Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Guest post: one local’s suggestions on where to eat and drink in Vancouver for the 2024 CSEE meeting

EcologyGuest post: one local’s suggestions on where to eat and drink in Vancouver for the 2024 CSEE meeting

Note from Jeremy: This is a guest post from my friend, UBC prof and food lover Rachel Germain. I asked her to suggest some of her favorite places for CSEE meeting attendees to eat and drink, and she came through in spades. Thanks Rachel!

I added some hyperlinks and did some light editing.

Beer nerd that I am, I threw in a few brewery recommendations at the end. They’re from a friend of mine who is a professional brewer here in Calgary, and who knows the Canadian brewing industry inside-out.

Obviously, this post is just based on one person’s preferences and experiences. Commenters are welcome and encouraged to add their own suggestions! The more, the merrier.

p.s. If you know good places to eat and drink in Long Beach, CA, and want to write a guest post about them in advance of the ESA meeting in early August, drop me a line! jefox@ucalgary.ca


Ooooo. This would be entirely based on my own preferences/fav places that are top of mind. It’s a hard one since there are many.

East is East on Broadway – really cool venue, a wall of glowing salt blocks and furniture carved out of trees, love the mango lassi and gulab jamin (spelling??)

Nuba (Lebanese) on Broadway is very popular with guests

Nuttea – my fav bubble tea with real fruit and it’s vegan, they make this unique nut cream on top that is soooo good

Other vegan options I love (I’m not vegan, but my partner is; these places are amazing): Meet on Main, Chickpea, the Acorn (upscale), Folke (share plates), looovvveee Shoku vegan sushi (I don’t know how they do it but you can’t tell it’s vegan, it’s close to Kerrisdale which is a funnish neighborhood)

My personal fav restaurant is Zarak on Main Street, Afghan food with fancy creative drinks and the best ice cream I’ve ever had.

La Quercia is more upscale and amazing

Raisu has amazing sushi and if you want a bento box (it’s not the normal kind, it’s really elaborate and special) you need to call in to book one at least 24 hours ahead of time.

On campus my fav cafes are Loafe, Beans Around the World, Great Dane (right next to most of the hotels), JJ Bean; South Campus has Doughgirls Cafe which is nice for lunch and baked goods. The upscale place on campus is Wildlight, which is in the Michelin guide.

Ice cream = Rain or Shine, on campus near the hotels – however I will note we will be hosting Vancouver’s best ice cream parlour at the closing banquet.

I’m obsessed with Breka (bakery/cafe) but we are having them cater the opening reception so you’re covered for them.

Pubs on campus = Koeners pub, Brown‘s pub

Love Japadog Asian fusion hotdogs, obsessed with Tacofino (esp the nacho cheese sauce)

Beta5 chocolates = in a bit of a random location but amazzzzinnnngg chocolates and cream puffs, I’m always slightly happy when my car gets towed because the tow lot is right next to this place (Jeremy adds: wait, how often do you get towed, Rachel?)

Jam Cafe is really popular for brunch, they have cinnamon bun pancakes which are very popular, also love Au Comptoir for lunch which is french cuisine

Speaking of cinnamon buns, I love Grounds for Coffee, best cinnamon buns in the world. It’s also right next to Jo’s Italian Sandwich place, which is also excellent if you like sandwiches. Another cafe is Platform 7 on Broadway which is decorated like a train station and is across the street from Glitch (a barcade).

Things to do: Granville Island, which has an amazing farmers market but also a bunch of restaurants (it closes early though). Popina Canteen there is popular for the ice cream.

Other places to check out: Gastown (very old historic cobblestone), Yaletown, Commercial Drive (“fifth coolest street in the world” right next to a major brewery area for a pub crawl, e.g., Superflux brewery, and a famous gelato place La Casa Gelato). Main Street in general has a ton of fun stuff (big fan of cafes Coco et Olive and also Liberty Cafe). Broadway and MacDonald area (looking west) is a fun area.

There are a million amazing places downtown but it’s more out of the way so I’ll leave those out. 

I’m probably forgetting a bunch of places.

Also all of campus is lined with beaches that extend all the way downtown – each beach has a distinct vibe, my favs are Jericho and Spanish Banks but Kitsilano Beach has more of a party vibe with restaurants and bars nearby; Kitsilano Beach is also near the space centre/observatory and you can take a tiny little ferry across the harbor to Granville Island or Sunset beach.

The main way people get around is public transit – https://www.translink.ca/-/media/translink/documents/schedules-and-maps/transit-system-maps/regional-maps/2024/january-2024/v_2024-01-01.pdf – it’s a network of buses, a sky train, and even a sea bus.


Brewery recommendations:

My brewing buddy seconds Rachel’s recommendation of Superflux. If you’re going to go out of your way to go to one brewery in Vancouver, that’s the one to pick, at least if you’re into IPAs. My buddy also suggests Brassneck and Luppolo.


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