Mapping the Best Food & Drink in Vancouver With Chef Alessandro Vianello

The talent behind the kitchens of Wildebeest, Bufala, Lucky Taco and Bells and Whistles takes us on a delicious tour of the city...
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Mapping the Best Food & Drink in Vancouver With Chef Alessandro Vianello

The Dishes is a new Scout column that asks Vancouverites to walk us through a map of their ideal day and night on the town. We’re talking breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner and late night cocktails. Tax and tip included. The archive for all The Dishes is here.

This week, we turn to chef Alessandro Vianello, the very pre-occupied talent who oversees the busy kitchens of Wildebeest, Bufala, Lucky Taco and Bells and Whistles.

Good morning! What’s for breakfast/brunch?

We are definitely going to Dinesty Dumpling House on Robson for Xiaolongbao, congee and other delicious dumplings. Super great atmosphere and handmade-to-order dumplings. The wrappers are so thin and hold the most savoury filling that is perfect in the morning, or any time of day. Love this place.

Dinesty 1719 Robson St. MAP

Where should we meet for coffee/tea?

Cafe Calabria on Commercial Drive. The coffee is fast, on point, and with no ego attached. Plus I love going in and speaking Italian with Frank and his sons. It really makes me feel like I’m in Italy having coffee with my Dad.

Cafe Calabria 1745 Commercial Dr. MAP


Now we’re hungry again. What’s for lunch?

The Pad Thai and whatever the special is at Sen Pad Thai on Granville Island. I love the balance of the sauce, sweet and sour, the texture and freshness. Hands down, best Pad Thai I have ever had. Angus knows whats up!

Sen Pad Thai 1666 Johnston St. MAP

Who has you figured out at Happy Hour?

Rodney’s in Yaletown. Cheap oysters and wine — can’t go wrong. It’s loud, fun, energetic, and always great conversation when I want to unwind. The oysters are always fresh, and I find a lot of places don’t shuck oysters properly, but they do at Rodney’s.

Rodney's Oyster House 1228 Hamilton St. MAP

What’s for dinner?

We are going to Pidgin in Gastown to eat the rice cake bolognese and the potato, cod roe, dashi and furikake dish. The rice cake bolo is like my Mom made it and then Chef Wes throws a bunch of spicy Korean chilli paste into it. Out of control.

Pidgin 350 Carrall St. MAP

What’s for dessert?

Earnest Ice Cream, salted caramel all the way! I don’t really know what to say about this ice cream except that if you haven’t had it your life is not complete.

Earnest Ice Cream 3992 Fraser St. MAP

Where are you taking us for late night cocktails?

We are going to The Diamond in Gastown for Penicillins or Paper Planes, and multiple shots of Buffalo Trace. The cocktails are always delicious, no matter what you order. The Diamond has this great atmosphere; it’s like Cheers every time I go. “Where everybody knows your name”.

The Diamond 6 Powell St. MAP

Images courtesy Jonathan Norton.

Like the look of that fried chicken sandwich up top? Get it at Bells and Whistles.

There is 1 comment

  1. I lived on the Drive for quite a long time and I never once had a pleasant experience at La Calabria. And no, I didn’t try to bring outside food or drink in. I haven’t been in years but I remember the first time I went I asked politely what a certain kind of drink cost since there were no prices of anything listed on the board. I was told angrily that if I couldn’t afford a coffee, I should get out. WTF? I went a few more times with friends and as always, the attitude was hostile and the service lousy no matter who waited on me/us. There are FAR better places to get good coffee in Vancouver without the outsized egos and nasty attitudes. FYI, there are hundreds of complaints about them on Yelp, FB, Google, etc.

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