The Comfort Food Guide to Vancouver: Gastown’s Simple ‘Gambas al Ajillo’

This Scout series maps out Vancouver’s best and most legendary comfort foods. We encourage readers to steer us towards their favourites in the comments or by using the hashtag #ScoutYVR on social media.

You can find delicious iterations of traditional gambas al ajillo – or shrimp with garlic – at many Spanish-themed restaurants around town. Like patatas bravas and albondigas, it’s a ubiquitous, not-at-all fancy standard that’s easy to share. The one at Gastown’s tiny Sardine Can is an exemplar that’s great with a cold, crisp glass of beer or sips of Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a simple thing to execute, even for the novice cook. The shrimp are flash-seared in spiced olive oil with garlic, sherry, plenty of paprika and a parsley/lemon finish. Don’t neglect the leftover sauce at the bottom of the dish. Get some crusty bread and go to town.

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