestions for adding to your library. Done?

        Steel yourself and head to the famed Public Market. If you think you're not hungry anymore - think again. Jerome and the crew at Oyama Sausage will stock you up with cheeses, sausages and coldcuts galore. Prefer something warm? Siegel's Bagels has a ludicrously good smoked meat sandwich, which you can pair with any of Stock Market's daily soup selections. Get a cake (or two... or three...) from Stuart's to finish it off.

        Thinking of dinner? Grab some antipasti, fresh pasta and other vittles from Duso's, and of course, a bottle of wine from Liberty Wine Merchant (even if you already picked up some sake!).

        If you dare, enter the food court area and check out Benton Brothers' cheese selection - keeping in mind, you'll need some bread for that - which is where Terra Breads comes in.
      • Yaletown (Area)

      • All stocked up? Good.

        Jump aboard an Aquabus and take a roundtrip water tour. It takes 20 minutes and it will be a nice and relaxing ride to calm your sensory overload from the market. Keep your eyes peeled - Vancouver's city waters are home to otters, seals, countless seabirds - and maybe, just maybe, the odd whale or dolphin.

        Ask the helm to drop you off at Yaletown (might be an extra charge). Now you have 2 choices. You can walk the length of the seawall and end with a picnic at David Lam Park (you have picnic provisions right?). Or you can enjoy the boutique shops around Yaletown - our old warehouse district, turned into glam and glamour.
      • Ganache Patisserie

      • Even if you got some cakes from Stuart's - get a Chocolat-Caramel from Ganache. I recommend eating it there - it will be at the proper temperature for maximum enjoyment. Savour each bite - Pastry Chef Peter Tong puts a little surprise into every inch of his creations.
      • Yaletown - Roundhouse SkyTrain Station

      • Jump onboard the Canada Line and drop off all your goodies at the your hotel. Let's get ready for the evening!

        If you're here during June/July and have the benefit of a sunny day - be warned - the sun doesn't disappear until close to 10PM. Vancouverites take advantage of every last second of sunshine - and so should you!
      • Gastown

      • Head towards Gastown - Vancouver's historical district complete with cobblestone streets and heritage buildings galore. Looking for souvenirs or First Nations art? This is the place to find it. Cordova Street probably has the highest concentration of souvenir shops in town.
    • Evening
      • Boneta Restaurant

      • Move onto the bar at Boneta for cocktails and appies. It's a gorgeous room. The kitchen crew is top notch so you would be remiss not to grab a few things off the menu!
      • Secret Location

      • Got your buzz on? Good. Now cross the street and head to Secret Location for some coffee and share a dessert... or two... or three. This half-curio, half-cafe, all-awesome shop is one of the newer spots in Gastown. They specialize in highly intricate and delightful desserts to please any palatte.
    • Night
      • Vancouver Convention Centre West

      • Take an evening stroll towards the beautiful Convention Centres and admire the evening lights of the North Shore. Stroll around the seawall and make sure you don't miss the Olympic Torch cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza from the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic games.
      • Bella Gelateria Handcrafted Gelato & Coffee Shop

      • Finish your evening by visiting Maestro James at Bella Gelateria - quite possibly the best gelato shop in North America (and he's got the award from Italy to back it up!) Some flavours to try: Thai coconut milk, Earl Grey, any wine or beer flavours he may have and black sesame. If you ask nicely, he might even have banana bread or tiramisu squirelled away.
      • I would stay at: The Fairmont Pacific Rim

      • A gorgeous new hotel located right by the water, and in front of the 2010 Olympic cauldron. The rooms are opulent, with views to match - and the lobby lounge is absolutely packed and a killer place to hang out on any evening.

    Love this Perfect Day? Got suggestions? Leave a comment!