Drinking and dining in Vancouver can easily be a moveable feast. You can have a bite and a drink at once place and then slip next door or around the corner for another and another and another as your appetite allows. Five is a nice number to tackle, so we’ve racked our brains for our current Top Five favourites snacks for your ranking considering…
1. The Korean Fried Cauliflower (KFC) at Hawksworth is tempura-crunched, fiery deliciousness. We love the hell out of the housemade Korean hot sauce and actually made a version of the dish in the office kitchen (using sriracha). We paired it with a Riesling at home, and you should do the same at the Hawksworth bar, or with their palate soothing signature “Hotel Georgia” cocktail.
2. Remember the octopus chips at Boneta? The long-lost restaurant (that a quorum of gourmands want to see returned to Gastown) used to nail the addictive little chards. If it can’t be brought back to life, at least the chips can. They’ve been (somewhat) resurrected across town at Supermarine in Kitsilano, where their crispiness is zinged with lemon juice and lit with rosemary before taking squirts of piquant Spanish bravas-style aioli.
3. The fleshy, woody, super delicious smoked Castelvetrano olives at Wildebeest make for an on point amuse bouche with a cheeky beer or a glass of something especially interesting, like the Sicilian Chardonnay-Grecanico from Casa Planeta. Sometimes things that are simple and one-dimensional pack the most impact. (pro tip: their pork schnitzel strips dipped in caraway-spiced beer mustard are almost as awesome).
4. One of the drawbacks of the English culinary tradition has long been the tiny windows of its greatest hits. Case in point: roast beef with Yorkshire pudding. It’s a special holiday meal, a comet-like gift that appears only once or twice a year (typically at Christmas). Thank goodness for the lads at The Fat Badger, who’ve miniaturize the mighty meal as a bar snack in triplicate, complete with gravy and horseradish.
5. We’ve singled out the ham grenades at Mamie Taylor’s before, and for good reason. Think “slow cooked/smoked ham hock bound up in starchy, cheddar-cheesy nests of julienned potato that have been compressed in a hotel pan and cut into tater tottish sections before getting dunked – three per order – in the deep fryer.” Once golden brown, they are anointed with tarragon mayo, a dice of pickled apple, and strings of green onion.