A no messing around guide to the coolest things to eat, drink and do in Vancouver and beyond. Community. Not clickbait.

Francis Arevalo Does The Dishes

Get acquainted with the Vancouver-based, Filipino-Canadian rapper and producer - and whet your sonic and stomach appetites - via his recommendations (heavy on Filipino flavours) for eating and drinking around town.

Francis Arevalo Does The Dishes

Photo credit: Jon Chiang for UWIDO Music

The Dishes 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.

Today we get acquainted with Vancouver-based, Filipino-Canadian rapper and producer, Francis Arevalo, via his ideal day of eating and drinking around town. Arevalo’s debut album, HEATCHECK!, drops on UWIDO Music on April 27th – the perfect soundtrack to re-enact his “The Dishes” romp to, perhaps? In the meantime, you can work up your sonic and stomach appetites by checking out his website and by reading his picks (heavy on Filipino flavours) below….

Good morning! What’s for breakfast/brunch?

Definitely at Kulinarya. Personally, I like beginning my day with a hearty meal, so I’m thinking of the longsilog, a comfort-food combo platter with garlic fried rice, fried eggs, and sweet garlicky longganisa sausages. I’d order a side of ukoy which are deep-fried vegetable fritters. This meal feels like food at home with family to me.

Kulinarya Filipino Eatery (Vancouver) 1134 Commercial Drive MAP

Where should we meet for coffee/tea?

I’d love to sit down with you at Liberté Café to catch-up and tsismis (gossip) while slowly sipping on a nice warm drink in one of their booths on a bright day. My drink of choice is their ube latte: silky and just the right amount of sweet for me!

Liberté Café 3670 Vanness Ave. MAP

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

Lunch is a standard pick-up of some turo-turo from Plato Filipino. Turo-turo is a Tagalog term that literally means “point-point”, referring to the way you’d make your choices from a vast cafeteria-style food display. I’m particularly daydreaming about the binagoongan — it’s a bold dish I love that is pork stewed in shrimp paste with tomatoes and and chili peppers. Plus, I’d have to get some BBQ chicken skewers. Can’t go wrong.

Plato Filipino 5175 Joyce St. MAP

Who has you figured out at Happy Hour?

For me, Happy Hour time looks like splitting an order of crispy pata and fried Brussels sprouts washed down with an icy-cold San Miguel beer at Potluck Hawker Eatery.

Potluck Hawker Eatery 3424 Cambie St. MAP

What’s for dinner?

I’m always daydreaming about the lumpiang ubod at Max’s. Everybody thinks of lumpia as deep fried, but I’m all about this fresh version with ubod (heart of palm), pork, shrimp, crab, carrots, and fresh lettuce wrapped in an egg crêpe. The combo of all these ingredients with the sweet, tangy sauce and the crunch of fresh vegetables is what really does it for me. Throw in some lechon kawali sisig to go with it — that’s chopped-up roast suckling pig served sizzling on a cast-iron plate with Max’s special sauce. Boom.

Max's Restaurant (Vancouver) 3546 Kingsway MAP

What’s for dessert?

I say we stay at Max’s to have the Halo-Halo Special. It’s a tall parfait glass packed with shaved ice and all the delicious Filipino things: tropical fruit cocktail, sweet beans, evaporated milk. And because more is more when it comes to halo halo, it’s topped with a scoop of ube ice cream, sweet banana, cheese — don’t doubt me on this — and crispy rice flakes. That’s my childhood in a glass, right there.

Max's Restaurant (Vancouver) 3546 Kingsway MAP

Where are you taking us for late night cocktails?

I’m honestly not the best person to ask for cocktail suggestions! But as far as rounding out the evening, it starts with a visit to Courtside on Main in the early evening to catch a basketball game while drinking Rainbow Road Fruit Beer from Rewind Beer Co. With guava, passionfruit, and pomegranate notes, it’s a perfect fit for our Filipino food day. Then I’d head down to Guilt & Co to catch some live music and dance until we can’t anymore. Basketball and music — they’re staples in so many Filipinos’ lives.

Courtside 2415 Main St. MAP
Guilt & Company 1 Alexander Street, Downstairs MAP

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