Jack and La Verne are known to be pros when it comes to sampling Vancouver’s finest fare, so Shane and I were pretty excited when the four of us finally got a date on the calendar to trek up north together. We buckled ourselves into the Chens’ trusty Prius on Saturday morning, made a quick stop at Honore in Ballard for croissants and coffee, and we were Canada-bound!

The next 36 hours were a blur of eating and drinking and eating and…more eating. My word, if I had a nickel for every time I rubbed my belly this weekend and moaned about how full I was, I’d have enough money to buy that bottle of Johnny Walker Blue that Shane was eyeing at the duty-free shop!  We kicked things off with dim sum in Richmond, plowing our way through a table laden with shrimp dumplings and tofu rolls and little football-shaped fried pockets of meat. It was culinary gluttony at its finest.

We left Richmond with stuffed-full bellies, determined to do something active and build those appetites back up for our dinner resos at 6.  The sun was shining and we were feeling adventurous, so we settled on a bike ride around Stanley Park – tandem-style!  Shane and I had never braved a two-person bike before, and I was wary of our communication skills being pushed to the limit, but we fell into sync pretty easily and made our way around the park with only minor wobbles.

Next stop: dinner at La Quercia.  Ham, fish, pasta, wine, oooooh la la.  It was a meal, made perfect by the company of good friends.  We capped the day off with carefully crafted cocktails at Pourhouse – if only I had a picture of Shane’s gigantic grin as that first Old Fashioned was placed in front of him, and Jack’s furrowed eyebrows as he pondered whether or not his drink had been made with the appropriate proportion of Fernet.  Oh, those boys and their liquor…

We were up impressively early on Sunday (especially considering the gluttony that took place the night before) and started our day with a jog along the waterfront as penance for Saturday’s carb-fest.  Post-run, we grabbed coffee in Yaletown, checked out the neighborhood a bit, and found that our stomachs were sufficiently primed for another day of eating ourselves silly.  First on the list: soup dumplings at Long’s Noodle House.  These delicate, juicy little pockets of meat and broth kind of blew my mind – so, so, so good.

We spent the afternoon hitting the shops on Robson (Zara!), and though none of us were particularly hungry, we couldn’t leave without a stop at Motomachi for ramen.  Hot damn, those noodles make me happy.

We had all heard good things about the Van Dusen botanical gardens and decided to hit them up on our way out of town.  The swoopy new visitor’s center is striking and the were gardens full of the last bits of summer color. We spent a couple of hours wandering down the meandering paths, checking out the luxury car show on the central lawn (yeah, random…), and “racing” through the shrubbed maze.

Our final destination on Canadian soil was the Richmond night market – music and lights and stall upon stall of Asian street food.  The Chinese hamburger and the fried octopus were good, but the Taiwanese shaved ice was the definite winner and the perfect way to end a flavor-filled couple of days.  Milky ice, mochi, jellies, red beans, and a scoop of ice cream – totally worth standing in the evening rain!

And with that, it was time to bid farewell to Canada and point the car toward Seattle.  We crossed that border full, happy, and a little more in love with our neighbor to the north.


  1. Jak says:

    Great pics Kelly!

  2. la v says:

    i’m still full!