Above image courtesy of Magnus Larsson
No list of any sort is ever 100% complete or infallible: Lettermen has a new top ten every night, Billboard practically changes weekly, and Nobel has a new list of winners every year. Likewise, since my “Last 2 Days in Vancouver”, I’ve come to realize more places I would miss dearly if I were to leave Vancouver and never return. So, I’m adding to the list. Here are more places I would visit – places that are distinctly Vancouver – if I only had 2 days left to enjoy this city.
Lively restaurant by the beach. Check. Delicious house-made pasta and pizza bread. Check. Distinctly Vancouver-inspired appetizer. Check. As a treat, my wife and I come to this Italian restaurant for their Vegetable Antipasto (it’s got quinoa, barley, kale and beets – very Vancouver indeed), the Casarecce, and their housemade sausage (lunch only). Great food, great atmosphere, and great for kids too (the lunch time crowd on weekends are predominantly families with kids). I never walk away disappointed – however, they do not take reservations, so be prepared to wait during peak times.
Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle
So what do you do when you win the Taipei International Beef Noodle Festival in 2007, 2008, and 2010? You open 8 restaurants around the world – and make sure 3 of them are in the Greater Vancouver region (Richmond, UBC, and West Vancouver). We discovered this place when there was only 1 restaurant in Vancouver (the Richmond location) and it is easily my favourite noodle place. I bring my father-in-law whenever he’s in town, and even he loves it (and old Chinese men are often the biggest critics). A bonus of going to the Richmond location is that it’s located in Aberdeen centre, where I walk around afterwards to get my Chinese on. By the way, I’m Chinese.
Robson Summer Dance Series (Friday nights)
In a previous life, I ballroom danced – and by that I mean I took lessons, trained religiously, entered dance competitions, won competitions, dated my dance partner, and completely neglected my academic responsibilities during my university education. Robson Summer Dance series is an event where – for an evening – I can at least reminisce about my previous experiences and mistakes. It’s a free event and includes a free dance lesson and 2 dance demos along with a few hours of general dancing in the heart of downtown Vancouver. It’s an event for everyone – not just washed up ballroom dancers like myself – and I don’t think there’s a better thing to do for free with a crowd of people on a Friday night. The Summer Dance series is put on by Dancesport BC and runs during July and August.
Richmond Night Market
There are 2 summer night markets in Richmond, and the one to go to is the original Richmond Night Market located by River Rock Casino. Running on weekends starting mid-May to mid-October, I go for the atmosphere – and by that I mean pushing through scores of people lining up in every which direction for crappy dim sum – and to see the various types of food being served – like the Rotato and the ice dessert shaped like a phallus accompanied with whipped cream (I’m not kidding). Okay, so it’s not that cheap and the food isn’t that great, but I go once or twice a season, and I love the novelty. Oh yeah, and they’ve got a great selection of socks from Korea and China there too.
FUSE (Vancouver Art Gallery)
Normally, I don’t go to art events because I can’t stand the people who go (i.e. the hood rats dressed up in Michael Kors or the wealthy who like to use words like banal to describe art), but I make an exception for FUSE. Every 2 or 3 months, the Vancouver Art Gallery holds an adults only evening – an evening filled with performance art, jazz, wine, and music. I like dressing up, looking at art, and having a drink in the café while listening to jazz. There is something for everyone, and if you can’t find anything you like, just do as I do and starting hating on the hood rats and the wealthy.
The Grouse Grind
Whenever hiking is mentioned in Vancouver, the Grouse Grind almost always comes up. It is not a particularly scenic hike where hikers get to see breathtaking views of snow capped mountains. It is not a particularly adventurous hike where survivalists walk for miles into the back country to rough it, far away from fast food joints, cell phone service, and hipsters. It is a hike that is all about business; it is, as many describe it, Mother Nature’s Stair climber – and I love it. Hike the Grind, see the view of Vancouver from above (when it’s not raining), and feel good about yourself.
Read my related post – 6 Tips To Dominate the Grouse Grind
As always, there are some more things I would do, but that may have to wait for another blog post (One more last 2 days in Vancouver perhaps?). What would you do in your last 2 days in Vancouver? In your hometown? I’d love to know.
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