DINER: Where To Stuff Your Face And Drink Your Fill During The Eastside Culture Crawl

by The Editors | As most Scout readers are likely already aware, the Eastside Culture Crawl (November 18, 19, 20) is a free, three day art crawl that covers the area bounded by Main Street and Victoria Drive north of First Avenue. Over 300 artists are participating, and it’s going to be freakin’ awesome. But where to eat and drink before, during and after your Crawl? Being the thoughtful folks that we are, we’ve lined up a list of key stops within (and just without) Crawl grounds:

Au Petit Chavignol

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A good glass of wine and a magical fondue is a pretty sweet way to finish a frenetic evening tour of the Parker Street studios. Brunch is also served on Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3pm, and it comes highly recommended. We’re also convinced that Au Petit Chavignol serves up Vancouver’s best cheeseburgers, not to mention partial to their killer beer selections.
Au Petit Chavignol | 843 East Hastings | www.aupetitchavignol.com

Pat’s Pub

The hearty beef dip, wonderfully disgusting poutine and cheap “Pat’s Classic Lager” at this sometimes rowdy pub inside the Patricia Hotel are all legend to those who live in the area. If there’s a game on, know that this where every die hard Canuck/Crawl fan will retreat to for a period or two. Pro tip: there’s also a bank machine to replenish your Crawl fund.
403 East Hastings St. @ Dunlevy Ave | 604-255-4301 | PatsPub.ca

Strathcona Ukrainian Hall

The Strathcona Ukrainian Hall Perogy Lunch is a Crawl tradition. Cheap and authentic perogies, sliced sausage and borscht really hits the spot after a lot pavement pounding. Don’t be put off by the line-up at the door. It moves fast and you might make friends, as perogy eaters are generally a jolly bunch. Bonus: on Saturday, there’s a bazaar in the hall, so lots of good stuff from someone else’s basement!
Saturday, November 18 + Sunday, November 19 | 11-4 | 805 E. Pender | Strathcona Ukrainian Hall 

Benny’s Market

Our neighbourhood grocery is awesome. Grab a sandwich and a drink here as you wander the streets of Strathcona looking for crows and yellow balloons (the two tell-tale signs of a Crawl studio). They have a take-out counter at the back of the shop with some quality snacks. We recommend the pastrami and the hot spot sandwiches, and if they have their potato and bacon soup going, pounce on that hot acton! If nothing else, Janet and Ramon will point you in the right direction.
598 Union Street @ Princess | 10-6pm | bennyfoods.com

Bao Bei

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Lying just outside the Crawl boundary is this lovely, supremely cozy award-winner that speaks modern Shanghainese with a distinct Vancouver accent. The daily fried rice and a proper cocktail is always the way to go. Bar service is the quickest, so pull up a stool.
163 Keefer | 604-688-0876 | www.bao-bei.ca

The Ovaltine Cafe

We’ve always been somewhat terrified of the chow here (opting for grilled cheese, etc), but it definitely has its charms. In any case, there’s no denying that the coffee is hot, it’s dirt cheap and it’s on the northern flank of Crawl territory. If you’ve never been to The Ovaltine before, it’s an iconic anchor of the DTES and a sweet place to while away an hour in anonymity.
251 East Hastings | 604-685-7021

Union Street Market

Smack dab in the middle of the Adanac bike route and ground zero in the most densely populated area on the Crawl map is The Union Market. Slip in for some traditional Portuguese chicken (Gloria always makes extra chicken on the Crawl weekend) or a not so traditional (but totally addictive) curry pocket. Also home to the famous orange fritter above.
810 Union (Between Campbell & Hawks)

Little Nest

Little Nest on Charles (off Commercial) has some of the best quick and honest food on The Drive. It’s busy on account of that, but we nevertheless recommend dropping in to fuel up before setting out to tour all the nearby galleries and studios. They’re happy to do take-out if you just can’t wait to get going (or if you’re afraid of children).
1716 Charles | 604-251-9994 | LittleNest.ca

The Astoria

Great location, off-sales and cheap draft beer make this ancient character hang an essential before, during or after your Crawl.
769 East Hastings St | 604-254-3355

Pizzeria Farina


Holy shit do these guys ever do sublime pizza crust! Hands down one of the best and fastest pizzerias in town. It’s no wonder that they run out of dough every night. Located right on the Crawl’s periphery. A must!
915 Main | 604-681-9334 | www.pizzeriafarina.com

The Wilder Snail

Community hub and a grocery store, The Wilder Snail is a great place to grab a morning tea and muffin or an afternoon latte and flourless chocolate cake between studio visits. Artists studios are beside, across from, adjacent to and on top of the Snail, so you’re making good use of time by scoring your restoratives here. The Snail serves soup, grilled paninis and a selection of fresh baked goods. Boyd and his staff are as warm and welcoming as they come.
Saturday & Sunday 9am-6pm | 799 Keefer | http://www.thewildersnail.com/wordpress/

Campagnolo

We’re suckers for the salsiccia pizza and spaghetti pomodoro at this Main St. looker, not to mention manager Giovanni’s cocktails and the crispy ceci (pictured above).
1020 Main | 604-484-6018 | www.campagnolorestaurant.ca

Dunlevy Snack Bar

Great for coffee any time of the day and especially super duper when the cookies are coming out of the oven. Also a good place to drop in for lunch, as Theo always has a few simple and satisfying dishes on offer. Sunday Brunch is best. Hook up on their Facebook page to find out what they’ll be serving. Pro tip: wireless!
433 Dunlevy off East Hastings | http://dunlevysnackbar.tumblr.com/

The Waldorf Hotel

Hit The Waldorf pretty much any time for a drink, small plates or Nuba fare. Think mid-Crawl Najeeb’s cauliflower special, post-Crawl cocktails, off-sales for a freezing cold party in the Park – whatever strikes your fancy. This is the ultimate pit-stop. Fuck it. This is the ultimate sleepover.
1489 East Hastings | 604-253-7141 | www.waldorfhotel.com

Electric Owl

Located at the foot of the restored American Hotel on Strathcona’s fringe, check in here for the eclectic Japanese izakaya snacks and to take advantage of their cold beer and wine store.
926 Main | 604-558-0928 | ElectricOwl.ca

The Keefer

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Just down the street from Bao Bei is this swishy, good looking hideaway with its open flame-lit patio (even in winter). Bar manager Dani Tatarin (lovely and talented) makes kickass drinks and the wee kitchen’s snacks are always inventive. Worth a visit for sure.
135 Keefer | 604-688-1961 | www.thekeeferbar.com

Fujiya

Fujiya is great for take-out sushi. Nothin’ fancy, just fast, healthy and cheap. Sometimes, that’s all you need. You can even order your sushi online and pick it up.
912 Clark | 10am – 7pm | http://www.fujiya.ca

Two Chefs & A Table

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Last but not least, Two Chefs! Allan and Karl do a mean brunch and a wicked tight dinner service. Down in Railtown, they are the prefect starting point for browse some of the artists studios at 339 Railway. Check it out!
305 Alexander | 778-233-1303 | www.twochefsandatable.com

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NB. There are two JJ Bean Coffee shops in Crawl bounds: One at 1904 Powell and another at 460 Railway. Knowing there is a good cup of coffee nearby is invaluable.