by Ken Tsui | When bouncing between screenings at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival, let the following words of wisdom (from an adult more responsible than myself) echo in your mind: “popcorn is not a dinner substitute.” Whether you’ve got a film to catch or an opinion to share over drinks and bites with friends before or afterward, finding the appropriate place can be a challenge in the rush. We’re sympathetic to your predicament, so here are a five fine ways to eat and drink without completely removing yourself from the VIFF vibe:
High Scoring: Cinara
350 W. Pender St. | www.cinara.ca | Whether you’ve doubled the stakes on your Tinder match or having a night out with your boo, VIFF is the perfect time to enjoy a dinner and a movie. While there aren’t any promises that the film you’re catching is to your taste, there’s a good chance Cinara is. And when it comes to scoring points on a date, chef Lucais Syme’s tasting menu is the all-star MVP. Perhaps front-of-house titan Neil Ingram will sub-in as your wingman. That photo above? A recent (and representative) special.
Grab-&- Go: Japadog
Burrard & Smithe / Burrard & Pender / 530 Robson St. | www.japadog.com | When you’ve got 15 minutes before a screening, sometimes it’s best not to overthink things and go for a classic. With 3 locations to be found between Festival venues, Japadog has you covered like terimayo. Take it from a pro: nothing holds together better than a Japadog when you’re speed-walking down the street on your way to a theatre. Still, take a couple of napkins…
The Talkie: Latab
983 Helmcken St. | www.latab.ca | When you’re walking out of the theatre wondering to yourself, “Jesus…what the hell did I just watch?”, head over to Latab. It’s the perfect place to unpack a tough, art-house baffler. Whether it’s chef Kris Barnholden’s menu of creative, tasty snacks or Eryn Dorman’s list of biodynamic, organic wines, the combination will either spark the requisite revelation or see you drinking enough to fool yourself into thinking you’ve got it all figured out.
In-Between-er: Fanny Bay Oyster Bar
762 Cambie St. | www.fannybayoysters.com | Got an awkward hour to kill between screenings? Grab a seat at the bar at the still wet-behind-the-ears Fanny Bay Oyster Bar, order a caesar and throw a few freshly shucked bivalves back. If a raw bar isn’t your thing, don’t fret: there are plenty of tide-to-table inspired snacks that will keep you busy until you need to make waves to your next screening.
Civilised Bar Hang: Cibo Trattoria
900 Seymour St. | www.cibotrattoria.com | Slip into this stylish looker in the heart of screenland and take a seat at the short bar (pictured at top). Take in their always dependable wines-by-the-glass list and jiggle some burrata on your palate before taking down a bowl of pappardelle maxed out with wild boar ragu and truffled pecorino. If the bar is full, just go next door to UVA (same company and kitchen) and chase your cheese with Gnocchi alla Romano instead.
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