The Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf in Richmond boasts an amazing view of the Fraser River and it’s also home to some of the best fish and chips around. Whether you’re a cod, halibut, or even a prawn fan – the deliciously deep-fried choice is up to you. In rain or shine, for here or to go, the wharf is open year-round to serve you up some world-famous eats.
One of the most recognizable, long-standing places along the wharf is Pajo’s.
Having been around for over 30 years, its yellow banner and unique dock-style entranceway has been a staple in Steveston for decades. Don’t let the lineup of people fool you, the cooks and counter clerks are speedy and the food is worth the wait. Ask anyone in line and they’ll be able to attest that what they’re waiting for is fish-and-chip perfection. Pajo’s crisp and golden fish has just the right amount of crunch; couple that with their home-style tartar sauce or sour lemon zest and the combination will leave your mouth watering for more.
Now, a favourite thing about Pajo’s is that they offer the option for grilled fish and chips. If you’re not in the mood for deep-fried but you’re still a fish-fanatic, you can have your favourite fish served grilled on top of a basket of hot Pajo’s fries. With one, two, and three-piece combos, Pajo’s leaves you with lots of options based on your hunger and craving level.
The view by Pajo’s is also one-of-a-kind. Because its located on a dock, down and away from the wharf, Pajo’s location is exclusive and allows you to eat your meal directly on the Fraser River; creating the perfect ambience for a relaxing afternoon lunch.
Further down the Wharf is the rock star patio belonging to Sockeye City Grill. Whether you eat inside or wait at the take-out window, there are fresh fish options for everyone.
One of the best things about Sockeye City Grill is that they have prawns n’ chips! Deep-fried prawns paired with tasty restaurant-style fries is a great take on an old summer staple – and an absolutely perfect choice for prawn-lovers.
Sockeye City Grill also has some cool side add-ons, like extra fish or oyster pieces, and a creamy seafood chowder. Eat inside, eat on the patio, or eat on a bench along the wharf – the Sockeye City Grill experience is up to you.
The waterfront atmosphere of Fisherman’s Wharf really revs up the appetite –
so if you’re craving battered fish, grilled fish, or even prawns on a heaping portion of fries with homemade tartar sauces, head over to Steveston on the southwest tip of Richmond.
It’s time to get out your chopsticks with the recent announcement of the Diners’ Choice Awards for the 2018 Chinese Restaurant Awards. And, once again, Richmond has come out on top, with twelve of the twenty-one winners forming part of the city’s vibrant dining landscape.
Now in its tenth year, the successful Chinese Restaurant Awards aims to recognize excellence in both Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine in Metro Vancouver. The Diners’ Choice Awards were tallied from 35,219 on-line and WeChat votes from the public over the course of four weeks.
The results showcase what the Lower Mainland has to offer in terms of exemplary Chinese and Taiwanese dining. Here are the twelve Richmond restaurants that the discerning voting-public thinks you need to try:
Best Shanghainese Stir Fry Egg White Suhang Restaurant (100-8291 Ackroyd Road, Richmond)
This popular Richmond establishment has won one of the four new dish categories. Suhang Restaurant offers a refined dining experience, specializing in Shanghainese dim sum items (eg xiao long bao) and dishes that highlight the flavours of Jiangnam, located south of the Yangtze River. The restaurant’s winning dish is a classic and expertly executed combination of broccoli, egg white, shrimp, and egg yolk.
Best New Restaurant (opened less than one year) Geng Shi Ji (1211-8338 Capstan Way, Richmond)
The winner of best new restaurant is the Richmond outpost of an established restaurant franchise from Hunan, China. The kitchen aims to showcase classic and reinvented dishes from a variety of Chinese regional cuisines. Recommended dishes include egg wrap with pork meatballs, crab with rice cakes, sour cabbage fish soup, and spicy beef shank.
With elevated items like black truffle siu mai and steamed buns filled with salty egg yolk lava, Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant was bound to be crowned the winner of best dim sum. The establishment prides itself on its stellar dim sum experience, from the dazzling room, to the attentive service, to the inventive and delicately crafted dishes.
Located just across the street from the iconic Olympic Oval, Fortune Terrace Chinese Cuisine is the epitome of upscale Cantonese dining, with elegant interiors and a menu that evidences refined technique and top quality ingredients. Diners come for the chef specialty dim sum items, like truffle chicken, as well as opulent dinner dishes, such as braised sea cucumber with sliced abalone and greens.
Under the same ownership as Yuan’s Shanghai Serendipity Cuisine (180-4260 Number 3 Road, Richmond), Z&Y Shanghai Cuisine invites with modern décor and flavourful Shanghainese cooking. Expect classic dishes like xiao long bao, tea-smoked duck, stir-fried rice cakes, and slow braised pork hock. The large room is ideal for convivial sharing of food with friends and family.
It’s all about the skewers at the two locations of Happy Tree House BBQ (one in Vancouver and one in Richmond). There’s a wide selection of proteins, from the crowd favourite lamb to more exotic choices like chicken gizzards. The meat already comes generously spiced, but flavour addicts can amp things up with ground cumin and chili.
Best Taiwanese Restaurant/BBT Café Memory Corner (6900 Number 3 Road, Richmond)
If you’re wanting rustic, authentic Taiwanese cuisine, Memory Corner is the restaurant to visit. This establishment is a tribute to family roots in the restaurant business, lovingly celebrated with dishes like lamb noodle soup, Taiwanese deep-fried crispy chicken, and three-cup chicken.
Best Hot Pot Restaurant Boiling Point (130-4800 Number 3 Road, Richmond)
With four locations in the Lower Mainland, Boiling Point began originally in California and has since spread globally. The menu at the Richmond restaurant features the chain’s signature hot soups, including their Japanese miso soup, lamb soup, and Taiwanese spicy soup. They all come chockfull of ingredients, with the option to include add-ins like lobster fish balls.
Best Hong Kong-Style Café Copa Café (105-6200 River Road)
The enduring appeal of Hong Kong cafes is exemplified in the success of Copa Café, a chain with three locations in the Lower Mainland. The restaurant provides East meets West classic dishes, such as baked pork chop on rice, a clubhouse sandwich, and seafood and pineapple fried rice.
Best BBQ Shop HK BBQ Master (145-4651 Number Three Road, Richmond)
By this point, HK BBQ Master has reached cult-like status on Canada’s west coast, with people driving especially to Richmond to purchase chef Eric Leung’s barbecue perfection in items like barbecued pork, roast pork, and barbecued spareribs. The slow-cooked meat is tender and intensely flavourful.
Best Bakery Shop Maxim’s Bakery (Richmond Centre, 6551 Number Three Road, Richmond)
The Richmond location of this beloved Chinese bakery chain sees considerable traffic from customers craving their layered fruit and cream cakes, coconut buns, and pineapple buns. Snack on an egg tart as you window shop around Richmond Centre.
Best Fantuan Delivery Me + Crêpe (128-8531 Alexandra Road, Richmond)
This restaurant, with locations in Richmond, Vancouver, and Burnaby, specializes in inventive Asian-style crêpes, with original fillings, like egg, Chinese donut, and soybean paste; and sliced duck with cucumber, green onion, and soybean paste. Who knew that the classic French dish could become even better?
No excuses – our West Coast palette is refined, so waxy chocolate bunnies, rock-hard jellybeans and Peeps (what are those even made of anyway?) are just plain unacceptable. We can do better. And we do! Here, three of BC’s best chocolate makers show us what’s new for Easter 2018.
Wild Sweets By Dominique and Cindy Duby’s Spring limited edition chocolate art collection screams “spring!” with the use of fruits, origin cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate and a palette of spring-like pastel colours. Sophisticated flavours include cassis caramels, pistachio praline and cherry caramel ganache, and a liquid strawberry caramel with dulce de leche. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost. Shop at their online boutique or at Wild Sweets’ own retail store The Atelier Chocolate Lab Gallery in Richmond.
Purdys Chocolatier is about as old-school and iconic as you get. Founded in 1907 in Vancouver, they have a long history of providing the West Coast with melt-in-your-mouth Easter chocolate. But that doesn’t mean the brand isn’t constantly reinventing its collection and bringing out new products non-stop. New this year is the “Bunny Bag”, a cute tote filled with a mouth-watering selection of their most popular Easter chocolates including Bunny Lollies, a Wooly Lamb, lots of mini foiled eggs & bunnies and that decadent Fudge Egg. And a little bunny told us that the popular Peanut Butter eggs are now available in mini. Visit Purdys stores or shop online.
Thomas Haas Chocolates & Pâtisserie from Vancouver’s North Shore has a delightful way of combining charming classic styles like the laughing bunny, with world-class quality chocolate. This Easter the line up includes a variety of whimsical chocolate-sculpted characters including an Easter Bunny, a hen and chicks, with a mother hen and her chicks filled with chocolate creations, Easter Eggs filled with chocolate surprises, and a flower pot with handcrafted chocolate blooms. Easter also sees the return of the signature Easter Stollen, a seasonal bread made with almonds, pistachios and kirsch-soaked organic cherries. Visit the Kitsilano or North Shore shops, or online.
Mink Chocolates, winners of the 2014 International Chocolate Salon’s best chocolate in the world, have an Easter treat for everyone in the family. Kids will love Kollie the Flop-Eared Bunny (milk chocolate) and her buddy Levi (dark chocolate), while parents will appreciate Easter eggs filled with lime ganache or hazelnut. And for those who don’t quite buy into the bunny, you can pick up a gift box filled with strawberry caramel bunny bonbons and Mink’s stunning bonbon art series, where each bonbon is a tiny piece of art. Visit Mink at their South Surrey or Vancouver locations or online.
If being elbow-deep in the freshest, tastiest seafood around is your kind of feast, then The Captain’s Boil is your new go-to eatery. And with so many options of flavor, spice, and sides, it’s a crowd-pleaser for everyone in the family.
With numerous west coast locations, including Richmond, Coquitlam, Vancouver’s North Shore(coming soon), and Vancouver, this Canadian chain restaurant offers a classic Cajun-inspired seafood boil that you customize to suit your tastes perfectly.
Start with choosing from a variety of freshly caught fish and shellfish, then add sides and sauces from a lengthy menu of options. You’ll be given a plastic bib and gloves to protect your clothes and hands from the delicious mess, and you wont find cutlery on the table either. Shellfish crackers are provided and the fun begins.
Try the Cajun crawfish with a side of okra, or the king crab legs with lotus root, or lobster with corn on the cob. Select your sauce, from mild to smokin’ hot, from lemon pepper to garlic. You get the idea. Mix it up, share with your tablemates, and get set for perhaps the most fun you’ve ever had at a meal.
Eat in, or take the feast to your dining room table.
The ushering in of the Year of the Dog was on February 16, and was a joyous and festive time for the Chinese community in the Lower Mainland characterized by time spent with family and friends and, of course, by copious delicious feasting.
Who doesn’t love a good hearty meal? Chinese New Year an opportunity for everyone to partake in holiday eating, most especially dishes that will, hopefully, improve success in the coming lunar year. Richmond, as a confluence of various Chinese cuisines, offers many culinary opportunities for celebrating Year of the Dog well into 2018. Here are 8 luck-magnet dishes that will appeal to your palate and your fortunes throughout the year:
A particularly significant dish for Chinese New Year consists of a whole fish; its associations with unity and good fortune make it a centerpiece item. A whole steamed rock cod at Shiang Garden Seafood Restaurant (2200-4540 Number 3 Road, Richmond) is a seemingly simple, yet lovely dish that really highlights the freshness and subtle flavour of the fish.
Because spring rolls resemble gold bars, they are a popular food item for encouraging wealth in your life – plus their deep fried crispiness makes them undeniably enjoyable to eat. While these tasty snacks can be found on most dim sum menus, chef May Chau at Golden Paramount (8071 Park Road, Richmond) has created an inventive version you have to try that has juicy shredded daikon filling.
Dumplings signal wealth in Chinese traditions, and the more of them you eat, the more prosperous you’ll be. In other words, you have full license to gorge on dumplings during the New Year festivities! Richmond has an almost endless selection of dumplings, as evidenced by its Dumpling Trail self-guided itineraries. A classic type is shui jiao, water boiled dumplings filled with ingredients like pork, prawns, shiitake mushroom, and chives. Especially good shui jiao can be gobbled at Golden Sichuan (170-3631 Number 3 Road, Richmond). These dumplings are definitely hearty and very addictive.
Another dish aimed to bolster happiness in the New Year consists of Shangainese savoury chewy pan-fried rice cakes or nian gao. A sweet pudding-type version of nian gao is also available at establishments like Saint Germain Bakery (Aberdeen Centre, 1428-4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond). In Mandarin, the name nian gao is a homonym for “higher” or “taller” year, making this item particularly lucky. You’ll find them at most Shanghainese restaurants in Richmond, such as at Shanghai Wonderful (Best Western Plus Abercorn Inn, 9260 Bridgeport Road, Richmond), which serves a rendition with spinach, chopped cabbage, and shredded pork.
A dish that appears frequently on Chinese New Year menus consists of braised dried oysters with Chinese mushrooms and sea moss, with a particularly impressive version found at Fisherman’s Terrace (Aberdeen Centre, 3580-4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond). The item is a showcase of lucky ingredients. Dried oysters are said to aid in bolstering business, while the name for sea moss (fat choy) is a homonym for “good fortune.”
A feast isn’t complete without a plate of lobster, which symbolizes abundance and prosperity, especially with its red lucky colour. Hoi Tong (8191 Westminster Highway, Richmond) offers wok-tossed double lobsters in a consommé sauce, served atop springy egg noodles. Flavours are kept simple in order to showcase the natural sweetness and texture of the seafood.
Pomelo and Other Fruits
The spherical shape of pomelos and other citrus fruits, like oranges, signal wholeness and prosperity. The name for pomelo, you, also sounds similar to “to have” or “you,” which gives it further prosperity associations. Wild Sweets (2145-12191 Hammersmith Way, Richmond), run by world acclaimed science-based chocolatiers Dominque and Cindy Duby, released a limited edition 2018 “Year of the Dog Chocolate Art Collection” that features these prosperous fruits. The chocolates have fillings such as pomelo caramel ganache and ginger lemon honey nut cream, and kumquat orange caramel ganache and citrus honey nut cream.
At any Chinese New Year’s banquet, diners anticipate noodles to appear as one of the final courses, signaling a celebration of long life. Richmond has a plethora of places for getting your noodle fix, with the hand-pulled noodles at the unassuming Xi’an Cuisine (2370-8260 Westminster Highway, Richmond) at the Richmond Public Market being a very satisfying frontrunner choice. Have them in soup or stir-fried, or go for the noodles in spicy peanut sauce, if you want a saucier version. The non-uniform shape and size of the noodles are part of their rustic charm.
Their Heart Shaped Cake for 2, ($16) is a chocolate cake filled with hazelnut mousseline and topped with a chocolate mirror glaze. Available from February 9th –18th at the store, but pre-orders are always recommended.
Valentines High Tea features buttermilk scones with Devonshire cream and jam, cucumber and lemon aioli finger sandwiches, red pepper and cream cheese croissant, three cheese quiche, chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate ganache cups, a macaron, and a mini red velvet cupcake. At $22, be sure and call to reserve in advance.
How about his & her Romeo and Juliet cakes? With ingredients like pistachio jaconde, chocolate mousse studded with Kirsch-infused cherries, and pistachio buttercream you can’t go wrong. $22 each and available for in-store pick-up only on February 14th.
As a part of their sensory “I Do Éclair” line, the bakery is presenting a raspberry champagne meringue éclair. While you’re there, grab some cinnamon heart meringues, Valentine’s cookie necklaces and raspberry white chocolate heart Vienna donuts.
It’s February – have you made your Valentine’s Day reservations yet? Celebrate your most beloved loved one with a special evening for two at one of these restaurants across Metro Vancouver. Champagne optional (but not really – bubbly is pretty much essential).
Their interactive pop-up chocolate bar, $40, includes a hand-rolled truffle station, house-made cakes and candies, and even a liquid nitrogen sundae station. Live music and a special cocktail list will make it a fabulous night out.
For $120 per couple, indulge in multi courses including local oysters with caviar, aburi sashimi, beef wellington and dark chocolate fondue. Additional wine pairings are $55 extra and they are so worth it.
Winter’s far from over, but the Christmas rush has many of our local craft breweries drying up their stores of limited release selections. If you’ve got a hankering to bring back the holiday season with a few sips of the suds just north of the Fraser, here’s where you can still pour some pints in New Westminster and Richmond.
This Third Street brewery is still going strong with its limited release, Windrose. This four-grain porter will bring you back to Christmas morning by the fire with the rich taste of chocolate, caramel and toffee fit for overindulging.
Sadly, you won’t find it on tap but there are still a few cases of the Zusammen Cardamom Fig Stout floating around Metro Vancouver liquor store shelves. This spicy beverage was brewed by the women of Steel and Oak along with Head Brewer Eric. Partial proceeds from this beer goes to support WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women)’s Rape Crisis Centre. Cheers to that!
Instead of reminiscing, you could move onto to the future with their latest: Simple Things. This fluffy German Pilsner is “crisp, clean, with notes of honey, graham cracker, biscuit, and a refreshing and lengthy bitterness.”
This Steveston-based brewery has beer flowing as fast as the river it sits on – so don’t miss a pour of The Sirens Chai Saison. Made up of ingredients one knows to relish in their mulled wine recipe, this farmhouse ale combines a local chai-tea blend including rooibos, orange, star anise, clove and pepper. Bottoms up!
There’s nothing that really ushers in the excitement of spring like a fresh plum blossom, which is perhaps what the Fuggles & Warlock Kiwami Plum Sour aims to do. This tart kettle sour made with fresh plums is light and sweet, with prickles lactic acidity for the tongue. Spring’s not here yet – but a sip of this beer will transport you a few months into the future.
The arrival of 2018 heralds the chance to start afresh and to seek out new dining adventures in Metro Vancouver. Richmond, as an exciting nexus of so many different culinary traditions, is constantly evolving as a dining destination.
In the last six months, many new restaurants have launched, adding their menus to the breadth of options available in the city. Here are five establishments to kick-start your 2018 dining adventures.
I Love Fish
132-4200 No. 3 Road
In the last few years, a host of different hot pot restaurants have emerged in Richmond, offering their take on this delicious and interactive dining experience. I Love Fish one of the most recent entrants that specializes in (you guessed it) fish hot pot, Chongqing style. The room is a colourful space with a graffitied pop art aesthetic and servers are helpful and attentive. When you arrive, you’ll be presented with a laminated menu for checking off your desired broth, as well as add-in ingredients. All soups come with slices of cod, but can be customized with different flavours, such as curry, tomato, or soy.
The hot and spicy version comes particularly recommended, though you should be prepared: even the mild broth is a real tongue burner. There are a range of ingredients to cook in the bubbling broth, including seafood balls (such as crab, shrimp), yam slices, rice noodles, tofu knots, and beef tripe.
Ichigo Ichie Ramen
150-11060 No. 5 Road
The ramen craze continues with the opening of this new establishment. Located in East Richmond just off Highway 99, Ichigo Ichie Ramen exudes a hip vibe, with a stone-tiled accent wall, funky pendant lights, and an overall brightly inviting look.
Ordering works through a paper sheet for customizing your bowl of ramen. Choose between shoyu, shio, miso, vegetable, and mayu (spicy) ramen with garlic black oil. You also get to choose between chicken or pork chasiu, as well as pork, chicken, or vegetable broth. Additional ingredients include pork belly, nori, sweet corn, and a seasoned egg.
The menu offers a variety of rice bowls (such as spicy cod roe), as well as small plates, such as gyoza and chicken karaage. In sum, this is a great new spot for a quick and lip-smacking meal.
Ginger Indian Cuisine
490-9100 Blundell Road
The popular Ginger Indian Cuisine (140-3031 Beckham Place) has opened a new location, making their consistently standout Indian cuisine available to even more hungry diners. Interiors are modern, with plenty of comfortable booth seating. Regulars to the original restaurant (and newbies) can look forward to classic northern Indian dishes, such as butter chicken, lamb rogan josh, chicken or lamb korma, and spinach paneer. Of course, these rich dishes require sharing with friends and family, in addition to sides of saffron pilau rice and naan (garlic, whole wheat, paneer-stuffed).
New to the second location are items like grilled ground lamb sheesh kababs, calamari coated in chick pea batter and deep fried, and chicken wings marinated with ginger, garlic, and spices. Sip from a fragrant cup of chai in between bites of such Indian culinary bounty, and all feels right with the world.
Mr. Black Restaurant
2790-4151 Hazelbridge Way
In Aberdeen Centre, a new restaurant has taken the place of the former Guu Richmond. Mr. Black Restaurant boasts a sleek dark-hued décor and overall vibe, with a menu that distinctively focuses on Japanese katsu (deep fried cutlets) and other deep-fried specialties. Items include wagyu beef and foie gras korokke (croquettes), battered fried chicken, and both seafood (eg halibut) and pork katsu.
Their specialty is gyukatsu, deep fried wagyu beef cutlet that arrives ready for grilling to your liking at the table. Some of the items are coated in charcoal breadcrumbs, giving them a “black” appearance. While all this deep-frying may seem overwhelming, the restaurant aims for a crisp texture and light flavour. Fruit salad with lemon yogurt dressing, and green salad with fruit vinaigrette are available to balance out the indulgence.
Chiu Chow Cuisine
1080-8580 Alexandra Road
The extensive menu at this recently opened restaurant features many quintessential Chiu Chow items, like fried oyster omelette, braised duck, braised egg and tofu, cold crab, and steamed chicken in bean paste. Be sure to order the Chiu Chow-style wide rice noodle soup with seaweed and fish balls for a comforting, wintry dish. End your meal with sugar-coasted deep fried taro bars, a popular regional snack.
Ultimately, 2018 promises to be a fabulous eating year in Richmond. There’s no time like the present in getting started on your New Year’s solution to try new places and new cuisines!
Dine Out Vancouver has started its 16th season, and we’ve compiled every single participating restaurant in Richmond – there are 18 in total, and we’ve even included what you should eat at each of them.
Watch float planes land and take off at this unique bar & grill located on the north arm of the Fraser River, as you enjoy your Dine Out meal here! Offering both a dinner and lunch menu (both $20 each), we’d pick the clam chowder, the hoisin ginger sockeye salmon and a chocolate brownie to warm ourselves up during the cold days.
Richmond’s newest brewpub joins the Dine Out Vancouver with a menu developed by Chef Kevin Connaghan. The newly renovated, open concept kitchen with a woodstone pizza oven basically tells diners that they can’t miss the pizza. Start with the beet & goat feta salad, followed by their special spicy kimchi and pork belly pizza, and top it off with a homestyle carrot cake (or a boozy Irish coffee!).
Known for amazing seafood dishes and a great cocktail selection, The Boathouse Restaurant in Richmond doesn’t disappoint. The Boathouse Restaurant offers both a dinner and lunch menu (both priced at $30), and our top picks include the seafood chowder, the pacific cod & chips, and… we gotta go for the mocha ice cream pie here!
Located just above Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant in Steveston, this restaurant is not to be missed. Enjoy a wide array of west coast fare here, including the stuffed mushroom caps, the surf & turf, and the sticky toffee pudding – it’s seriously one of the best.
Offering both dinner and lunch menus (please note, lunch menu is priced at $18), guests can enjoy fresh, flavourful food and drinks in a cool, laid-back atmosphere. Our top choices here include the mussels, the hoisin braised pork belly and of course, the red velvet cupcake jar.
Named after one of their most loyal patrons, Harold Cross, this restaurant has a charm all its own. Enjoy the shrimp swirl pop, the chicken curry and a delicious white chocolate mousse cake during their dinner service – offered from 5pm to 9pm during Dine Out Vancouver.
Situated in beautiful Steveston, Little Mexico Cantina offers authentic Mexican food at an affordable price. Take a trip around Mexico with their themed Dine Out Vancouver menu – visit Mexico City by diving into a bowl of tortilla soup. Taste Sonora through their beef fajitas and top it off with churros with chocolate from Vera Cruz.
Known for their laid-back atmosphere and delicious plates of comfort food, Moxie’s won’t disappoint, no matter what you order. We’d pick the spicy tuna roll, the rustic Italian pulled short ribs and the sticky toffee pudding.
Reach out and touch the Fraser River from Shady Island Seafood Bar & Grill, right on the waterfront in historic Steveston. Known best for their fresh seafood, our top picks here include the seafood chowder cup, the signature dish – the Fisherman’s Pot, and the strawberry champagne cheesecake – an ever-popular dessert.
A new addition to Dine Out Vancouver, the Shoestring Café is a hidden gem in east Richmond. The value here can’t be beaten. Start your meal off with the grilled marinated quail, the grilled lobster tail and scallop risotto and finish it off with a chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice cream. Delish!
Artful, entertaining and delicious – it’s always a show at Yokohama Teppanyaki! Featuring both dinner and lunch menus (lunch menu priced at $19.95), this eatery also offers a vegetarian dine out menu. Get your surf and turf on with their three entrée menu options, and get ready to be wowed by the chef’s skills at the hot grill.
Enjoy Executive Chef Danilo Ibarra’s delicious cuisine at American Grille, where seafood dishes are your best bet. Our top picks from this year’s Dine Out Vancouver menu include the tuna tataki, the seared ling cod and… can we have all three desserts please?
Executive Chef Daryle Nagata takes fresh seafood to a whole new level, infusing it with Asian influences. Our top picks here include the signature seafood chowder, the baked wild BC salmon and the warm apple tart a la mode… though you really can’t go wrong with either dessert.
Known for their steak, Carver’s Steakhouse has been feeding Richmondites for a long time. You can’t go wrong with the spicy beef bites, the 10 ounce New York Peppercorn strip loin, and the chocolate eruption cheesecake.
This upscale restaurant definitely has a resort vibe to it, and a wine menu that’s hard to beat. Offering both dinner and lunch menus (lunch is $20 for the set), you can’t leave Chop Steakhouse without trying the steak. Our top picks include the crab cakes, the prime rib and the warm apple crumble to finish things off. Yum!
Located south of Steveston Highway on No. 5 Road in Richmond, The Richmond Keg Steakhouse + Bar is the preferred dining destination for locals as well as visitors. Start your meal off with the wild mushroom soup, followed by any of the steak options (tip: the top sirloin is 12 ounces!), and finish it off with your choice of a chocolatey, mocha pie or a thick and creamy cheesecake.
If you’ve ever wanted to try a 10-course Chinese banquet meal, Red Star Restaurant’s Dine Out Vancouver dinner menu lets you do just that – with a very affordable price tag. Our top picks are the hot & sour soup, the two-course Peking duck (best bang for your buck here!), and you won’t be disappointed by the Chef’s dessert of the day!
Enjoy Executive Chef Eric Pless’ newest creations at Tramonto, found on the third floor of the east hotel tower in River Rock Casino Resort. Start off with the spiced winter squash Veloute, followed by the braised bison brisket and finish your meal off with their toffee bread pudding!
Dine Out Vancouver starts from January 19 until February 4, 2018. Book your table early and come hungry!
We have Europe to thank for the invention of olive oil and balsamic tasting bars. Now, olive oil specialty shops are popping up around Metro Vancouver and making quite the impression on curious foodies.
Artisanal olive oil shops don’t just have bottles of beautiful oils (and most also have a large selection of vinegars) on display, olive oil tastings bars present an interactive and educational experience. Customers can peruse the lineup of fustis, special stainless-steel jars that store olive oil and balsamics, and learn about the flavours, origins, and make of each oil and vinegar. Tasting olive oils offers a sensory experience for the consumer, bringing the flavour profile we usually read on a label right to your palate.
“Smaller boutique shops get people talking about traceability when it comes to olive oil. Shops like ours educate customers on who you are supporting, and the freshness of the oils; I fell in love with the business concept because of this education. I really enjoy it,” says Vancouver Olive Oil Company owner, Michael-Ann Dodds.
“We started educating the public on extra virgin olive oil and what to look for. When an oil has been made, you should be looking for a harvest date or a crushed date, and consuming the oil within a year of that time.”
Vancouver Olive Oil Company is the first olive oil tasting shop in British Columbia and since, the trend has continued to flourish throughout Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, fueling the farm-to-table food movement right down to the condiment.
Check out the list of artisanal olive oil specialty shops in Metro Vancouver:
The Vancouver Olive Oil Company A family owned business and the first shop of its kind in the province. This Kitsilano staple has a vast selection of artisanal oils and vinegars to sample and purchase. My personal favourite: the wild mushroom and sage olive oil.
2571 West Broadway, Vancouver. Open Tuesday-Sunday. vooc.ca
Coastal Olive Oils A South Delta gem that offers a full tasting room with a bevvy of flavours and varieties to sample and purchase.
1315 56 St Unit 121, Delta (Tsawwassen). Open seven days a week. www.coastaloliveoils.ca
Heringers Meats This Steveston staple is not just a butcher shop. Heringers offers a generous selection of artisanal olive oils to complete your shopping list in our place. No lineup of fustis for sampling here, but premium products available all the same. 190, 12251 No 1 Rd, Richmond. Open Tuesday to Saturday. heringersmeats.com
All of Oils-Wholesome Oils and Vinegars This shop is at the helm of artisanal olive oil shops in the Fraser Valley. Check out their various locations for extra virgin olive oils, flavoured olive oils, speciality oils, balsamic vinegars, and flavoured vinegars. Added bonus: you’ll find many certified organic, gluten free, and kosher products on the shelves. South Surrey location-#160-2940 King George Blvd.
Langley location-20450 Douglas Crescent.
Abbotsford location-#102A-2649 Trethewey St.
All locations open seven days a week.
Olives on Tap
Since opening in 2012, Olives on tap is the North Shores pioneer of artisanal olive oils and tastings, providing guests with a wealth of knowledge on their selection of premium extra virgin oils and vinegars.
928 16th St W, North Vancouver. Open Tuesday to Sunday. olivesontap.com
Rain City Olives Olive oil, like everything in 2017, is now available online. Rain City Olives is an e-commerce shop based in Vancouver that offers naturally fused and infused olive oil from all over the world. Shop online or find Rain City Olives at a local seasonal market. raincityolives.ca
Let’s face it, while cooking a big turkey with all the fixin’s for family and friends can be incredibly rewarding, sometimes it’s much less stressful to go out to eat and let someone else do the work for you.
Many restaurants are closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but, fortunately, many establishments in Richmond can come to your discerning palate’s rescue. Not only will they be open, but they also offer mouth-watering alternatives to the traditional Christmas meal.
Here are five places where you can dine out on December 24th and 25th:
Christmas often involves a bringing together of loved ones over good food. Hot pot adds an interactive dimension to the get-together that can be very enjoyable–and delicious. Yuan’s Chuan Chuan Xiang (Aberdeen Centre, 2792-4151 Hazelbridge Way) is the Richmond location of a chain that hails from Chengdu in China’s Sichuan province, where they’re known for their spicy take on hot pot.
While there are many hot pot establishments in town, Yuan’s specializes in “chuan chuan,” an iteration that uses bamboo sticks for skewering many of their ingredients before they’re cooked in hot broth. Depending on how fiery you want it, you can opt for a spicy or non-spicy version (or a split pot with both) of the restorative pork broth, which comes with mushrooms, ginger, dried goji berries, dried red dates, green onion, tomato, and cucumber. The restaurant adds a mixture of dried chili peppers, garlic, longan skin, fermented bean paste, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns to transform the base broth into a tongue scalding experience.
The fun of hot pot is the sheer range of ingredients you can choose from, in this case selections such as beef tripe, pork belly, black fungus, quail eggs, and lotus root. You can also choose to partake in the sauce bar (such as mashed garlic, sesame oil) for heightening the flavours of your hot pot items.
Here on the west coast, sushi has become a go-to option for many during the Christmas season. It’s a crowd pleaser, great for group ordering, and a welcome contrast to conventional holiday eating. Fortunately, Richmond’s dining landscape features some of the finest sushi on Canada’s West Coast, spanning traditional restaurants with exactingly crafted nigiri, to more casual establishments that showcase creative rolls and dishes.
Mega Sushi (3131 Chatham Street) in Steveston falls within the latter category, with a menu that is particularly playful when it comes to their specialty rolls. The Blue Ocean roll features red tuna, hamachi, salmon, radish sprouts, and avocado, all in a soy wrap, topped with tobiko. The “Sexy” roll is packed with crowd-pleasing ingredients like avocado, imitation crab, tuna, salmon, ebi, and tamago, wrapped in thinly sliced cucumber. Not just a sushi joint, the rest of the menu includes donburi, udon noodle soups, and various teriyaki options.
Santa himself would probably be craving dumplings at Suhang Restaurant (100-8291 Ackroyd Road) after his long night of delivering toys. This destination for top-notch Shanghainese cuisine offers some of the finest xiao long bao in Richmond. The generously sized dumplings boast fragrantly sweet broth, a thin wrapper, and substantial pork filling. (In short, these are highly satisfying.) Other dumplings on the menu include wontons in chili and peanut sauce, shrimp and chive dumplings, pan-fried pork and shrimp dumplings, and steamed veggie dumplings.
Other Shanghainese specialties are also available, from more rustic dishes like pan-fried rice cakes with pickled vegetables and pork, to more elevated dinner fare such as braised sea cucumber with seafood. One of their show-stoppers, which requires pre-ordering, is their beggar’s chicken, which consists of a whole chicken stuffed with sticky rice, water chestnuts, egg yolks, and edamame before being encased in lotus leaves and bread dough and then baked. The result is tender, juicy, and bursting with flavour. It’s a culinary centerpiece for the holidays.
Focused on Chinese Muslim cooking, Silkway Halal Cuisine (110-8188 Saba Road) offers many dishes that originate from Xinjiang in northwestern China, home to a substantial Turkish Uyghur population. The room itself is elegantly inviting, with dark wood Chinese décor, many traditional framed pictures, and red accents.
The halal menu excels when it comes to their lamb dishes, such as fried diced lamb coated in chili powder and whole and ground cumin; lamb soup; and fried sliced lamb with diced Xianjiang naan.
The bread, iconic of the Uyghur people, can be tried as part of the restaurant’s Chinese beef or lamb burgers. The rest of the offerings are extensive, with items like braised chicken, Xinjiang style; boiled sliced beef in hot chili oil; sautéed shredded potato with green chiles; and handmade fish and chive dumplings.
With all the rich holiday eating that inevitably happens, you may start to crave the classic comforting staples. In Richmond, this includes a cosseting bowl of steaming congee on a wintry December day. Double Double Restaurant (128-4600 Number 3 Road) does a particularly good version, with over a dozen different ingredient combinations. They include watercress and fish balls; fresh oysters; dried scallops and gingko; crispy minced beef; and sweet corn. Preserved egg and salted pork is a classic option, with the saltiness of these add-ins contrasting the more neutral taste of the congee. Double Double’s congee has a creamy texture, with pronounced pork broth flavour. The finishing fried peanuts on top add crunchy nuttiness to your spoonfuls of rice porridge.
The congee comes in individual portions, or in larger bowls if you feel like sharing. Definitely order the youtiao (doughnuts) as well, since they’re a lovely accompaniment, especially when dipped in the congee. The menu features a range of other items, such as BBQ pork and mushroom rice rolls, dried scallop and egg white fried rice, and salt and pepper squid tentacles.
Overall, each of these five Richmond restaurants, with their unique non-turkey creations, will give you a Christmas meal to remember.
These five spots for Taiwanese beef noodle soup showcase how one seemingly simple comfort dish can be interpreted in a variety of ways by chefs around Richmond. Regardless of the version you choose, you’ll leave very satisfied.
Joy’s Taiwanese Food Parker Place, 4380 No 3 Road, Richmond BC
At first glance, the food court at Parker Place doesn’t seem like the place to find mind-blowing eating experiences. Vendor stalls are basic, with the kind of efficient service and plating you’d expect of mall dining.
However, a stall like Joy’s Taiwanese Food with its elevated beef noodle soup embodies much of the spirit of Richmond eating: unassuming cooking that is affordable and deliciously authentic.
The menu includes all sorts of Taiwanese classics like marinated tripe. Being an island nation, Taiwanese cuisine represents a confluence of culinary influences, as well as resourcefulness due to limited ingredients. Its food is superficially simple and rustic while being incredibly complex in flavour.
Case in point is Taiwanese beef noodle soup (niu rou mian); it’s Sichuan in origin and purported to have been brought to Taiwan during China’s Civil War. At Joy’s, the first spoonful of the broth, the litmus test of the dish, is revelatory, evidencing a deep leveraging of ingredients, like star anise, garlic, ginger, soy, bean paste, peppercorns, and garlic. The soup has a beefy cloudiness to it, which gives a pleasurable unctuousness. Meanwhile, the noodles have a good chew, and the beef shank is wonderfully tender.
The many other customers you’ll see hunched over bowls of noodle soup nearby, attests to the popularity of this dish. It’s the ultimate in comfort food, with standout versions to be found all around Richmond.
Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle Aberdeen Centre, 2800-4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond BC
The “king of Taiwanese beef noodle,” Chef Hung Ching-Lung has extended his empire to a location in Richmond’s Aberdeen Centre. His signature beef noodles have won numerous awards, including the Taipei International Beef Noodle Awards and, more locally, Best Noodle House at the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. For pure consistency and breadth of options, Chef Hung definitely pulls ahead of the competition.
The menu allows patrons to customize their noodle soup, with a variety of broths (regular, clear, tomato, fire chili), noodles (flat noodle, thin noodle, rice noodle, vermicelli), and beef options (beef shank, brisket, tendon, tripe, sliced fatty beef). If you want to feel more virtuous, there’s also a version with five kinds of vegetables. Each iteration of Taiwan’s unofficial national dish is deeply enjoyable here, whether you want to go for the protein works, max the thickness of your noodles, or add a bit of contrasting tomato acidity to your beef broth.
Strike Two locations:
Aberdeen Centre, 3260-4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, BC
120-4751 Garden City Road, Richmond, BC
If you’re in the mood (and have the stomach room) for a beef noodle soup showdown, you can wander over to Strike, located in the food court of Aberdeen Centre, for comparison. While the stall has a limited menu for expedient chowing down, the full restaurant on Garden City Road has more extensive options (like Taiwanese three cup chicken or octopus pancake). And of course, there are plenty of bubble tea options, like passion fruit black tea, for refreshing sips.
Strike’s beef noodle soup can’t be customized, but what you get is phenomenal. After all, who needs choices when the chefs have crafted the ultimate bowl? The sliced beef shank is tender and flavourful, while the abundant noodles are perfectly al dente. The broth also doesn’t stint on taste, with a dark flavour profile that embodies the robust nature of homestyle Taiwanese cooking.
Newton Beef Noodle House 150-8191 Saba Road, Richmond BC
With “beef noodle” in their restaurant name, Newton is intent on winning the stomachs of niu rou mian devotees. And indeed they are, one bowl-full at a time. Once you enter, you’ll be greeted by sleek dark interiors and by staff who are helpful and quick on their feet.
While the menu is primarily noodle focused, you can also order appetizers, like deep fried squid tentacles and as rice dishes. Non-soup noodle selections include homemade sesame sauce on noodles, as well as cumin beef stir-fried noodles. A range of teas, slushies, and fresh juices round out the offerings.
As for the beef noodle soup, customers can choose from the regular or spicy broth, as well as versions that include various combinations of beef shank, brisket, tendon, and tripe. Thin, thick, green bean, and rice noodles are available, depending on your carb preference. What arrives in front of you will not disappoint: the broth has an intense savoury, sweet, spicy, and slightly aromatic quality to it – all offset by the pickled mustard greens. The braised beef shank is toothsome and the noodles springy.
Pearl Castle Café Two locations:
1128-3779 Sexsmith Road, Richmond, BC
Richmond Centre, 1782-6060 Minoru Boulevard, Richmond, BC
This hip Taiwanese establishment began over two decades ago as a food court stand at Parker Place before morphing into a fixture of Richmond’s vibrant eating scene. Their winning formula (evidenced by four consecutive wins as Best Taiwanese Café for the Chinese Restaurant Awards Diners’Choice Awards) boils down to the modern décor, lively vibe, and impressively diverse menu. Snacks like fried chicken nuggets are addictively good, while the beef noodle soup is satisfying.
Versions here include house special beef noodle soup, tomato beef noodle soup, and, for those wanting real heat, extreme spicy beef noodle soup. Noodle selections consist of thin or thick noodles and vermicelli. With Pearl Castle open late on Fridays and Saturdays, it’s the perfect spot for a late night snack, especially if you’re craving a piping hot, generously portioned bowl of niu rou mian before braving the cold weather again.
In southern Richmond, there’s a salty maritime breeze where the Fraser River meets the Pacific Ocean. The wood keys of the boardwalk play warm, hollow rhythms underfoot, and seagulls screech and coo on salt-bleached perches. A favourite spot to fly a kite or spend an afternoon with the family, seaside Steveston is a neighbourhood of marine wildlife, cozy shops, and some of the freshest seafood around.
Start your day back in 1894 at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. The building that was once one of the largest producers of canned salmon in BC is now a museum. It still holds much of the original equipment and displays historic photos of the BC fishing industry.
Since 1989, visitors have been able to stroll along the pier in Steveston and see for themselves which Pacific seafood is in season at Fisherman’s Wharf. While the busiest time of year is spot prawn season in April and May, there are often fishing vessels set up early in the day with their latest catch year-round.
Steveston’s waterside restaurants take full advantage of their direct access to the freshest local seafood, whether you’re in the mood for some fish & chips on the go or are looking to wine and dine in style.
Located on stilts that allow the water to flow underneath, Blue Canoe is coastal fine-casual dining at its tastiest.
Share a heaping of salty favorites like Dungeness crab, oysters, Atlantic lobster, shrimp, mussels, salmon, and an assortment of sauces to complement.
Not to be limited by the ocean shores, there are always meals for those who prefer land-roamers and vegetarian options as well.
When Steveston Bakery opened in 1989, the road wasn’t yet paved and there were barely any other businesses nearby.
Today, Steveston is one of Richmond’s most beloved and bustling neighbourhoods, with lots to see and eat for locals and tourists alike. And while the surroundings of Steveston Bakery have changed dramatically, husband-and-wife owners Hemant and Bimla Rao’s commitment to quality in their food and baked goods hasn’t budged one bit. The lineups that appear daily in their bakery are the best proof.
The shop is the kind of friendly neighbourhood place that every town dreams of. Since moving from Fiji to Canada in the early 80s, the couple has established a regular fan base for their bakery; in fact, some patrons have been visiting nearly every day since it opened (yes, it’s open seven days a week). Hemant jokes that some people call his bakery Steveston’s “second community centre.”
It’s no wonder. Every day, Hemant and his bakers serve up a dizzying assortment of goodies, all made fresh in the bakery. There are different flavours of muffins and scones, turnovers, cookies, buns, bread loaves, cheesecakes, croissants, bagels and much more. Customers can also enjoy all-day breakfast and lunch, with daily specials for each, and a vegetarian and a meat-based soup option every day. Like their baked goods, the Raos buy their groceries fresh daily and make all the food and soups, including the soup stock, in-house from scratch.
One of customers’ favourites is the sourdough bread loaf. If you go there on a Saturday, you can get it for just 99 cents – the same price it was when Steveston Bakery opened 28 years ago.
Don’t be intimidated by the lineup – service is friendly and speedy and it’s definitely worth the short wait.
Opening hours: 7 am-6 pm Monday to Saturday; 8 am-5 pm Sundays and holidays.
Hot pot takes on many different forms within China and across Asia, including countries like Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. In the past year, Richmond has seen the opening of many new restaurants that offer a spicy kick. Chongqing and Chengdu are styles of hot put and cities in southwestern China that share cultural roots in Sichuan cooking. Chongqing is known as the birthplace of hot pot and a visit to either city necessitates a hot pot eating experience.
If you’re looking to get a taste of this southwestern Chinese style of hot pot, Richmond has much to offer you. Two establishments worth visiting are To Hot (130-8171 Ackroyd Road) and Yuan’s Chuang Chuang Xiang (Aberdeen Centre, 4151 Hazelbridge Way). They’re both innovative in their own ways, modern in their décor, and definitely lip-smacking in flavour profiles. Armed with an open palate – and an empty stomach, I decided to pay a visit to each.
Situated in a strip mall on Ackroyd Road, To Hot, which bills itself as a Chongqing style hot pot restaurant, greets customers with a bright red awning and red signage. I went alone, but cost, portion, and fun-wise, it makes more sense to go with at least one other person, or even a small group.
The interior is inviting, with high ceilings, lacquered wood booths and bench seating, and modern accents. The servers do their best to overcome any language barrier and explain printed Chinese instructions.
You’ll be presented with a card and a sheet upon arrival before being shown to a table.
The sheet is self-explanatory if you can read Chinese. If not – let the servers help you pick your broth and any proteins you want to add. Broth selections include original Chongqing style, pork rib soup, and duck with pickled vegetable soup (ranging from $9.95-$32.95, with the option of having two flavours with no additional charge). Proteins include Wagyu beef, oysters, spot prawns, and spicy pork ribs (ranging from $7.95 to $29.95). The sheet also allows you to order a variety of side dishes, like lamb fried rice ($5.95) and green onion pancakes ($6.95), as well as drinks.
The next step is a bit tricky if you’re visiting the restaurant for the first time (and I was). I knew that I had to do something with the card, but I wasn’t entirely sure what. My helpful server, seeing my confusion, ushered me over to the end of the room, to a refrigerated section full of all sorts of prepared ingredients for supplementing the order sheet.
I saw various types of mushrooms, vegetables, as well as noodles, seafood (even sea cucumber), and organ meat (such as pork liver). It all looked incredibly fresh and carefully presented.
Basically, what you do here is load a tray with the items you desire and then take them to a swiping station, located to the side. You place your tray on the station and the screen will tally up how much they’ll cost. If you’re happy with your order, you swipe your card. Ta-da! It’s all very high tech and impressive. Items can add up though, so make your selections carefully.
You then take your tray back to your table and wait for your server to bring your massive pot of broth, and your protein selections, all beautifully sliced and plated. Your server will also turn on the element to get your soup bubbling.
I had ordered a split pot, with half traditional Chongqing spicy broth and half chicken soup. As I waited for the broth to reach a boiling state, I took a look and tasted each side.
The spicy broth was eye watering, tongue-burning hot, and was full of dried chili peppers, ginger, green onion, Sichuan peppercorns, and chili oil. I would not recommend drinking this, but rather would suggest that you allow its spicy heat to penetrate your ingredients. I went for mild and was practically swooning from the heat (yikes).
The other side reminded me of home-made chicken soup I had as a child. It had intense chicken flavour, as well as some herbal notes. It included pieces of bone-in black or Silkie chicken, which is prized for its medicinal properties, as well as dried red dates, dried goji berries, ginger, green onion, barley, and medicinal roots. All in all, the broth is intended to increase energy, flush toxins, and increase blood circulation. If you are nursing the beginnings of a cold – this is definitely worth a shot to help clear it away!
And then, it’s a matter of putting your ingredients in and waiting until they reach a satisfactory doneness.
For $2.50, you can also have access to their extensive sauce bar, which allows you to choose and mix together everything from peanuts to mushroom sauce to minced chives. Edamame beans, fruit, and vermicelli salad are also at the bar. With these toppings and side dishes, your meal will be truly complete! I left stuffed, but curious to see what other Sichuan hot pot spots had in store for me.
Yuan’s Chuan Chuan Xiang
The second hot pot contender is found at the end of a long corridor on the second floor of Aberdeen Centre. Yuan’s Chuan Chuan Xiang is the Richmond location of a chain hailing from Chengdu, Sichuan Province in China, and was founded in 1996. It’s a more intimate space, with booth and table seating, plenty of windows, and an overall chic design aesthetic. Photos of Chengdu can be found throughout the restaurant, highlighting the chain’s origins.
The “chuan chuan xiang” in the restaurant’s name refers to a version of hot pot that puts ingredients on bamboo skewers which are then traditionally cooked in hot spicy oil. I had never tried such a concept, so needless to say, I was really intrigued.
Service here is friendly and very attentive. There’s no fancy computer system at this restaurant, just a sheet for checking off what you want. Broth selections are more limited, with only spicy and non-spicy possible ($9.90 for one flavor or $13.90 for a double flavour pot) and both are pork-based.
You can then choose from a host of items such as red pepper powder, wide sweet potato vermicelli, black fungus, duck gizzard, and baby cuttlefish (ranging anywhere from $1.99 to $22.90). The main attractions are the “sticks” ($0.90 per stick or $3.99 for 5), which include chicken skin, kelp, duck tongue, rice cakes, and “numbing spicy beef.” Other side dishes like fried rice with egg and xiao long bao are also available ($1.59-$2.99). Like at To Hot, it’s easy to get carried away with the ordering. The individual sticks, though, are a fairly affordable way to try a bunch of different things.
Once you place your order, you won’t have to wait long before your pot of soup arrives, as well as your platter of sticks. The pork broth’s flavor is intensified with ingredients such as tomato, cucumber, green onion, dried red dates, dried goji berries, ginger, and mushrooms.
If you’re having the spicy version, your server will bring a packet of premade spicy mixture, imported from Chengdu, and add it to your broth (or one side of the pot). The contents of the package are similar to what was in the spicy broth at To Hot and includes dried chili peppers, peppercorns, star anise, garlic, longan skin, and fermented bean paste. The result is a potently spicy broth.
Like any hot pot experience, the key is timing – knowing when to put ingredients into the broth. For instance, harder vegetables, like yam, are going to take longer than seafood items, like shrimp. The beauty though of the sticks is that you can very efficiently add and remove your food without fishing around for them.
The occasional pieces do fall off the skewers, but for the most part they stay on quite well. I’d also think about what items you want to place in the spicy broth, as more porous ingredients, like tofu will soak up more of the flavour (and heat), while other ones, like quail eggs, won’t.
The sauce/seasoning bar ($2.45) has a good selection of options, like oyster sauce, mashed garlic, crushed peanuts, sesame oil, and chopped green onion and coriander.
After you remove your food from the skewers, you can dip them in your individualized sauce or drizzle it over top.
Both places offer excellent and unique hot pot experiences. I really liked the sticks at Yuan’s since I hate losing ingredients in the broth. Both places also use high quality and fresh products. However, I thought the computer system and help-yourself-section at To Hot were really creative and added an extra dimension of fun. Plus, their broth had the slight edge in terms of depth of flavour, and there was more broth selection. Whichever one you choose, just remember – both places take it seriously when it comes to their spicy broth base!
Every October as the air gets cooler, the colours become warmer and brighter and vast lakes of ruby-red cranberries start a colourful patchwork in the farmlands of Richmond and the Fraser Valley. Despite the variety of crops BC cultivates, cranberries are one of just a few that are actually native to the land; when European explorers landed in Canada, they were traded with Aboriginal peoples and valued as an effective way to prevent scurvy. Uniquely “wet harvested” by flooding the fields they grow in, cranberries are tart treats packed with vitamin C, vitamin E, and fibre; they are a bright shake-up to many desserts, sweets, and beverages.
Cranberries are BC’s largest crop according to Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada, and most of North America can say they’ve delved into a glass of BC cranberries at some point; approximately 60% of our harvests are grown for Ocean Spray, a Massachusetts-based grower cooperative that distributes across the continent.
Cranberries in Richmond
You can experience Richmond cranberries at Maybog Farms, who received the “Minister’s Award of Excellence” from the Government of BC in 2008 for their contribution to the province’s farming industry as a long-established cranberry farming family. The May family sells their cranberries, as well as a variety of their fresh-grown produce, out of their market, The Fowl Farmer, in the autumn.
The Richmond Nature Park is celebrating Thanksgiving with their 25th annual Cranberry Sale and are offering hands-on cranberry cooking and baking. Enjoy a nature walk to search for and learn about these unique bog berries and then learn how to make cranberry apple smoothies and cranberry white chocolate oatmeal cookies. Regiester for the cooking class and while you’re there pick up a batch of these tart, juicy treats. Proceeds from the sale will support the Richmond Nature Park Society’s environmental education programs.
Richmond Nature Park
11851 Westminster Highway (Richmond)
604.276.4300 (to register for the class, quote course #2038439)
Saturday, October 7th
Cranberries in the Fraser Valley
Each Thanksgiving weekend, the historic village of Fort Langley holds a cranberry festival. Over 150 years ago, local Aboriginal Peoples used them for food, dyes, and medicine. At the fort, cranberries would be traded to the western immigrants for HBC blankets, beads, and other items. In 1858, cranberries were actually worth more in trade than salmon.
The festival hosts a full day of cran-tastic activities; the whole family can begin with a pancake breakfast before exploring cooking demos, live entertainment, and perusing the crafts, foods, and wares of over 50 local vendors.
If you’d prefer your cranberries by the glass, the Fort Wine Co. in Langley can pour you 100% BC-grown fruit wines and dessert wines made with cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and other juicy bushels. For something a little different try their Ghost of the Bogs White Cranberry wine, made from cranberries picked during a small window of time before they turn red.
If you are heading over to Vancouver Island, head over to Yellow Point Cranberries, run by the Keefer family who are third-generation BC farmers. In early October, the family hosts a signature taste tour where you can try three different types of cranberries, try cranberry-filled baked goods, and partake in baking and photo contests for kids.
Yellow Point Cranberries
4532 Yellow Point Road (Ladysmith, Vancouver Island)
Who doesn’t want to consume their weight in baked goods? This list of delicious, must-visit bakeries will make you want to throw out your diet, even if just for one day. Go ahead and indulge – try out these six bakeries – three Asian bakeries and three European/North American ones, all located in sunny Richmond, BC.
Lido Restaurant 4231 Hazelbridge Way
Apparently, pineapple buns are a really big deal around here. Ask just about anyone who has lived in Richmond for any substantial period of time and, assuming that this person is reasonably up to snuff on Hong Kong style bakeries, they’ll tell you that Lido is king of the pineapple bun. Trays of these buns are brought out every 15 minutes, all day long. Bite into a deliciously fresh, hot bun with a slab of butter in the middle and you’ll see what we’re talking about. Bring cash, as Lido is a cash-only establishment.
Kam Do Bakery 6211 No. 3 Road
Conveniently located just across the street from the Brighouse Canada Line SkyTrain station, Kam Do is the one stop shop for many commuters to grab a quick bite to eat. Instead of displaying their baked goods behind a glass counter, the majority of products at Kam Do are on self-serve shelves; grab a tray and a pair of tongs, and load up on an endless variety of sweet and savoury buns. Top tip: bring cash and, as with most bakeries – getting six or more items will save you the tax on baked goods!
New Town Bakery 6360 No. 3 Road
Located just steps away from the Brighouse Canada Line train station is a more hidden, hole-in-the-wall style bakery that serves more than baked goods: they also serve steamed baos, or steamed buns. With three locations in Metro Vancouver (Surrey, Vancouver’s Chinatown and Richmond), New Town Bakery offers thirteen different varieties of steamed baos, which hungry customers will often order by the dozen. Our top pick here would be the vegetable bao (pictured), but you really can’t go wrong with any choice here!
European/North American Bakeries
The Diplomat Bakery 6168 London Road
When you walk into this traditional European bakery, you’ll be intoxicated by the aroma of freshly baked pastries, cakes and cookies as well as freshly-brewed coffee. Pastry chef and co-owner Gerald Stenson honed his pastry skills through years of working all over the world, giving him a wealth of knowledge about different cultures, cuisines and pastry-making techniques and flavours. Customers come for their favourite cakes such as the tiramisu, triple chocolate mousse cake, and the titular favourite, the Diplomat Cake (regular or chocolate flaky puff pastry, vanilla butter cream, vanilla sponge cake). One forkful of their cakes and you will be an immediate Diplomat Bakery convert!
Damien’s Belgian Waffles 3891 Chatham Street
Owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Philippe Leroux and Miho, the specialty at this shop are Liege waffles. Originating from the town of Liege, these waffles are a popular street snack throughout Belgium. Damien’s waffles have chunks of pearl sugar baked right in it and are made with real butter and honey. In addition to the original flavour, they also offer caramel, matcha, yuzu (Japanese citrus), banana chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate and cinnamon. Enjoy one of their all-day breakfast waffles with whipped cream, strawberries and maple syrup, or try one of their savoury ones!
Steveston Bakery 12251 No. 1 Road
A Steveston village institution, Steveston Bakery has been serving customers their delicious baked goods since 1989. While you have to try their breads and cakes, (their carrot cake is a must!), they also serve soups, salads and sandwiches made with fresh bread for lunch. Owned and operated by a husband-and-wife team, both Hermant and Bimia Rao were born in Fiji and wanted to share their love for breads, homemade soups and desserts at their shop. Be sure to try one of their hot-from-the-oven pies!
Is there anything sweeter than the fruits of your own labour? U-pick berry farms in the Lower Mainland would attest there isn’t.
While abundant rain at the end of a long winter had many farms opening their picking seasons a little late this year, the results are still oh-so-sweet. With a shortened growing season, farmers are seeing strawberries and blueberries as a bounty of fresh-picked treats. We visited a few farms to find out where you can gather a basket of your own before the season’s over.
Please note that availability of berries is subject to weather and crops may end early, or be extended. It’s best to contact the individual farms to determine availability of your favourite berries.
Krause Berry Farms 6179-248th Street, Langley
U-pick, a winery, fresh-made waffles, and a kids’ farm – is there anything this farm doesn’t have? Set on 200 acres of well-groomed farmland, Krause Berry Farms uses all of its berries in farm-to-table (and from field-to-glass) style. There’s always something to pick from late May to mid-October in the fields, from ever-bearing strawberries getting their second-wind starting in late July to pumpkins and autumn harvests. Open every day 8:30am to 5pm.
CanWest Farms 13051 Blundell Road, Richmond
With families in mind, CanWest hosts U-pick blueberries for five weeks between mid-July and late August. At just $1.50 per pound, you can pick a year’s worth of berries to store. Open from 10 am to 6 pm.
Birak Farm 4200 No 6 Road, Richmond
Fruit stands are no longer just a roadside attraction whilst vacationing in BC’s Okanagan Valley – this Richmond-based fruit stand has a legacy of its own. For 30 years, Birak Berry Farms has been growing six different varieties of strawberries: Albion, Totem, Hood, Tillamook, Honey Owe and Pugent. Open seven days a week from dawn to dusk.
Surrey Farms 5180 – 152 Street, Surrey
This little Surrey-based farm is famous among locals for its sweet strawberries. “The season is slowing down but the U-pickers seem to be very happy,” they told WestCoast Food. Here, strawberries can last until mid-September, with blueberries usually staying strong into September. U-pick opens mid-June to mid-October from 9 am to 6 pm.
Maan Farms 790 McKenzie Road, Abbotsford
Open from 9 am to 6 pm every day, this 80-acre farm currently boasts late harvest strawberries and seasonal blueberries. A $2 admission fee is refundable when you pick more than 5 lbs of berries.
Willems Berry Farm 33736 Vye Road, Abbotsford
Running since 1983, Willems Berry Farm is a family-run farm with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries abound, when in season. Picking typically opens at 9 am on the weekends, but hours can vary, so it’s best to call ahead at 604-864-1149.
Didar Berry Farm 5580 104th Street, Ladner
Blueberry season for this family-farm is short but sweet. It opened in mid-July for u-picking and its last day of the season is August 19. Owner Aujlay Didar dubs his fruits “nature’s candy” and is happy to drive visiting pickers through his 80+ rows of berries in a golf cart to find the sweetest treasures.
Formosa Nursery Organic Farm 12617 – 203rd Street, Maple Ridge
If you want to save your money, do the dirty work yourself. Formosa Nursery offers blueberries at $5 per pound, ready-picked, or just $3 per pound when you u-pick. There are just 2 weeks left in the u-pick season, so there’s a limited amount of time to collect your bounty and get some exercise in. Open from 8 am to 8 pm daily.
The BC growing season is in full swing, and you can experience the palette of summer with a trip to some of the 145+ BC farmers’ markets. Whether you’re headed here on a weekend with family or friends, or taking the summer to explore Canada’s West Coast, here’s everything you need to build a farmers’ market visit into your summer travels across the province.
Step 1: Know your BC farmers’ markets
With over 145 BC farmers’ markets across the province, you’re sure to discover more than a few that you’ll love to return to year after year. This helpful BC Farmers’ Market Finder tool will help you make the tough choices (popsicles in White Rock, or honey in Richmond?) and you might be surprised to see how easy it is to access more than one farmers’ market closer to home. Here’s a tip: BC farmers’ markets are a smart place to stock up on the freshest summer ingredients. Not only is the food fresh and local, you can get great advice from the farmers who grew it! Ask for tips on produce varieties, preparation, storage, preserving, and recipes.
Step 2: Bring your appetite
High summer is prime time for taste, no matter which region you visit in BC. Nectarines, plums and peaches are all must-buys at farmers’ markets from the Vancouver area to the Thompson-Okanagan, and cherry fans can sample their fill fresh from the Kootenay/Rockies. If you’re looking for blueberries, head to Langley, Richmond, and the Fraser Valley – farmers from Richmond to Agassiz supply 97% of Canada’s highbush blueberries. On Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, look for wild crafted delicacies like seaweed and blackberries, along with delicious cheeses from the Cowichan Valley. And if you need a reminder that farmers’ markets are a perfect place to find locally produced baked goods and handmade treasures, check out the farmers’ markets even further north – Prince George’s award-winning year-round farmers’ market features outstanding baked goods and locally roasted coffee, while markets throughout the Cariboo/Chilcotin area offer locally sourced pasture-raised meat…including interesting products like llama!
Step 3: Put your money where your heart is
BC farmers’ markets are tasty and fun, but they also play a vital role in the local economy. Did you know that for the first time in 20 years, the number of farmers aged 35 and younger in BC is on the rise? But expensive land, and high start-up costs can be challenging for new farmers starting out – choosing to shop at BC farmers’ markets is one way to help these new farmers grow (and keep all farmers productive!) The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets runs the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program , which helps increase access to fresh, local food for lower income families and seniors in BC.
Step 4: Take your time
BC farmers’ markets are the ideal place to connect with “slow food”: investing in local crops and taking the time to prepare food carefully. But while the approach is slow, the market isn’t. It’s no surprise that farmers’ markets are a hive of activity: on any given visit you might find live music, chef demos, family activities, new trends like wild harvested food and products, and artisanal food producers. With more evening farmers’ markets popping up across the province, you can enjoy exploring new foods under the stars.
Ready to tour BC farmers’ markets? Take your camera along for the ride and enter the BC Farmers’ Market Road Trip Contest: just share a photo of your farmers’ market adventures with the hashtag #BCFarmersMarketRoadtrip for a chance to win one of five weekly prize draws for a $50 BC farmers’ market shopping trip! This contest runs from July 17 to August 18, 2017. Follow BC Farmers’ Markets on Facebook and Instagram for details.
Bingsoo Korean shaved ice dessert may make you forget about traditional ice cream forever.
Also known as patbingsu or bingsu, this treat traditionally uses water as its icy main ingredient, however Snowy Village Canada uses 100% Canadian milk which is frozen and shaved to create a snowy consistency. Red bean paste is the traditional topping, however fresh fruit like strawberries, jelly, Oreo cookies, roasted grain powder and other toppings give it a modern texture that is suited to Canadian tastes.
How cool is it (literally) that this most delicious and special day happens to fall on our very own Canada Day, July 1st? Vancouver and its diverse surrounding communities certainly know how to celebrate two things at once, and the proof is in the cone.
Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by toasting with one of these super special flavours, and some for a very limited time only. Here’s what they are and where to find them.
The scoop: This shop just opened this past spring in a 1909 heritage building, and this special flavour is only available for 1 day. Made with caramelized bacon and real maple syrup. Patriotic and proud!
The scoop: Brought back for another summer, this fave 4th Avenue shop roasts local strawberries, adds a dash of balsamic vinegar, and mixes into the creamiest of ice creams to create summer in a cup. Or cone. You get the idea.
The scoop: Trendy and from Thailand, “rolled gelato” is all the rage. The folks at Spiritual got the machine sent from the source, taught themselves how to make it, and serve theirs like a sundae. Blueberries and maple syrup are mixed into the actual gelato, which is then topped with fresh blueberries, maple syrup, and whipped cream. Multi-cultural cool – just like Canada.
The scoop: This Korean shaved ice dessert is a refreshing treat on a hot summer day. Think balls of honeydew melon atop shaved ice, sprinkled with slivered toasted almonds, whip cream and served in a melon bowl.
The scoop: The classic combination of orange popsicle with vanilla ice cream has been around for decades. Top this froyo with anything from sour gummi worms to animal crackers to fresh fruit depending on your tastes and enjoy.
Where to get it: Urban Gate, Coquitlam
The scoop: Who says ice cream can’t come in unusual flavours? This saffron infused treat has that gorgeous yellow colour you would expect and a subtle flavour. Give it a go.
From June to mid-September, eat your way along Richmond’s newest tour: the Richmond Hop On Hop Off Attraction Tour. The tour offers folks an easy way to visit key sights in Richmond, including the historic fishing village of Steveston, the Olympic Experience at the Richmond Olympic Oval, the River Rock Casino Resort, the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet mall, and the Radisson Hotel, the hub of Asian shopping malls. But, between all of that, one must find a bite to eat. Here’s the best places to eat while you’re on your Hop On Hop Off tour!
The Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport is your gateway to the Golden Village, the dynamic hub of Asian cultural life in Richmond – and it’s also your gateway to Asian food! Within walking distance of the Radisson Hotel are some fantastic restaurants, cafes and food courts offering everything from morning dim sum fare to hearty bowls of noodle soups. Our top dining picks around the Radisson Hotel includes Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant in Aberdeen Centre for their morning dim sum, Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle for their famous noodle soup bowls, and the food courts found within the three Asian malls – Aberdeen Centre, Yahoan Centre and Parker Place Mall. Don’t be afraid to check out the various food stands in each food court; you’ll find unique dishes like Hainanese chicken rice, Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwiches and authentic curry – all at a very affordable price.
Insider’s Tip: Bring cash. Aside from the larger sit-down restaurants, most of the food court stalls will only accept cash for payment.
Let the games begin at the four-diamond River Rock Casino Resort and Hotel! Guests 19+ can explore endless possibilities at the Casino on slot machines and table games, but for peckish travelers, they can check out one of the eight restaurants available on-site at the River Rock Casino Resort. Choose from traditional Cantonese food and dim sum at Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant or satiate your taste buds at The Buffet at the River Rock Casino Resort.
Insider’s Tip: Show your Hop On Hop Off ticket at the concierge booth at the River Rock Casino Resort to receive special discounts and a $10 free play credit at the casino.
This outdoor designer outlet boasts over 60 retailers offering up to 70 per cent off designer labels every day, and it’s a must-visit stop on the Hop On Hop Off tour. Take a break from shopping at one of their six eateries, offering everything from wonton noodle soup at Neptune Wonton Noodle, to fresh wood-fired pizzas at Bibo Pizzeria. If you’re looking to satisfy a sweet tooth, be sure to stop at the Lindt Factory Outlet to get yourself some sweet treats – or stop at the newly-opened Qoola Fresh for a healthy treat and a scoop of their signature frozen yogurt!
Insider’s Tip: Show your Hop On Hop Off ticket at the customer service booth to receive a Fashion Passport for an additional 10% off purchases at select stores.
Pacific Gateway Hotel is home to Pier 73 Restaurant, known for their high-quality seafood and farm-to-table menu. Nestled on the banks of the Fraser River with floor-to-ceiling windows and a magnificent view of the North Shore mountains, Mt. Baker and the Cascade Mountain Range, Pier 73 is the ideal setting for cocktails and casual dining. Executive Chef Morgan Lechner and executive sous chef Edison Antejos capitalize on ethnically raised animals, sustainable seafood and local produce from harvest to storage and processing to ensure freshness and quality in every dish served at this spectacular restaurant.
Insider’s Tip: Pier 73’s signature dish is the sturgeon fish & chips – be sure to get a plate for just $16.
Welcome to Central Richmond! Within walking distance of the trio of hotels here is the mecca of food heaven. Walk about five minutes east along Westminster Highway and you’ll find five dim sum restaurants and CF Richmond Centre – Richmond’s largest western shopping mall, a whole host of coffee shops and many other dining options. Try Pepper Lunch for hot teppan plates of beef and rice, or enjoy some west coast fare at a Canadian favourite – White Spot restaurant. Head into CF Richmond Centre and enjoy their Dining Terrace located on the second floor of the mall, where you’re bound to find a new favourite dish for everyone in your group.
Insider’s Tip: Be sure to make reservations at the larger dim sum restaurants. Seats get filled up fast and also make sure you get in before the end of dim sum service, usually at around 2pm.
The Richmond Olympic Oval is a legacy building from the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games and it’s also home to the Olympic Experience, North America’s first member of the Olympic Museum Network. While you’re exploring the museum and working up an appetite on their interactive displays such as bobsledding, kayaking or sit-skiing, or even mastering the 44 foot climbing wall with over 45 different routes, be sure to stop at the restaurants found just across the street. Grab a bite to eat at Copa Café, a Hong Kong style café serving everything from spaghetti Bolognese to seafood congee, or if you’re feeling fancier, check out Fortune Terrace for some delectable dim sum. If you’re looking for snacks, be sure to go to T&T Supermarket, where you’ll find a huge array of Asian snacks.
Insider’s Tip: Your Hop On Hop Off ticket includes free admission to the Olympic Experience at the Richmond Olympic Oval, so be sure to check that out.
This seaside village is home to unique boutique shops, tempting eateries, a bustling marina and Fisherman’s Wharf, and two national historic sites, making it a destination all on its own. Stroll the Fisherman’s Wharf and watch as locals barter for the catch of the day including fresh salmon, crab, halibut and shrimp. Savour the temptations at the dockside restaurants serving fresh seafood. Our top picks include Blue Canoe for fine dining, Sockeye City Grill for their fantastic waterfront views, or Pajo’s Fish & Chips for a unique dining experience right on the water!
A few months ago we shared the news that one of Metro Vancouver’s most sought after catering companies had opened a restaurant in Richmond. At that time, Boy With A Knife Catering was only open for lunch – but due to popular demand for their fabulous fare – they are now open for dinner.
The 55-person restaurant also has a licensed patio open until 10 pm Monday-Friday, so we know where you’ll find us this spring and summer. Chef Brandon Dac and owner, Sean Fay are the talented team behind the recently overhauled menu, and here are some favourites.
The hoke poke bowl and ham hock ragu are brand new and ridiculously delish. Plus, their burger options go deep, like the Stinky Pete (beef patty, garlic + thyme sautéed mushrooms, crumbled blue cheese, beer braised onions, butter lettuce, garlic mayo), or the tuna bacon club (rare seared albacore tuna, bacon, red onion relish, arugula + tarragon aioli), the CFC (fried chicken, curry cream, shaved white cabbage, corn relish) or the forager burger
(portobello, shitake, black bean + quinoa patty, red onion relish, cheddar cheese, lettuce, red onion + miso mayo).
Happy hour anyone? From 3-6pm they have some tasty additions to their menu. Be sure to try the fully loaded nachos, wings, or lettuce wraps – perfect sharesies with a cold drink and your crew.
Visit Boy With A Knife Grill and Deli for happy hour, and now dinner too. Enjoy great deals and specials daily.
Boy With A Knife
7 – 3331 Viking Way
604.278.0543 (deli & grill)
604-278-0769 (catering) boywithaknife.ca
When it comes to Asian food, you’ll find a broad spectrum of spicy dishes depending on the region and climate. Some spicy dishes are consumed in warmer climates to cool you down through perspiration, and some use chilis to prevent food spoilage. Various areas of Asia will use a different type of spice – for instance, you’ll find a different type of heat from a dish from India versus a dish from Thailand or Korea. Some cultures are steeped in heat, and today we’ll take a closer look at Szechuan – or Sichuan – cuisine.
Best known for their bold flavours from the liberal use of garlic and chili peppers as well as the unique flavour of the infamous Szechuan peppers, these four restaurants in Richmond get Szechuan cuisine right.
Golden Sichuan is a great place to experience the heat of Szechuan cuisine, coupled with a few other non-spicy items, such as the visually stunning dish pictured above. This restaurant uses prickly ash, pepper, garlic, ginger and fermented soybeans to ensure diners get an authentic taste of Szechuan cuisine. Our top dishes here include their sizzling beef in chili oil, ginger beef, stir fried pea shoots and of course, their water-boiled barramundi covered in spicy, red peppers.
To Hot Hot Pot – heat scale: 8 130 – 8171 Ackroyd Road, Richmond
For an entirely different experience, try To Hot Hot Pot. Situated in a strip mall on Ackroyd Road, the restaurant bills itself as a Chongqing style hot pot restaurant and they take their fiery flavours seriously. Our top tip here: split the hot pot into two to enjoy maximum flavor. The broths available here include the original Chongqing style soup, pork rib soup, and duck with pickled vegetables. Choose your proteins, ranging from Wagyu beef, oysters, spot prawns and spicy pork ribs and accompanying vegetables from the refrigerated section in the back of the restaurant. To Hot is a definitely group dining experience – it allows diners to maximize the cost and portions of the generous heaps of protein.
Warning: Szechuan Delicious isn’t for the faint of heart! This small hole-in-the-wall restaurant doesn’t hold back on the liberal – and we mean liberal – use of peppercorns and chilis in their dishes. If you’re new to Szechuan cuisine, we suggest trying out some of the other restaurants on this list first! Must-try dishes include their water-boiled fish, spicy wok-fried green beans, the mapo tofu and their extremely spicy dan dan noodles (pictured at the top of this article).
Bushuair – heat level: off the charts 121 – 4600 No. 3 Road, Richmond
Finally, we get to the spiciest restaurant of the bunch: Bushuair Restaurant. Located just south of Parker Place Mall on No. 3 Road, Bushuair Restaurant serves both Hunan and Szechuan cuisines – also known as some of China’s most chili-heavy culinary traditions. Most Hunan dishes contain the cuisine’s trinity of chilies (usually Tien Tsin peppers, which are approximately 6 to 30 times hotter than your Jalapeno peppers), garlic and shallots, and typically use more fresh ingredients, whereas Sichuan cuisine typically uses more dried and preserved foods. Due to the freshness, the spice level here is literally off the charts. Don’t be afraid to ask for water with your meal – or perhaps a glass of milk! Our favourite items here are the cumin beef, the spicy free range chicken and the fern root noodles (pictured above).
Take our advice: choose your bites carefully, pad them with something starchy, go slow, avoid the peppercorns and chilis, and you’ll be fine. The hardest part might just be convincing your friends to go along with you!
No excuses – our west coast palette is refined, so waxy chocolate bunnies, rock-hard jellybeans and Peeps (what are those even made of anyway?) are just plain unacceptable. We can do better. And we do! Here, three of BC’s best chocolate makers show us what’s new for Easter 2017.
Wild Sweets By Dominique and Cindy Duby in Richmond have new chocolate art collections with made in-house designs and from origin cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate. Sophisticated flavours include cassis caramels, pistachio praline and cherry caramel ganache, and a liquid strawberry caramel with dulce de leche. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Purdys Chocolatier is about as old-school and iconic as you get. Founded in 1907 in Vancouver, they have a long history of providing the West Coast with melt-in-your-mouth Easter chocolate. But that doesn’t mean the brand isn’t constantly reinventing its collection and bringing out new products non-stop. New this year is “hidden treats”, a cute and customizable tote that you can fill with your choice of chocolates and candy at any of the Purdys locations. Plus, the tote has space to write names on it, because the Easter Bunny is clever like that. Visit Purdys stores or shop online.
Thomas Haas Chocolates & Pâtisserie from Vancouver’s North Shore has a delightful way of combining charming classic styles like the laughing bunny, with world-class quality chocolate. This Easter the line up includes “hen and chicks”, with a mother hen and her chicks filled with surprise chocolate creations, truffle eggs, and an Easter egg nest. Visit the Kitsilano or North Shore shops, or online.
Attention coffee and dessert lovers! There’s a unique game in town that promises to change your perceptions of what a coffee shop is like.
Faebrew opened in Richmond in August 2016. The first thing you’ll notice about Faebrew that’s different from other coffee shops is that there’s no menu. That’s because owner Vincent Wong says Faebrew exists to make customers happy, so he’s ready to make whatever they are in the mood for drinking, however weird or outlandish it may be.
To illustrate, he’s made coffees that are fruity, coffees that are highly acidic, ones that represent depression…even one with a raw egg in it. And if you don’t like what’s presented to you, you don’t get charged for it, even though Vincent says he’s yet to encounter an unhappy customer.
The name Faebrew comes from faeries, and the idea that each coffee served is magical and is a faerie’s brew. To further play off this theme, the handles of the cups used at Faebrew resemble fairy wings. Each cup is unique and locally made.
Other than having no menu, Faebrew is “drink-in” only. To Vincent, it’s important that the shop cultivates a sense of community and provides a comfortable gathering place for people to connect. Simply put, Faebrew is a bar without alcohol.
That’s also why closing time is more a suggestion only. Although the hours posted are 10 am to 11 pm daily, if a customer feels like staying, Vincent says he wouldn’t ask him or her to leave. (By the way, the latest he’s stayed is 4 am.)
The beans at Faebrew are custom roasted and come from all over the world, including Colombia, Brazil, Jamaica, Panama, Kenya, USA and Guatemala. And if coffee isn’t your thing, Faebrew also offers teas.
Desserts at Faebrew are as delightful as the beverages. You can choose from lemon tarts, tiramisu, macaroons and more. (Vincent loves getting new flavour ideas from customers and is currently considering adding black sesame and matcha macaroons to the line-up.) He sources the desserts from local renowned pastry chefs and works closely with them to come up with new creations.
The starting price for a cup of coffee is $12.50, and desserts are in the range of $10 to $15. You can also place special orders. For example, with advanced reservation, Vincent can bring in and make you the infamous kopi luwak, termed the world’s rarest coffee and made with coffee beans that have been digested by an Indonesian cat-like animal called the civet, for $40 a cup. Some people know it as the “civet cat poop” coffee.
So, if you’ve always had a unique coffee craving that can’t be met anywhere, or, if you’re simply a coffee or dessert aficionado, go and check out Faebrew. Just make sure you clear off your schedule for the day – chances are you’ll probably want to stay for a while.
Have you ever passed by the honey stand at the farmers’ market and wondered why there are so many different colours of the sweet stuff?
“Bees make honey by collecting nectar from flowers,” says Karin Giesbrecht of Lulu Island Honey, a family-owned beekeeping company from Richmond. “Different nectar sources mean different flavours, colours and aromas.” Crystallization also affects the colour (crystals cause honey to appear lighter), as well as the temperature outside (understandably, as there are different flowers in bloom in each climate and season.)
The USDA classifies honey into seven colour categories: water white, extra white, white, extra light amber, light amber, amber and dark amber. Typically, honey that’s lighter in colour is milder in smell and taste; darker honey is stronger.
Because there are so many different types of flowers all over the world that bees can collect nectar from, there are hundreds of varieties of honey.
Lulu Island Honey’s hives are in Abbotsford and Richmond, BC. “Canada’s pristine open spaces and northern climate offer perfect conditions for honey production,” says Giesbrecht. Visitors to BC (and Lulu Island Honey) can expect to taste everything from a light clover honey to a darker wildflower variety. “Our current batch has a lot of blackberry in it,” says Giesbrecht.
Traveling to the Greater Vancouver area? Be sure to stop at these five places in Richmond to grab a bite to eat, or a refreshing drink before taking off to your final destination.
Prata-Man Singaporean Cuisine 9060 Capstan Way
For absolutely traditional Hainanese Chicken, Prata-Man is the place to go. The definition of ‘hole-in-the-wall,’ Prata-Man is hidden at the end of a small plaza on Garden City Way. The specialty here is Hainanese chicken, which is essentially a deboned, poached chicken served cold, with a bowl of clear, gingery broth and a bowl of chicken-oil rice. Enjoy this with a side of their skewered meats (chicken, pork or beef) and some house-made roti and curry to round out the meal.
Flying Beaver Bar & Grill 4760 Inglis Drive
The Flying Beaver Bar & Grill is a bustling bar located in the Harbour Air seaplane terminal. What makes this place unique is the view from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Patrons can watch seaplanes take off and land right on the middle arm of the Fraser River, while enjoying a range of food and drink specials. Not sure what you should eat? The halibut tacos with blackened halibut, mango salsa, chipotle aioli and coleslaw are a crowd favourite. If you’re a fan of wings, on Wednesdays after 4:30 p.m., you can get them for 60 cents each , along with $5 drink specials including sleeves of Sleeman honey brown lager and the sunset cocktail, consisting of raspberry-infused vodka and 7-Up. mjg.ca/flying-beaver
Lulu Island Winery 16880 Westminster Highway
Lulu Island Winery is the newest and largest winery in Richmond producing many quality wines including red and white table wines, fruit wines, and Canada’s very own ice wines. All of Lulu Island’s quality wines are produced on site, using only the best grapes. With the latest equipment in the art of wine making and over 30 years of experience in crafting fine wines, Lulu Island Winery is a stop not to be missed in Richmond. Stop by Lulu Island Winery for a free wine tasting of up to five of their delicious table, fruit and ice wines, or book a tour for your group, starting with a visit to their vineyard right in Richmond. luluislandwinery.com
Milltown Bar & Grill 101 – 9191 Bentley Street
Milltown Bar & Grill offers superb views of the Fraser River, and Vancouver International Airport. Regulars come here for their fantastic selection of beer and food. Not content with serving just regular pub fare, Milltown Bar & Grill’s menu matches the rustic wood décor (the site was formerly a wood mill), with accessible, West Coast options that range from loaded barge nachos (small $14.50; large $19), margherita pizza ($14.25), to a maple salmon salad with maple glazed salmon, strawberries, roasted almonds, goat cheese and mixed greens with honey apple vinaigrette ($16). milltownbar.com
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks 11220 Horseshoe Way
Fuggles and Warlock is Richmond’s craft brewery known for “keeping beer weird.” Pushing the traditional styles of beer to the limit by adding a west coast flair to their ales, Fuggles and Warlock has some adventurous brews aimed toward adventurous palettes. This full production brewery is tucked away in an industrial office lot and has a full tasting room open to the public, complete with hot menu items to accompany the beer flights. fuggleswarlock.com
From elegant décor, gorgeous views and impeccable service, there’s definitely a restaurant or two that fits any budget for a romantic date night meal in Richmond. Here are four date-night-worthy restaurants that you may not have tried yet.
Located in the Pacific Gateway Hotel (3500 Cessna Drive), Pier 73 Restaurant is waterfront dining at its very best. The Fraser River, Mount Baker, the Cascade Mountain Range and the North Shore Mountains are within easy view of the restaurant, day or night. Executive chef Morgan Lechner and executive sous chef Edison Antejos are known to feature fresh, local ingredients in all of their menu items.
In fact, Pier 73’s made the whole month of February known as the ‘month of luuuuv,’ during which they’ll be serving dishes for sharing, inspired by the romance of Valentine’s Day. For them, ‘luv’ entails ordering a bottle of wine for two, as well as some share plates. To take things over the top, the restaurant suggests feeding your sweetie by hand if you want to go over-the-top-romantic!
On the menu for the ‘month of luuuuv’ are dishes that encompass the best of west coast dining: chilled prawns with lemon pepper aioli and cocktail sauce; BC ling cod with Kalamata olives, pico de gallo (salsa fresca), watercress and extra virgin oil; and a 6 oz. flat iron steak with radish, watercress and a red wine sauce. Don’t forget to order dessert, like a warm chocolate fondant or blueberry pear crisp. You’ll be feeling the food ‘luv’ in no time!
Likely one of the coolest places in Steveston, gudrun tasting room (150 – 3500 Moncton Street) makes for a fine date night spot, any day of the week. Chef Paul Finlay crafts a different menu each night, with sandwiches, soups, salads and more substantial mains (e.g. slow cooked pork with puy lentils, celery root, Cipollini onions and pork jus).
What makes gudrun unique though, is their well-curated wine and beer list, as well as their selection of cheeses. The wine and beer lists include local pours like the Philips’ Longboat Chocolate Porter and the Kettle Valley 2011 Gewurztraminer.
The restaurant also periodically holds very popular Dinner Club events that involve six or seven course meals ($70-75 per person, plus beverages, tax, and gratuity). Guests are seated together at long tables, allowing for much conversation and conviviality.
Arguably one of the best kept secrets as well as best sushi restaurants in Richmond, Sushi Hachi (8888 Odlin Crescent) is a tiny restaurant hidden in plain sight. With its entrance facing Cambie street, this 20-seat sushi restaurant is only open five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday from 5pm to 9pm. Sushi Hachi is definitely a date night worthy restaurant.
Run by a husband and wife team, Sushi Hachi serves the freshest (and tastiest) sushi and sashimi plates in Richmond. Our top picks for a satisfying dinner include the Chef’s Choice sashimi (10 pieces) and Chef’s Choice sushi (10 pieces plus 1 roll), both available for $25 each. The Chef’s Choice options are served omakase-style – piece by piece – a luxurious experience at a steal. Don’t forget to ask what the daily specials are: whether they’re fresh oysters or live uni, you’ll be able to find some exquisite dishes here!
Despite its name, Sugarholic (4151 Hazelbridge Way, inside Aberdeen Centre) doesn’t just serve sugary desserts and dishes. They also offer lunch sets and dinner specials, along with an impressive drink and dessert menu to go with your savoury dishes. Drawing on flavours from both East and West, Sugarholic’s extensive tea menu includes Chinese Rose and Red Date Longan Tea, as well as more traditional teas such as Earl Grey.
Enjoy house-made desserts, such as their Ferrero Rocher chocolate cake, in their powder-blue dining room with white accents and sparkling chandeliers. Feeling fancier? Afternoon tea service is available any time of day and starts at $13.95 for the 4-piece dessert set with the choice of any herbal tea. One and two-tier dessert sets are also available at $29.95 and $49.95.
Wherever you go for date night, these places will definitely not disappoint!
With a backyard of clean rivers and lakes, the Pacific Ocean, and rich fertile land, the farmers, chefs, brewers, distillers, fishers, and producers are able to bring their diverse traditions, cultures, and creativity to the plates, cups, and glasses of Canada’s west coast. The taste is hyper local, from Vancouver to the Fraser Valley.
Vancouver International Airport just opened a new restaurant much to the delight of travelers – Lift Bar & Grill. Yep, the same company as the original luxurious Coal Harbour location in downtown Vancouver. If you’re in the international terminal, you can’t miss this gorgeous new eatery, wrapped around YVR’s iconic aquarium.
As we all know restaurant design is crucial, the blend of warm oak, steely blues and charcoal pairs well with the Oceanwise-certified seafood-dominated menu. Executive Chef Soojin Park has moved over from the downtown location, and brings her talents as a chef at Toronto’s famed Pan-Asian restaurant, Rain, and in-the-trenches experience on the Food Network series, Made to Order.
Plenty of sushi and sashimi appears on the menu, plus trendy tuna poke, and lobster mac and cheese. Carnivores will love the wild boar pork belly and vegetarian pad Thai will please the herbivores in the crowd. Brunch? Tuck into the braised beef hash or smoked salmon omelet before grabbing that long international flight. Knowing what the in-flight food options are on most flights, you’ll be glad you did.
It’s baaaack! Dine Out Vancouver returns next week on January 20 for 17 days full of culinary delights. This year, fourteen Richmond restaurants are participating in this yearly event, offering both lunch and dinner menus ranging anywhere from $15 to $40 for three-course meals. For simplicity’s sake, we’ve sorted the restaurants by neighbourhood.
Catch Kitchen and Bar Catch Kitchen and Bar offers the best view of Steveston’s historic harbour as well as a fun, fresh and upscale menu. Choose from in-house prepared crab cakes to a Peppercorn New York steak to satiate your west coast fare craving.
Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Gluten-free and vegetarian options available.
Shady Island Seafood Bar & Grill Reach out and touch the Fraser River from Shady Island Seafood Bar & Grill right in front of Fisherman’s Wharf. The must-eat items here are their seafood chowder, the ultra-filling Fisherman’s Pot filled to the brim with BC clams, mussels, scallops, calamari, prawns and crab, and of course, the tiramisu.
Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Vegetarian options available.
Yokohama Teppanyaki Japanese Restaurant Teppanyaki isn’t just a dinner – it’s an art form. Yokohama Teppanyaki Japanese Restaurant serves up traditional Japanese teriyaki dishes as well as fresh seafood such as lobster tail and cod, cooked right in front of your eyes. Not a fan of being seated at a Teppanyaki table with a group of others? Not to worry – Yokohama Teppanyaki Japanese Restaurant also offers regular table seating as part of their Dine Out menus!
Lunch menu pricing: $19.95 for three courses. Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Vegetarian options available.
The Keg Steakhouse + Bar – Richmond South Located just south of Steveston Highway on Number 5 Road, The Richmond Keg Steakhouse + Bar offers classic steak and seafood dishes grilled to perfection. Choose from their 12 oz prime rib, New York steak, The Keg Oscar platter, or the honey-glazed salmon for an ultimately satisfying meal in a family-friendly restaurant.
Dinner menu pricing: $40 for three courses.
Chop Steakhouse & Bar at the Signature Sandman Hotel Vancouver Airport Serving up tender cuts of steak, prime rib and fresh seafood, along with an expansive and affordable wine list, Chop Steakhouse and Bar is your place to go for an upscale dinner experience. Be sure to try their Hunter Chicken in a rich mushroom sauce, or the Top Sirloin served with your choice of wasabi-infused mashed potatoes, baked potato, fries or vegetables from their Dine Out menu.
Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Vegetarian options available.
Moxie’s Bar & Grill – Richmond Moxie’s Bar & Grill offers upscale west coast fare in a casual, family-friendly restaurant. This year, their Dine Out menu focuses on an international taste, with Korean-fried cauliflower to a chipotle mango chicken and a sweet mini sticky toffee pudding.
Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Gluten-free and vegetarian options available.
The American Grille – Marriott Vancouver Airport The American Grille is one of the best-kept secrets in Richmond, when it comes to a restaurant with an open-grill kitchen. Serving favourite west coast fare and wild BC seafood, executive chef Danilo Ibarra makes it a point to showcase only the finest available ingredients in his dishes. Be sure to try the seafood crab cakes (lunch) or the lamb shank (served at dinner only)!
Lunch menu pricing: $20 for three courses. Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses.
Carver’s Steakhouse – Executive Airport Plaza Hotel Vancouver Airport As the name would suggest, Carver’s Steakhouse serves only certified Angus beef from Canadian ranches for their steaks. Carver’s Steakhouse supports local farms and is an active participant in Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program and as such, is able to serve fresh, local ingredients to diners in their casual, upscale restaurant.
Dinner menu: $40 for three courses. Vegetarian options available.
CAVU – Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel CAVU is your place to go to indulge in classic comfort foods with a gourmet twist. Executive chef Alex Hancock’s inclusion of pork belly into a traditional BLT sandwich is available for the lunch menu and it’s a definite must-order item for Dine Out diners! Pair it with a classic Old Fashioned and it’s sure to satiate any belly.
Lunch menu pricing: $15 for three courses. Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Gluten and vegetarian options available.
Harold’s Bistro & Bar at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Named after its most loyal patron, Mr. Harold Cross, Harold’s Bistro & Bar at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport is a Richmond treasure. Between the lively atmosphere and a fantastic menu featuring short rib ragout, crab cakes and duck breast, you’ll be left wondering if you’re at home or on the road!
Lunch menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses.
The Boathouse Restaurant – Richmond This marina-side seafood restaurant is distinctively west coast. From fresh-shucked oysters to the best west coast seafood chowder you can get, The Boathouse Restaurant in Richmond offers a fresh and local menu and a great restaurant atmosphere for a casual lunch with friends, or a romantic evening.
Lunch menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Vegetarian and gluten free options available.
Curve Lounge at the River Rock Casino Resort Situated in the lobby of the River Rock Casino Resort, Curve Lounge has access to the boardwalk and marina just beyond the resort grounds. It’s the perfect place to have a light dinner and some drinks right before taking in a show or visiting the casino. Be sure to try the double smoked pork belly appetizer – it’s a must eat dish here!
Dinner menu pricing: $30 for three courses. Vegetarian options available.
Tramonto at the River Rock Casino Resort Nestled on the third floor of the east hotel tower, Tramonto is resort dining at its finest. Sous chef Omar Abdel Hadi provides an inventive menu using the best in local ingredients to give diners a taste of downtown Vancouver dining without leaving Richmond. Our top pick from the Dine Out menu is the slow baked steelhead dish – it’s just divine.
Dinner menu pricing: $40 for three courses. Vegetarian and gluten free options available.
Flying Beaver Bar & Grill If you’re looking for more casual fare coupled with an amazing and unique view, Flying Beaver Bar & Grill is the place to go. Located right on the north arm of the Fraser River at the north end of the No. 2 Road bridge in Richmond, the Flying Beaver Bar & Grill lets you sit and watch the arrival and departure of Harbour Air seaplanes. Top picks from the Dine Out menu include the grilled pork chops and the lemon meringue pie – both deceptively simple, but oh-so-satisfying.
Dinner menu pricing: $20 for three courses. Vegetarian options available.
Pier 73 Restaurant at the Pacific Gateway Hotel at Vancouver Airport Pier 73 Restaurant offers fantastic views of the Fraser River and the North Shore mountains – but that’s just icing on the cake. Executive chef Morgan Lechner and sous chef Edison Antejos shares a passion for sustainable and local ingredients – and the menu definitely reflects this. This time around, the duo’s serving up slow-roasted lamb shoulder with in-house made ricotta gnocchi and Pier 73 chowder made with sustainable clam and Gelderman bacon. Delicious!
Most restaurants are on lock-down during Christmas and we can’t really blame them. It is, after all, a time to celebrate with friends and family! Even so, Christmas remains the busiest day for the few restaurants that are open during this holiday. If you’re visiting Richmond during the holidays, be sure to try our top five restaurant picks in Richmond open during Christmas:
HK BBQ Master
If you’re looking to get a fill of Cantonese-style barbecue, HK BBQ Master (4651 No. 3 Road) is hands down one of the best places to get your fill of char siu, crispy skin roast pork, BBQ duck or BBQ chicken. It’s a tiny hole-in-the-wall type eatery with just 14 seats and they accept cash only for payment. So be warned: come early to snag seats, or buy the meats by the pound with a side of rice and take it to go for an enormously satisfying meal.
Open during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Closed on Wednesdays. Cash only restaurant.
Ichiro Japanese Restaurant
This top-notch Japanese restaurant will fulfill your sushi craving during the holidays! Open from 11:30am to 2pm for lunch service and again from 5pm to 9pm for dinner service, Ichiro Japanese Restaurant (110 – 12011 Second Avenue) offers authentic and artfully prepared sushi, combined with fresh west coast flavours and ingredients. Take a cue from those in-the-know and order the gomae – the perfect way to start your meal. Next, choose from an extensive menu of traditional entrees and sushi, plus house specialties like the Steveston roll: a combination of sweet shrimp, salmon and tuna.
Open during Christmas Eve. Closed on Christmas day. Credit cards, debit cards and cash accepted.
For those craving something deliciously spicy, we’ve got to warn you – Szechuan Delicious (6610 No. 3 Road) isn’t for the faint of heart! Szechuan cuisine is all about bold flavours and the liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, which often results in a mouth-numbing sensation that makes people come back for more. Must-try dishes include their water-boiled fish, spicy beef in chili oil, the mapo tofu and their extremely spicy dan dan noodles. Don’t be afraid to ask for water or tea to help with the spiciness level!
Open during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Closed on Tuesdays. Cash only restaurant.
If you still crave poultry for Christmas, a party tray of fried chicken from LA Chicken (160 – 11780 Thorpe Road) is the perfect crowd pleaser. Available in 10 to 20+ pieces per tray, the fried chicken comes in either the original batter or the spicy variety. Locally owned and run by a husband and wife team, LA Chicken serves up some delicious, crispy, crazy good crunchy battered fried chicken that’s guaranteed to satiate any fried chicken craving you might have.
Open during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The three magic words, “Wonton Noodle Soup” can instantly warm up a cold winter day. The thought of a steaming bowl of clear broth, thin egg noodles and little wrapped packets of minced pork and shrimp are enough to make even the laziest brave the elements to get a bowl of this delicious soup. Where better to get a bowl of comforting noodle soup than Tsim Chai (50 – 8251 Westminster Highway), where wontons reign supreme? Wonton noodle soup plus a piping hot bowl of their shredded pork congee may be exactly what you need to stay warm on a cold winter’s eve!
Open during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Cash only accepted for payment.
Strawberry wit, boysenberry sour, and of course, a variety of pumpkin beers made with local farm-fresh gourds are just the beginning of the seasonal, inventive, quirky craft beers brewing on Canada’s West Coast.
Health enthusiasts know the benefits of drinking green tea, especially matcha, due to the fact that the bright green stuff is rich in antioxidants, boosts memory and energy levels, plus detoxifies the body.
New Whisk Premium Matcha is the brainchild of Richmond, BC entrepreneur Kimmy Xiao, and this mother of two is pretty stoked about finding, and sharing, the highest quality out matcha out there.
Sourced in Kyoto, Japan, this organic tea is brought in for Xiao’s Whisk brand, then packaged right in Richmond before selling to us online or at select stores throughout the GVRD, including Pure Barre Studios.
Three different grades of matcha are available (including the esteemed Pinnacle Gold), plus a selection of accessories and beautifully packaged gift sets just in time for the holidays. Xiao states that “we want to bring this authentic artisanal matcha experience to people’s everyday life while promoting a healthy, active and balanced lifestyle.”
Since matcha gives us that kick in the pants that coffee does, but without the crash mid-day, all we can say is arigato – and give this gorgeous green stuff a try.
As the colder months approach, most of us start to seek out more comfort foods to warm our bellies. We had the chance to talk to several Vancouver foodies to ask them what their favourite dishes were in Richmond, BC – check out what they had to say and get your fill today.
Nora Hamade, better known as NomnomYVR on Instagram, is known for her beautiful food photography. With a love for travel and a passion for her hobby – food photography – this Richmondite knows her Chinese comfort foods well. Here’s what her favourite food is:
“The beef noodle soupfromPearl Castle is one of my favourite spots to hit in Richmond! Tender bits of beef and chewy noodles… who doesn’t love that?!”
Get your fill at one of two Pearl Castle locations in Richmond:
Pearl Castle Café Richmond Centre CF Richmond Centre
1782 – 6060 Minoru Boulevard
Richmond, BC V6Y 2A7
Pearl Castle Café Continental Plaza Continental Centre
1128 – 3779 Sexsmith Road
Richmond, BC V6X 3Z9
Please note: both locations accept cash and debit cards for payment.
Lindsay is a food and travel writer based out of Vancouver, but before that, she was the foodie blogger for 365 Days of Dining. Eating at 365 different restaurants over the course of a year, Lindsay definitely knows her Richmond restaurants. Here’s what her favourite Chinese comfort foods are:
“I’d say my comfort go-to’s are the pineapple bun, complete with a slice of salted butter – that’s non-negotiable – from Lido… or the bibimbap from Haroo. Or the tan tan noodles anywhere. Can’t get enough of them!”
Find them here:
Lido Restaurant 4231 Hazelbridge Way
Richmond, BC V6X 3L7
Haroo Restaurant Venezia Place
2000 – 8580 Alexandra Road
Richmond, BC V6X 4B3
Xi’An Cuisine Richmond Public Market, second floor food court
2370 – 8260 Westminster Highway
Richmond, BC V6X 1A7
Please note: all locations above accept cash only for payment.
Sherman’s just a guy who loves food, hockey and softball. Game to eat almost anything from dives to fine dining, Sherman has visited over 200 (and counting) restaurants just in Richmond alone – and he’s written about every one of them on his blog, Sherman’s Food Adventures. Find out what his favourite Chinese comfort food is:
“Whenever I come back into town from holidays, I stop by in Richmond for some wonton soup at Tsim Chai. The warmth and aroma from the steaming hot soup wafts up into the air creating a sense of reassurance that I’m back in the GVRD. But that’s only one part, as the buttery wontons with sweet shrimp kissed by a touch of sesame oil helps soothe the soul. This is my comfort food that I generally crave anytime I’m away.”
Diana first began her blog, Foodology.ca, to keep in touch with friends through food adventures on both the west and east coasts. Since then, the blog’s taken on a life of its own and Diana’s blog has become a destination for local restaurant reviews and fast food. Having dined at over 100 Richmond restaurants, it’s fair to say she has a good handle on what the city has to offer. Here’s her favourite Chinese comfort food dish in Richmond:
“The preserved egg and pork congee from Tsim Chai has to be my pick. Congee has been my comfort food since I was a little kid. Whenever I’m feeling a little under the weather, my mother would make me a big bowl of congee. When it’s raining and I see congee on the menu, it’s hard for me to not order it!”
Visit Tsim Chai and get a bow full of wontons and noodles, or congee (or both!) here:
8251 Westminster Highway
Richmond, BC V6X 1A7
Please note: Tsim Chai accepts cash only for payment.
You might know Mijune better as Follow Me Foodie on Instagram and Twitter. She’s also the founder and writer of FollowMeFoodie.com. While her Instagram account is drool-worthy enough, her blog offers a far more in-depth and honest look into the restaurants she’s dined at in Vancouver, and throughout the world. Here’s what she had to say about her favourite Chinese comfort foods in Richmond:
“This is a good question and I have two answers: Hong Kong BBQ Master and the xiao long bao at Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen. By now, Hong Kong BBQ Master shouldn’t be a secret and if it still is, a lot of people are missing out. I travel a lot for work and if it’s not in Hong Kong, then I look forward to BBQ pork and roast pig from HK BBQ Master. It rivals the local favourites in Hong Kong and it’s a quick, easy meal. I also crave Shanghai soup dumplings – it’s undeniably comforting just thinking of the hot, rich broth that bursts out of these dumplings. A lot of restaurants makes them to order and that alone reminds me of mom’s home cooking. My top pick is Chen’s in Richmond, but everyone has their favourites!”
Get your fill of both xiao long baos and Cantonese-style bbq here:
Hong Kong BBQ Master
4651 No. 3 Road (located inside the parking lot underneath the Superstore on No. 3 Road)
Richmond, BC V6X 2C4
Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen 8095 Park Road
Richmond, BC V6Y 2Y8
Please note: both restaurants accept cash only for payment.
The thirst for locally made, small-batch brews has just been getting thirstier and Richmond is meeting the demand by serving up unique beers in various communities across the island city. Take a look at our top five places to get your craft beer drink on in Richmond, BC.
Fuggles and Warlock
Fuggles and Warlock is known for keeping beer weird and is the only craft brewery in Richmond’s with an onsite tasting lounge. Pushing the traditional styles of beer to the limit by adding West Coast flair to their ales, Fuggles and Warlock has some adventurous brews aimed toward adventurous palettes. This full production brewery is tucked away in an industrial office park just off Highway 99, making it the perfect place to stop for a pint on your way to Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Be sure to check out their full tasting room and hot-food menu.
Our top picks at Fuggles & Warlock:
The Last Strawberry Wit, brewed with fresh strawberries from Abbotsford
Beam Me Up Espresso Milk Stout, brewed in collaboration with Salt Spring Coffee
Britannia Brewing Company
Located on the main waterfront stretch of Steveston Village, Britannia Brewing Company is Richmond’s newest craft beer destination with a full-service restaurant. Serving up catch-of-the-day fare such as fish & chips, ceviche, and poke bowls, Britannia Brewing rounds off its menu with bar snacks and a killer selection of juicy burgers. Finish off your meal with a flight of Britannia Brewing Company’s beers, all brewed in Richmond, BC.
Our top picks at Britannia Brewing Company:
Britannia Rye Porter
Britannia Adrift Hot Blonde
Just a bit further down the street from Britannia Brewing is Hog Shack, Richmond’s only American-style BBQ restaurant, serving up meaty plates of ribs, brisket, pulled pork and much more. They pair their meat with a thoughtful selection of craft beer from the lower mainland, so if you’re looking for a decent selection, and craving some seriously delicious double-smoked brisket ends, this is the place to go.
The beers on tap change on the regular, but some favourites of ours are as follows:
Driftwood Amber Ale
Howe Sound Lager
Jetside Bar at Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel is just steps away from the international departures terminal at the Vancouver International Airport. It’s also home to Jetside Bar, the most popular lounge within the airport itself. Exclusive to the Fairmont hotels is the Fairmont Honey Lager, made with honey harvested from the hotels’ beehives and brewed by Whistler Brewing. Treat yourself to a flight of local craft beers that offer a taste of BC’s local craft brewing scene.
Our top picks at Jetside Bar:
Fairmont Honey Lager by Whistler Brewing
Driftwood “Fat Tug” IPA
FRESH Restaurant and Lounge at the Radisson Vancouver Airport Hotel
A quick walk north of the Canada Line Aberdeen Station takes you to the Radisson Vancouver Airport Hotel, where you’ll find FRESH Restaurant and Lounge. Serving up Korean street tacos to a low-fat umami turkey burger served with double cooked fries, you’ll find an extremely tasty menu featuring west coast fare with a twist. Not only that, you’ll also find the full lineup of Phillips beers from Victoria, making FRESH Restaurant and Lounge one of the best places to taste the lineup of beers outside of the company’s tasting room in Victoria.
Go for a drive into Richmond’s countryside and you’ll find this marvel located just a short distance from the highway. The Fowl Farmer is a family-owned and operated establishment that is the storefront for Mayview and Maybog Farms. Put a face to the people who make your food and drop in for something delicious; the May family are longtime cranberry and antibiotic-free poultry farmers who produce for big names like Ocean Spray and A&W.
Meet the Mays
The best part about The Fowl Farmer is being able to ask questions. Get curious, chat and ask about poultry or cranberries or any of the other products you see. The May family’s been farming for over 30 years and they can tell you exactly what goes into the food you’re eating.
Fresh, Local Products
The Fowl Farmer is open year-round, with a wide variety of garden-fresh produce and an array of fresh and frozen meat items available – from homemade sausages and patties, to whole chickens and cutlets. With all the garden vegetables and antibiotic-free meat options you’ll be sure to please the palate of all the poultry lovers in your family.
You’ll also find other local artisan products stocked on the shelves, like spice mixes, jams, goat cheeses and balsamic vinegars. If you want an all-natural, Canadian-grown food selection then The Fowl Farmer is where you’ll find it.
During cranberry season you’ll find The Fowl Farmer under a big sky, surrounded by lush red, and in the thick of fall you’ll find the store stocked with cranberries and cranberry-infused items alongside all of their other take-home-and-make meal options.
You’ll be sure to leave hungry so don’t forget to take home with you some:
Jalapeno Chicken Burgers
Homemade Italian Meatballs
And of course one of their delicious homemade pies!
Take yourself on a tasty adventure with Richmond’s new self-guided Dumpling Trail. With each location just a short walking distance from each other, the Dumpling Trail makes it easy to experience new flavours that are sure to make their way onto your favourites list. Each restaurant has been hand-selected by Tourism Richmond to ensure a great experience, so travel the Trail as a group or take your best foodie friend with you and experience all of Richmond’s top dumpling hotspots.
The Dumpling Trail is designed to take you on an exciting culinary adventure. Where to begin? Try one of these sure-fire places:
Avid dim sum lovers look no further. Empire Seafood Restaurant has all the staples, including an elegant white tablecloth and round-table environment to enjoy good dumplings over conversations with your whole family. The quality of each bite is top-notch, with all dumplings handmade and packed with flavour.
What to order?
Deep fried duck and taro pastries
Steamed shrimp dumplings
Deep fried minced pork and dried shrimp dumplings
Bonus: Try the flaky egg tarts!
Note from Tourism Richmond: Try their signature xiao long bao.
For a more intimate atmosphere, try the upscale dining experience at Su Hang. With a window that looks right into the kitchen, you can watch as the dumpling chef works diligently away at creating each tasty morsel from scratch. With quick and friendly service, make sure you come hungry and prepared to eat.
What to order?
Steamed veggie dumplings
Pan fried shrimp and chives dumplings
Steamed bun with pork filling
Bonus: The sweet Sesame Dumplings & Rice Glue in Wine!
Tucked away in an unsuspecting corner lies this gem – an eatery that exists partly because of how good their handmade Korean dumplings are. You see, Samsoonie has been making dumplings – or mandu – for 8 years, and they’ve been so successful as a supplier that they decided to open up a restaurant. You can taste the heart and soul that goes into each piece.
Now this place is a real treat. Located in Lansdowne shopping mall, it’s not only a more quick-and-casual option but it’s also a great learning experience. Watch as they make dumplings right in front of you and enjoy the authentic experience, almost like you’re in someone’s kitchen. Head in for a quick bite or stay awhile and try them all – it’s up to you.
What to order?
Steamed juice pork buns
Boiled pork dumplings with chives
Grilled beef dumplings
Bonus: Take some frozen dumplings home with you!
Note from Tourism Richmond: Try their signature xiao long bao.
Feeling spicy? Hop over to Golden Sichuan Restaurant and tantalize your taste buds with dumplings that have bite. The combination of chillies and the soft texture of their dumpling will leave you craving this handmade goodness for days.
What to order?
Sichuan wonton with chilli oil
Boiled pork and Chinese cabbage dumplings
Bonus: Sichuan-style everything!
To learn more about dumplings styles, and for a complete map of each location, visit the Dumpling Trail website.
Around this time every year, Richmond grocery stores and bakeries are filled with towers of small, round cakes in fancy boxes and festive packaging. This is because we’re approaching the Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the most important annual festivals in Chinese culture, right after Chinese New Year.
Celebrated among people from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea and Japan, the Mid-Autumn Festival is typically celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth Chinese lunar month every year. This year, it lands on September 15.
What is the Mid-Autumn Festival?
The Mid-Autumn Festival is always celebrated on a day that coincides with a full moon. Ancient Chinese emperors worshipped the sun in the spring and moon in autumn, as they believed that the practice would bring them a plentiful harvest the next year. The practice entailed placing a large table in the middle of the yard under the moon, where offerings such as apples, plums, grapes and incense were offered to the moon. Moon cakes and pomelos were the most essential offerings, though. The pomelo’s skin is sometimes sliced and opened up into a lotus shape when offered as a sacrifice.
What’s the tradition and connection with moon cakes?
In Chinese culture, roundness symbolizes completeness and togetherness. A full moon symbolizes prosperity and reunion for the whole family. Round moon cakes complement the harvest moon in the night sky at the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a special occasion for family reunions. When the full moon rises, families get together to watch the full moon, light up lanterns and eat moon cakes. They’re usually eaten in small wedges during the Festival and nowadays people present moon cakes to relatives and friends to demonstrate that they wish them a long and happy life.
What are the tastiest kinds of moon cake?
A typical moon cake is a round-shaped pastry with a thin-crust skin enveloping a sweet, dense filling of paste such as sweet bean, lotus seed, taro or a mixture of nuts and seeds. A favourite is a whole salted egg yolk placed in the centre of a moon cake, which also symbolizes the full moon. Moon cakes can also be savoury with fillings such as ham, pork floss, and seafood (abalone and seaweed).
Where to get moon cakes in Richmond
There are a wide range of beautifully wrapped, packaged moon cakes for sale nearly one month prior to the actual festival day. You can find great selections of moon cakes in local Asian supermarkets and bakeries. Some Chinese restaurants also make their own.
Here’s some insider’s intel you’ll want to get in on. One of Vancouver’s most sought after catering companies has opened a restaurant in Richmond. Yep, located just on the other side of Knight Street near IKEA, in the business area, Boy With A Knife Catering is serving up lunch – and locals couldn’t be happier.
The 55-person full service restaurant has a licensed patio and a grab ‘n go deli serving soups and grilled sandwiches, espresso and pastries. If you’ve ever attended a wedding, corporate event, or party catered by these ‘boys’ – you know how skilled owners Chef Brandon Dac and Sean Fay are. I chatted with Sean recently about their new venture.
CD: Tell me about your background, for starters.
SF: The business came about pretty organically. Brandon was working for a catering company in the city and I was working a corporate job in finance. We both were feeling uninspired with what we were doing but one thing that we always enjoyed was throwing dinner parties for our friends. It was funny because Brandon knew food, and I knew service, so we naturally knew how to throw a pretty good party.
I think it was one day after a long day of work we were sitting in our kitchen when we both decided that we should start our own business. Boy With A Knife started in 2013 as a side project out of our kitchen, but as we got going the response to our food was really great. It didn’t take long until we took the leap, quit our full time jobs, and really focused on building BWAK into the business it is today.
CD:Is there a signature dish at the Grill we should know about?
SF: Chicken banh mi is great because it’s a simple burger, but nails all the components of a traditional Vietnamese banh mi sandwich. We make our own du cha (pickled daikon and carrot) with a Sriracha mayo and a lemongrass marinated chicken breast. Another great thing about our banh mi is that the patty is made with potato flour and starch so it is gluten free when used with a gluten free bun.
CD: Is there a hot food trend you are into theses days?
SF: Loving things that are small. Adorable one-biters are my go-to right now.
Visit Boy With A Knife Grill and Deli for happy hour at lunch time – deals and specials daily.
Boy With A Knife
7 – 3331 Viking Way
604.278.0543 (deli & grill)
604-278-0769 (catering) www.boywithaknife.ca
We were all asked this once: what do you want to be when you grow up? In addition to the usual answers of astronaut, doctor and marine biologist, young people in the Lower Mainland are increasingly considering an alternative profession – farmer.
The trend can be attributed to a variety of factors. Some are tired of the nine-to-five grind and want to look for a job that puts them more in touch with nature. Others are motivated by their heightened food literacy and concerns about the global food system. Then there are those who want to shed themselves of technological clutter and return to simpler vocations. Whatever the reason, the demand for knowledge is definitely there, as Kwantlen Polytechnic University runs a popular 10-month program – the Richmond Farm School – that teaches students the skills to engage in small-scale agriculture. Some of the students have gone on to purchase a rural or urban farm, adding an exciting supply of locally grown produce to the Lower Mainland.
Both in their 20s, Caroline Chiu and Brendan Lench are recent graduates of the program. They run a small farm called Golden Choy Farm together in Richmond. (“Choy” means vegetable in Chinese.) Their produce fills a need for Asian vegetables that are fresh and locally grown.
I sat down with them to find out more about their alternative career choice and what they’ve learned so far.
Winnie Tam: What got you interested in farming?
Brendan Lench: For me, it’s the desire to interact intimately with the natural world, to be away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, and participate in a fundamental act: growing food. My family has been farming for generations and thus I have a fondness for rural life.
Caroline Chiu: I grew up in Hong Kong where I didn’t get to learn much about agriculture living in the city, so studying agriculture economics at UBC was very refreshing for me. Living in BC with nature as our playground made me want to connect with it in ways that are more than just a hobby. I decided to dig deeper into agriculture production by volunteering at a farm up in Pemberton, BC, to experience not only the day-to-day farm activities, but also the lifestyle of farmers and the values that they have to pursue this career. It was an enlightening experience and I thoroughly enjoyed the simplicity and fulfillment of doing honest work and providing the basic need of fresh food to customers.
Compared to our parents’ generation where staying in the same profession that they had studied was the norm, we’re privileged in this generation where we have the flexibility and the opportunities to explore different things, as opposed to just having a stable income; it is just as important for us to find a job that feeds our souls.
WT: What type of produce do you grow?
CC: Primarily vegetables used in East Asian cuisine, so bok choy, siu choy, yu choy, gai choy, gai lan, tong ho, ong choy, daikon radish, celtuce, scallions, onions, eggplant and bitter melon. We’re also trying to grow mushrooms: oyster, monkey head and king stropharia.
WT: How did you decide on what to grow?
CC: We felt that there was a niche to be filled, as the majority of Asian produce sold in the Lower Mainland is grown in a large-scale conventional manner or is imported. Even though there are plenty of grocery stores and supermarkets selling a variety of Asian vegetables and mushrooms, we realized that they were lacking at farmers’ markets, so we wanted to fill that gap and provide locally grown, chemical-free alternatives. As with mushrooms, it’s such a high-value crop, yet there is still a gap for mushrooms at farmers’ markets.
WT: What does a typical day on the farm look like for you?
BL: As this is our first year farming, we didn’t want to give up our current jobs and fully dive into farming, so we both have full-time jobs off the farm. We often have to squeeze farm work into any free off-hours in the early mornings, evenings and weekends. As the season has just begun, we do a lot of seeding in early spring and leave them in the hoop-house (a small greenhouse) for them to grow until they’re ready to go in the ground. Typically, Caroline gets up at the crack of dawn to check on our seedlings and water them as needed, and provide ventilation to the hoop-house. I head out in the evening again to check, and if the weather is cooler, to close the hoop-house to insulate the seedlings. Most Saturdays and Sundays are spent together preparing the land, and seeding or planting. As we move into summer time, the farm will get busy with weed management, more plantings and seeding, harvesting and going to farmers’ markets.
It might sound very tiring, but our full-time jobs include working in an office all day long, so having the alternative of being outside is great. There’s always something happening at the farm and the everyday tasks are always changing and unpredictable, so we’re being challenged everyday with new problems that need to be solved. Farming is dependent on so many uncontrollable factors such as pests and weather, so sometimes our crops could potentially be destroyed overnight with a sudden cold snap in the weather. It’s definitely a job where we just have to keep going, and not be deflated too easily.
On top of doing physical work at the farm, there is also a lot of paperwork and planning that happens on a daily basis. Like any self-owned businesses, we have to be experts in accounting, budget planning, machinery, soil health, plant nutrients, marketing, customer service etc. We wear many hats.
WT: Where is your farm located? Do you allow people to visit?
CC: Our farm is situated on the picturesque westernmost border of Richmond near Gilbert Road and Dyke Road. The entire farm site is open to the public, so please come on by! This is the incubator farming site for farm school graduates, so you will find other farmers there as well. If you’re familiar with Richmond – we are right by the dyke, which is a popular place to walk or bicycle and enjoy the maritime scenery.
Learn the latest with Caroline and Brendan by liking their farm’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/goldenchoyfarm. You can also support them by visiting them at various farmers’ markets across the Lower Mainland this season:
Feeling the heat this summer? Cool down with one of these five delectable treats found in Richmond, BC.
The Screamer is a half drink, half dessert hybrid that combines flavoured slush with vanilla soft-serve ice cream on the bottom and top. Screamers are a local favourite available throughout the year at Danny’s Market (9040 Francis Rd.). You can also pick this treat up at Screamers Soft Serve in Steveston during the spring and summer months.
This juicy tropical fruit’s natural tartness and sweetness is a natural pick for Asian desserts. A great mango dessert should be juicy, fragrant, sweet and most importantly, it should send you on a tropical escape. Mango Yummy (6564 No. 3 Road) features a menu of mango-based desserts including drinks, shaved ice bowls, ice cream bowls and much more. Our top pick is the mango sago with pomelo, made with mango, pomelo, sago, coconut milk, cream, sugar and drizzled with condensed milk.
Taiwanese Shaved Ice
Unlike the shaved ice found in sno-cones, the Taiwanese version of shaved ice dessert features finely shaved paper-thin ribbons of ice that comes piled high in a bowl and topped with your choice of toppings. Restaurants like Icy Bar (4940 No. 3 Road) specialize in dessert bowls like this and while the topping choices can be overwhelming, their menu offers set choices to make ordering easy. We recommend the mango strawberry shaved ice. This bowl of shaved ice is served with fresh chopped strawberries and mangoes, topped with a scoop of fresh vanilla ice cream and drizzled with condensed milk to balance out the tart fruits.
Did you ever eat snow when you were a kid? Bingsoo is similar to that – except, far more delicious. At Snowy Village Dessert Café (8571 Alexandra Road), staff fill a metal bowl with a tower of creamy shaved iced milk that has the texture of fluffy snow. Your snowdrift-in-a-bowl is then covered with your choice of toppings – fresh mango, red bean, matcha or mixed with Oreos, and then crowned with a generous drizzle of condensed milk.
We couldn’t leave out the most important ice cold dessert: ice cream! Above and beyond your usual scoop or two of chocolate, vanilla or strawberry ice cream in a cone, the team at Wild Sweets by Dominique and Cindy Duby has a new collection of ice cream and desserts called prêt-á-manger. These single-serving portable sundaes come in a variety of flavours including peanut banana, pistachio strawberry, hazelnut passion and many others. Get these at The Atelier at 214 – 12191 Hammersmith Way.
The historic fishing village of Steveston is one of Richmond’s well-known attractions, drawing a significant number of day-trippers to explore its charming shops, cafes, restaurants, bakeries, Fisherman’s Wharf, and two National Historic Sites. And on certain Sundays between May to October, visitors who are enamored with outdoor markets can also enjoy the quaint Steveston Farmers & Artisan Market.
Now in its ninth year, the Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market is a thriving local marketplace with a diverse sampling of artisans, growers and producers from all over the Lower Mainland. Relative to other farmers markets in Metro Vancouver, it’s not the farm fresh produce that is the biggest draw here; but instead, visitors will step into an array of kiosks to find a good balance of handmade edible treats, handcrafted beverages, homespun pottery, and everything in between. Perhaps of interest to intrepid market goers, there are several vegetable stalls operated by a unique sharing farm program.
With plenty on offer at the Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market, here’s a handpicked sampling to pique your interest!
The Farmers & Artisans Market is located in the parking lot of the Steveston Community Centre, a short 5 minute walk from all the top attractions at Steveston’s waterfront.
The Sharing Farm in Richmond, run by volunteers, grows fruits and vegetables year-round to support neighbours in need, such as the Richmond Food Bank, Community Meals and other community groups.
Discover a range of in-season, local and fresh produce from Richmond and the Fraser Valley. For example, garlic scapes (the stems and flower buds of the garlic plant) are harvested in the early summer to help the garlic mature. With their mild garlicky flavour and sweetness, they are popular in salads, pesto, vinaigrettes, and much more.
Seasonal farm fresh summer berries are one of the highlights of the market.
Maan Farms, in Abbotsford, is a leading provider of local produce. Their farm is a main attraction for visitors offering family activities, a country market and kitchen, corn maze, and berry u-picking. The farm is also an estate winery that crafts red grape wines as well as fruit table wines and fruit dessert wines.
Located in Abbotsford, Campbell’s Gold is a honey farm and meadery producing honey and honey wine. Their bees collect honey from flowers in the Fraser Valley and other parts of B.C.
Mead is a honey wine and perhaps the first alcoholic drink ever produced, made by fermenting honey in water. Campbell’s Gold is one of a handful of meaderies in British Columbia. In addition to producing mead, Campbell’s Gold also produces other honey wine varieties including Melomel, Pyment and Metheglin.
Singletree Winery is one of the newest wineries in the Fraser Valley, based in Mt. Lehman, Abbotsford. Their wines are mainly produced from grapes grown at their Abbotsford vineyards. Wines varieties include: Siegerrbe, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Late Harvest, Kerner, Chardonnay and several blended wines.
Be Right Back (BRB) is a small batch brewery and eatery in Richmond. Sample or pick up their beers at the Market or visit the brewery for a tour and tasting.
Simply Delish Soup and Salad offers a line of easy-to-make artisan soups, salads, pilaffs and even breakfast cereals made from a combination of healthy beans, lentils, rice, quinoa, dried fruit, nuts, veggies, spices, etc. Available at select stores and farmers markets in Metro Vancouver, or at their own shop in the Fort Langley.
Take time to sample food products and connect with the local folks that produce them.
The open-air Farmers & Artisans Market also features a myriad of local artists, from potters to jewellery makers.
Seafood dominates the Steveston waterfront and is the perfect place to enjoy some food, particularly fish and chips!
Main Image: The Riverside Farm and the Golden Choy are proud graduates of the Richmond Farm School, which is designed for urban-focused agriculture. These students grow their own produce on “incubator” farmland, with half an acre each, for three years.
If you feel like eating some of the best Asian food available but don’t have a car, don’t worry! You can hop on the Canada Line Skytrain, Metro Vancouver’s fully-automated rapid transit line that connects travelers to Richmond’s diverse culinary scene. Bring your appetites because this easy-to-navigate self-guided tour is bound to fill you up!
Richmond Brighouse Station
Located in the heart of Richmond city centre, Brighouse is the first stop on the Canada Line, and it’s also where our tour begins. Your self-guided food tour begins at Pepper Lunch (150-5951 No. 3 Road). With over 200 branches in Asia, this particular Pepper Lunch was the first one to open in Canada. To get there, head for a leisurely stroll north along No. 3 Road for about 1.5 blocks towards Westminster Highway. Located on the west side of the street, you’ll find Pepper Lunch tucked away beside a TD Canada Trust. Shake, stir, mix – it’s that easy to enjoy a sizzling hot teppan plate of steaks, pastas or curry rice. We recommend the beef pepper rice combo ($11.70), which comes with miso soup and your choice of drink. Definitely a stop worth checking out!
Taking the Canada Line one stop north, Lansdowne Station is the second stop on the rapid transit line. Located just in front of one of Richmond’s many excellent shopping destinations, Lansdowne Centre, this particular station is also the one closest to Alexandra Road, which locals refer to as ‘Food Street.’
To get to Food Street, simply head north on No. 3 Road for two blocks, and turn right at Alexandra Road. Known for having over 200 Asian restaurants in a stretch of just three blocks, Alexandra Road has a restaurant for every taste. From dim sum to afternoon tea, to ramen and late night snacks, there’s a restaurant that serves every kind of Asian food imaginable here.
It’s easy to let your taste buds wander here on this three-block stretch, but here are our top two picks for Food Street for a complete meal. Our biggest tip: Bring cash! A lot of the restaurants on Food Street will only accept cash payments instead of debit or credit.
Vivacity Restaurant 110 – 8351 Alexandra Road
Vivacity Restaurant aims to give their diners an experience they won’t forget! Using only the freshest local ingredients, Vivacity offers a dazzling array of dishes for dim sum and dinner services. Featuring Chinese classics with a twist from the co-owner and chef, David Li, Vivacity promises to delight your taste buds. We recommend the char-siu bao, the oyster and century egg congee and their shrimp rice rolls for dim sum.
Snowy Village Desserts
2000 – 8580 Alexandra Road
Snowy Village specializes in a photogenic sweet treat that has been dominating locals’ Instagram feeds and fueling their sugar cravings recently. Bingsoo, a Korean shaved ice dessert is the current ‘it’ dessert and a must-eat item. At Snowy Village, when you order a bingsoo, staff pile a metal bowl with a tower of creamy shaved ice that has the texture of fluffy snow. Your snowdrift-in-a-bowl is then crowned with your choice of toppings – mango, strawberry, blueberry, injelomi (sweet rice cake), matcha, oreo, chocolate or cheesecake. Bring a friend – a small size is enough to share for two people!
The next stop on the Canada Line is Aberdeen Station, also known as the centre of Richmond’s thriving Golden Village. Richmond’s three Asian malls, Aberdeen Centre, Yaohan Centre and Parker Place Mall are all within easy walking distance from here.
Don’t be afraid to poke your head into the various strip malls found in the neighbourhood – you’ll find Lido Restaurant (4231 Hazelbridge Way) hidden away in a corner at Central Square, on the corner of Browngate Road and Hazelbridge. Try one of their famous pineapple buns – a delectable Chinese pastry without any actual pineapple – with a slab of butter… or double butter, if you dare.
After indulging in one of Lido’s famous pineapple buns, walk off those calories at Aberdeen Centre (4151 Hazelbridge Way), Richmond’s largest Asian mall. Still feeling hungry? Head on up to the food court located on the third floor of the mall. Here, you’ll find a huge variety of food stalls serving everything from Chinese street-food snacks such as curry fish balls and bubble waffles, to Singaporean delights such as Hainanese Chicken Rice and Japanese dishes such as sushi and ramen. Wash it all down with a Hong Kong-style iced lemon tea. For more food options, you could also check out the two food courts at Parker Place and Yaohan Centre.
Your tour of Richmond via the Canada Line ends at Bridgeport Station. Not to be mistaken with Brighouse Station where your tour began, this station is the connection point for all trains heading for the Vancouver International Airport or for folks heading to downtown Vancouver.
Head over to the River Rock Casino Resort (8811 River Road) via the skybridge at the station to enjoy The Buffet at River Rock. Located above the casino floor, The Buffet treats guests to a spectacular view of the Fraser River. Offering everybody’s favourite dishes, it has become a popular dining spot for special occasions, resort guests and casino-goers.
At night, walk over from the station to the Richmond Night Market (8351 River Road). Follow the bright signs and look for the tents – that’s where you’ll find one of Richmond’s Asian night markets with over 100 food stalls serving everything from Asian street food snacks to inventive desserts, such as the egg waffle parfait. Our top food stall picks at the night market include Chef James’ Meat Skewers, Ohana Poke (pictured at the top of this page), Hurricane Potatoes and Lao Er BBQ Squid. Admission is $3.75 and it’s open on weekends and holiday Mondays this summer through to October 10.
Richmond, BC, is a food lover’s paradise with more than 800 restaurants in the city, and you can see for yourself why Richmond’s been visited by many food critics and has made a real name for itself as a foodie destination. Over 400 of the city’s restaurants serve Asian cuisine and Frommer’s notes that Richmond is “arguably the Asian food capital of North America.”
Whether you choose to dine at restaurants, cafes, food courts or at one of the night markets, you won’t be disappointed. To help you on your dining adventure here are my top 10 dishes in Richmond:
Whenever a friend asks me for a dim sum recommendation, I end up raving about Golden Paramount and the incredible talent of dim sum chef May Chau. The steamed crab dumplings ($4.98) look deceptively simple, but showcase a paper-thin, translucent wrapper and finely minced Chinese mushrooms, bamboo shoots, pork, crab meat, shrimp and cilantro. You can taste the artistry with each bite.
This classic Taiwanese dish is wonderfully hearty, especially on a cozy sweater sort of day. I tried many versions around town, but the one at Delicious Cuisine truly lives up to the restaurant’s name. The chicken is moist and coated with a caramelized sauce of soy, sesame oil and rice wine. Eaten with white rice, the dish ($12.50/large $23.95) will satisfy any discerning appetite.
Who wants cereal for breakfast when you can try a home-style Filipino breakfast platter! Kumare’sbangsilog combo ($9), which comes with fried boneless milkfish, a fried egg, a heaping portion of garlicky rice, and chopped tomatoes and onion. Bonus: coffee or tea is also included.
Beware: it’s hard to stop eating this dish of fried diced lamb ($15.95) from this destination for Hui cuisine. It’s basically like popcorn lamb, coated in whole and ground cumin and chili powder, and deep-fried until perfectly crisp. The meat itself stays juicy.
Teppan Kitchen in Aberdeen Centre’s food court features Japanese iron griddle cooking. The rib eye version comes with slices of beef, corn, green onion, rice and egg ($8.95 with miso soup), which you then mix together until the ingredients are cooked, and your rice is crispy on the bottom. If the dish gives you a hankering for more teppan, visit Pepper Lunch (150-5951 Number 3 Road), whose first Canadian location took Richmond by storm earlier this year.
At Shanghai Wonderful located in the Best Western Plus Abercorn Inn I adore the turnip cake ($5.95) available for dim sum. An exterior of rich flaky pastry gives way to shredded vinegary radish, chicken and dried pork. It’s a decadent mid-day treat.
Location: Best Western Plus Albercorn Inn, 9260 Bridgeport Road
7. Takoyaki at Richmond Night Markets
If you are visiting Richmond in night market season, head to one of the two night markets. I enjoy the usual favourites, such as the rotato, deep fried squid, and pan-fried pork buns. Another addictive night market staple is Takoyaki (6 for around $5.75 pictured above). The jumbo Bakudanyaki is the ultimate snack, but not quite as good for sharing. The mini balls come with diced octopus in wheat flour batter, and are topped with Japanese mayo, as well as seaweed and bonito flakes. You can also find scallop and shrimp varieties at the night market if those are more your preference.
As pretty much the only restaurant in town that serves Hakka Chinese dishes, I have a soft spot in my foodie heart for Hakkasan Bistro. The wok-sautéed fillet of sole in black bean sauce ($10.95 as part of a lunch combo; $22 à la carte) is rustic fare quintessential of Hakka cooking. Red and green peppers, onion, and crunchy, zingy pickled cabbage add flavour and textural contrast to the fish.
The Godzilla Bite ($13.95) at Mega Sushi for its sheer inventiveness and aesthetic wow factor. The creation has chopped scallop, salmon and tuna atop deep-fried seaweed and rice. Tobiko (flying fish roe) and alfalfa sprouts complete the dish. Tempura crunch with whisky is set alight in the centre of the dish for added drama.
I had to finish the list of with a sweet treat of fancy toast, which I found to be a major foodie trend of 2015. Fortunately, for toast fiends, Richmond boasts many cafes that serve towering Taiwanese thick toast. The I Luv Strawberries ($8.95) at Well Tea is a hollowed out loaf of sweet white bread, toasted and filled with strawberry jam, strawberry ice cream, fresh strawberries, an Oreo cookie, whipped cream and chocolate Pocky.
Location: 170-4811 Hazelbridge Way
As you can see there are lots of amazing dining experiences in Richmond, this is only 10 of the thousands of dishes out there. Plan your trip and create your own top 10 list!
As long as Steve Easterbrook can remember, he’s been fascinated by birds and, in particular, chickens.
“It’s been a lifelong passion for me,” he says, remembering that when he was a young boy, he and a friend would visit a neighbor who raised chickens and game birds. “My friend and I became enchanted with poultry.”
It’s not surprising, then, that Easterbrook became an egg farmer. Perhaps the only surprising thing is it took him until he was in his 30s to do so. That’s when he founded Rabbit River Farms, an organic egg producer in Richmond BC. (The company name is a play on his surname: Easter = rabbit; brook = river.)
When Easterbrook started the farm in 1993, Rabbit River was the first certified organic egg producer in Canada – in fact, he had to write the country’s original guidelines for organic poultry production. He was later instrumental in convincing the BCSPCA to adopt the RSPCA’s UK guidelines for humane treatment of farm animals, and in 2001, Rabbit River became Canada’s first SPCA-certified farm.
“My motivation is that organics implies proper animal welfare, and I wanted to make it clear to consumers that animal welfare was a real priority,” he says.
Consumers, he notes, are poorly informed about labeling, certification and the differences between conventional farms and the kind of place he runs, so he’s made it something of a mission to get the word out.
Currently, some 90 per cent of Canada’s egg production comes from conventional industrial farms, where laying hens spend their entire lives crammed in small battery cages where they do nothing but pop out eggs until they die. And this in spite of the fact that chickens are smart, social creatures.
“They’re very gregarious,” Easterbrook says. “They’re clever and extremely social. If you elect to make a pet of a chicken, you’ll have a really great pet.”
In February 2016, the Egg Farmers of Canada announced that the entire Canadian egg industry would transition away from traditional battery cages. The goal is to have half the industry move to “enriched” or cage-free housing in eight years, and 100 per cent in 20 years.
At Rabbit River, they’re well ahead of the game.
On the Richmond property, a bright, airy 16,000-square-foot barn houses Easterbrook’s 6,700 hens. (There are no roosters.) The hens – fluffy, golden-brown Hy-Line chickens, known as prolific layers of high-quality brown eggs – roam freely, chirruping happily as they hop from feeding trough to nesting box to the scratch area on the floor.
By 11 a.m. each day, the hens finish laying their eggs. Then dozens of pop holes open in the barn and the hens head out to the six-acre pasture where they’ll root for bugs and peck among the grass until nightfall, when they return to the barn to sleep.
“In summertime, as soon as you open the pop holes, they come out in a mass exodus like the subway in Japan at rush hour,” Easterbrook says.
While the chickens are outside, Blue the border collie keeps a wary eye on them and a warier one out for the predatory eagles that nest in the trees across from the property. As Easterbrook notes, “This is KFC for eagles.”
All of Easterbrook’s chickens are raised organically, which means everything from the soil to the feed has no synthetic chemicals, pesticides or antibiotics. The feed is a carefully balanced GMO-free organic grain mix; after all, each hen works hard laying 330 to 340 eggs a year. As Easterbrook says, “We have to manage their diet meticulously because they’re like a Olympic athlete.”
In addition to Easterbrook’s organic eggs, Rabbit River also sells free-run and free-range eggs from partner farms in the Lower Mainland.
The standards for free-run and free-range are looser in Canada than they are for organics, but in general, free-run chickens are cage-free but spend their lives in a barn, while free-range ones have access to outdoors. Neither is held to organic certification standards for chemicals, antibiotics or feed.
Rabbit River eggs are sold at supermarkets throughout B.C. as well as at a small farmgate stand at the farm’s River Road entrance. Customers can also pick up organic produce grown on the farm – and pay for it by an honour system, leaving cash in a box.
“It’s kind of fun for people to pull over and say, ‘Hey, somebody trusts us,’ ” Easterbrook says.
For him, Rabbit River is a return to his family roots. He’d already had a successful business career and was looking to start a hobby farm when someone suggested raising organic eggs and rekindled his love for chickens. Now his daughter’s joined him in the business, making this the fifth generation of the family to farm in Richmond.
“Our primary goal is to have a good quality of life for our laying hens and produce a truly organic egg,” Easterbrook says, adding, “It’s one thing to make a living, but it’s another when you feel good about what you’re doing.”
Rabbit River Farms is located at 17740 River Road, Richmond, BC. The farmgate store is open from 10 am to 4 pm daily in summer, and Friday through Sunday year round. Farm tours are available by appointment only. For more info, visit rabbitriverfarms.com.
Chowing down at a food court in Richmond is somewhat different compared to the typical North American mall food court; you’ll find incredibly unique mom ‘n pop stalls serving tasty curries, warming noodle soups, creating mouth-watering dumplings, barbecuing meats – you name it, you’ll probably find it in Richmond. Each and every food court in Richmond has a hidden treasure waiting for you to discover it.
It can be slightly overwhelming on your first visit; there are so many options to choose from that you may not be able to decide. To help you out, here are some insider tips about two popular Asian malls and their food courts, including where to go for the best eats and how they compare to each other in the ultimate face-off!
Established in 1993, Parker Place Mall has become a shopping landmark in downtown Richmond. At this mall you can dine on the tastiest cuisine and shop for the trendiest fashion, the coolest toys and gadgets.
Yaohan Centre is one of the earliest Asian Malls developed in Richmond. You’ll find over 80 stores selling fashion, health and beauty products, art and gifts; both the Osaka Asian supermarket and food court sell an array of dishes.
Yaohan Centre vs. Parker Place
The Mall: First Impressions
Easily accessible from the Canada Line’s Aberdeen Station, both malls are just a five minute walk in either direction (north for Yaohan, south for Parker Place). Both malls also have large parking lots offering free parking, making it easy to stop in for a quick bite.
Each mall has a few different entrances, but both food courts are easy to find. Parker Place has lots of Asian stores selling various items from rice cookers to fresh fish. Yaohan is home to Osaka Supermarket; if you have not been to an Asian supermarket before, this is a good one to look around and grab some cooking sauces, teas and candies.
The Food Court
Parker Place’s Food Court is long and narrow with food stalls on both sides and seating running down the centre. They have big tables, ideal for groups of friends and family and it is light and airy, making for a comfortable dining environment.
Yaohan Centre’s Food Court is quite spacious compared to Parker Place’s food court, with food stalls on three sides and plenty of seating in the middle. They have a nice path to walk around and view all food stalls.
The Food Stalls | Parker Place – Our Favourites:
Parker Place Meat & BBQ
While not formally in the food court, we would be remiss to leave this off the list of favourites. Found at unit 1020, Parker Place BBQ Meats is a small butcher shop selling freshly barbecued meats (chicken, duck and pork) as well as a variety of ready-to-go BBQ meals for under $10. Arguably serving up the best BBQ duck in Richmond, there are often long line ups so patience is necessary – we promise that the BBQ meats will be well worth the wait!
This unassuming Vietnamese food stall offers tons of items including a huge selection of noodle soups and lemongrass dishes, but the star at this stall are the foot-long Vietnamese subs, or Bahn Mi, available for under $5, including tea. The buns are light and crispy and our top picks are the fried fish and pork sandwiches.
Joy’s Taiwanese Kitchen
For those looking for a traditional bowl of beef noodle soup and a side dish of onion pancakes, or some savoury beef wraps, Joy’s Taiwanese Kitchen serves up traditional Taiwanese fare in generous portion sizes. The value here is fantastic, with every dish available for under $10.
Has a good choice of noodle and rice dishes, desserts and Shanghai snacks. We recommend you try their Tan Tan noodles.
Visit this stall for sweet treats and bubble tea. It’s the best place for bubble waffles and a delicious treat made in-house, the dragon’s beard candy.
Yaohan Centre | Our Favourites:
Curry House’s Laksa is one of the best in town. Not too spicy, not too creamy and with a good amount of noodles, chicken, egg and tofu puffs, this laksa is sure to fill any curry cravings you might have. They also serve up delicious Malaysian dishes for under $10, such as curries, Hainanese chicken, char kway teow and roti.
Wah Yuen Noodle House
This place offers almost every kind of congee, noodle, noodle soup, and noodle with meat combo possible. The wonton and BBQ pork noodle soup is always good – pair that with a Chinese donut or Chinese donut wrapped in rice noodle and you’ll have a very tasty lunch/dinner for under $10.
Chun Hing Cuisine, Golden Rice Bowl and Pak Tak
These three stalls are next to each other and offer a smorgasbord of Chinese dishes. You can choose from two or three dishes with rice or noodles from $6.99. They pile the plate so high, you’ll have enough to feed a family of four. All three stalls offer similar dishes, so take a look and see which one tickles your taste buds. Insider tip: go after 6pm and you’ll be able to get FOUR items plus rice or noodles for a mere $5.50.
Little Bean Tea Station
Serving bubble tea, shaved ice desserts and other sweet treats including Wheel Cake, which is filled with red bean or custard – your choice.
Head here for tasty BBQ meats, including duck, pork and quail. They have a variety of mix and match combos.
Although both food courts serve up staple dishes and desserts you’d expect at a Chinese eatery, each have their own highlights. You won’t find barbecued meats as succulent as the ones at Parker Place Meats & BBQ serves up, but if you’re looking to feed a family, the three food stalls at Yaohan offering triple decker combos will beat any offering from Parker Place’s food court.
Having said that, we think both food courts are well managed. The stalls are diverse, with a lot of Asian cuisines represented. Each one has their own highlight and go-to dishes. Both are well worth a visit and both offer amazing value for their food. Our suggestion? Have lunch at Parker Place and dinner after 6pm at Yaohan to help stretch your travel budget.
Looking for a quick getaway? 48 hours gives you time to explore some amazing cuisine in Richmond, the only problem is figuring out where to eat. Read on for a list of some of Tourism Richmond’s favourite places to help you make the most out of your culinary adventures.
Keep in mind, many Asian restaurants are accommodating to patrons who aren’t experienced in non-Western cuisine and do offer English menus or have photos of food items to help you with your selections. But remember to bring cash – some don’t accept credit or debit cards.
10:00am – Dim sum at Shanghai River
Shanghai River is the perfect place to start your day off right with delicious dim sum. Through glass windows, diners can watch the chefs hard at work, hand rolling their famous dumplings. The xiao long bao are clear standouts of the menu. This restaurant is a hotspot for locals, so be sure to make a reservation ahead of time.
7831 Westminster Highway
12:00pm – Fisherman’s Wharf in historic Steveston Village
After eating to your heart’s content, make your way to historic Steveston Village to explore Fisherman’s Wharf. Once known as the salmon capital of the world, Steveston is home to Canada’s largest active fishing fleet with 600 boats. Don’t forget to bring your coolers – seafood lovers can buy fresh fish* from the docks, where local fishermen sell their daily catch right off their boat for great prices. Depending on the season, catches of the day can include fresh salmon, crab, black cod and sea urchin.
On the pier, next to Fisherman’s Wharf, you’ll find one of the best patio restaurants in Steveston. Blue Canoe is an award-winning restaurant with a simple and fresh menu. Enjoy your lunch with an unobstructed view of the water and the boardwalk. This waterside location prides itself on using top quality seafood with locally sourced ingredients.
Make your way to Lulu Island Winery, the largest winery in Richmond, producing a variety of red and white table wines, fruit wines and ice wines. The winery offers daily complimentary wine tastings of their award-winning wines and tours in different languages. Owner John Chang combines traditional Chinese wine-making with modern Western technology and equipment. All of Lulu Island’s wines go through a slow-cool fermentation process which brings out the natural flavours of the fruit.
For dinner, we recommend Vivacity, a Southern Chinese restaurant located on Alexandra Road. The chefs here specialize in seafood and serve only organic fish. Owner Kitty Huang explains that the food is prepared in a healthy way, without sacrificing taste. We recommend the BBQ pork buns – they’re a local favourite! Vivacity offers a more intimate dining experience, with VIP rooms that seat up to 40 people. Reservations are highly recommended.
9:00pm – Walk down Food Street and taste something new
After dinner, grab some fresh air and go for a leisurely stroll to walk off your day of eating. Richmond is home to some of the most authentic Asian restaurants outside of Asia, and many of the best restaurants can be found on Alexandra Road, nicknamed “Food Street”. It’s quite amazing to see 200 plus restaurants packed into a stretch of just three city blocks. Don’t be afraid to peek in some of the amazing shops for dessert – our favourites include Leisure Tea & Coffee, Snowy Village Dessert Cafe and for something different, try The TRUE’STEA Restaurant, located next to the Four Points Sheraton.
10:00am – Dim Sum at Sun Sui Wah
For day 2 in Richmond, indulge in dim sum again! World-renowned Chinese restaurant, Sun Sui Wah is based on the motto of “warm hospitality, superb quality and value.” With locations in Hong Kong and Vancouver, this famous restaurant has been delighting patrons with delicious Cantonese cuisine and excellent service for over 30 years. Sun Sui Wah is especially famous for its roasted squab, a signature dish.
Richmond is home to a variety of Asian bakeries, with selections of sweet and savoury baked goods. Kam Do is a Richmond staple, known as one of the best bakeries in the city with delicious pastries in a self-serve style. We recommend the coconut buns and the taro cakes. Kam Do is also a great place to purchase gifts or late-night snacks, including wife cakes (laopo bing), mochi and pastes. Like many other establishments in Richmond, Kam Do is cash only.
6211 No. 3 Road
12:30pm – New Town Bakery
New Town Bakery is another Asian bakery that you can’t miss! This bakery is family-owned and has been serving Chinese and Filipino baked goods for over 30 years. They are known for their award-winning Apple Tarts as well as their Chicken Deluxe steamed bun or Bola Bola. We recommend getting a box of their apple tarts to indulge in later.
For authentic, home-style Korean food, Haroo Korean Restaurant is the place to go. Hidden away on the second level of a strip mall on Alexandra Road, this small eatery is run by a husband and wife team. For lunch, we recommend their spicy tofu soup or soonduboo served with rice, or the Korean seafood pancake called, “Haemul Pajeon.”
8580 Alexandra Road, second floor
3:00pm – Sugarholic Café
Located on the ground level of Aberdeen Centre, Sugarholic Café is one of the newest additions to the afternoon tea scene in Richmond. The café is decorated in a luxurious European style, but it is still considered a fusion-style tea house. Afternoon tea service is offered all day, with tiered dessert sets available. Almost all of the desserts are made in-house. Highlights include the Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Cake and the Japanese Cheesecake. We highly recommend their dessert toast boxes, toast cubes filled with ice cream, fruit and other delightful sweets.
4151 Hazelbridge Way
5:00pm – Aberdeen Centre
After your afternoon snack, it’s time to explore Aberdeen Centre. Aberdeen Centre is one of North America’s largest Asian shopping malls, with unique stores such as Candyland, an Asian candy store, and a world famous Chinese tea shop, Ten Fu Tea. And if you are still hungry, there is an 800-seat food court with incredible Asian food.
7:00pm – Suhang Restaurant
For dinner, we recommend Suhang Restaurant for authentic Shanghainese Cuisine. Known for their great service and affordable menu, Suhang also has some of the juiciest pork dumplings in town. Other recommendations at this restaurant include the marinated bean curd with special vegetables, drunken chicken, and shredded beef with chili and brown sauce.
100 – 8291 Ackroyd Road
9:00pm – The BBT Shop
No trip to Richmond is complete without bubble tea! Hidden under the Superstore on one of the busiest roads in the city, The BBT Shop is famous for their decadent bubble waffle desserts with piles of delicious toppings, such as the Super Matcha, with strawberries, whipped cream, red bean and matcha ice cream. The BBT Shop has an extensive menu offering all kinds of drinks, including milk teas, specialty drinks such as the signature frozen hot chocolate, as well as fruit teas and slush.
105 – 4651 No. 3 Road
While this is the end of the 48 hour food itinerary, it’s definitely not the end of the food exploration in Richmond. With over 800 restaurants in the island city, this list barely scratches the surface of what foodies can find here.
Afternoon tea is a long-standing British tradition that has become an international food craze. Tea shops and eateries are now offering tea service all over the world and Richmond is no exception. With a diverse range of restaurants and cafés serving afternoon tea, here are three of our favourites in Richmond.
Sugarholic Café at Aberdeen Centre is one of the newest additions to the afternoon tea scene in Richmond. Although the café is decorated in a luxurious European style, Sugarholic is considered a fusion-style tea house. Drawing on flavours from both East and West, the Taiwanese owners offer a variety of teas, including Chinese Rose and Red Date Longan Tea, as well as more traditional teas such as Earl Grey. Almost all of the desserts offered are made in-house. Highlights include the Ferrero Rocher chocolate cake, a triple chocolate cream and Japanese cheesecake. Afternoon tea service is available any time of day and starts at $13.95 for the 4-piece dessert set with the choice of any herbal tea. One and two-tier dessert sets are also available at $29.95 and $49.95.
Tucked away beside the Hilton on Minoru Boulevard is L’Opéra Patisserie, a small eatery with delectable pastries and afternoon tea service. The unique décor is reminiscent of a classic French tea parlour, with vintage chandeliers and gold and maroon brocaded wallpaper. Owner and head pastry chef, Janice Marta’s, attention to detail can be seen in each of her menu items which are all made in-house. From the decadent macarons to the beautifully layered croissants, the patisserie offers traditional and authentic French pastries. Marta’s creative touch and Asian influence can be seen in certain items such as the Matcha Opera and with the Cabana, which uses mango and coconut mousse. For $45, afternoon tea service includes seven savoury items, eight sweets and a pot of tea. Reservations are required a day in advance.
Globe@YVR is the Fairmont Vancouver Airport’s award-winning and signature restaurant. Diners are treated to a panoramic view of the Vancouver Airport’s domestic terminal along with their meals. Afternoon tea is a celebrated tradition at all of the Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, and the unique menus often change based on the season. Globe@YVR’s tea service features mini sandwiches, tasty pastries, fresh fruit with Devonshire cream, and house-made scones. Exclusive Fairmont tea offerings include Belgian Chocolate Rooibos, Versailles Lavender Earl Grey, Safari Masala Chai and many more. Prices for Afternoon Tea start at $75 for adults and $30 for children. Reservations are required.
Aberdeen Centre (Ground floor)
1008-4151 Hazelbridge Way
5951 Minoru Boulevard
Vancouver International Airport
3111 Grant McConachie Way
Winter may seem an unlikely time to visit an outdoor farmers market in Canada, but the milder climate in the Lower Mainland allows the markets and abundance of seasonal products to thrive. Deserving of more recognition, a winter market’s appeal lies not only in the quality and range of offerings, but also in knowing that it’s served by a passionate community of both food artisans/farmers and shopping foodies, all prepared to brave the elements in support of fresh local products. The charm of a winter market is in the smaller and manageable crowds. With shorter line ups, there’s time to sample and chit-chat with merchants. Live entertainment, food trucks and heating stations are also on hand to add some extra warmth.
To visit a winter market is to crave comfy and warming flavours. It’s easy to take inspiration for cozy dishes from the bounty of seasonal products that are locally grown and sourced, from healthy preserves and sturdy root vegetables to hearty ingredients. The vibrant Nat Bailey Winter Market is the largest of the outdoor winter markets in Metro Vancouver, operating on Saturdays from November to April on the perimeter of a popular baseball stadium. Although this market is located in Vancouver, you’ll take pleasure in the sensational range of regional products represented, including Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Langley, and Abbotsford.
On this or any Saturday, grab your down jacket and come sample the Valley’s most comforting flavours at the winter market!
Lorne Stapleton worked in the retail meat market industry of Greater Vancouver for over four decades before launching his handcrafted sausage business, now called Stapleton Sausage, based in Surrey. He and his family (daughter Jennifer and son Michael pictured below) are committed to making sausages that are full of goodness and flavours; therefore, they use quality lean cuts (pork, poultry, lamb, beef and bison) and ingredients that are all local, natural, low in sodium, gluten free and contain no MSG, nitrates or other artificial preservatives. Stapleton sausages have been praised for being non-greasy and for their unique range of family inspired recipes. Choose from over sixteen flavours, such as Chipotle Cheddar, Duck Sausage with Blueberry, Sweet & Sour Pork with Pineapple, South African Boerewors, or Bison Andouille. These mouth-watering flavours and more are available at the winter market plus at select grocery stores throughout Metro Vancouver.
The Langley Organic Growers is a collective of organic farmers where Julia Sandor is a member. She creates a range of certified organic sauerkraut products, called Biota, that are made with in-season cabbage, carrots, beets, horseradish, and herbs that are all grown on her farm in Abbottsford. These products are alive and naturally lacto-fermented, providing probiotic properties and other health benefits, as well as preserving many of the vitamins and minerals in the vegetables for use in the winter.
Located in South Burnaby, Urban Digs Farm is the only farm in Metro Vancouver raising pigs in an urban environment. Their heritage breed of Berkshire and Tamworth pigs are nurtured organically in the pasture to be happier, tastier and nutritionally superior. Founded by Julia Smith and Ludo Ferrari, the farm is focused on ethical, sustainable meat products and whole animal butchery with custom cutting/smoking and organic products that include bacon, lard, ribs, steaks, roast, ground pork, chops, hocks to pepperoni. Urban Digs Farm products can be found at the winter markets or online. Visitors are welcome to their farm, opened on Saturdays (10-2) in the winter.
Cook Biota’s sauerkraut, Stapleton’s sausages and Urban Digs Farm’s ham hocks in wine, along with potatoes from Langley Organic Growers, and you’ll have the makings of a hearty Choucroute, a famous Alsatian dish.
Beautifully handcrafted preserves are the specialty and passion of Genevieve Blanchet at Le Meadow’s Pantry, based in Burnaby and Vancouver. Inspired by a lifelong interest in wholesome living and preserving foods for off-season eating, she transforms local fruits into jewel-like jams, jellies and marmalades with French country flare. Her artisan preserves are made in small batches and copper pans to maintain the nutrition and vibrancy of the fruits. Hand-pressed lemon juice, pure cane sugar and honey are added in conservative amounts with no additional preservatives or colouring. Some of the preserves are combined with vodka, gin, vanilla extract, and bitters from local distilleries. The thick-cut marmalades, especially suited for winter enjoyment, include easy-to-love flavours such as Orange Vanilla Dream, Bitter Sweet Morning, Lemon and Vodka, Midnight Candy, and Grapefruit Smoked Sea Salt. Le Meadow’s Pantry preserves are found at the winter markets and variety of retail shops in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia and other parts of Canada.
Did you know that it takes over 500 worker honey bees to gather 1 pound of honey? Liz Graham knows as she has owned a bee farm, Jane’s Honey Bees, for fifteen years. While she is based in Surrey, her bees (700 hives, each with 20-50,000 bees) forage for flowers throughout the Fraser Valley – Blueberries in Surrey, Raspberries in Abbotsford, Cranberries and Blackberries in Richmond, and wildflowers in South Surrey and South Langley. The pure local honey products from Jane’s Honey Bees are sold only at farmers markets.
Gung hay fat choy! The Year of the Monkey begins on Monday, February 8, and why not celebrate in Richmond? Considering there are over 400 Asian restaurants in the area, finding the feast that suits you best should be easy.
Traditionally, families gather on Lunar New Year’s Eve (this year on Sunday, February 7) for a reunion dinner to kick things off. Numerous dishes are served, most of them having a symbolic meaning to inspire good luck and prosperity. Fish is served whole with the head and tail attached, marking the end and beginning of a new year. Noodles represent long life. Dumplings and spring rolls resemble ancient Chinese currency and gold bars. To really eat like a local, you simply can’t miss these important delicacies to bring in the New Year:
Chinese New Year Cake or Nian Gao
The literal translation means sticky cake in Chinese. Made from glutinous rice flour and eaten for good luck, and can served sweet or savoury plus hot or cold. Snap some up at Osaka Supermarket in Yaohan Centre, and the savoury versions at The Jade Seafood Restaurant and Su Hang Restaurant.
Glutinous Rice Balls in Soup (Tang Yuan)
Typically eaten with family members, as the round shape togetherness and is meant to bring happiness. Fillings range from sesame to sweet bean paste. Try these at Jade Seafood Restaurant and Su Hang Restaurant as well.
Meant to resemble ancient Chinese currency, this is a must-eat during Lunar New Year celebrations. Bring on that increased wealth, right?
Get a group together and enjoy, as a number of restaurants in Richmond are offering special set menus for 4-10 people. Reservations are highly recommended. Here are a few highlights worth checking out.
Vivacity Restaurant • 8351 Alexandra Road
Located on “Food Street,” Vivacity Restaurant is a southern Chinese restaurant that specializes in seafood, in a cozy environment. Set menus for groups of 4, 6 and 10 with up to 11 courses. Special dishes include the abalone, which symbolizes good fortune for the New Year, and fresh, live lobster. From $188 – $888 for set menus.
An award-winning contemporary Chinese restaurant offers set menus for groups of 4, 6 and 10 people. Have an even larger group? Book one of their VIP rooms for large groups of 15+. Set menu prices for 10 people range from $539-$988, with up to 10 courses.
Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant • 101-4600 No. 3 Road
For upscale Cantonese and a modern take on traditional dishes, here is where you want to be. Order the whole cod, and the word fish by the way, in Chinese is, “yu,” which also sounds like the word abundance.
There’s no denying it, eating counts as sightseeing, and when you have a sweet tooth, bakeries, pastry shops and other sweet stops are the attractions! You don’t have to go far in Vancouver to find every possible sugary delight, from award-winning ice cream, to-die-for pastries, and gourmet macarons to handcrafted chocolates. But, finding some of the unsung sweet treats further afield can be the real taste-adventure. Take this sweet-packed outing to discover a selection of local, laid-back gems in Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond and Vancouver, all easily linked by convenient public transit and short walks.
Your self-guided, sweet tasting spree begins in downtown Vancouver with an early morning stop at Cartems Donuterie (534 West Pender). It’s hard enough to resist regular donuts, but resistance is futile when it comes to Cartems’ donuts as they are dreamy! (And, literally, Cartems was born out of a dream by the owner. ) All ingredients are fresh, locally sourced, and organic when possible. Not only do they offer a higher quality donut experience, they also have gluten-free, baked donuts, and the flavour combinations are off the charts! How could you not like a Canadian Whiskey Bacon donut? By the time you leave, you’ll be all smiles, just like their logo.
Public Transit: Take a short stroll to the Waterfront Station and catch the Skytrain on the Expo Line (direction: King George) or Millennium Line (direction VCC-Clark). In about 18 minutes, detrain at the Metrotown station. Tip: buy a Translink DayPass for greater convenience and flexibility.
Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby is British Columbia’s largest mall and second largest in Canada, with nearly 400 stores. If you can hold back from shopping, make your way through the mall to St. Germain Bakery (located near the Superstore). With their understated mall location, you probably wouldn’t guess that this is a renowned bakery. St. Germain has had a long history of culinary awards, including the International Culinary Olympics in Germany. Most recently, they received the 2015 Chinese Restaurant Awards for Best Bakery Shop in Metro Vancouver. For anyone unfamiliar with Chinese pastries, the top classic choices to try are the egg custard tarts and the coconut tarts. You may also want to try their signature chocolate cake or Fresh Mango cake. Then, there’s the Green Tea Rice cake or Mochi Rice cake for the more adventurous palate.
Public Transit: Tear yourself away from shopping and re-board the Skytrain on the Expo Line (direction King George) or Millennium Line (direction VCC-Clark). In about 11 minutes, disembark at the New Westminster Station.
The quaint municipality of New Westminster – also known as “The Royal City” – is historically important for being BC’s original capital city. From the Skytrain station, enjoy a brief 7-min. stroll to Royal Avenue and to the Cloud 9 Specialty Bakery (1025 Royal Avenue), voted the best bakery in the city for many years by the readers of the New West Record. You’ll soon see that Cloud 9 is in the most unlikely of locations for an artsy gluten-free bakery. But once inside, you’ll be in pastry heaven! Unpretentious yet innovative, Cloud 9 specializes in sinfully delicious gluten-free baked goods, from sweet to savoury, with some dairy-free choices. Their popular cupcakes, bars and cinnamon buns are among the favourites of locals! Be tempted by the crowd-pleasing peanut butter bar, a brownie base covered with peanut butter icing and a chocolate topping. And don’t leave without tasting their exquisite cinnamon buns, which they have mastered and may even currently be the only gluten-free cinnamon buns made by a bakery in Metro Vancouver out to the Fraser Valley. Cloud 9 is also the Canadian leader in gluten-free baking mixes, which are sold nationally in several grocery chains, as well as Costco. All this, started by four recreational hockey buddies!
Public Transit: After browsing through the River Market, re-board the Skytrain on the Expo or Millennium Lines (direction Waterfront), disembark at the next stop: 22nd Street Station. Catch the #410 bus to Richmond (approx. 50 minutes) and disembark at Aberdeen Centre in Richmond. Walk 5-min to the next sweet spot.
Excellent Tofu (4231 Hazelbridge Way) is a small, family-run dessert shop with a well-deserved reputation for making some of the best traditional, Chinese-style soy pudding in the region. Made fresh daily, you can choose from hot or cold silky-soft soy pudding with a choice of 25+ sweet toppings. A few of the more interesting flavours include black sesame paste, grass jelly, red beans & coconut milk, and the extra special bird’s nest soy pudding!
Public Transit: Peruse Aberdeen Centre before walking to the Aberdeen Station. Take the Skytrain on the Canada Line (direction Waterfront) and disembark in Downtown Vancouver at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station (18 min.). Walk to Homer Street in stylish, historical Yaletown.
Cap the sweet day with a stop at XOXOLAT (1271 Homer Street), pronounced “sho-sho-la,” an extraordinary boutique shop of all things chocolate! You’ll be instantly enamoured by XOXOLAT’s extensive collection of single origin chocolate bars imported from around the world, which is known as the largest in Canada! Organic and Fair Trade chocolates are also in abundance, plus a line of blended chocolates that are hand-crafted by their chocolatier. As you get carried away by all the choices, try not to miss their “West Coast Breakfast” dark milk chocolate bar, showcasing maple caramelized bacon with a pinch of espresso! It’s bitingly good. And, be sure to save room to taste the cardamom crème brûlée white chocolate bar and the maple bacon caramel dark chocolate bar with a whiskey layer! Your sweet-tooth-satisfying outing is now complete! Sweet!
Coffee, served hot or cold, is arguably the world’s most popular beverage. In the ranking of best coffee cities in the world, Vancouver has become one of the undisputed top ten leaders. The obsession with coffee, particularly independent coffee shops/roasters, is a big part of what defines the city’s foodie culture, as much as craft breweries, food trucks, farmers markets, boutique eateries, etc. And, the love affair with java extends throughout the Fraser Valley. To truly appreciate the local coffee scene, grab your travel mug and follow this itinerary to sip on some of the best coffee, and special accompaniments, at a batch of unique micro-roasters in Greater Vancouver.
As the saying goes, “life is too short to drink bad coffee.” If you crave unique coffee flavours that are ethically sourced, then you may be part of a growing trend of coffee connoisseurs that support indie-owned coffee shops focused on craft brewing the finest organic, single origin and fair trade beans. But, not all shops roast their own coffee nor do all coffee roasters have a shop. From an abundance of excellent coffee shops in Vancouver and the Valley, here’s a small round-up of out-of-the-ordinary artisan coffee roasting houses/cafes steeped in local appeal that you can visit in North Vancouver, Fort Langley, White Rock, Richmond and Vancouver.
The road trip for your coffee tasting day begins early in North Vancouver at Moja Coffee (1412 Rupert Street). Doug and Andrew started Moja Coffee in 2003 and have stayed true to supporting single origin coffee from around the world, with the majority being organic. Their roasting operation sits behind their café. Be sure to indulge in a Thomas Haas chocolate croissant with your first caffeine pick-me-up of the day.
Point your coffee mug east, driving on the Trans-Canada highway #1 to Fort Langley, a charming village and home to the popular Fort Langley National Historic Site. Just off the main street in Gasoline Alley, you’ll discover Republica Coffee Roasters (9203 Glover Road). The owners’ (Hiro and Ricardo) mantra is to provide the freshest roast and any unsold coffee 72 hours after roasting is donated to the community. Although they focus on organic single estate coffees, their unique blends are only served at the coffee shop. And, while you’re there, perk up your coffee with a healthier shot of organic blue agave syrup in ten flavour options.
Continue your drive, crossing through Langley along highway 10 to Surrey. Arrive at the eye catching, landmark tepee of Holy Smoke Coffee (3418 King George Highway) before 11 am (closing time, M-F). For thirteen years, Al has been serving coffee with a smile at this extraordinary coffee drive-thru. He is dedicated to everything organic, from coffee beans (from Mexico and Guatemala), sugar, and milk to baked goods, which are sourced from Michael’s Artisan Bakery in South Surrey/White Rock. Don’t miss your chance to get a free 2-minute therapy session which is included with every $2 cup of joe! In the spirit of keeping things small, Al home roasts his organic beans on site in an adapted BBQ! And, if you’re lucky to be around on Saturday in the spring/summer, traditional Berliner Currywurst is cooked up for customers. With your coffee to go, take time to stroll along White Rock’s oceanfront promenade.
Turn north along highway 99 to Richmond and pop by Viva Java Roasting House (2900 Smith Street), a small one-man coffee operation. The owner champions organic coffee that he roasts daily on-site to offer about fourteen single origin coffees and three house blends. While this may not be a coffee shop to hang out, the coffee is well worth the visit along with the chance to meet the owner, Arti, for his larger-than-life personality.
Carry on highway 99 towards Vancouver’s city centre. In Gastown, drop by East Van Roasters (319 Carrall Street), the city’s only artisan bean-to-bar chocolate maker and coffee roaster. Owned and operated by the PHS Community Services Society, East Van Roasters provide training and employment to women recovering from homelessness and addiction. Organic single origin, fair trade cacao and coffee beans are all roasted on site. Along with espresso beverages, you can spoil yourself with hand-crafted chocolate drinks, truffles and bars.
Complete your coffee touring day at Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House (450 Granville Street) in the heart of Downtown Vancouver. For over 20 years, Trees Organic has been sourcing and serving only 100% organic, single origin, naturally shade grown coffee bought at fair trade terms. Their coffee is fresh roasted daily, in small batches, on premise at their flagship Granville Street location. The owner, Doron, takes great pride in maintaining the distinct aromatic and flavour qualities of single origin coffee beans; therefore, coffee blends are not available. And because man does not live on coffee alone, pair your coffee with one of their popular cheesecakes, voted the best in Vancouver! If you’re on location for Thursday or Friday nights, then stick around for their free live music events.
With so many more coffee shops and roasters in and around Vancouver, as a welcome contrast to large coffee chains, there’s no shortage of good coffee options and you’ll soon discover that all roads lead to great coffee!
One of the annual thrills in the Vancouver foodie calendar is the opening of the Richmond Night Market for their summer season. Each year between mid-May to mid-October, night market aficionados hop on the Canada Line to Richmond’s Bridgeport Station to dive into delicious Asian street food and innovative desserts and to browse the stalls of the 200 or so vendors selling everything from toys and balloons to the latest must-have gizmo from Hong Kong.
It’s very easy to find the market from the station, there are plenty of signs but all you need to do is follow the hordes of eager food fans walking the 5 minutes or so across to the market grounds. To avoid the often long line-ups, the fastest way in is to buy a $20 Zoom pack (which gives seven express entry coupons that can be used throughout the season or split between friends on the night) or face the queues and pay the $2,75 entry –cash only.
Once you’re in –and have posed with the giant inflatable duck– it can feel overwhelming to pick where to start first. If there’s not a long line up at the Rotato “potato tornado” stall make a beeline there. Nothing says “Richmond Night Market” like taking a selfie with a potato that’s been twisted around a stick and then deep-fried. The garlic topping is my favourite.
Next up try takoyaki: creamy, spicy fried little balls of soft dough with octopus, sprinkled with bonito flakes and drizzled with a rich mayo and takoyaki sauce. Skip the giant takoyaki; they never seem to be as delicious as the mini-versions. You usually get six to a potion for around $5 but if you’re with friends it’s impossible to just get one– they are so tasty!
Everyone loves eating food on sticks at the night market and some of the most tempting are the skewers from Chef James, one of the market’s most popular characters and known for the high quality of his ingredients. You can get five skewers for around $12 and I’d recommend the AAA beef, spicy lamb and the chicken, all incredibly succulent and juicy with just the right hit of spice and heat.
Squid is everywhere at the market; barbecued or fried you’ll see tentacles sizzling away wherever you look. One of the best at the market comes from the Lao Er BBQ squid stall as they marinate their squid in a spicy house-made sauce that keeps it tender and gives it a spicy lift.
Want to push your limits? Then give the deep fried “stink tofu” a whirl. Admittedly, this pungent Taiwanese snack isn’t for everyone but perhaps if you like strong-smelling blue cheeses then this could be a whole new treat. Just follow your nose to the Taiwan Traditional Snacks stall and put in an order. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside and super-stinky all over!
Bubble teas, slushies and shaved ice desserts are an essential part of the night market experience too. If you’ve never tried Asian desserts, prepare to become a life-long fan of these fresh, sweet, creamy fruity treats. Try Mango Yummy’s shaved ice special, topped off with vanilla ice cream, mocha balls and chunks of fresh mango.
Finally, take a break and enjoy watching a master at work at the Dragon Beard Candy stall, where you can see the delicate pulled sugar strand sweets made. It takes incredible skill to make these nut-stuffed candies and they really are best fresh.
Location: 8351 River Road, Richmond (a 5-minute walk from SkyTrain’s Bridgeport Station)
Season: Friday, May 15 to Monday, October 12, 2015
Opening Days and Hours: Friday and Saturday: 7 p.m. to midnight, Sundays and Statutory Holidays: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Admission: $2.75 for regular admission. Free admission for children aged 10 and under and for seniors aged 60 and up.
To truly experience an authentic slice of local life, you can’t get more local than the neighbourhood farmers markets. Whether you’re shopping or browsing, each of the numerous markets showcases genuinely local products and proprietors from all over the Valley. Immerse yourself in sampling seasonal and fresh fare, gourmet treats, and artisanal delights that have been prepared or produced with a regional spin. Half the fun is being part of the market’s social scene and friendly atmosphere. Chat with other food enthusiasts and meet small-scale but passionate food artisans. You’re certain to enjoy the stories or inspirations behind their unique products. Without a doubt, you’ll be glad you sampled and supported local flavours!
On any given Wednesday to Sunday (May to October), there are numerous outdoor farmers markets in and around Vancouver communities. With so many choices, you may want to explore a market a day or connect some of the markets open on the same day. One route linking several of the more interesting and scenic communities on a Sunday begins in the charming neighbourhood of Kitsilano (Vancouver’s West Side). With a suggested start of 10 am, explore this neighbourhood market which is pleasantly set up outside the community centre.
Then travel south to the idyllic seaside village of White Rock (Canada-US border), arriving mid-day for their market in the town centre. After a stop to enjoy the views on the oceanfront promenade, travel west, by mid-afternoon, to the historic fishing village of Steveston in southern Richmond to end your day of local markets. The Steveston market, which closes at 4 pm, fills the quaint village streets adjacent to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. While it’s possible and an adventure to connect these three markets by public transport, it is more time efficient and flexible to travel by car. Either way, you’ll enjoy and appreciate the local food scene much more after a fun day of fresh and friendly farmers markets!
Just 20 minutes away by transit from downtown Vancouver, Richmond has an abundance of ethnic cuisines and is recognized the world over as being one of the best places to sample Chinese food– much of which can be found in the small strip malls and shopping malls dotted around the city. Don’t be put off by the inevitable language barrier and lack of English menus, adventurous foodies will be rewarded if they go exploring. Just follow the advice of Sai Woo head chef, Keev Mah who is one of the city’s finest chefs and a serious Richmond food court fan. Go ahead and try his top five places to eat.
Where: Lai Leung Kee Noodle House (The Empire Mall, 4540 No. 3 Road) What to eat: Braised Beef Brisket with Hor Fun.
“This is a strip mall opposite Chef Tony restaurant, a Cantonese place that’s been getting a lot of buzz and good reviews, and inside the mall, you’ll find a small food court which has a Hong Kong-style cafe, a barbecue place and a chicken place; my favorite thing here is the noodles. Ask for the braised beef brisket with hor fun, their ‘pushcart noodles.’ In Hong Kong they used to have independent street vendors selling these inexpensive noodle dishes with braised meat, veggies, seafood or offal. They make a good version of the ‘cart noodles’ here and it’s really cheap and tasty.”
Where: O’Trays (President Plaza Mall, 8181 Cambie Rd) What to eat:Tianjin wrap
“I like the crêpe that they have here called the Jian Bing, Tianjin style. If you travel in China, most cities will have a version of this, it’s millet and bean flour with eggs and a sweet kind of bean sauce like you have on Peking duck, plus hot sauce, a little cilantro and inside there’s a crispy cracker. Every city does it a little differently and that’s the surprise in this one. It looks like a won ton wrapper but they make it themselves and it’s got a really nice texture. It’s a classic Chinese breakfast and eaten by millions of people every day, but you don’t see it here, it complements well with their hot and savoury tofu.”
Where: Lido Restaurant (Central Square, 4231 Hazelbridge Way) What: Pineapple Bun
“There’s always a line up here, it’s a very popular Hong Kong-style cafe where they do a few western-style items and Cantonese as well. The milk tea is very good, but everyone comes for their ‘pineapple’ bun (which has no pineapple in it, it’s called that because its sugary checkered top looks like pineapple skin.) In the Lido, everything is in Chinese so you’ll need to ask for an English menu if you eat in, but you can stop by and get an oven-fresh pineapple bun with a thick slab of butter to take away. Sugar, butter, fat, it’s so good!”
Where: Café Delight (Aberdeen Mall, 4151 Hazelbridge Way) What: Hainanese chicken
“This is one of the largest malls in Richmond and the Canada Line connects right to it so you can just walk off the train and it’s right there. You’ll need to bring cash as they don’t accept cards here, but Cafe Delight does a great boneless Hainanese chicken. It’s very tasty and consistently good, it’s quite a light meal, the chicken is aromatic and savoury, It’s lightly poached and it comes with ‘oil rice’ which is cooked with some of the chicken fat and chicken broth which makes it so delicious!”
Where: Fresh Meat and BBQ Shop (Parker Place, 4380 No. 3 Road) What: Roast Pork
“The barbecue here is wonderful, they have amazing roast pork. They roast the whole pig and do it in a very authentic spit-style technique. You can order whole suckling pigs from them, if you want. When you get to the counter they’ll ask if you want lean or fat, I always get half and half roast pork that gives you the best of both worlds. The crackling is best eaten immediately.”
If you haven’t tried dim sum before, think of it as Chinese tapas – irresistible dumplings, noodles and fried snacks – that just happen to be the best way to start the day. Literally translated the expression “dim sum” means “touch the heart,” but to those who love Chinese food, what it really means is tender dumplings, fragrant soups, crispy spring rolls, pillowy steamed buns and savoury bites of braised meat. Dim sum is a parade of small plates usually served between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and a terrific way to explore one of the world’s great cuisines.
The tradition of dim sum originated in the ancient teahouses along the Silk Road in southern China’s Canton province. Travelers would stop for a refreshing cup of tea accompanied with savoury snacks. Back then, the tea was the main point of the meal and still is for many Chinese, which is why they don’t say they’re “going for dim sum,” they “go yum cha,” or “go drink tea.”
One of the best places in Canada to experience dim sum is in Richmond, especially in the city’s many Cantonese restaurants. But whatever region their cuisine hails from, most Chinese restaurants will serve some sort of dim sum, as do Richmond’s food courts and supermarkets.
What you need to know about dim sum (yum cha):
Go early, because the best dim sum restaurants get busy fast and at peak times lineups of more than an hour are not unusual. It is also best to go in groups of at least four so that everyone gets to taste as many nibbles as possible.
When you are seated, a server will bring you a pot of tea, which will typically be a simple jasmine tea unless you ask for something else, such as the sophisticated Iron Buddha, fragrant oolong or “pu-erh,” the dark, musky brew that is definitely an acquired taste. Remember that it is rude to have the spout of the teapot pointing at anyone at the table, and when the pot is empty, simply leave the lid askew and someone will refill it.
The server will also bring menus. The days of trundling steam carts are long over, and now guests order off the menu, which can easily run to a couple of hundred items. To make it simpler, many restaurants also hand out paper menus (in both Chinese and English) with boxes to tick off beside each item. Each diner should select two to three dishes to share among the table.
But what to choose? Perhaps the best place to start is with three of the most popular dim sum dishes: the delicate steamed shrimp dumplings called har gow; the savoury steamed pork dumplings called siu mai; and spring rolls, crispy fried packets filled with meat and vegetables. They will arrive with small saucers of hot sauce; savvy guests will also order the XO sauce, a spicy condiment made from dried seafood and chilis.
Other popular dishes include: steamed buns filled with barbecued pork; “sticky rice” steamed in lotus leaves; wide rice noodles wrapped around beef, shrimp or barbecued pork; braised sheets of tofu stuffed with a shrimp-pork filling; pot stickers that are steamed and then pan-fried; steamed beef meatballs; spare ribs in black bean sauce; deep-fried squid with salt and chili pepper; the savoury rice porridge called congee; and “Phoenix claws,” braised chicken feet that may appear intimidating, but are surprisingly delicious.
And don’t forget the sweets, such as mango pudding, egg tarts and deep-fried dumplings filled with red bean paste.
Other regional cuisines have their own dim sum specialties as well. At Szechuan restaurants, which are known for their lavish hand with hot spices, you may find wontons drizzled in chili sauce or spicy dan-dan noodles (darn-darn mien). Taiwanese restaurants favour exotic textures and flavours, such as fritters stuffed with dried, shredded pork (sarn-jin bao). And the new dim sum darling is the Shanghai dumpling (xiao long bao), a savoury little bundle of pork wrapped in delicate dough and steamed so that it creates its own broth inside.
Finally, when it comes time to pay, make sure you have cash — many Richmond restaurants don’t accept credit cards (and many don’t serve alcohol, either.)
Where to dim sum:
Here are a few Richmond restaurants known for their exceptional dim sum.
Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant
#101 – 46100 No. 3 Rd. (Empire Mall), 604-279-0083 Website
Chef Tony He is building an empire including four restaurants in China and one in Los Angeles with exuberantly opulent decor and equally opulent cuisine. Book a private room, then feast on his signature dim sum, including siu mai topped with fragrant black truffle, sumptuous wild mushroom pastry and tender bitter melon noodle stuffed with shredded chicken.
Just steps away from the Canada Line stop at Aberdeen Centre, this fine-dining Cantonese restaurant is a big, posh room with glittering crystal chandeliers, attentive servers and terrific dim sum, both classic and creative. If you feel daring, try the platter of cold meats, including jellyfish and beef shank.
Jade Seafood Restaurant
8511 Alexandra Road, 604-249-0082 Website
This is a grand restaurant, decorated in soothing greens and sparkling chandeliers, Jade is known for its exceptional dim sum, stellar seafood and the creativity of its chef, Tony Luk. He has a passion for high-quality ingredients and adds a modern touch to classic Cantonese fare: everything here is as fresh and flavourful as it can be. Dim sum here is an extravaganza that simply must be experienced.
150 – 8888 River Road, 604.232.0816 Website
100-8291 Ackroyd Road, 604.278.7787 Website
Dinesty Dumpling House
#160 – 8111 Ackroyd Road, 604-303-7772 Website Note: It is ideal to have a Mandarin-speaking colleague when making reservations here.
Known locally as “Wai Sek Kai” or “Food Street,” Alexandra Road has been a dining destination created by locals for locals for as long as anyone can remember. Easily accessible by SkyTrain, Food Street is right in the heart of the Golden Village and runs from busy No. 3 Road to Garden City Road (between Lansdowne and Aberdeen malls.) It has evolved organically over the years, especially in the last decade, with new restaurateurs attracted by the success of their colleagues and new immigrants searching for a likely place to share the foods of their homeland.
Now nearly 200 eateries strong, cuisine ranges from humble noodle shops to grand Cantonese banquet rooms.
The street itself is a jumble of strip malls, each one a warren of eateries adorned with bright, colourful signs advertising hot pot or pho, dim sum or sushi. Interspersed among them are a handful of grand standalone restaurants and a single vacant field waiting for the next appetizing project. At peak hours, traffic slows to a crawl as hungry diners seek rare and precious parking spots. Wise diners leave the car at home and instead take the Canada Line and walk from either Aberdeen or Lansdowne station.
Hungry visitors will find just about every style of Asian and even some European cuisine along here, including Cantonese, Japanese, Hong Kong, Thai, Korean and more. The chefs here also engage in heated competition with each other; those who don’t offer great food, quality and value simply don’t survive on Food Street.
All that said, exploring Food Street can be intimidating for a first-time visitor. Where to start? (You could start the morning with some Dim Sum.) When to go? (Almost any time is good, from breakfast to late night, depending where you’re headed.) Do they serve booze? (They don’t always, so be prepared.) How to pay? (Bring cash, and expect to tip 10 to 15 per cent.) Perhaps most importantly, what to order?
Where to go, what to eat:
Here are some favourite places to check out along Alexandra Road, a.k.a, Food Street.
Known for their baked (not steamed) BBQ pork buns, this busy Alexandra Road mainstay features dim sum seven days a week during lunch service and other Cantonese specialties in a comfortable setting. Expect fresh flavours and high quality from favourites such as har gow and siu mei.
What else you need to know: Moderately priced. Cash and credit cards accepted. Open for lunch and dinner.
Hungry? Really hungry? Then you may want to check out this super popular all-you-can-eat hot pot joint. You order your broth (the brave can try the super spicy one) and then try a vast array of things to dip in it, ranging from thinly sliced strips of beef to all sorts of seafood, vegetables, tofu, noodles, dumplings and more. The house-made meatballs are especially fine, and the plum juice is a must. Be warned though: This place is popular and can be a real madhouse, especially on weekends and holidays.
What else you need to know: Moderately priced (about $20 a head plus cost of broth). All you can eat. Reservations essential. Credit cards accepted. Beer and wine available. Open for lunch and dinner.
This is the grandest restaurant on Food Street, decorated in soothing greens and sparkling chandeliers, Jade is known for its exceptional dim sum, stellar seafood and the creativity of its chef, Tony Luk. He has a passion for high-quality ingredients and adds a modern touch to classic Cantonese fare: everything here is as fresh and flavourful as it can be. The dumplings stuffed with mushrooms are wonderfully tender and earthy, while the king crab with vegetables and the cold tea-smoked chicken can’t be missed. Dim sum is an extravaganza that simply must be experienced.
What else you need to know: Moderate to expensive. Credit cards accepted. Beer and wine available. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The name means “grandmother’s house,” and guests can expect all the traditional Korean dishes here, including claypot cooking, spicy soups and barbecued meats. Dishes to try include the classic pork neck soup, as well as “japchae,” bean thread noodles with veggies and meat, and “bibimbap,” rice topped with veggies, beef, chili paste and sometimes a raw egg, then mixed together thoroughly. A great place to experience a cuisine that is rapidly growing in popularity.
What else you need to know: Moderate prices. Credit cards accepted. Beer and wine available. Open lunch, dinner and late night.
If you’ve never experienced Japanese izakaya, this is a good place to start. Izakayas are basically lively, fun bars that serve food, usually tapas-style small bites, to accompany the drinks. At the cozily modern Manzo, the specialty is robata, delicious grilled items, as well as sushi, sashimi and a wide range of creative nibbles from the kitchen. It’s all designed to complement a drinks list focused on beer and premium sake.
What else you need to know: Moderate prices. Credit cards accepted. Full bar. Open for dinner.
It’s impossible to miss this casual, Beijing-style eatery – it has the brightest signage along Alexandra Road. Decor is simple, almost cafeteria-style, and the specialty here is all-you-can-eat hot pot, along with spicy, northern Chinese barbecue skewers. For those who like fiery foods, the chicken wings “bien tai” are a must – so hot, they come with a warning and a “fire extinguisher” side of frozen cherry tomatoes.
What else you need to know: Moderate prices. All you can eat. Cash only. Beer available. Open for lunch and dinner daily; late night Fridays and Saturdays.
This popular, classic Cantonese restaurant specializes in dim sum and live seafood. The place is huge, bright and always busy, with efficient and helpful servers. Dim sum is probably the most popular meal here, and features all the usual favourites done exceptionally well. Diners who come for dinner must try the signature dish of roast squab – pigeon marinated in secret spices then roasted until it’s crispy on the outside, tender inside – though western diners should perhaps be warned that it arrives with the head still on. Guests also can’t go wrong with whatever is fresh and swimming in the restaurant tanks, whether it be shrimp, geoduck or Alaska king crab, best served with minced garlic.
What else you need to know: Moderate to expensive. Credit cards accepted. Full bar. Open for lunch and dinner.
This popular chain has locations throughout Vancouver and North Vancouver and offers a reliable selection of the usual Thai fare: noodle dishes such as pad thai, fragrant curries, eye-wateringly spicy soups and tantalizing appetizers such as the boneless stuffed chicken wings. All that, along with the cheerfully casual décor and reasonable prices, keeps the joint hopping.
What else you need to know: Moderately priced. Credit cards accepted. Full bar. Open for lunch and dinner.
Looking for a late night bubble tea and electronic darts? Then this quirky joint is the place for you. It’s one of the biggest Taiwanese-style restos in the Lower Mainland, and features bubble tea, milky coffee, savoury waffles, noodles, hot pot and a huge list of other nibbles. It’s also just plain fun, with loud DJs, auto-majhong tables, TVs, Wi-Fi and more.
What else you need to know: Inexpensive. Credit cards accepted. No alcohol. Open lunch, dinner and late (until 2 a.m. nightly and 3 a.m. weekends).
Located on the second floor of small strip mall on Alexandra Road, this husband and wife operated eatery features authentic homestyle Korean dishes such as hot pots, bibimbap, seafood pancakes, tofu soup, and BBQ short ribs. The restaurant has a homey feel and diners can expect attentive service as well as a limited bar menu and free Wi-Fi.
What else you need to know: Moderately priced. Credit cards accepted. Limited bar menu. Open for lunch and dinner.