Look Westward, Locavore: An Edible Guide to Vancouver

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Le Marché St. George
4393 St. George, at the corner of East 28th
This is one of the most eclectic spots in Vancouver. It is tucked away in a quaint neighborhood far enough from the city center that upon walking through the door, you automatically feel a little more calm and at ease; time actually slows down for me while I’m there. It is part French café, part corner store (sample the British Columbia cheeses) and a beautiful space to convene with friends and connect with the community.
Britney Gill

The Liberty Distillery
1494 Old Bridge Road
A two-minute walk from the Public Market, this newly opened distillery is all locapour. Its slick copper pot stills beam behind the industrial glass frames that separate the operation from the bar. In this refitted industrial space, British Columbian grains are mashed, fermented and (at least) triple-distilled in small batches to concoct Liberty’s aromatic and bright gin, white whisky and vodka.

When you go: Visit on a weekend (Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.) for a $10 tour with samples, or drop by the bar during regular hours to taste and compare flutes at the same price.

Artisan Sake Maker
1339 Railspur Alley
Yes, there is more than one local sake producer in North America, and one of them happens to be in Vancouver (to date, New York has none, although rice production is possible). Owner Masa Shiroki started by importing high-end sakes from Japan but now produces his own on Granville Island with both Japanese rice imports and organic sakamai rice that he grows on nearby marginal farmland. The difference is unmistakable.

When you go:  Sample three sake styles for five bucks at their factory, which sits adjacent to Liberty Distillery in the Railspur District.

The Keefer Bar
135 Keefer Street
For a swanky — yet still nerdy — bar lounge experience, try the Keefer. Their menu is an actual book brimming with calculated cocktails inspired by ingredients sourced from the surrounding Chinatown neighborhood. The menu changes regularly, but guests can expect housemade ingredients like black pepper bitters, Oolong tea syrup and seahorse (yes, the marine fish) tinctures. Chances are you’ll come across something new, so go curious or go home.

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie
163 Keefer Street
Bao Bei could be Andrew Tarlow’s first venture outside of Brooklyn. Sitting right up the hill from the Keefer, this Chinese brasserie also takes influence from the neighborhood with fusion dishes like the pork jowl with Pixian chili bean, plum glaze, pomelo, grapefruit, mint, cherry tomatoes, peanut, fried shallots and nước chấm dressing. They keep a robust B.C. wine selection alongside Asian inspired cocktails.

When you go: Try the chino margherita: tamarind-infused tequila with ginger, lime and egg white with a chili salt/sugar rim.

Additional recommendations: 33 Acres Brewing Company, Brassneck Brewery

Photo credit: The Liberty Distillery, Le Marché St. George 

Basics • Where to eat • Where to stay • What to do • Digging deeper

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