DINER | A Look Inside “The Abbey”, A New Tavern Opening At The Gates Of Chinatown

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by Andrew Morrison | I toured the construction site of The Abbey late last week. The highly anticipated tavern/gastropub from chef Andrey Durbach, Chris Stewart, and Michel Durocher (see also The Sardine Can, La Buca, Pied-a-Terre), is coming together nicely in the old Wild Rice location at 117 West Pender Street.

Granted, it was a bit odd seeing the iconic space without its defining turquoise, under-lit bar, but I think its replacement – a thick, darkish, acid-treated treated lovely with smooth edges – will gel with the overall vision for the space, which I suspect leans toward the slightly ecclesiastical given The Abbey’s branding, curved staircases, and the inescapable light that pours in from its brace of skylights (I also spied a little stained glass action in the signage – which is now visible to passersby outside).

When it’s finished, we can expect to see the main floor and the front and rear mezzanines set with solid wood chairs and bar stools, plus wood paneling covering up the beige walls. In other words, it’s going to look completely different than how it appears in the images below. I’m imagining a kind of modern, 21st century treatment (as dictated by the existing clean lines of the space) of a late Norman church, of a sort built to house the holy relics of Julia Child instead of the Venerable Bede.

The menu is also under construction, but I’ve gotten wind of a few items that’ll whet the appetite: organic crisp chicken with togarashi pepper and spicy mayo (karaage); Welsh rarebit with melted Lincolnshire Poacher, ale + pickled onion; foie gras torchon with fruit preserves and brioche toast; wild mushrooms on toast; butcher’s cut steak with triple cooked duck fat chips and garlic butter mushrooms; and grilled rare sockeye with warm vegetable + quinoa salad, beet juice, ginger, and walnut oil. I’ve also been told to expect a Fresh Sheet that will bring back some favourites from chef Durbach’s Parkside years.

On the staffing front, we’re glad that Ben de Champlain – formerly of Boneta and the winner of Scout’s Bartender of the Year competition in 2012 – will be holding court at the bar when The Abbey opens later this summer.

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

GOODS | Chinatown’s Keefer Bar Launches “Yum Cha” Saturday Service Today 11:30am

The Keefer Bar is located at 135 Keefer St in Vancouver, BC | 604-688-1961 | www.thekeeferbar.com

The Keefer Bar is located at 135 Keefer St in Vancouver, BC | 604-688-1961 | www.thekeeferbar.com

The GOODS from The Keefer Bar

Vancouver, BC | Over the past 4 years the Keefer Bartenders have been arriving to work on sunny Saturday afternoons, propping open our folding front windows like a workshop and racing the clock to 5pm. Juicing, slicing, shaking and boiling our mis-en-place into top form to be able to support the bar team through the busy night ahead. What started with curious passers by poking their heads in to find out when service begins, bolstered by the growing public interest in the evolution of the area, turned into the almost never ending requests for afternoon cocktails and snacks in the sunshine.

So for summer 2014 we have succumbed to the pressure and are extremely excited to present The Keefer Bar’s Saturday Yum Cha! Beginning this weekend and for the remainder of the summer, The Keefer Bar will be opening its doors at 11:30am on Saturdays (when most of the city’s bartenders are still in bed) and presenting a style of brunch and cocktails not yet seen in downtown Vancouver.

Featuring breakfast sandwiches with onions, mushroom, carrot and leeks on steamed buns, daily Chinatown fruit and salad offerings, Peking duck green onion pancakes plus a host of other dim sum steam basket possibilities.

Of course it wouldn’t be a Keefer Yum Cha without a new selection of cocktails. We will be bringing fresh daily tea cocktails, ginger mimosas, as well as a choice of healthy, TCM influenced breakfast smoothies, not to mention all the Keefer seasonal and alumni cocktails on offer all the way through until the small hours of Sunday morning!

We’re looking forward to seeing you much earlier than usual this summer and being able to share the warmth of our patio with you while the sun is shining so jump on your bike or take a walk over to come and say “Ni Hao!” and Yum Cha with us this Saturday, June 7th. Read more

GOODS | The Chinatown Experiment Set To Host 8 Pop-Ups During The Month Of June

The Chinatown Experiment is located at 434 Columbia St. & 585 East Broadway | chinatownexperiment.com

The Chinatown Experiment is located at 434 Columbia St. & 585 East Broadway | chinatownexperiment.com

The GOODS from The Chinatown Experiment

Vancouver, BC | This month at The Chinatown Experiment brings the most dynamic line up yet with a series of eight pop-ups across two locations including 434 Columbia St. and the new #SPACE196 at 196 Kingsway Avenue on the corner of 10th. This new space will be home to two pop-up shops this month and many more in the months to come. For the first month of summer, expect mostly fashion shops as brands introduce their SS14 lines, as well as a week-long multidisciplinary art event and two non-profit fundraisers. Get your out calendars out and mark these dates…

Open now – June 3 | Kate Duncan presents ADDRESS (434 Columbia St.)
ADDRESS is a collection of furniture, lighting, textiles, horticulture, as well as artwork and sculptural vessels by designers from Vancouver, Calgary, and New York. The two-week pop-up will feature the fine furniture by Kate Duncan, as well as works by Troy Moth, Allied Maker, Le Fil Rouge Textiles, Golem Designs, and many more. This is what’s hot in interior design and home décor right now.
Open daily 11am – 7pm #ADDRESSyvr

June 3-8 | Hey Jude Spring Shop (196 Kingsway Ave.) #space196
Vancouver based vintage stylists, Lauren Clark and Lyndsey Chow, will be opening the doors to their newest pop-up boutique. The shop will be featuring a new Spring/Summer collection of hand picked and trend forward vintage pieces for one-week only. Set in a minimalist and curated atmosphere, the shop aims to present vintage shopping in a fresh and approachable way. Expect to see pastels, metallic and monochromatic neutrals alongside unique accessories and jewelry. The shop will also showcase a menswear collection full of crisp button-ups, bombers and athletic inspiration. Open daily 11am – 7pm #heyjudeshop

June 5 | Thank you Chinatown! (434 Columbia St.)
Our founder, Devon MacKenzie is moving on from The Chinatown Experiment and as a thank you to the neighbourhood, he has organized a one-night fundraising event benefiting the DTES Women’s Shelter. The photos are finished in handcrafted frames made from reclaimed fir from the Chinatown Experiment building. We will be raffling off one 6×15-framed print and six one-of-a-kind 8×10 framed prints. There will also be framed 4×6 prints on hand for purchase. Open for viewing 1pm – 4pm and event starts 6pm to 10pm.

June 6 – 8 | Halfcourt Sportswear & Whiskey Teacup Pop-Up Shop (434 Columbia St.)
Halfcourt Sportswear and Whiskey Teacup come together for a weekend pop-up shop. Halfcourt will be celebrating the launch of their first collection featuring silhouettes inspired by classic sportswear pieces and bold contrasting materials. Whiskey Teacup will be releasing their sophomore collection, which will be available for the first time in store. Open daily 11am – 7pm.

June 11 – 18 | Young & Only Pop-Up Shop (434 Columbia St.)
Young & Only is an online men’s and women’s clothing store and lifestyle blog catering to stylish individuals who are culturally informed and socially conscious. You can expect brands such as Publish, Cameo, Someday’s Lovin, RVLT, and B.C.’s very own London Alexander and Beaux Ties. Young & Only has also teamed up with a couple of friends including Gastown florist Greenstems, and the beautifully talented local artist Ola Volo. Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 11am – 7pm, Friday to Saturday: 11am-9pm #YOPOPUP

June 19 | Apron’s for Gloves Restaurant Rumble Fundraiser (434 Columbia St.)
The Chinatown Experiment is throwing its weight behind heavyweight contender Peter Marshall representing Louis M Martini Winery for Peter’s Restaurant Rumble Fundraiser campaign. There will be beer, cocktails, wine, art, and athletic apparel for sale. All proceeds will benefit the East Side Boxing Club. Event starts at 6pm. #teamsweetPete

June 20 – 26 | ONE Colour Exhibition by Glitz Entertaiment (434 Columbia St.)
ONE Colour is a multidisciplinary art event presented by the production team behind the growing Lab Art Show. They have taken their one night event and expanded it to include a week-long pop-up featuring live painting, cirque performances, short films, improv, instillations, and even a night of sangria. Expect a full line up with a uniquely different event on each night of the exhibition.

June 23 – 29 | WHEAT (196 Kingsway Ave.) #space196
WHEAT is a Danish-designed clothing line for babies and kids. It’s the epitome of comfort and classic, yet still practical and stylish, in kids’ clothing. Parents will love WHEAT for its simple, old-soul inspired designs that will take kids from play dates to family functions. Available exclusively online in Canada, WHEAT is excited to be popping up in Vancouver from June 23rd to 28th. Featuring spring and summer styles from sizes 3 months to 14 years. Open daily 10am to 7pm.

SEEN IN VANCOUVER #497 | The “Barate Kid” Cocktail Competition At The Keefer Bar

by Shaun Layton | I was one of 16 bartenders invited to participate in the third annual Barate Kid Bartending competition at The Keefer Bar this past Monday, May 19th. It is what the majority of Vancouver bartenders consider to be the best competition of its kind, and I was glad to be in the mix again. If you recall, Josh Pape won the inaugural in 2012 (representing The Diamond) and Ben Champlain won it last year (representing Boneta).

The idea for it started when co-creators Keenan Hood (Bar Manager at The Keefer bar) and David Greig (my former sidekick/Jude Law lookalike at L’Abattoir) were getting tired of the same old competitions. Cocktail comps tend to drag on for hours, get way too serious, and the amount of homemade bitters, cedar-aged Chartreuse, barrel-aged moustache wax, and bow-tied bartenders can be a bit much. They’re not always the way every barkeep wants to spend their night off. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of these competitions are great and I have personally competed in many (and traveled the world doing so), but sometimes they just end up being like ego-stroking meetings of the Mutual Admiration Society, with the same old judges and the same top three finishers. So David and Keenan thought, I wonder how all these people would fair if they just had to make the drinks we all make on a day to day basis in a packed bar, a la minute, while being judged on timing, taste, and Barate skills (a mix of showmanship, style, technique, cleanliness, etc)?

The response, of course, has been incredible. This year saw a $50 buy in, winner take all, bracket-style competition. It was a one-on-one format where the judges would call out 4-7 classics. From the get-go, it was on!

It was so rad seeing guys like Nick Devine (Cascade Group), Steve da Cruz (The Parker), and Jacob Sweetapple (Absolut Vodka) come back behind the bar and throw down! A good mix of the new brigade also showed well (Grant Sceney of the Fairmont, you better watch your back). As far as I know, there was even a waiting list of people who wanted to compete, just in case there were any no-shows. Other competitors were JS Dupuis (Homer st Cafe), Evelyn Chick (Blue Water Cafe), Robyn Gray (Hotel Georgia), Cooper Tardivel (Hawksworth), H (Notturno), Josh Pape (Wildebeest), Gezza McAlpine (The Keefer), Dani Tatarin (The Keefer), Yours Truly (L’Abattoir), Jay Browne (Calabash), Ben De Champlain (Former Boneta), and Thor Paulson (Wildebeest).

This was by far the most fun bar-related event ever thrown in Vancouver (and probably the rest of Canada, too). The place was packed out the door and into the empty street from 5-11 on a long weekend Monday. Keeping spirits high were little side comps (free pour contests!), a mini back bar to help hydrate all the off-duty barkeeps not competing who showed up to watch, and a ridiculous DJ playing 80’s tracks from The Karate Kid soundtrack. Even the judging panel was great: Vancouver bar guru David Wolywidnyk; former Vancouverite and now owner of Canon in Seattle Jamie Boudreau (he’s so hot in Germany right now, even bigger than Hasselhoff), and Corby rep (ex-bartender) Casey Mackay, who generously donated a lot of booze for the event.

Highlights from the opening rounds included H dawning his high heeled boots (don’t ask), the Aussi vs Aussi matchup of mentor and student (Sweetapple vs Sceney), #BarateGate2014 Layton vs Tarvidel (wherein the scoring was originally counted incorrectly), and James Iranzad (natch) running a Vegas-style racket.

In the end it was down to Josh “cooler than the other side of the pillow” Pape versus The Keefer’s own Gezza “is this guy on P.E.Ds?” McAlpine. Gezza ended up taking the title in a performance that was fast, efficient, and with spot-on drinks. All in all, it was a totally legit comp. There was a clear winner, no tears, and most important of all, everyone had a great time on their day off. Cheers to Keenan and the Keefer Bar crew for this awesome competition. You should take it national!

EVERYTHING SEEN IN VANCOUVER

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS | Chinatown’s “Bao Bei” Is On The Hunt For Experienced Cooks

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie is located at 163 Keefer St. in Vancouver's Chinatown | 604-688-0876 | www.bao-bei.ca

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie is located at 163 Keefer St. in Vancouver’s Chinatown | 604-688-0876 | bao-bei.ca

The GOODS from Bao Bei

Vancouver, BC | Bao Bei is looking for experienced cooks to fill full-time positions in our kitchen. The successful candidates will be able to handle working high volume in a fast-paced environment. Those interested are invited to email their resumes to info [at] bao-bei.ca or come down to the restaurant in person between 2pm and 4pm. Learn more about us after the jump. Read more

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS | “The Parker” Is On The Lookout For An Experienced P/T Server

The Parker is located at 237 Union St. in Strathcona/Chinatown | Vancouver, BC | 604-779-3804 | theparkervancouver.com

The Parker is located at 237 Union Street in Vancouver, BC | 604-779-3804 | www.theparkervancouver.com

The GOODS from The Parker

Vancouver, BC | The Parker is an award-winning vegetarian restaurant in Chinatown featuring Executive Chef Curtis Luk’s seasonal menu showcasing the best of our region and beyond. Owner Steve Da Cruz and manager Nich Box deliver an innovative bar program and a well thought out wine list with a deft touch and thoughtful service. Thanks to our amazing location and clientele, we’re growing! The Parker is seeking a bartending server with five years experience who is comfortable in all areas of service, expedition, and wine pairing. This is a part-time position to start, with many shifts opening up soon after. Send resumés to info [at] theparkervancouver.com. Read more

AWESOME THING WE ATE #917 | A Chicken Fried Brunch At Chinatown’s Mamie Taylor’s

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by Andrew Morrison | Mamie Taylor’s, located at 251 East Georgia in Chinatown, recently launched their version of a Southern-style brunch service. It runs every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3pm, and fair warning: it’s not for those who brunch lightly.

If chef Tobias Grignon and owners Simon Kaulback and Ron Oliver had an ideal customer breed in mind, it might be people who seldom give many fucks about anything save for their own personal satisfaction, which they take very seriously indeed. That is to say that there aren’t any regenerating smoothies or typical bowls of “good health” on offer here. Rather, this brunch menu can be interpreted as – depending on your point of view – either a minefield of artery-impregnating sons of bitches or a beautifully engraved invitation to sup from a deep fried, extra buttery smorgasbord of sweet and salty excess. There is a salad, to be sure, only it’s of the Cobb ilk, arriving loaded with stilton cheese and pork belly.

It all plays for par, for one doesn’t go to Mamie’s to cleanse; one attends for the Faustian exchange of days shaved off the lifespan for feverish moments immersed in chicken fried steak soaked in bacon gravy (pictured above) or engrossed in the half hour it takes to properly navigate the sticky pleasures of a Kentucky Hot Brown. (For those unschooled in regular pulmonary bullying, a Kentucky Hot Brown is French toast – or “Freedom Toast” as they call it at Mamie’s – mounted with smoked confit turkey, tomato and bacon, all smothered in a thick Mornay sauce.)

The menu also includes the restaurant’s decadent fontina cheeseburger (one of the best in the city), fried chicken and waffles with pickled chilies and bourbon honey, and two kinds of eggs benedict – one with pork belly and the other with poblano chilies and goat’s cheese — both of which can be found breathing heavily under hot domes of thick Hollandaise. Cocktails are equally indulgent, none more rewardingly so than the Tequila Caesar, which comes doubly capped by a devilled egg and a thick shard of hot chorizo. Why? Because you’re going to die, that’s why.

Let’s just be glad that it’s all only a weekend affair, for if this sort of immoderation was tabled 7 days a week, hell would be paid early and often. Take a closer look below if you dare…

Mamie Taylors | 251 East Georgia | 604.620.8818 | mamietaylors.ca

MORE AWESOME THINGS WE ATE

GOODS | The Chinatown Experiment Set To Host Exciting New Series Of Pop Ups In May

The Chinatown Experiment is located at 434 Columbia St. in Vancouver’s vibrant Chinatown | chinatownexperiment.com

The Chinatown Experiment is located at 434 Columbia in Vancouver’s vibrant Chinatown | chinatownexperiment.com

The GOODS from The Chinatown Experiment

Vancouver, BC | This month brings the most dynamic line up yet with a series of eight pop-ups across two locations including Chinatown Experiment at 434 Columbia St. and the temporary Midtown Experiment at 585 E. Broadway a block west of Fraser St. Vancouver’s pop-up activators are excited to welcome back some familiar faces and to introduce new pop-ups this month. Grab a pen and start marking your calendars; you simply cannot miss out.

Open now – May 3 | Citizen Grace (585 E. Broadway)
Local online women’s fashion retailer Citizen Grace is back with their first pop-up of 2014 and they have exclusive new pieces at their pop-up store that are not yet released online. Open 10am – 8pm daily.

May 1 – 7 | An Improbable Friendship (434 Columbia St.)
Yuri Padal and Michael Mahoney are proud to exhibit their abstract paintings for a one-week exhibition. Their opening reception is Friday, May 2 from 5-9pm with live music. The gallery is open daily from 10am – 7pm.

May 5 – 11 | Black & Yellow presents: The Incubator (585 E. Broadway)
Once hosted at The Waldorf Hotel, Black & Yellow gallery is back and led by gallery director Allison Mander-Wionzek. The Incubator is a one-week pop-up gallery and event series dedicated to fostering community and motivating young female artists and cultural practitioners by creaming opportunities for mentorship, networking, education, and exposure. They will be open 12 – 5pm each day. Follow along @incubatevan #girlongirl.

May 9 – 11 | Kerri Pfeifer Mother’s Day Floral Shop (434 Columbia St.)
The backyard florist is having a three-day pop-up for Mother’s Day! Bring your mom down to Chinatown for a stroll through Vancouver’s most vibrant neighbourhood and surprise her with flower’s from this pop-up florist. Mom will love you for it.

May 13 – 18 | Bingo Bill Exchange (585 E. Broadway)
Fresh from a buying trip to the women run co-operative workshops of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, Bingo Bill Exchange is back for their second pop-up. The beautiful cushions, ottomans, wool felt carpets, jewelry, and more will adorn the space for six-days only with partial proceeds benefiting the Hope in Shadows photo project of the DTES community. Opening reception Tuesday, May 13 6-9pm.

May 20 | Billy James Fashion (434 Columbia St.)
Local fashion designer Natasha James is all set for her first solo pop-up after a successful collaborative effort with local favorites Hey Jude last summer. This is one-
night only. Don’t sleep on it.

May 20 – June 1 | East Side Flea Midtown Pop Up Shop (585 E. Broadway)
That’s right. All the goodness of East Side Flea will be available in a brick & mortar shop. With 25+ revolving vendors, you can expect a kick-off party, workshops, demonstrations, and a record listening station. Follow along @eastsideflea and #esfpopup for more info. Open daily 11am – 7pm.

May 21 | Make Art Not Cancer (434 Columbia St.)
A one-night only gallery and art auction with all proceeds going to this year’s Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation.

May 23 – June 4 | Kate Duncan presents ADDRESS (434 Columbia St.)
ADDRESS is a collection of furniture, lighting, textiles, horticulture, as well as artwork and sculptural vessels by designers from Vancouver, Calgary, and New York. The two-week pop-up will feature the fine furniture by Kate Duncan, as well as works by Troy Moth, Allied Maker, Le Fil Rouge Textiles, Golem Designs, and many more. This is what’s hot in interior design and home décor right now. Open daily 11am – 7pm.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS | Chinatown’s Bao Bei Is On The Lookout For 2 Garde Mangers

April 26, 2014 

Bai Bei Chinese Brasserie is located at 163 Keefer St. in Vancouver’s Chinatown | 604-688-0876 | www.bao-bei.ca

The GOODS from Bao Bei

Vancouver, BC | Bao Bei is looking for two experienced garde mangers to fill full-time positions in our kitchen. The successful candidates will be able to handle a fast-paced environment. Please email resumes to info [at] bao-bei.ca or come down in person between 2pm – 4pm. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more

HEADS UP | “Centre A” Set To Offer New Cantonese “Chinatown Survival” Lessons

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Chinatown remains one of the more interesting neighbourhoods in Vancouver partly on account of the language barrier it often presents to those who don’t speak Cantonese. If you’ve ever wanted to attempt to scale that barrier, Centre A (Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art) is now offering a ‘quick & dirty’ series of classes that will not only school participants on the basics of how to communicate with shop owners, but also provides some cultural and historical context for the neighbourhood. “The streets, shops and spaces of Chinatown will be our classroom and its people will be our textbooks. Classes will include: basic Cantonese greetings, numbers, getting around, how to order food in a restaurant, and grocery shopping. We will do short field trips around the neighbourhood and hear stories about Chinatown history, community organizing, and historic and current relationships with the diverse cultural communities who share the space. Our final exam will be a grocery shopping expedition and collaboratively created meal.” How awesome is that? The seven classes will run you $60 ($9 drop-in). Super deal!

Saturdays | 10am-12pm | April 26 – June 7 | Centre A (229 East Georgia St.) | DETAILS

GOODS | Chinatown’s “Mamie Taylor’s” To Launch Weekend Brunch Service April 26th

April 17, 2014 

Mamie Taylor's is a new restaurant and bar at 251 East Georgia Street in the heart of Chinatown | mamietaylors.ca

Mamie Taylor’s is a new restaurant and bar at 251 East Georgia Street in the heart of Chinatown | mamietaylors.ca

The GOODS from Mamie Taylor’s

Vancouver, BC | Since opening in August of 2013, Mamie Taylor’s has built its reputation on Chef Tobias Grignon’s contemporary comfort food and a thriving lounge and bar scene. It only follows, then, that Chinatown’s modern American restaurant offer a Southern-themed brunch, whether as an informal weekend stop-in or a much-needed and consoling pick-me-up for the day after the night before.

Served from 11am to 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays (beginning Saturday, April 26), brunch at Mamie Taylor’s will introduce Vancouver diners to unique regional specialities direct from the America’s southern states.

The Kentucky Hot Brown is inspired by its namesake, Louisville’s iconic Brown Hotel, where the hot sandwich of house-smoked confit turkey, tomato, crisp bacon and Mornay sauce has been welcoming weekend warriors since 1926. Egg and Grits, a staple south of the Mason-Dixon line, folds aged white cheddar into hominy grits. Topped with an egg and baked, it’s finished with tomatillo salsa verde, minced jalapenos, and scallions. Of course, no Southern-inspired menu would be complete without Chicken Fried Steak, served with charred green tomatoes and a drizzling of decadent white bacon gravy.

The new menu will also feature classic brunch fare, jazzed up in Mamie Taylor’s signature down-home style. The Biscuit Benny (choice of Smoked Pork Belly with Apple Chutney or vegetarian Poblano Chili and Goat Cheese) is stacked on a lighter-than-air biscuit, then smothered and covered with Hollandaise. Cobb Salad boasts fresh peaches and a house-made Avocado Ranch dressing. With an ironic nod to Americana, Freedom Toast substitutes French toast’s brioche for pan-seared buttermilk biscuit and is served with a seasonal fruit compote, clabbered buttermilk ricotta and a crumbling of candied pecans. Learn more after the jump… Read more

SEEN IN VANCOUVER #491 | 10 Essential Addresses That Typify Today’s Chinatown

by Ken Tsui | Vancouver’s Chinatown is a neighbourhood with over a century of cultural history crammed within a handful of blocks. There are countless Chinese stories embedded in the architecture and within the street front businesses. Though it’s on the cusp of being a certified UNESCO historical site, change is still very much afoot in Chinatown, making right now a very interesting time to explore it. The neighbourhood – it’s very plain to see – is flourishing with new businesses. Young entrepreneurs from across the city are opening up alongside traditional herbalists, restaurants, butchers, green grocers and kitchen equipment suppliers that have operated in Chinatown for several decades, making it a diverse mix of the treasured old guard and the welcomed new.  This is a (by no means complete) guide to some of these most treasured places. Take your empty belly and a couple of hours out of your day to explore…

Chinatown Supermarket | 239 Keefer Street | 604-685-5423
Navigating the myriad of neighbourhood grocers in Chinatown can be an intimidating experience, but this place is a friendly one­-stopper. With fresh produce, meats, and classic Chinese ingredients, it has practically everything you need to put together a delicious and authentic Cantonese meal.

New Town Bakery | 158 E Pender Street | 604-681­-1828
New Town is a regular haunt for Chinatown elders and a stopover for out-­of-­towners who flock to Pender Street for their steamed bun fix. It’s the definitive Chinese bakery, offering a wide range of sweet and savoury classics such as BBQ pork buns (some of the best in town), pineapple buns, and egg tarts. New Town has columns of steamers stacked full of pillowy steamed buns ranging from Sichuan pork and “Chicken Deluxe” to a vegetarian alternative.

Dollar Meat Store | 266 E Pender Street | 604-681­-1052
Don’t let the name fool you! The award-winning Dollar Meats is an old guard butcher shop that serves up some of Chinatown’s most delicious Chinese BBQ and cured meats. BBQ ducks and a crispy whole hog usually hang in the window while sausages and Chinese bacon cure to deliciousness in the shop. In operation for over 30 years, Dollar Meats takes pride in their artisan products and remains a Vancouver institution for traditional Chinese barbecue

Matchstick Coffee Roasters | 213 East Georgia St. | 604-336-­0213
Expanding from their original Fraserhood location to Georgia Street this year, Matchstick Coffee boasts the best coffee in Chinatown (it’s also one of the few places in the neighbourhood where you can get a cup of coffee before 8am). Along with the standard baked goods (excellent croissants), Matchstick Coffee offers a toast bar and dinner options like Mac and Cheese, plus a selection of local beer on tap.

Phnom Penh Restaurant | 244 East Georgia St. | 604-682­-5777
Butter beef, deep fried lemon pepper chicken wings, and hot and sour soup are the regular barn burners that keep people coming back to this Vietnamese/Cambodian treasure. When former New York chef-turned-celebrity food writer Anthony Bourdain was asked where he liked to eat in Vancouver, he simply replied “Phnom Penh.” He’s not alone, as evidenced by the fact that its large dining room is eternally bustling, even at unlikely hours.

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie | 163 Keefer St. | 604-688­-0876
The award-­winning Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie strikes a fine balance in preserving culture through food. Chef Joel Watanabe’s menus are inspired by traditional Chinese flavours and ingredients but are prepared with modern culinary techniques. Bao Bei is a reflection of the modern Chinese experience, a delicious meeting place between the new and old.

Tinland Cookware | 260 East Pender St. | 604-608-­0787
Chinatown would not be complete without an unpretentious kitchen supply store. You won’t find brand name cookware here but they’re equipped with just about every single size of pot, pan, clear plastic storage container, ceramic bowl, and cooking utensil. Tinland has practically every tool you’ll ever need to outfit your kitchen at an affordable price.

Bestie | 105 East Pender | 604-620-­1175
Clinton McDougall and Dane Brown’s sausage and beer parlour specializing in currywurst is one of Chinatown’s most exciting new developments. It’s a perfect example of the new style of up and coming businesses that are taking a chance on the area. It just so happens that they’re also some of the friendliest, most charming folks on the block. Bestie may not be a typical Chinatown destination, but it gives Vancouverites of every stripe good reason to visit Pender Street.

Continental Herbal | 278 East Pender St. | 604-677-­3334
Continental Herbal is filled floor-­to-­ceiling with every herbal remedy and traditional Chinese dried good imaginable, including dried starfish. Even if you’re not entirely sure how to use any of it (including said dried starfish), Continental Herbal has you covered. They keep an in-­house herbalist in the back of the store who is always ready to fill a prescription. Beyond herbal remedies, Continental also has an impressive tea collection and a staff that gladly walks anyone who is interested through it.

Bamboo Village Trading Company | 135 E Pender Street | 604-662-­3300
Bamboo Village, located on Pender Street, is chock-a-block with cheap and cheerful antiques and homewares. The shop is a vibrant encapsulation of all things decorative, walking a very fine line between practicality and Chinatown kitsch. From an impressive array of paper lanterns and ornately painted ceramic bowls to Mao propaganda posters, exploring the visually striking, wall­-to-­wall collection at Bamboo Village is an adventure in discovering the things you never thought you were looking for.

GOODS | The Chinatown Experiment Is Set To Host New Series Of Pop Ups This Month

The Chinatown Experiment is located at 434 Columbia St. in Vancouver’s vibrant Chinatown | chinatownexperiment.com

The Chinatown Experiment is located at 434 Columbia St. in Vancouver’s vibrant Chinatown | chinatownexperiment.com

The GOODS from The Chinatown Experiment

Vancouver, BC | From shopping to art exhibits, there’s something for everyone this month at The Chinatown Experiment. Take a look…

March 31 – April 7 | Obviously Chic
Women’s online boutique brings their brand of shabby chic to Vancouver.

April 9 – 14 | Riverlife
Solo art exhibit by vancouver based artist Hamish Todd.

April 11- 13 | Güd
Güd, a fabulous new line of natural personal beauty from the makers of Burt’s Bees, is opening a pop-up shop this April in Greenstems, an award winning florist located at 315 Abbott St. in Gastown.

April 18 – 21 | Terminal City: Rewired
Architect and visual artist, Peter Ridgeway presents a multi-media art exhibition.

April 29 | Neighbourhood Photographs
The Chinatown Experiment presents their 2nd Neighbourhood group exhibit. Read more

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