by Ken Tsui | November in Vancouver is a dreary mess, but The Eastside Culture Crawl is your best excuse to throw on your rain boots and get outside. This weekend, over 500 of East Van’s designers, artists and crafters are throwing open their studio doors. This is a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of the incredible talents that are flourishing in the heart of the city’s most artistic neighbourhood. Exploring East Van may work up an appetite, so after a long day of feeding your mind, Scout recommends you do the same for your belly…UNION MARKET | 810 Union St.
An institution located at the heart of Strathcona. The family-run Union Market is your essential spot for a quick grab-and-go treat. Whether it’s an orange fritter, a Portuguese custard tart or their classic baked chicken, they’ll keep you going as you bounce around the neighbourhood (image via Union Market).LUPPOLO BREWING CO. | 1123 Venables St.
The newest establishment on this list is located within eyeshot of Parker St. Studios. It is their first Crawl so we expect they’ll see something of a bum rush. It’s a very attractive room and the beers are solid. They were still dialing in their food program at the time of writing, but they should be serving little piadina sandwiches by the weekend.DIXIE’S BBQ | 337 E Hastings St.
Cold beers, stiff drinks and tonnes of authentic Austin, Texas BBQ with all the OMG sides you can think of. We’re talking everything from brisket, sausages and baked beans to pulled pork, tater tots, fried chicken and waffles. Best to go after your crawl once you’ve worked up the appetite.SWEET BOY CREAM PUFFS | 721 Gore Ave.
Chams Soubai is an artist with cream puffs. Formerly a pastry chef at The Royal Dinette, Chams’ summer stint as a tricycle-powered food cart dished out the best seasonally inspired cream puffs you could find on three wheels. You can find him in or on your way out of the Crawl at the old Pie Shoppe on the edge of Chinatown. (image via Sweet Boy)BELGARD KITCHEN | 55 Dunlevy Ave.
When you’re rolling with a hungry gang looking to share thoughts on their favourite studios on the Crawl, there’s no harm in sharing a few plates of food while you’re at it. The Belgard Kitchen’s casual, share-friendly menu will have you breaking bread with friends in no time.STRANGE FELLOWS BREWING | 1345 Clark Dr.
The Eastside Culture Crawl revels in the strange so it’s no surprise that you can find a little of that in your beer while you’re in the neighbourhood. Try some of the most unique craft brews in the city after a long day of exploring and check out the adjacent art gallery to stay on point.PIZZERIA FARINA | 915 Main St.
Hands down one of the best and fastest pizzerias in town with superb dough that pimples nice and folds like its the real Neapolitan deal. It’s no wonder that they run out of the stuff every night! Located right on the Crawl’s periphery for a quick and delicious escape.PAT’S PUB | 403 East Hastings St.
The hearty beef dip, rich poutine and cheap Pat’s Classic Lager 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. There’s also a bank machine to replenish your Crawl fund.MACKENZIE ROOM | 415 Powell St.
If you’re looking for a bit of seasonal creativity on your dinner plate, Mackenzie Room is the place to find it. With an ever-evolving chalkboard menu and cocktail list, chef Sean Reeve and cocktail master Arthur Wynne are the kinds of creatives that never stay still.STRATHCONA BEER COMPANY | 895 East Hastings St.
Brand new and pouring plenty of quality beers in a large, modern, well-lit Simcic & Uhrich-designed space dotted with booths and high-top communal tables. It looks like a proper restaurant but it’s a counter-service operation. Bonus: they make really good pizza.